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FutureNarrowboater2026

What Do I Need To Make A Boat With A Classic Engine Legal?

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Hello There,

I'm planning on fitting out a narrowboat with a new Russell Newbery DM2, I know that there is a whole bunch of permits and tests you have to get. Here are some details that I hope will help working out the stuff I will need to get/do:

 

  • I will be living aboard
  • the engine is a brand new Russell Newbery DM2
  • The boat is 66 Feet long
  • It will have a Beta Marine 6Kva Generator (In silenced box)

 

I hope that is enough details.

Thanks, Carlisle

Edited by FutureNarrowboater2026

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It needs to comply with the Recreational Craft Directive, if you wish to be legally able to sell it within 5 years of constructing it.  Alan de E will be along with all the details soon.

The problems with a new RN are:

They are vapourware.  No-one I know claims any have been made for several  years.  Even the RN Register members admit that there is not a full engine set of parts on the shelf and that some of the key patterns are unaccounted for.

Some of the bought in parts- fuel pump, injectors, are no longer in production.

The engine does not have the necessary emissions certification, and afaik no one is planning to get it.

The engine does not have the necessary noise certification, and afaik no one is planning to get it.

 

 Easier to buy a good boat with a decent engine and plan a complete refit, bit even then you will be in RCD territory.

 

N

 

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To make the boat ‘legal’ you would have to build an historic replica working boat, but I’m not sure that even that would suffice as I’m unsure if DM2s were ever fitted as new to any working boat. Someone else might know. 
 

The alternative is not to have the boat RCD certified and don’t sell it for 5 years. It’s unlikely that any future buyer would care. 

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23 minutes ago, BEngo said:

It needs to comply with the Recreational Craft Directive, if you wish to be legally able to sell it within 5 years of constructing it.  Alan de E will be along with all the details soon.

The problems with a new RN are:

They are vapourware.  No-one I know claims any have been made for several  years.  Even the RN Register members admit that there is not a full engine set of parts on the shelf and that some of the key patterns are unaccounted for.

Some of the bought in parts- fuel pump, injectors, are no longer in production.

The engine does not have the necessary emissions certification, and afaik no one is planning to get it.

The engine does not have the necessary noise certification, and afaik no one is planning to get it.

 

 Easier to buy a good boat with a decent engine and plan a complete refit, bit even then you will be in RCD territory.

 

N

 

Ironically enough it was a request from RN to use our emissions test dynos when I was working for Lister many moons ago (late 1998 - early 1999) that alerted me to the first threat from the RCD and caused me to get a mate involved (who had contacts in the EU Parliament) and get the original RCD eased to allow small volume use of trad engines and also to cut out the requirement for some massive wave height resistance requirement and noise drive-by testing. I was concerned about the implications for the UK canal boats and also because I was about to have a Gardner 4LK fitted to a nb of mine that was about to start build. Things have moved on from that I assume from what I gather having no longer had any involvement/interest in the topic.

Roger

Edited by Albion

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14 minutes ago, WotEver said:

To make the boat ‘legal’ you would have to build an historic replica working boat, but I’m not sure that even that would suffice as I’m unsure if DM2s were ever fitted as new to any working boat. Someone else might know. 
 

The alternative is not to have the boat RCD certified and don’t sell it for 5 years. It’s unlikely that any future buyer would care. 

I know that the Grand Union Canal Carying Company had some boats with RN DM2s on them, I guel I could replica one of them

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38 minutes ago, FutureNarrowboater2026 said:

Hello There,

I'm planning on fitting out a narrowboat with a new Russell Newbery DM2, I know that there is a whole bunch of permits and tests you have to get. Here are some details that I hope will help working out the stuff I will need to get/do:

 

  • I will be living aboard
  • the engine is a brand new Russell Newbery DM2
  • The boat is 66 Feet long
  • It will have a Beta Marine 6Kva Generator (In silenced box)

 

I hope that is enough details.

