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We have a 70ft trad stern NB which was built by Warwickshire Flyboats and is powered by a Gardner 3L2.  I absolutely love the boat and in particular the vintage engine BUT the dog doesn’t.  He enjoys the boat but when the engine is going he literally shakes like a leaf.  To be fair he is a total wuss, fireworks terrify him and any other loud or unusual noises do the same.  We have tried every remedy going, medical and physical to no avail.

We are going to give it this year and see if there is any change and if not drastic measures are called for.  I do not want to sell the boat as she is superb and in addition both my wife and I are totally chilled out on board so do not want to give up boating either.  In fact I even fancy becoming a live aboard but I haven’t broke that news yet.  I don’t want some other marinised diesel so!  Has anyone  heard of removing a Diesel engine and going all electric with the exception of a cocooned diesel generator?  Obviously cost is an issue but I would hope to recoup some good cash for The Gardner which would go towards the refit.

Obviously I haven’t a clue how much this would cost or even if it is feasible but I would have thought with lithium’s, solar, electric motor  and a generator it is doable.  The second part is where do I start looking?  I don’t want to have a boat built as I want to keep the one I have and just change the method of propulsion.  I also don’t want a costly second divorce so the dog has to stay 😂   

Suggestions greatfully received

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I will swap you some batteries for the 3L2 😀

 

Peterboat will be along shortly, he's just done something similar to his wide boat.

 

Its a big job turning a traditionally laid out boat into a hybrid as an after build choice....and theres no guarantee that the dog is just spooked by the engine, it may be the boat moving along as well, or the vibrations through the hull from the engine - something you may not completely lose with a genny.

In order of priority.

1. get rid of dog

1a. Use kennels

2. get rid of wife

3. get rid of dog and wife

4. ....

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2 minutes ago, Dartagnan said:

We have a 70ft trad stern NB which was built by Warwickshire Flyboats and is powered by a Gardner 3L2.  I absolutely love the boat and in particular the vintage engine BUT the dog doesn’t.  He enjoys the boat but when the engine is going he literally shakes like a leaf.  To be fair he is a total wuss, fireworks terrify him and any other loud or unusual noises do the same.  We have tried every remedy going, medical and physical to no avail.

We are going to give it this year and see if there is any change and if not drastic measures are called for.  I do not want to sell the boat as she is superb and in addition both my wife and I are totally chilled out on board so do not want to give up boating either.  In fact I even fancy becoming a live aboard but I haven’t broke that news yet.  I don’t want some other marinised diesel so!  Has anyone  heard of removing a Diesel engine and going all electric with the exception of a cocooned diesel generator?  Obviously cost is an issue but I would hope to recoup some good cash for The Gardner which would go towards the refit.

Obviously I haven’t a clue how much this would cost or even if it is feasible but I would have thought with lithium’s, solar, electric motor  and a generator it is doable.  The second part is where do I start looking?  I don’t want to have a boat built as I want to keep the one I have and just change the method of propulsion.  I also don’t want a costly second divorce so the dog has to stay 😂   

Suggestions greatfully received

You could try borrowing a friend's dog,(one that isn't afraid of engines ) to keep your dog company for a while,to see if your dog calms down If it works,then get another dog as a pal for yours.

Don't commit sacrilege by getting rid of your Gardner! 

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4 minutes ago, Mad Harold said:

You could try borrowing a friend's dog,(one that isn't afraid of engines ) to keep your dog company for a while,to see if your dog calms down If it works,then get another dog as a pal for yours.

Don't commit sacrilege by getting rid of your Gardner! 

That’s a great idea.  I even know where to get one.  Many thanks.  I do love the Gardner, it’s hard to put it into words but there is just something about it.  Power, sound, engineering. I have the original worksheets which are laminated. The handwriting is beautiful and the detail is excellent.  Clearly an age when people took great pride in their work (1930).

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11 minutes ago, Dartagnan said:

I don’t want to have a boat built as I want to keep the one I have and just change the method of propulsion.

Just be aware that if the boat is post 1998 and built under RCD auspices then by changing the propulsion method you will/may need to have a new (Post Construction) RCD compliance survey.

