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B2019

Help to pass BSS and electrical issues

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My boat recently failed BSS on a number of issues: loose wiring, fuse box cover missing, wire too thin, batteries connected up wrong and lose wiring. 

 

Also failed test as no fuel tank air vent and fuel pipe goes to bottom of diesel tank. 

 

I'm struggling to find an engineer in the Herts area so I might have to do it all myself. 

 

Please see some pictures attached and if anyone could make any suggestions please let me know. 

 

Thanks

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I don’t know where to start.

 

You need a boat electrician for a day or two (or three), looks like you might need an Isolator, much (all?) of the cabling needs replacing, cables require clipping into place. 

 

The fuel tank amends are self-explanatory. 

 

Actually, if what you show is the entirety of the boat’s electrics then it’s just a day’s work I’d say. 

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Looks like the previous owner was a bit of a bodger. Time for someone more competent!

 

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This is why someone new to the waterways should employ a surveyor, and also why the Boat Safety thing is so important

Bodgit and S.Carper have been aboard.

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16 minutes ago, WotEver said:

 

Actually, if what you show is the entirety of the boat’s electrics then it’s just a day’s work I’d say. 

 

Yes the electrics wouldn't require that much work for someone who knows what they're doing. 

 

I don't really understand how the engine runs if there is no vent for the fuel tank, unless the filler cap leaks or there's some other leak for air to get in, otherwise it would be pulling a vacuum. Also I didn't realise that the fuel pipe going to the bottom of the tank was a BSS fail? 

18 minutes ago, Jak said:

Looks like the previous owner was a bit of a bodger. Time for someone more competent!

 

How do you know the previous owner was responsible, or even if there was a previous owner?

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25 minutes ago, matty40s said:

This is why someone new to the waterways should employ a surveyor, and also why the Boat Safety thing is so important

Bodgit and S.Carper have been aboard.

 

Again, lots of assumptions about the OP. You may be correct but I wouldn't necessarily assume that someone whose boat failed the BSS for whatever reasons is new to the waterways. I've met lots of seasoned boaters who have no idea how their boats work. They just enjoy boating and get people in to do the repairs and maintenance. For all we know the OP may have had the boat surveyed and has known about these issues since buying the boat, but he/she is new to the area so doesn't know anyone that can do the work. Perhaps that's unlikely but it is possible. I'm just saying we shouldn't make assumptions about people we don't know.

Edited by blackrose

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Your fuel tank vent is lying on the floor beneath the fuse -box.

You will probably find a bollard at the stern of the boat which has a screw thread in the top of it - screw the vent in  and Robert's your Mothers Brother.

 

The electrics need total removal and replacing correctly.. The wiring is domestic Twin & Earth and should not be used on a boat.

No more needs to be said.

 

Is that an electric water heater with the 'European plug and adapter', connected to the inverter ?

 

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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10 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Your fuel tank vent is lying on the floor beneath the fuse -box.

Well spotted.

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Are 'wires too thin' actually a BSS fail?

 

I can see the installation is appalling so the examiner would be looking to fail, but this seems a bit of a sloppy reason for failing. Besides I bet 3 out f 4 boats have at least one cable 'too thin'.

 

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Many thanks for all your replies. 

I am indeed a new boater with a bit of a nightmare from the previous owner who was a bodger. 

Everything in the pictures is basically all of my electrics. I'm thinking about stripping all wiring out so an engineer can just come out and do a basic wiring job.  All I've got in the is water pump, LED lights, two solar panels, electric water heater and an inverter/ charger as seen in the pictures. 

 

Atm I have to drive the boat with the fuel cap on otherwise it won't start. 

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21 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

Are 'wires too thin' actually a BSS fail?

 

I can see the installation is appalling so the examiner would be looking to fail, but this seems a bit of a sloppy reason for failing. Besides I bet 3 out f 4 boats have at least one cable 'too thin'.

 

Yes, when referring to the battery interconnect cables and suchlike, 25 mm sq is the minimum. BSS para 3.2.2

Edited by nicknorman

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Cheesh - there's so much amateurish (meaning half-cock idiot) work in all the photos to do justice to the bodgery. I was opposed to the BSS on its introduction - but these photos clearly indicate some form of oversight was / is necessary ([email protected] take notice...). Thank heavens it's not  a petrol fuelled boat / or any gas lines nearby.

 

I sincerely wish newcomers to living on a boat - which I assume this one is - could / would seek advice before jumping in with both feet.

 

Won't  happen.

 

Thanks for posting on here - hopefully the mess can be sorted with some help from members herein - before you blow yourself (and others)  up.

 

This one has really "got my logo..."

 

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19 minutes ago, B2019 said:

Many thanks for all your replies. 

I am indeed a new boater with a bit of a nightmare from the previous owner who was a bodger. 

 

 

Ok, sounds like ALL the assumptions about you were correct then! ?

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1 hour ago, blackrose said:

 

Yes the electrics wouldn't require that much work for someone who knows what they're doing. 