Thanks, Carlisle

 

 

Read the discussion on your other thread.  You could quite legally power the boat with the Beta engine and run the generator with your choice of vintage engine, but you can't get RCD compliance with the list above.

 

Indeed you could go for electric drive and a monster battery bank charged via whichever engine you choose next, as this is your 5th engine option in 3 days!

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24 minutes ago, BEngo said:

It needs to comply with the Recreational Craft Directive, if you wish to be legally able to sell it within 5 years of constructing it.  Alan de E will be along with all the details soon.

The problems with a new RN are:

They are vapourware.  No-one I know claims any have been made for several  years.  Even the RN Register members admit that there is not a full engine set of parts on the shelf and that some of the key patterns are unaccounted for.

Some of the bought in parts- fuel pump, injectors, are no longer in production.

The engine does not have the necessary emissions certification, and afaik no one is planning to get it.

The engine does not have the necessary noise certification, and afaik no one is planning to get it.

 

 Easier to buy a good boat with a decent engine and plan a complete refit, bit even then you will be in RCD territory.

 

N

 

I sent a email to Russel Newbery, they supposedly still make them, they have to get some parts custom made for the engines. I sent an email a day ago to them. I will put in a screenshot of that email. Also, here is their website: http://www.russellnewbery.com/index.html

e67b050b-3dcb-4bfe-b51f-61e6e63f14bc.png

5 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

 

Read the discussion on your other thread.  You could quite legally power the boat with the Beta engine and run the generator with your choice of vintage engine, but you can't get RCD compliance with the list above.

 

Indeed you could go for electric drive and a monster battery bank charged via whichever engine you choose next, as this is your 5th engine option in 3 days!

I'm still deciding, I always wanted a classic engine nb, ever since I was 8 and saw one going along the canal from my backyard. But i never really liked the first three, I dont mind the Bukh

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6 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

this is your 5th engine option in 3 days!

...and second different name!

 

Seriously though, it's better to consider all one's options before placing an order rather than afterwards.

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5 minutes ago, Athy said:

...and second different name!

 

Seriously though, it's better to consider all one's options before placing an order rather than afterwards.

My actual name is Declan, but for some weird reason I prefer to be called Carlisle. I started liking it when I was 15, but I never actually changed my name. Probably never will. In the first post as well, I thought better to use my real name rather than my prefered name, I don't have any real reason why though.

Edited by FutureNarrowboater2026
Left somthing out
  • Greenie 1

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8 minutes ago, FutureNarrowboater2026 said:

I always wanted a classic engine nb, ever since I was 8 and saw one going along the canal from my backyard.

 

That's fair enough and is simple to achieve, just not in a brand new boat since the latest changes to the RCD rules. 

 

All you need to do is buy a secondhand boat that has your choice of vintage/classic engine and which was built when it was still legal to do so. 

 

Or accept that a brand new boat needs to have a noise- and emissions- compliant engine.

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16 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

That's fair enough and is simple to achieve, just not in a brand new boat since the latest changes to the RCD rules. 

 

All you need to do is buy a secondhand boat that has your choice of vintage/classic engine and which was built when it was still legal to do so. 

 

 

Yes, and it needn't be an old boat - from memory, these engines were banned only in 2016.

Probably the most plentiful supply of such boats are those  of prolific builder, the late Steve Hudson. He seemed to have a secret JP2 mine and lots of his boats have them. Opinions vary as to their styling (I like them, from most angles) but they're generally thought of as a quality product.

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What Do I Need To Make A Boat With A Classic Engine Legal?

 

1) Get the engine supplier to confirm that the engine is CE marked and compliant with the specifications I gave you in your other thread, or

 

2) Build the boat to be an 'exact' copy in material used, looks, etc to an original boat that would have used that type / model of engine.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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6 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

What Do I Need To Make A Boat With A Classic Engine Legal?