 

There is some question as to if this RCD amendment has actually been incorporated in UK Law so do some research.

 

There have been some changes to the rules applicable to craft that undergo a Major Craft Conversion, together with a better definition of what this actually means. The scope of the new Directive now specifically applies to any watercraft that is subject to Major Craft Conversion (Article 2.1(f)). Major Craft Conversion is defined in Article 3(7) of the Directive and 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.

 

Read more here :

 

https://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-advice/cruising-tips/hints-tips/Pages/changes-to-recreational-craft-directive.aspx

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2 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Just be aware that if the boat is post 1998 and built under RCD auspices then by changing the propulsion method you will/may need to have a new (Post Construction) RCD compliance survey.

 

There is some question as to if this RCD amendment has actually been incorporated in UK Law so do some research.

 

There have been some changes to the rules applicable to craft that undergo a Major Craft Conversion, together with a better definition of what this actually means. The scope of the new Directive now specifically applies to any watercraft that is subject to Major Craft Conversion (Article 2.1(f)). Major Craft Conversion is defined in Article 3(7) of the Directive and 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.

 

Read more here :

 

https://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-advice/cruising-tips/hints-tips/Pages/changes-to-recreational-craft-directive.aspx

Thank you Alan.  She was built in 2002 so probably another issue for me.

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I don't know much about dogs because I've never had one and wouldn't want one, but aren't they very good at learning things and adapting to their surroundings? People train dogs to cope with all sorts of things, so there should be hope.

I don't know much about boat engines either, but enough to suspect that matty40s will be right, converting from diesel to electric must be a big job. If the dog can't be trained, maybe get him a trip on some electric boat and see how he likes it? If he does, sell your boat and buy one purpose built to be electric?

Due to the seasonal nature of solar power, I'm guessing electric boats are not good as live aboards unless you spend the winter on a shore line.

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We used to have a dog which was of a nervous disposition and I used to try to avoid situations which she might find stressful and I was sympathetic when she showed signs of being nervous. I was given advice to change my response to her nervousness and it didn't take long before she stopped being so nervous. All I did was stop avoiding situations she might find stressful and if she showed signs of being stressed, instead of being sympathetic I told her not to be so b****  stupid and then ignored her. It was amazing the change in her behaviour. OK she still occasionally felt nervous but she didn't play on it  and expect me to help her. 

Perhaps worth a try before you change your boat to suit your dog 🙂

 

haggis

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Completely ignore the dog.  Don't fuss over it or try to comfort it or do anything to acknowledge its fear.  This may sound cruel, and may take a while, but dog behavioural psychology says that if you are the pack leader, then your unconcern will communicate itself to the dog.  Of course if the dog has been used to getting all the attention it asks for then you are not the pack leader, so a lot more disregard is required!

 

Edited to say that Haggis has said essentially the same thing.

Edited by Mac of Cygnet

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You can join the Electric Boat Association for £25pa. There are lots of folk there who have converted to electric drive. Many are trying to rely on solar but if you're happy to have a generator things will be a lot easier. 

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I get a spray for my nervous rescue cat from the vet, there is one that smell a bit strange, but it works, I spray it on toys, furniture, carpet, but not cat.. You could ask vet if there is something for dogs. I would also try the squeaky toy treatment, dogs love squeaky toys, or even a special tennis ball if he is so inclined. Some kind of distraction/fun thing.

I am sure there are Bach remedies for dogs. 

Maybe try soundproofing the engine. It should be obvious if the dog gets upset as soon as engine is on rather than if boat is moving.

Agree with getting another dogs, dogs are often more faithful than wives.

I'd be inclined to feed Rover just after you turn engine on, and do this maybe twice a day. Or feed dog just a bit up from the boat, and move dog closer. Also give him good a good run out and bring his favourite snuggle bed from home.

Or just walk the dog on towpath while your wife steers the boat, is that not possible?

Edited by LadyG

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What guarantee is there that the dog will behave any differently with a cocooned diesel generator. Just because you can't hear it doesn't mean the dog can't hear and feel it. Could be a waste of money and massive disappointment.

