Here will will be giving you tips on how to maintain your boats health and give you recommendations for boat repair centres. If you have any tips or recommendations you would like to share, please contact us and we will publish them on this page.
Filling boat water tanks
How do you leave your hosepipe after filling up your boat water tanks? Coiled up around the tap with one end still connected to the stand pipe? This could be bad for your health, heard of Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionella bacteria are common and present in environmental waters sources in low numbers. However, a coiled hosepipe left with water in and one end connected to a standpipe can result in stagnant water being present and the bacteria can multiply at temperatures between 20oC and 45oC. Think how easily this temperature can be attained within a garden type hosepipe in the sun.
You are allowed under current legislation and Canal & River Trust arrangements to use a hosepipe, a permeable hose for temporary connection but not permanent connection to your boat. It should not be in contact with canal or river water and must not lie in the water during filling. As soon as filling is completed remove the hosepipe and store it for re-use.
Do you leave your hosepipe permanently connected to your boat? If so it is recommended you remove it immediately or risk prosecution. This is because under Water Supply Regulations it is an offence to use a hosepipe for a permanent supply; this is a criminal not civil offence. The only supply allowed is one ‘hard wired’ by the Water Authority.
Wise up to Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning
This is the plea from the Boat Safety Scheme as it reveals that in the past 20 years, over two-dozen boaters have died from exposure to the toxic fumes.
Over a third of the fatal incidents are linked to problems with solid fuel stoves; slightly less than one third involve exhaust gases from outboard or portable engines such as generators. Other causes include gas appliances, oil-fired heating and leaking exhausts from installed engines.
To help boaters deal with the risks, the BSS and CoGDEM, (the Council of Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring), have produced new and updated advice called ‘Carbon Monoxide Safety On Boats’ which is available as a booklet or to download from the BSS website.
Commenting on these figures, Graham Watts, BSS Manager said,
We are concerned that still too many boaters do not yet know enough about what causes CO poisoning or how to best protect their crew and families from the deadly toxin.
The information is aimed at helping owners to better recognise the signs of CO poisoning and know what to do if they are suffering.
Boaters can easily spot potential CO hazards on their own craft as ‘Carbon Monoxide Safety on Boats’ gives some basic, simple, watch-points that will show immediately if urgent action is needed to stay safe.
Supporting the new publication, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group said ;
‘we will only see a reduction in the 50 fatalities in the UK every year when more people, including boat users, understand the symptoms and dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
‘Our group urges boaters to act on the new advice from the BSS and CoGDEM and to use carbon monoxide alarms on their craft.’
The BSS recommends fitting a suitable audible CO alarm for added assurance on all boats with engines and fuel burning appliances. Alarms approved as meeting BS EN 50291 are best suited for boats and the leaflet provides detailed advice on where alarms should be fitted.
BSS Manager, Graham Watts said, ‘a carbon monoxide alarm could be an ideal gift for a boat owner – a real life saver.’
The BSS/CoGDEM ‘Carbon Monoxide Safety on Boats’ information can be downloaded from the BSS website www.boatsafetyscheme.org/stay-safe/carbon-monoxide-(co).