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Recently had a BSS done 

i have a 50 Tug Narrowboat with gas lookers on both sides as you enter the boat from the bow

i can store 2 x 13kg gas bottles one in each

my questions are is there any other Tug Narrowboat with this set up and have you had any troubles with passing a boat safety test 

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The BSS rules say that all LPG containers and high pressure components must be secured in a position where escaping gas does not enter the interior of the vessel. Ask yourself the question "can gas get inside the boat" -- if the answer is yes, it's a fail.  

 

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I am reading your thread and thinking this is all very familiar.  I own a ted spencer tug 'ceres' and yours looks like another?? I last year had to get an unfamiliar examiner to look over the boat and safety it before purchase and he wasn't keen on it.  (He was that type to probably take his bss rule book to bed for light reading tho.) However It's never failed in the past (under previous owner) he failed her saying that gas could go back into the cabin through the main doors.. I should point out i have exactly the layout of your gas lockers. And I'm guessing the cants on your tug deck have a 6 inch gap for run off by the cabin. Also allowing gas to flow off..

His thoughts were to weld it up and have a side entrance off the gunnel.  I wasn't happy with that idea as it ruins the layout. His other option was to weld tabs on the back of the doors that would seal closest to the main cabin doors. So any gas would be forced down and out. But was still quite adamant about a side vent. 

I'm still yet to solve this problem and personally when you look.at the lockers they're designed with a camber to the front lip to aid the gas escape. 

I'd be interested to know what your thoughts or outcomes are..

Edited by jammin1620
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I refer you to the previous answer from Machpoint005 as it also applies to your situation.

Why anybody would want to try and find a way around something as dangerous as where you store your gas astounds me.

Simply fix drain offs from the side over your gunnels and you won't need to worry about failing The BSS nor about blowing up.

 

I'm beginning to think BSS has resulted in such a reduction in blown up wrecks littering the offside bank nowadays that the lack of the visual shock we used to witness up into the late 80s is now leading to a laissez faire approach to passing it.

I find The BSS annoying, especially as it is so subjective and appears to get dafter and more complex with 4 years of updates to consider each time you renew.

 

However GAS!  If I could totally get rid of it cost effectively then I would.  When I bought my boat I threw away the gas fridge and the water heater before I arrived at my mooring.

 

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I think maybe I wrote my earlier post poorly or your misunderstanding. There is no way around doing it safely. And no reason to as you point out. My reference to how he gets around it was aimed at his fix and if it allowed him to keep the lockers without altering there makeup too radically from the original design. 

I also like you abhor gas and have removed an alde heater and gas fridge similarly as the less it's needed the better.

Hope this clears my post up.  

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Might I pose a question back to the original poster. One other thing the examiner picked up on was low level ventilation and suggested rather than nasty vents in the door look at vents in the front cant which didnt seem unreasonable. 

 

Also if your setup is like mine i found it had two gas runs and therefore two gas regulators. More alarmingly I found the two were linked under the tug deck. Thus meaning if one gas line inside the boat failed it would empty both bottles given the lack of nrv. Or one way valve. Both gas runs were hidden behind the woodwork and I found the one side had a coupler half way down behind the sofa which was leaking. 

 

I'm working towards getting gas on board and have as such removed the one gas line and secondary regulator. Removed the link between. Replaced the pipe down to the cooker therefore doing away with coupler. 

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1 hour ago, jammin1620 said:

I last year had to get an unfamiliar examiner to look over the boat and safety it before purchase and he wasn't keen on it.  (He was that type to probably take his bss rule book to bed for light reading tho.) 

 

Ideal!  It's the ones who don't know the rules properly that you need to look out for, whether they fail it for something that's not against the rules or pass it with something that is. 

  • Greenie 2
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May I thank everyone so far for there views and comments so far.

Some have stated what I was asking in my original question of other boat owners who have the same set up as mine in what is the best solution I could use for the safety of my boat and others

as in the pass other boat safety inspections have never picked up my boat for this important issue hence way I’m trying to understand for my safety as well as others so no one will get hurt

am all for the BSS and I do know the rules after being on the water 23 yrs but if you don’t ask i will never know what is right or wrong

 

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Sorry, but the installation in the pictures is not safe and the BSS regs are clear on this point.

 

Interesting that it's a Ted Spenser boat, l know of one other and that does not comply with regard to gas storage - it's not possible on a tug style boat to store 2 upright 13Kg gas bottles upright in a dedicated front locker without flooding the locker up to the level of the vents. I know some owners, faced with this problem, flood the locker for the BSC examination and the dry it out for the next 4 years. but it's crazy to carry on like this - as it is with your set up.

 

I was faced with a similar problem with my tug style and a dedicated front locker, I modified this and installed small 4KG bottles, more expensive, but safer and saves drying out the locker after each BSC inspection or boating with corks in the gas vents! - you could weld plates to provide sealed self draining units. on the front of your lockers and install side vents and go for small bottles this would make them compliant, and allow access to lift the bottles out through the front doors.

 

Hope this helps.

 

L

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3 hours ago, Sea Dog said:

 

Ideal!  It's the ones who don't know the rules properly that you need to look out for, whether they fail it for something that's not against the rules or pass it with something that is. 

 

Compliance with the rules however, is often no more than a matter of opinion rather than black or white fact.