 

I don't really understand how the engine runs if there is no vent for the fuel tank, unless the filler cap leaks or there's some other leak for air to get in, otherwise it would be pulling a vacuum. Also I didn't realise that the fuel pipe going to the bottom of the tank was a BSS fail? 

How do you know the previous owner was responsible, or even if there was a previous owner?

I'll stand corrected by anyone who knows the BSS in detail but I don't think it is a fail.  There must be loads of boats with drain points at the bottom of the tank so what's the difference?  I think it's ok provided you have a shut off valve.  I'd query that one. 

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30 minutes ago, B2019 said:

electric water heater and an inverter/ charger as seen in the pictures. 

As you are new to boating there is a lot to learn about managing electricity.

 

Firstly : You need to disconnect the electric water heater if you are trying to run it off the inverter. OK if you have a land line. but running off the batteries is a big NO NO NO.

You do not have unlimited power - it is not a house. You are now the electricity generating company and the electricity distribution company. 

If you do not charge your batteries back-up (ideally every day) then you will 'kill them'. You can Kill a brand new battery bank in a matter of a few weeks.

 

How are you recharging your batteries ?

How do you know how much to charge them ?

How do you know when they are charged ?

Are you connected to 'the mains' via a shore-line ?

 

If you are relying on charging your batteries by running the engine, I would suggest that until you start to understand what is needed for your particular set-up that you run the engine 3 hours per day AND only use the water heater with the engine running - but - ideally remove the electric heater and get a gas one installed, in the short term boil a kettle to get some hot water.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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Indeed. I've just ordered a fuel shut off valve and putting that on tomorrow and changing fuel line from garden hose pipe from previous owner to correct fuel pipe advised by the BSS examiner. I'm just wondering whether its easier to just buy a new fuel tank and fit that. Also does the screw vent on the tank need to feed out somewhere?

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8 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

As you are new to boating there is a lot to learn about managing electricity.

 

Firstly : You need to disconnect the electric water heater if you are trying to run it off the inverter. OK if you have a land line. but running off the batteries is a big NO NO NO.

You do not have unlimited power - it is not a house. You are now the electricity generating company and the electricity distribution company. 

If you do not charge your batteries back-up (ideally every day) then you will 'kill them'. You can Kill a brand new battery bank in a matter of a few weeks.

 

How are you recharging your batteries ?

How do you know how much to charge them ?

How do you know when they are charged ?

Are you connected to 'the mains' via a shore-line ?

 

If you are relying on charging your batteries by running the engine, I would suggest that until you start to understand what is needed for your particular set-up that you run the engine 3 hours per day AND only use the water heater with the engine running - but - ideally remove the electric heater and get a gas one installed, in the short term boil a kettle to get some hot water.

I'm charging the batteries by two solar panels on the roof.  Electric heater will be removed in time but I'm going to walk before I can run and get it through the BSS first of all. It's a hot bulb engine with no starter motor and there's no Electrics involved with the engine. It also has a solar controller. There isn't any way of telling when the batteries are charged and there is no link to shore power. 

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Edited by B2019

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2 minutes ago, B2019 said:

I'm changing the batteries by two solar panels on the roof.  Electric heater will be removed in time but I'm going to walk before I can run and get it through the BSS first of all. It's a hot bulb engine with no starter motor and there's no Electrics involved with the engine. It also has a solar controller. There isn't any way of telling when there are charged and there is no link to shore power. 

I really wish you all the best but would suggest that what you have bought is not an ideal boat for someone new to the world of boating.

 

Good luck.

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40 minutes ago, B2019 said:

 Also does the screw vent on the tank need to feed out somewhere?

no.  just screw it in place and the job's a good'un. 

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36 minutes ago, B2019 said:

I'm charging the batteries by two solar panels on the roof.  .............. It also has a solar controller. There isn't any way of telling when the batteries are charged and there is no link to shore power. 

 

2 solar panels will not provide enough power to charge the batteries if they are required to run heavy loads like a water heater.

 

the solar controller appears to have digital readouts.    what is the V for the battery?      if V is less than 12.5 when there is no load then your batteries are effectively discharged - they need to be properly charged before asking them to provide any serious power - otherwise you will reduce their life.

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39 minutes ago, B2019 said:

Indeed. I've just ordered a fuel shut off valve and putting that on tomorrow and changing fuel line from garden hose pipe from previous owner to correct fuel pipe advised by the BSS examiner. I'm just wondering whether its easier to just buy a new fuel tank and fit that. Also does the screw vent on the tank need to feed out somewhere?

The point of not having pipes coming directly out of the bottom of the fuel tank is to minimise the risk of fuel escaping by gravity.  Just like it's a good idea to have the water supply drawn from above, though that isn't a safety issue.  But I'm sure it isn't a strict safety requirement if you have a shut off valve.  I would have thought making the pipe BSS compliant and fitting a valve was a whole lot easier (and cheaper) than a new tank.    

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IF you haven't seen it already, the complete BSS requirements for private boats can be downloaded here. A lot won't apply to your boat. Go through it methodically and if there are any questions then please ask here. The electrical system you have is relatively simple, so replacing the dogs dinner that is there with something that complies shouldn't be as bad as it at first seems.

Jen

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