 

1) Get the engine supplier to confirm that the engine ic CE marked and compliant with the specifications I gave you in your other thread, or

 

2) Build the boat to be an 'exact' copy in material used, looks, etc to an original boat that would have used that type / model of engine.

Okay, thankyou

Edited by FutureNarrowboater2026

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7 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

What Do I Need To Make A Boat With A Classic Engine Legal?

 

1) Get the engine supplier to confirm that the engine ic CE marked and compliant with the specifications I gave you in your other thread, or

 

2) Build the boat to be an 'exact' copy in material used, looks, etc to an original boat that would have used that type / model of engine.

Just curious, is that one or the other, or do I need to do both?

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14 minutes ago, Athy said:

Yes, and it needn't be an old boat - from memory, these engines were banned only in 2016.

Probably the most plentiful supply of such boats are those  of prolific builder, the late Steve Hudson. He seemed to have a secret JP2 mine and lots of his boats have them. Opinions vary as to their styling (I like them, from most angles) but they're generally thought of as a quality product.

That will not work - any boat commercially built since 1994 will be in compliance with the RCD.

 

If you replace the engine with a 'clunker' then the RCD must be re-evaluated and certified with a "Post Construction Assesement"

 

The definition of Major Craft Conversion:

‘major craft conversion’ means a conversion of a watercraft which changes the means of propulsion of the watercraft, involves a major engine modification, or alters the watercraft to such an extent that it may not meet the applicable essential safety and environmental requirements laid down in this Directive.

 

The new responsibility in the Directive:

Article 19

3. Any person placing on the market or putting into service a propulsion engine or a watercraft after a major modification or conversion thereof, or any person changing the intended purpose of a watercraft not covered by this Directive in a way that it falls under its scope, shall apply the procedure referred to in Article 23 before placing the product on the market or putting it into service.

The Applicable conformity assessment procedure that must be carried out:

Article 23 - Post-construction assessment

Major Craft Conversion has now also been included in the scope of the directive:

Article 2- Scope

1. This Directive shall apply to the following products:  (f) watercraft that are subject to major craft conversion.

What does this mean?

What this now means is that any CE marked vessel[1] that undergoes a Major Craft Conversion must undergo a post construction assessment before being placed back on the market or put into service (whichever is the earlier). The legal responsibility for this is placed on the person who is placing the vessel back on the market or putting it back into service after the works have been carried out.

 

 

5 minutes ago, FutureNarrowboater2026 said:

Just curious, is that one or the other, or do I need to do both?

You can do either.
If the engine is compliant (CE marked) then you can put it into any boat you want.

 

If the engine is not compliant you can ONLY use it if you build a true replica (including materials originally used)

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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5 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

That will not work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I beg to differ. It most certainly does work. I speak from personal experience.

Edited by Athy

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Just now, Athy said:

I beg to differ. It most certainly does work. I speak from personal experience.

Did work in the past, wouldn't now.

 

Alan is saying that you can't just buy any boat with a valid RCD and then swap the installed engine for an old Kelvin.  If you do that these days you need to get the boat recertified, which won't pass with the old engine.

 

I was suggesting that if you buy a boat that has a valid RCD and a classic engine (fitted when they were permitted) you would be OK.  I think you were suggesting this too with the Hudson comment.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Athy said:

I beg to differ. It most certainly does work. I speak from personal experience.

In the last 2 years ?

 

The only time it will legally (now) work is that you can re-engine a pre 1994 boat without having to either use a compliant engine, or having a PCA

 

I am sure there are examples of people breaking the law, just as they do by selling a non0compliant boat less than 5 years old.

 

I am simply providing the OP with the legal position, once he is in a position to make an informed decision he can decide how he wishes to proceed.

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3 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

Did work in the past, wouldn't now.

Of course it would.

 

Alan is saying that you can't just buy any boat with a valid RCD and then swap the installed engine for an old Kelvin.  

