France Atlantique

Welcome to the Atlantic Coast of France

Bob Tuffnell of Yacht “Dauphin Bleu” kept in Rochefort is our new Chapter Captain.

Bonjour à tous.

Je me permets de vous écrire quelques mots pour vous annoncer que j’ai pris la casquette de Capitaine pour la région France Atlantique, depuis le début de l’année.

Je suis propriétaire d’un Moody 37 “Dauphin Bleu” (anciennement “Mr. Cairo”) depuis bientôt 3 ans, avec Rochefort (17) comme port d’attache.

Dans le prochain numéro de Compass, sera annoncé que nous avons re-programmé le rallye annuel à Rochefort, du 13 au 15 Juillet, avec nos propres événements, plus  la Fête Nationale, défilé militaire, feux d’artifice, etc. A suivre………..

En vous souhaitant une très bonne journée.

Bien amicalement.

Bob Tuffnell

RYA Statement on Returned Goods Relief for UK VAT registered boats kept in the EU

Following a meeting between the RYA and HMRC on 17 November, we welcome the Government’s intent to waive the 3-year condition for Returned Goods Relief (RGR) for pleasure craft that are the personal property of a UK resident which are being returned to the UK for personal use.

The draft legislation will amend reference documents for The Customs (Reliefs from a Liability to Import Duty and Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 and is supported by Government guidance on claiming a relief to pay less Customs Duty and VAT if you re-import goods to the UK.

In order for these changes to come into effect from 01 January, it is expected that the legislation will be laid on 10 December or shortly thereafter. The revised guidance will be published on GOV.UK at the time the legislation is laid.

Mel Hide, RYA Director of External Affairs said: “We are extremely pleased that the Government has responded to the concerns set out by the RYA over the past 2 years, acknowledging that this move is the fair and right thing to do. The waiver from the 3-year condition for boats that have been based in the UK under their current ownership at some point means that VAT will not be recharged on their return to the UK regardless of timing.

“However, we are fully aware that there are those who own boats legitimately bought and kept in the EU when the UK was a member state which have never been in the UK. We continue to press the Government to recognise that export for these boats took place at the end of the Transition Period at 2300UTC on 31 December 2020 when in effect the UK exported itself from the EU. As such, the Government should accept that the export / import condition for RGR is deemed to have been met and therefore the 3-year condition should terminate on 31 December 2023.”

If you have any questions regarding this or any of our other external affair issues, please visit the Representation page on the RYA website or email:

Events Proposed for 2021/22

Events for 2022
12 July - 15 JulyFete Nationale Rochefort

Tips for cruising the France Atlantique

Free bus services– many of the Islands and some cities offer a free bus service, allowing visitors to travel within the locality without charge?  Where several circuits are on offer, (eg Ile de Noirmoutier), you can hop from one circuit to the next.  These services are usually available during July and August.  Ask at the Tourist Information Centre as these free services can prove very useful when ‘marina-bound’, due to inclement weather etc.

SNCF travel– Stuck in Les Sables, or La Rochelle? then visit the local railway station – last year there were some excellent offers available for travelling within the Region.

Arzal Lock – boats entering the Vilaine are always given priority so the Lock times shown relate to the opening of the lock.  Boats leaving the Vilaine usually enter the lock 15 to 20 minutes past the times advertised.

Arzal – Camoel Marina – new pontoons have been added to the Camoel side.  If visiting this marina then request a berth on the Camoel side where it is more sheltered and quiet.

If you have any advice/tips on cruising the Morbihan, Loire Atlantique, Vendee and Charente areas then let your Captain know by emailing  Also, of any events that may be of interest.

Have a great sailing season and hopefully will see you on the water.

Bob Tuffnell

Captain France Atlantique Chapter