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eco-boat

Engine emissions

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Hi Folks,

I'm having a new boat built in the new year. I'm currently spec-ing it out.

I've very quickly bust my budget so I'm looking at ways of reducing cost. I don't intend to move the boat much (if at all), so the performance of the engine is not important. I can get old second hand or even a chinese engine, but what regulations do I need to conform to (wrt emissions)? Who does the checks and when? My boat builder doesn't have the answers.

Mark

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The simple answer is modern engines for new boats its in RCD2 have a look at Canal magazine from up to a couple of months ago or on line

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I think that as its a new boat the engine will have to comply with the RCD. Any new engine should (Or at least it will have a bit of paper saying it does) Putting an old engine in will probably infringe the regs. A builder may not be too happy to put in some oily old thing out of a scrapyard so you may have to install it yourself, this requires some experience. You could just have it built without an engine altogether and with stern gear fitted for a later date.

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I would avoid putting a deliberately low spec engine in purely for cost grounds. It will only cause pain in the future.

Daniel 

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If you really intend the boat to be static with all services provided by landline then don't fit an engine, but do fit suitable engine beds and skintank etc. If and when you sell the boat you can then fit a suitable new modern engine that meets the latest specs and matches the needs of the purchaser. Fitting a dirty old second hand engine serves no obvious purpose.

................Dave

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2 hours ago, eco-boat said:

Hi Folks,

I'm having a new boat built in the new year. I'm currently spec-ing it out.

I've very quickly bust my budget so I'm looking at ways of reducing cost. I don't intend to move the boat much (if at all), so the performance of the engine is not important...

If the above is true, you don't really need a boat. Why not save yourself a fortune in purchase and maintenance costs and buy a well spec'd caravan?  Just a thought... :)

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4 hours ago, eco-boat said:

I don't intend to move the boat much (if at all),

So, why are you having a boat built ?

Why no just build / buy a House Boat (no engine, different rules and requirements), its much simpler - there again, even simpler, buy a house !

  • Greenie 1

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Why would you buy a new boat with no intention of moving it. It makes no sense. A static caravan would be much cheaper less maintainance and probable cheaper ground rent than a mooring.

  

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Looking at your blog it looks like you're having a Dutch Barge style boat built? 

Arguably the two most important things of a boat are:

- The hull
- The engine

Putting in any old engine or an under-powered engine isn't ideal, perhaps moreso on a big heavy Dutch Barge.

As for the Chinese engines - you will find many horror stories on here. It's probably best to go for something more reputable like a Beta, Barrus Shire or Isuzu to name a few. If your budget is a constraint, it may be worth sacrificing in other non-key areas.

RichM

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Whatever you design and build it must be saleable. In a few years it must appeal to someone else. It must be easily fitted with an engine and the underwater design must be good. The more unusual the boat the smaller the potential market. Boats are probably less environmentally friendly than houses, all that steel, all that energy to make it, it might feel like small scale living but it seldom works out that way. Just a few random thoughts but good luck.

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There's a lot of muddled thinking in the blog at least. He's got VAT confused with Purchase Tax, Vat on fuel wrong as well.

Whereas perhaps you could manhandle a NB around to fill up with water - you can't do that with a WB (certainly in practical terms).

He says he's buying and quoted a price for a sailaway. Such a boat has some motive power built in.... I'd be surprised if any manufacturer would take the risk of a customer punting the boat out of his yard.

Methinks a lot more thought is required not only of the motive power but also about heating and battery charging to mention but two.

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10 hours ago, eco-boat said:

I can get old second hand or even a chinese engine, but what regulations do I need to conform to (wrt emissions)? Who does the checks and when? My boat builder doesn't have the answers.

The boat will have to comply with the Recreational Craft Directive, including its requirements on emissions. If your boatbuilder doesn't know that, then he probably doesn't know all the other RCD requirements either. You should find yourself another boatbuilder.