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You could fit a positive drain pipe from the lowest point of each locker, exiting below gunwale level on each side. Then fit a suitable rubber seal to the bottom and sides of each locker door. This will make the locker gas tight to above the top of the bottle, with a BSS-compliant drain clear of any opening to the cabin. There is a clause in the BSS about side opening gas lockers which covers this.

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7 hours ago, David Mack said:

Then fit a suitable rubber seal to the bottom and sides of each locker door. This will make the locker gas tight to above the top of the bottle...

My interpretation of the guidelines would preclude this solution (but I guess that’s one of the problems with the BSS, rules are open to interpretation). No kind of seal around the door can possibly make it gas tight because it’s a door; it can be opened. That’s why the rules state that any such locker should only have side doors, which would open onto the cut and not the deck. Unless I’m missing something?

8 hours ago, LEO said:

I modified this and installed small 4KG bottles, more expensive, but safer and saves drying out the locker after each BSC inspection or boating with corks in the gas vents! - you could weld plates to provide sealed self draining units. on the front of your lockers and install side vents and go for small bottles this would make them compliant, and allow access to lift the bottles out through the front doors.

Other than welding up the front doors and fabricating side doors this is the only solution that I can think of which fully complies with the BSS guidelines. 

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23 minutes ago, WotEver said:

My interpretation of the guidelines would preclude this solution (but I guess that’s one of the problems with the BSS, rules are open to interpretation). No kind of seal around the door can possibly make it gas tight because it’s a door; it can be opened. That’s why the rules state that any such locker should only have side doors, which would open onto the cut and not the deck. Unless I’m missing something?

Other than welding up the front doors and fabricating side doors this is the only solution that I can think of which fully complies with the BSS guidelines. 

 

Without rereading the BSS requirements (posting from my phone) isn't this exactly what the BSS does require in this situation?  I have always interpreted a "side" door in this context to mean a door in (any) side of a gas locker, rather than one on the top (where the locker is gas tight below the top of the bottle anyway). The orientation of that door in relation to the boat is irrelevant.

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2 minutes ago, David Mack said:

 

Without rereading the BSS requirements (posting from my phone) isn't this exactly what the BSS does require in this situation?  I have always interpreted a "side" door in this context to mean a door in (any) side of a gas locker, rather than one on the top (where the locker is gas tight below the top of the bottle anyway). The orientation of that door in relation to the boat is irrelevant.

No. The BSS states that the locker must be completely gas tight to the top of the bottle and must have a drain to the outside. Obviously a door to the outside wouldn’t be a problem as it’s effectively a very large drain. A door to the deck however is inviting leaked gas to make its way into the cabin and/or bilge. 

See 7.1.1 for a general overview. (Posted from my phone):

https://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/media/268789/ecp-private-boats-ed3_rev2_apr2015_public_final.pdf

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The camber at the front may aid gas escape in a flat calm, but what if the wind is blowing from the stem towards the front doors? I can't see a problem putting effective seals on the lockers doors, and overboard vents in the outside panels, but perhaps I'm missing something?

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34 minutes ago, David Mack said:

7.2.3 specifically allows for lockers with side doors and door seals (providing they can be demonstrated to be effective).

However, that is dependant on the deck meeting the requirements of 7.2.4 and 7.2.5. 

 

As I (and others) have said, it’s open to interpretation. 

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With a door opening anywhere other than over the side of the boat, its a BSS  fail.

A solution to this problem was found some years ago if the "cupboard" is large enough.

 

Put the bottle or bottles in gas tight containers that are as tall as the bottles. We used polythene tubs not much bigger than the bottles.

On the bottom side of each container a drain fitting with a crush proof hose connected, gas tight. Minimum internal diameter 3/4"

Drain hole drilled in side of boat in the cupboard as low as possible and fit another drain fitting. Connect to the other end of the hose fitted to the container. All has to be gas tight and secure.

 

This then complies. Bit of a pfaff undoing and reconnecting hoses every bottle change but better than tearing the boat apart.

  • Greenie 1
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15 hours ago, zenataomm said:

I refer you to the previous answer from Machpoint005 as it also applies to your situation.

Why anybody would want to try and find a way around something as dangerous as where you store your gas astounds me.

Simply fix drain offs from the side over your gunnels and you won't need to worry about failing The BSS nor about blowing up.

 

I'm beginning to think BSS has resulted in such a reduction in blown up wrecks littering the offside bank nowadays that the lack of the visual shock we used to witness up into the late 80s is now leading to a laissez faire approach to passing it.

I find The BSS annoying, especially as it is so subjective and appears to get dafter and more complex with 4 years of updates to consider each time you renew.

 

However GAS!  If I could totally get rid of it cost effectively then I would.  When I bought my boat I threw away the gas fridge and the water heater before I arrived at my mooring.

 

I believe there are more fires caused on boats which start from solid fuel stoves, than from gas appliances.

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2 minutes ago, Dave_P said:

Question out of curiosity:

 

If the gas bottles were simply removed prior to the inspection  - would it pass?

No. The BSS doesn’t include checking the gas bottles, only the gas installation. 

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4 hours ago, Dave_P said:

I believe there are more fires caused on boats which start from solid fuel stoves, than from gas appliances.

Probably because gas installations are heavily described in The BSS, solid fuel stoves are merely checked for bolting to the floor, and checking the door and flue for tightness.

Also stoves tend to ignite things around them while gas blows the boat and its occupants to smithereens.

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