Narrowboat holiday company switches to HVO after DfT green lights subsidy

Following the Department for Transport’s green light for HVO to be subsidised for both domestic purposes and propulsion of vessels on the Inland Waterways, Droitwich-based Trinity Boats has made the switch from mineral diesel to HVO.

The Sunflower hybrid narrowboat from Trinity Boats

Becoming the only narrowboat hire base to currently run all of its boats on HVO, Trinity Boats will provide HVO rather than mineral diesel in its fleet of five, soon to be seven, modern narrowboats, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 90%.  

Canal Boat cruising is already a relatively environmentally friendly way to enjoy a holiday, especially for those in the UK when compared to a flight abroad or other multi-stop holiday options. However, Trinity Boats are taking it a step further with their fuel switch.

100% waste-derived from residual food industry fats, tall oil by-products, and used cooking oil, among other products HVO can be used in traditional diesel engines as a drop-in alternative to diesel. It also avoids the issues seen with first-generation bio-diesel, such as diesel bugs and blocked fuel systems.

Committed to sustainability

Phil Webster, Director at Trinity Boats commented: “At Trinity Boats we are committed to the environment and sustainability, and have therefore switched to HVO fuel for our hire fleet and for resale to boaters.

“Our holiday hires are fuel-inclusive so our customers can enjoy a more environmentally friendly holiday without any additional cost.”

And, for Trinity Boats, making HVO available at the canal side is only one of the steps it is taking towards decarbonising this popular activity. The forward-looking company is also pushing forward with more environmentally-friendly boats as Phil explains: “We are also about to launch our first Serial Hybrid holiday hire narrowboat “Sunflower“.

The clarification from the DfT over the Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs) subsidy, which agreed that the benefit can apply to fuel used for onboard domestic purposes, as well as for the propulsion of vessels, narrows the price gap between HVO and mineral diesel.

It will also make it easier for suppliers to market HVO to the leisure boating sector as they will no longer need to establish what proportions of the fuel will be used for the domestic and the propulsion purposes on the vessel – a requirement complicated by the fact that most leisure vessels have only one fuel tank.

Making HVO the affordable choice

Trinity Boats is a partner to canal boat holiday provider Roam and Roost Holidays whose Director James Anelay believes more still needs to be done to make this renewable fuel an affordable option for all the boaters on the inland waterways.

“I would call on the government to properly fund Britain’s waterways and continue to work to close what remains a significant price gap between HVO and mineral diesel to make it an affordable option for all boaters on the Inland Waterways.

The image, supplied by Trinity Boats, shows Sunflower, one of Trinity Boats’ five holiday hire narrowboats and its first serial hybrid. It has a backup generator which will now run on HVO.