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on board L


Summer is here, so why not make the most of the glorious cruising grounds the Channel Islands have to offer from the comfort of your own boat? Sally Coffey takes to the high seas


IKE THE motor industry, the boating world has taken a battering over recent years, with job losses, companies falling into administration and a slowdown in production. But despite this, there are signs of improvement and, crucially, it has survived with most of its big players still intact. Figures released in January by the British Marine Federation (BMF), the trade


association for the leisure marine industry, show that despite facing one of the worst trading periods in recent memory, the boating industry is on the up. In 2008/2009, revenue across the whole of the British Isles (including Crown Dependencies) rose by 1.9 per cent to £3.16bn. As expected the biggest area of growth was the export business, which, benefitting from the weak pound, rose 13.6 per cent to £1.24bn. Boating, for those who enjoy it, is a real passion – nothing can quite compare with spending


time out on the open water or just tootling around while moored in the marina. And it seems that there are plenty of enthusiasts in the Channel Islands, with eight marinas scattered across the islands with berths for more than 3,000 boats. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA), the membership body for all forms of boating, has almost 1,000 registered members and 12 clubs and associations across the islands. Asked how the boating industry in Jersey had been affected by the economic downturn, Myra Shacklady, Commercial Director at Jersey Harbours, says: “There has been a higher turnover of brokerage (second-hand) boats and less buying of new boats, but then it very much depends on who you talk to. We still have extensive waiting lists for marinas though – so much so that we are looking at ways of expanding them.”


Spoiled for choice Boaters in Jersey and Guernsey can revel in the fact that they pay up to 50 per cent less to berth their boats than their UK neighbours, and they can also make the most of comparatively cheap fuel. In the UK, motorboaters suffered a massive blow in 2007 when the derogation they had enjoyed on low-duty marine fuel came to an end. In the Channel Islands there is no such problem, as marine diesel is currently tax-free and the average price at the pump is 62p per litre, significantly cheaper than in the UK. The biggest draw to owning a boat in the islands is that it’s so well geared towards the marine


world, with many well facilitated marinas. In terms of cruising destinations, you are spoilt for choice – drop anchor in one of the many pretty bays around Guernsey or Jersey’s coastline, such


June/July 2010 businesslife.je 53 ➔


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