I never suggested that. Perhaps you did not read my post carefully.

 

 

 

 

 

3 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

In the last 2 years ?

 

The only time it will legally (now) work is that you can re-engine a pre 1994 boat without having to either use a compliant engine, or having a PCA

 

I am sure there are examples of people breaking the law, just as they do by selling a non0compliant boat less than 5 years old.

 

I am simply providing the OP with the legal position, once he is in a position to make an informed decision he can decide how he wishes to proceed.

I'm sure you are, but that's not relevant to what I suggested, is it?

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4 minutes ago, Athy said:

I never suggested that. Perhaps you did not read my post carefully.

I never suggested you suggested that. Perhaps you did not read my post carefully.

 

Here's the bit you seem to have missed in my post, highlighted for clarity.

10 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

I was suggesting that if you buy a boat that has a valid RCD and a classic engine (fitted when they were permitted) you would be OK.  I think you were suggesting this too with the Hudson comment.

 

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12 minutes ago, Athy said:

 

I never suggested that. Perhaps you did not read my post carefully

 

Either your posts do not read how you think they read to others, or you are not understanding the OPs question.

 

He is looking to install a (new) Russell Newbery in a new boat.

 

This is not allowed unless the engine is CE compliant, or the boat is a replica of a pre 1950 boat.

 

You appeared to be suggesting that if he bought a pre 2018 boat he could do this and you know of people who have done it - he cannot do it without having a PCA

 

Your post :

 

"Yes, and it needn't be an old boat - from memory, these engines were banned only in 2016."

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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1 hour ago, BEngo said:

It needs to comply with the Recreational Craft Directive, if you wish to be legally able to sell it within 5 years of constructing it.  Alan de E will be along with all the details soon.

The problems with a new RN are:

They are vapourware.  No-one I know claims any have been made for several  years.  Even the RN Register members admit that there is not a full engine set of parts on the shelf and that some of the key patterns are unaccounted for.

Some of the bought in parts- fuel pump, injectors, are no longer in production.

The engine does not have the necessary emissions certification, and afaik no one is planning to get it.

The engine does not have the necessary noise certification, and afaik no one is planning to get it.

 

 Easier to buy a good boat with a decent engine and plan a complete refit, bit even then you will be in RCD territory.

 

N

 

Vapourware? That's not true.  There are 2 DM2's in production right now with a third awaiting a deposit to start. I am a director of the Register and got this information only 3 weeks ago!  There is also an engine coming out of an ABC hull so that will be up for resale.  

 

As for the other points, why not call the owners of the RN Diesel Engine Co. and ask them?

 

Edited by rustynewbery
Just read the reply from the Bixters

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1 minute ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Either your posts do not read how you think they read to others, or you are not understanding the OPs question.

 

 

 

You appeared to be suggesting that if he bought a pre 2018 boat he could do this and you know of people who have done it - he cannot do it without having a PCA

I was suggesting nothing of the kind. My post no. 11 is perfectly clear.

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3 minutes ago, rustynewbery said:

Vapourware? That's not true.  There are 2 DM2's in production right now with a third awaiting a deposit to start. I am a director of the Register and got this information only 3 weeks ago!  There is also an engine coming out of an ABC hull so that will be up for resale.  

 

As for the other points, why not call the owners of the RN Diesel Engine Co. and ask them?

 

Yeah, I pointed that out earlier... I didnt know that there were 2 in production. but I did know there is a1936 RN DM2 out of an origanal work boat for sale. I also put in a screenshot of the email they replied to me with

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3 minutes ago, Athy said:

I was suggesting nothing of the kind. My post no. 11 is perfectly clear.

You may think it is clear, but in answer to the OPs question regarding making a new boat legal and using a Russel Newbery engine, your reply was incorrect, or at least misleading.

 

45 minutes ago, Athy said:

Yes, and it needn't be an old boat - from memory, these engines were banned only in 2016.

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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