When Britannia waives the rules
Practical Boat Owner|October 2021
Profiting from the world while losing its soul
Sam Llewellyn

It is not yet dawn. The only light is the green gleam of the compass, and the ruby-diamond-and-emerald glow of the masthead trilight, and the occasional flash of a white horse on a black swell. The mind, tired, wanders into a dark labyrinth, made evil-smelling by the thought of Southern Water’s enormous pouring of raw sewage into the Beaulieu river (amongst other waterways).

The water boards were privatised a while ago, and the results have been splendid for shareholders, if disastrous for rivers; but hey, everyone needs money, and to hell with trout and damselflies. In the absence of a budget for the Environment Agency, the water companies have been allowed to report their own pollution incidents, and it is entirely understandable if reprehensible that they have lied like troopers. It is only a matter of time until some original thinker, inspired by this, decides to privatise the sea.

Incidents of pollution at sea should of course be reported to the Coastguard, but the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (in defiance of best practice) is still funded by the Government. Sold off to G4S or Serco, the Coastguard would choose what to report, and any fatalities or oil spills... well, you can’t make omelettes without breaking eggs, for goodness’ sake, or indeed stand in the way of progress.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PRACTICAL BOAT OWNERView All

How To Build Yourself A Mini Tugboat For Fun

Determined to build a small, fun boat for his young grandchildren, Ian Royston made one in the style of a cheeky tugboat

5 mins read
Practical Boat Owner
October 2021

How To Get Your Boat Organised

Are you always misplacing tools and spares? Roger Hughes has the answer

6 mins read
Practical Boat Owner
October 2021

Should You Insure A Project Boat?

Insurance expert Steve Risk has some useful advice for boat owners

2 mins read
Practical Boat Owner
October 2021

A winter project

Now’s a great time to start a refurbishment

3 mins read
Practical Boat Owner
October 2021

It's good to talk

Wilf Lower makes a dodgy connection

3 mins read
Practical Boat Owner
October 2021

Going loopy – making a continuous splice

Roger Hughes declutters the cockpit by splicing his furling lines end-to-end into a continuous loop

6 mins read
Practical Boat Owner
October 2021

The HR evolution

Hallberg-Rassy’s reputation for building quality bluewater cruisers evolved from its early 31-38ft models. Peter Poland reports

10 mins read
Practical Boat Owner
October 2021

Summer in the Med

Ned Coakley enjoys affogatos, smart marinas and stunning cliff-edge villages on a Mediterranean cruise from France to Italy and back

10 mins read
Practical Boat Owner
October 2021

When Britannia waives the rules

Profiting from the world while losing its soul

3 mins read
Practical Boat Owner
October 2021

‘I am very much alive!'

A wartime act of kindness is recalled by a survivor of St Helier Yacht Club’s ‘miracle of St Malo’ evacuation, writes Philip Jeune

6 mins read
Practical Boat Owner
October 2021