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If you have a budget of £60k but like the idea of having space (judging from your blog) then you will find some very nice 70ft narrowboats for that money. I too get claustrophobic but strangely, not on a narrowboat but I guess it helps that I am quite a minimalist so don't have much clutter. It may be worth having a look at some of the longer narrowboats out there as you may be surprised and it would certainly fit your budget. 

RichM

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I think I need to explain a little more to steer the speculation.

My long term goal is to have an electric drive with a diesel generator, but the cost of the batteries alone stops me from making this project float (pun intended).

I am planning to spend the first year on the water fitting the boat out whilst pinning down a full time job, so I'm expecting to not move the boat much (permanent mooring), so this is why I'm looking for a lower cost engine solution.

I have 12 years experience of importing Chinese engines. My day job is buying Chinese diesel generators and converting them to run on biogas. There are some very good engines made in China (MAN, Deutz, Cummins, and even some kubota and Yanmar copies that making their way into UK narrow boat - I saw them at Crick). There are some bad engines made there too, but I know which ones they are through painful experience.

So I still haven't managed to find the emissions regulations and who and when they get checked. I'll have another search this evening.

Mark

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Are MAN, Deutz and Cummins now made in China, or do you mean copies of them?

One or two posters have referred to old engines as being dirty and oily. It ain't necessarily so, as we can see from the many beautifully refurbished old engines currently powering narrowboats.

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21 minutes ago, eco-boat said:

So I still haven't managed to find the emissions regulations and who and when they get checked

Both the exhaust emissions and the noise levels are dictated by act of Parliament

2017 No. 737
CONSUMER PROTECTION
The Recreational Craft Regulations 2017
Made - - - - 11th July 2017
Laid before Parliament 12th July 2017
Coming into force - - 3rd August 2017

 

Pages 42-46 of the Act cover the Emissions and noise levels in detail.

 

PDf of the act attached for your perusal.

 

Extract from the Compliance Guidance notes :

For the engine  :

The engines of all boats (requiring RCD assessment. See first paragraph above) are subject to Notified Body exhaust emission assessment and certification. The engine manufacturer is (normally) responsible for such with the “boat” builder including the engine manufacturer’s certification within the boat Technical Documentation and Declaration of Conformity. 
Engine (and boat) sound (noise) assessment and certification is also a mandatory requirement but in a similar way to exhaust emission this is (normally) the engine manufacturers responsibility for outboard engines and inboard engines where the exhaust is an integral part of the engine (this is because the noise of these engines may be tested without the boat). Where the fitted engine is a stern drive or inboard without integral exhaust then the sound assessment and certification for the combined engine and boat is required.

 

 

RCD the Act of Parliament details.pdf

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On 21/09/2017 at 19:40, David Mack said:

The boat will have to comply with the Recreational Craft Directive, including its requirements on emissions. If your boatbuilder doesn't know that, then he probably doesn't know all the other RCD requirements either. You should find yourself another boatbuilder.

I suspect that the builder knows exactly what is required, maybe he just is fed up with OP trying to screw the costs down/alter the spec after agreeing the contract.  If he ordered a sailaway that is what the builder is going want to to deliver. If the builder does not want to install an engine purchased by the customer then the customer may be left to fit it using his own resources, the boatbuilder may not allow other services on to his site, I can forsee OP painting himself in to a corner.

Edited by LadyG

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On 9/21/2017 at 09:05, eco-boat said:

Hi Folks,

I'm having a new boat built in the new year. I'm currently spec-ing it out.

I've very quickly bust my budget so I'm looking at ways of reducing cost. I don't intend to move the boat much (if at all), so the performance of the engine is not important. I can get old second hand or even a chinese engine, but what regulations do I need to conform to (wrt emissions)? Who does the checks and when? My boat builder doesn't have the answers.

Mark

 

This bit worries me. Who is building your boat? Sounds like some sort of steel fabricator to me who is not accustomed to building boats or he would be intimately familiar with the RCD regs covering this, and have told you.

