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Till Hoffmann

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  1. Thanks for all the input. One more question: If I drill a hole into part of the hull, I will want to remove the paint in the vicinity to ensure a good connection. How do I stop corrosion? Just painting over afterwards doesn't seem very maintainable. @Chewbacka, the engine bearer is a great idea! I was struggling to find places that I could drill into that weren't external. @Bazza954, yes, the engine is connected to the negative terminal of the battery as the starter would not work otherwise. However, the engine itself is mounted on non-conductive material such that the hull is not connected to the negative terminal. I initially assumed that the screws that hold the engine in place would create an electrical connection to the hull but that is not the case.
  2. There are a number of topics on why there should be a connection between the hull, the negative terminal of the 12V system, and the earth of the 230V system. However, I am struggling to find information on how to connect the systems. The engine is of course connected to the negative of the 12V system but it is mounted on rubber such that there is no connection between hull and earth. Are there any guidelines on how to make the connection? My plan was to remove the paint on a small portion of the hull and solder a stainless bolt to it which I am planning to connect to battery earth using a crimped cable. But I wanted to check whether that is a stupid idea for any reasons that I haven't thought of.
  3. Ah, right, that shows my ignorance of the matter.
  4. Firstly, thanks again to everyone for their very helpful comments. Here are some replies. @alan_fincher, yes, we have asked the RCR to replace the gear box and the drive plate. They are charging us 460 for the refurbished box but I don't know what their definition of refurbished is. @Richard, I like the idea of being able to get the cones unstuck but I think at this point, it is beyond our ability (maybe after an engine course ). @junior, we are at the junction between the Grand Union canal and the Stratford upon Avon canal. @mayalid, thank you for your comments. In particular, the explanation of the difference between soft and hard drive plates. I think it may be too late to convince them to attempt to repair the box as they've already brought the parts. Should have asked on this forum a bit earlier.
  5. We were going into a lock and the engine wouldn't go into reverse to stop the boat so we killed the engine. We hit the lock gates but fortunately both the boat and the gates are still intact. We roped the boat out of the lock and started some basic diagnostics. We called the engineer who serviced the engine for us and he mentioned the cable controlling the gear box may have frayed and got stuck in its sleeve. So we detached the cable from the gear box and verified that it was still moving fine. However, the lever on the gear box (white in the picture here) can no longer be moved. An engineer from the Canal and River Rescue stopped by (unfortunately, we had not yet signed up) and was able to move the lever with a large amount of force but concluded the gear box was damaged. They sourced a refurbished gear box and wanted to install it when they found that the drive plate was also gone. They believe the problem arose because they drive plate wasn't suitable (I believe they said it was too "hard" and we needed a "softer" one--although I don't know what that means). Pictures of the drive plate are attached. The engine is an Isuzu 35. Thanks again for your help!
  6. Till Hoffmann


  7. Fair point. We expected to have to do some maintenance (which is admittedly part of the fun) but having to replace the gear box and drive plate on our first trip was unexpected. But, as you said earlier, it's just life. Hopefully the parts will last a bit longer once the proper ones have been installed.
  8. Thanks for your thoughts, Paul. The surveyor was indeed on the list of surveyors recommended by the broker. We called about 20 different surveyors and the one we chose was the only one who could do the survey within the next 14 days (which was the agreed timescale after having our offer accepted). Maybe that should have been indicative. We were surprised that the surveyor signed off the points he had previously raised as having been completed despite that not being the case. The boat was built in 2005 and we paid £29k.
  9. My partner and i recently bought a 55ft narrow boat which we are going live on. Because it was the first time we were buying a boat, we thought we'd make sure everything was checked out by professionals and used a broker. In particular, we ordered a full pre purchase survey which showed up some minor problems which didn't seem too worrying. The vendor agreed to fix any problems arising from the survey which were related to the safety of the boat (BSS). We also got the engine serviced professionally. We now feel rather disappointed (and a little bit cheated) because the broker told us (1) the boat had been blacked last year, (2) the engine was serviced last year. The boat looked like it needed blacking and the person we asked to put three coats of paint on the boat told us "there is no way this boat was blacked last year". It turns out the engine was serviced by the owner rather than professionally. A few points were raised that had to be fixed for the boat to be BSS compliant. The vendor asked an engineer to ensure the boat complied with the BSS. Both the broker and the surveyor confirmed that the work had been carried out adequately. We have now started moving onto the boat and found that some of the work had not been carried out or had been done badly (e.g. just drilling big holes through the floor to fit a cable). We also found that the survey missed some defects (such as a leaky accumulator). Finally, on our first trip, our gearbox (PRM 120 mechanical) was destroyed by the drive plate because the drive plate that was installed wasn't compatible. Do we just have to accept all these problems, suck it up, pay to fix everything and move on, or is there something else we can do? Is this a common problem with brokers?
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