Can the boat be equated with a second home? In our opinion, yes, and also according to the lawyer we consulted. And as such it can be achieved. The testimony of a reader, who was stopped for a check on his way to his boat, also comes in to shed further light. Admittedly, his is the case of someone who came face to face with common-sense officials, but it certainly represents a valuable “case-history” for those who still harbor some doubts (in the case of a regulatory vacuum, on the other hand, we enter the realm of interpretation and common sense). The letter came from a Sailing Newspaper subscriber to the editor in chief who is also editor in chief of Motor Boats.
Dear Dr. Oriani,
I have been a loyal subscriber of yours since 1987. I have been following with interest your “campaign” to equate the boat with a second home and thus make it attainable even in this strange period of “colored” areas due to covid.
As you advised to do, I printed out your article containing the lawyer’s opinion and following what was said in the piece, I also pre-purchased my boat’s mooring contract (I reside in Montemarciano but keep the boat in Ancona, about half an hour’s drive away): after which for a few days I regularly joined my boat (an old Sun Dance 36) to perform minor maintenance work, secure moorings, check batteries, and so on… Always in total safety, with mask and without having close contact.
As chance would have it, the third time he was stopped for a check by the police. When asked the reason for my displacement, I told them that I was on my way to my boat to operate maintenance work. Before they raised any questions, I exhibited your article and the mooring contract, and I have to say — was I lucky that I had encountered two well-meaning officers? – that they didn’ t fuss me and immediately had me fill out the “normal” self-certification as if I were going to the second house (notice how I had remembered article and contract, but not the self-certification!).
I wanted to tell you about my experience, hoping it might be helpful to those who are desperately trying to figure out, as I read on the web, whether, as you say, boat=second home.
To date, we have no record of people being fined by law enforcement because they were going to their boat outside their municipality of residence in yellow, orange and red zones. We will keep you updated
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