The answers to your two questions highlighted are:

1) Who checks? Nobody checks. The boatbuilder 'declares' compliance when he issues the RCD certificate. A false declaration or failure to issue a declaration will result in prosecution so there is a strong incentive to build in accordance with the RCD.

2) When do they check? Well checking is only likely to happen if a subsequent buyer makes a complaint about the missing RCD registrations and certification. In which case Trading Standards are supposed to investigate and mount the prosecution. My local Trading standards however once told me when discussing the subject, they would be unlikely to ever mount such a prosecution unless instructed to by a higher authority, as they usually "have bigger fish to fry". 

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I suspect that the phrase “My boatbuilder doesn’t have the answers” could be expanded slightly by adding “that I want” to the end of it. 

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On ‎25‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 08:29, eco-boat said:

My long term goal is to have an electric drive with a diesel generator, but the cost of the batteries alone stops me from making this project float (pun intended).

Maybe I am just a bit of a Phillistine (or is it Luddite ?) but I do not see any 'eco' benefits with your proposals :

Conventional way : Run a diesel engine for 4-5 hours per day to drive a propeller thru' a gearbox, and, at the same time charge the batteries and provide hot water.

'Eco' way : Run a diesel engine for 4-5 hours per day to turn a generator to provide charge for a huge set of expensive batteries, that run an electric motor that drives a propeller - the generator may (unlikely) produce hot water.

 

All I can 'see' is additional  complexity and cost for no benefits.

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10 minutes ago, WotEver said:

I suspect that the phrase “My boatbuilder doesn’t have the answers” could be expanded slightly by adding “that I want” to the end of it. 

 

I think you're probably right, and I suspect the same applies to all the answers given so far on here.

I suspect his builder HAS told him all about the new RCD regs on emissions and been researching trying to independently verify (or rather, contradict) what he has already been told by the builder.

The new regs that came into force in August are probably not much reflected in Google searches yet.

 

5 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Maybe I am just a bit of a Phillistine (or is it Luddite ?) but I do not see any 'eco' benefits with your proposals :

Conventional way : Run a diesel engine for 4-5 hours per day to drive a propeller thru' a gearbox, and, at the same time charge the batteries and provide hot water.

'Eco' way : Run a diesel engine for 4-5 hours per day to turn a generator to provide charge for a huge set of expensive batteries, that run an electric motor that drives a propeller - the generator may (unlikely) produce hot water.

 

All I can 'see' is additional  complexity and cost for no benefits.

 

As per a few previous angry threads on the subject, it is actually more 'eco' to live in a modern well-insulated house than on a boat, if that sort of thing bothers you.

Edited by Mike the Boilerman

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Running a diesel generator to charge batteries to drive a motor via a variable frequency controller to drive the boat will use more fuel than running a diesel to drive a gearbox to drive the boat due to conversion losses in the controller. If you control the motor speed by adding resistance to slow it down it is even less efficient as it will be heating up resistors.

This will be offset to a degree  by the generator running at a constant speed, but not eliminated.

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I would think reading this thread that the OP is contemplating/building in complex problems that with a conventional set up would be avoided ,the other points of being strapped for cash (no funds for power unit) taking the first year to fit out, doing a full time job whilst living in the clutter is very tiring. I v'e done it twice admittedly on narrow boats but would guess it's similar ,I also found that the cost I had calculated had a shortfall of around 20% on boat 1 & 25% on boat 2 .Reading his blog & an earlier post he is a bit unsure on some of his statements/findings A gain in a few years when he decides to go boating his cruising range is limited, my suggestion would be look for a used boat of the type he fancies, that has had most of the snags sorted & see if it indeed suits, if yes continue from there. I sort of got the impression he's maybe trying to achieve silk purse quality for pigs ear money. Stand corrected if I've read it wrong

  • Greenie 1

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maybe weld a mounting plate at the back that can take a small second hand outboard motor.  Use this to push you around the marina or wherever at low speed.  When you want to do your proper fit, sell the motor and cut off the plate.

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