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Sinewave

Boat Hire Legal Question

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15 hours ago, MJG said:

I only know of one hire boat company on the Ashby who we found to be excellent. When we once hired from them around this time of year they swapped us to a better boat because there was a problem with the boat we had booked, at no cost to us.

The op's reference to the Ashby implies it was a hire from the Ashby boat co., perhaps they could eliminate them from any speculation about the hire co. involved.

The trader was most definitely not Ashby Boat's, As I understand it the trader I am talking about made a few phone calls to see if any other business's could help out as he did not have a duty engineer available. Trinity marina declined, but Ashby Boat Hire said if I made my way up to them they would supply help or at least some kit and advice if they could, Bless them. 

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17 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

This sounds to me as if the domestic batteries were very or completely flat and the alternator warning lamp was somehow energised from the domestic bank so the alternator would not energise until it got fed from the engine battery. Then it energised and close the split charge relay (assuming its a Durite one).

A missing "trigger" wire on the relay would not allow the relay to close by jumping between the engine and domestic positives.

Its all sound very odd to me because the alternator warning lamp is usually ignition switch controlled and that comes from the engine battery  unless for some reason they misunderstand the bit about directing the alternator output to the domestic battery. They could be using a relay from the ignition switch to turn the warning lamp on from the domestic bank but on a  single alternator boat its very odd. That us unless it was a twin alternator boat and they disabled the wrong warning lamp.

All very odd and I can not  fully understand how that fix worked unless it was to do with energising the alternator.

If the boat really did have flat domestic batteries the last thing I would tell a customer to do would be to jump from the engine bank because a very hot cable and burned hands could ensue.

 

By the way Hoseasons is only a booking agent, as far as I am aware they do not own or operate any boats themselves so any fleet could book via Hoseasons if they wished and have Hoseasons badged stuff aboard. If the boat was bought in it would have come from another operator who just happened to book with Hoseasons.

 

Thank you for the info Tony, yes it's possible the boats came from another operator.

Yes I agree the situation with the leisure batteries is very odd, on inspection of the batteries (3 in the leisure bank) 2 looked fairly new and the other looked in good condition, I have only ever seen the manual shunt he applied for the purpose of (shocking) near completely flat older batteries into taking a charge.

As I said I did not have any kit with me so I could not meter the wiring but you could well be right about the alternator being initially excited from the leisure bank, instead of from the start battery, and yes if the leisure bank were near flat a boost from the starter battery would possibly be enough to induce the alternator charge voltage.

The split charger was most definitely an older wired model of the Durite range, round and orange, the give away for it being trigger wire activated was the fact that it had an input terminal and no light to indicate automatic relay operation, the details on the relay itself were unreadable because of its age but Durite's generally energise at somewhere between 13.5 to 14.2 volts I believe, but the problem must have been split charger related because the shunt had to be re-applied at every engine stop and re-start , if the problem was just low charge stopping the excitement of the alternator then surely applying the shunt once and charging the leisure batteries up would have enabled them to supply enough voltage at the next startup      

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44 minutes ago, Sinewave said:

Thank you for the info Tony, yes it's possible the boats came from another operator.

Yes I agree the situation with the leisure batteries is very odd, on inspection of the batteries (3 in the leisure bank) 2 looked fairly new and the other looked in good condition, I have only ever seen the manual shunt he applied for the purpose of (shocking) near completely flat older batteries into taking a charge.

As I said I did not have any kit with me so I could not meter the wiring but you could well be right about the alternator being initially excited from the leisure bank, instead of from the start battery, and yes if the leisure bank were near flat a boost from the starter battery would possibly be enough to induce the alternator charge voltage.

The split charger was most definitely an older wired model of the Durite range, round and orange, the give away for it being trigger wire activated was the fact that it had an input terminal and no light to indicate automatic relay operation, the details on the relay itself were unreadable because of its age but Durite's generally energise at somewhere between 13.5 to 14.2 volts I believe, but the problem must have been split charger related because the shunt had to be re-applied at every engine stop and re-start , if the problem was just low charge stopping the excitement of the alternator then surely applying the shunt once and charging the leisure batteries up would have enabled them to supply enough voltage at the next startup      

Orange and round sounds much more like a VSR to me. Split charge relays tend to be boxlike, the Durite ones especially.  Durite ones tend to be black and Lucas ones blue. Split charge relays do NOT close at a fixed battery voltage, they close when the relay coil is energised. I have had them energise on;y by the warning lamp current and that is after the voltage dropped across the warning lamp.  If the relay energise  wire is fed from the alternator D+ terminal (warning lamp) it may not energise until the alternator starts charging and that may be within the figures you quote but could be less on really flat batteries or more on well charged ones and a modern alternator. VSRs "close" at around 13.6 volts.

A VSR will/should have a thin negative connection in addition to the two main cables. Early ones may have two so you can choose which bank it's monitoring.

Unless the yard comes on to explain what was going on I doubt we will ever find out.

Editd to add

Thinking about it I reckon it could well have been an old bidirectionally VSR  where they ere sensing form the domestic bank and sending the alternator output to the engine bank or over time, the close setting had drifted far too high, but I doubt that.

Edited by Tony Brooks

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If it's not Ashby boat company and I can't see it being Excellence Afloat (ex Valley Cruisers) from Coventry then it only leaves one hire base that might fit the bill unless someone else has started operating on the Ashby. Think Coventry Canal, north of the Ashby and on the same pound.

Edited by Tony Brooks

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20 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

If it's not Ashby boat company and I can't see it being Excellence Afloat (ex Valley Cruisers) from Coventry then it only leaves one hire base that might fit the bill unless someone else has started operating on the Ashby. Think Coventry Canal, north of the Ashby and on the same pound.

I obviously cannot say to much about the trader at this stage Tony for legal reasons, I also have no wish to do serious damage to the traders hard earned reputation, The trader himself, his ex partner and his boatyard staff are excellent and very nice people to deal with.

I think the weak link in the chain is this one particular engineer, In general conversation with members of the yard staff they give the impression that this engineer is very arrogant and a bit of a know it all, (their words not mine) but on arriving back from our hire period I had the opportunity to speak with him face to face so I took him to task over how he could justify allowing a boat to be hired out to a member of the public knowing that the temporary fix he had made would not last beyond the first engine stop. Did he realise not making a proper repair and not declaring the fact that the hirer would have to keep making this shunt throughout the hire period would, in fact, mean the company would be in Breach of Contract on two counts at least , boat unfit for purpose, not declaring a condition which could affect the customers decision to continue with the hire , He replied he had made the trader and his boat yard staff aware of the situation and claimed it was their fault for turning the boat engine off when he had told them to leave it running , quite what this has to do with the fact he made a poor job of the repair i don't know,

Unfortunately Tony this is only one of several issues which I won't go into at this stage, but after several exchanges with the trader who will not concede he was at fault through his engineer's actions, I have had to take legal action, as he would not agree to mediation/arbitration or supply a letter of deadlock I was left with no other choice.     

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1 hour ago, Sinewave said:

The trader himself, his ex partner and his boatyard staff are excellent and very nice people to deal with...............               ..............Unfortunately Tony this is only one of several issues which I won't go into at this stage, but after several exchanges with the trader who will not concede he was at fault through his engineer's actions, I have had to take legal action, as he would not agree to mediation/arbitration or supply a letter of deadlock I was left with no other choice.     

Obviously this is nowt to do with me, but I can't quite understand how those two apparently contradictory statements come into the same post.

It does seem though that your contract for the hire was with the hire company, so I don't see how they can sidestep liability for their engineer's actions (or inactions, as the case may be).

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