Scottish Government Allows Travel to Boats for Essential Maintenance in Line with Guidance for Owners of Second Homes
The Scottish Government has decided that boat owners can access their boats for essential maintenance. Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary of Rural Economy and Tourism acknowledged the need for parity with second homes following representations by Sail Scotland supported by RYA Scotland and British Marine Scotland.
Travel exemptions have been confirmed as allowing owners of private boats to travel to their vessels to undertake essential maintenance.
National Regulations are intended to be flexible to allow a person to leave home for a genuinely essential purpose. Rather than setting out an exhaustive list of every reasonable excuse, it leaves it to the individual to make a judgment as to whether a purpose is essential or not.
Only travel for essential maintenance is presently allowed. Travel for cosmetic improvements or preparatory work for the coming season will open-up as restrictions are relaxed in the coming weeks on par with other sectors.
The Scottish Government will try to ensure examples are included in future guidance but where this is not explicitly stated, it would be for the individual to determine the circumstances whether travel would be acceptable and essential.
Essential maintenance is work which if not undertaken would cause failure or become an imminent safety issue. Some examples are; repairs to prevent water ingress, winterising engines, pumping out bilges and maintaining/ replacing mooring and berth warps.
Essential maintenance should be completed as quickly as possible. Travel for essential maintenance should not be used as a pretext to spend the day aboard ‘pottering’ or for a weekend away. You should not stay longer than the length of time required to undertake essential maintenance.
This is obviously good news and while we recognise some of you will want to utilise this new rule please do so considerately and obviously continue to follow government guidelines.