 

I think Haggis and Mac have the answer

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1 hour ago, LadyG said:

 

Maybe try soundproofing the engine. 

Lady G, go hang your head in shame, :) this is a vintage Gardner, the sound and look is the whole point of it.

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Try singing to the dog, they often like that and sing back to you which calms them down. We used to do this to our dog Butch in thunder storms, he would hold his head up and howl like anything and forgot all about the storm. If the storm lasted a long time it got quite tiring, with us and the dog all ending up horse. We'd sing'-  He's a good dog that dog Butch. He's a good dog that dog Butch, sort of running down the musical scale over and over again in differing tones and tempo's.   He demanded ear muffs instead after a while though.

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1 hour ago, Mac of Cygnet said:

Completely ignore the dog.  Don't fuss over it or try to comfort it or do anything to acknowledge its fear.  This may sound cruel, and may take a while, but dog behavioural psychology says that if you are the pack leader, then your unconcern will communicate itself to the dog.  Of course if the dog has been used to getting all the attention it asks for then you are not the pack leader, so a lot more disregard is required!

 

Edited to say that Haggis has said essentially the same thing.

Yep, mollycoddling the dog will make it feel it's justified in being scared of the perceived threat, otherwise it's pack leader wouldn't be making such a fuss.

 

If it were my dog, I'd behave as if the noise was completely normal (as my dog thinks my engine noise is) and reinforce that behaviour in the early stages by judicious use of biscuits and praise to make her associate the engine start as a really positive event that sometimes even brings a treat.

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I wonder -

There are - allegedly - several dog trainers who specialise in various forms of therapy who convince the animals (and the owners paying the bills...) that 'whatever' is an OK condition. Perhaps I've watched too many of the various TV programmes - but watching the experts at work leads me to think that there may be value in their services.

In a previous life I had a Hunter that would not either 'box' , go forward, or anywhere near running water. I cured him of two of those aversions... Methinks it's the low frequency vibrations that he / it hates, so call in the successors of the fabulous Barbara Woodhouse to do their magic. (I can dowse - but don't know why - so I believe that some things defy plain 'logic')

 

OTOH, if you're not convinced, then mebe a cocooned engine to replace the Gardner (HEAVENS FORFEND) with an electric or hydraulic drive will quell the hound's aversion, and for yourself a low frequency sound system to replicate the exhaust impulses of a proper vintage - on my distant cousins renamed National engine will satisfy your aural demands.

 

Getting rid of the boat or hound are NOT  options in my view...

 

Beta Marine have experience (may be somewhat limited) * in electric and hydraulic transmissions.

* Limited because there's not a lot of experience in NB solutions and they're quite costly. After all that's why NBs tend to have shaft drives...

 

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Go boating and if the dog doesn't like it put it out on the towpath and let it walk. 

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I had a nutty Rottweiler that was great with family but wanted to kill any sort of animal that moved. The last resort before having her put it down was to a trip to a well known dog chap called Roger Mugford. That man thinks like a dog and achieved what no other dog trainer could in a matter of hours. 

Be by far your cheapest option and well worth a try.

Edited by PaulJ
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I agree that a good dog behaviourist might be able to help BUT make sure they use a reward based techniques and not dominance. Dominance methods may work but only for a short time and the old behaviour will return. Avoid any Caeser Milan clones like the plague. 

I gather that diffusers have limited results

haggis

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10 minutes ago, haggis said:

I agree that a good dog behaviourist might be able to help BUT make sure they use a reward based techniques and not dominance. Dominance methods may work but only for a short time and the old behaviour will return. Avoid any Caeser Milan clones like the plague. 

I gather that diffusers have limited results

haggis

 

Try this dog behaviourist locator for UK members of the IAABC.

 

https://iaabc.org/consultants

 

They only use positive reward based techniques. 

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3 hours ago, Peter X said:

I don't know much about dogs because I've never had one and wouldn't want one, but aren't they very good at learning things and adapting to their surroundings? People train dogs to cope with all sorts of things, so there should be hope.

I don't know much about boat engines either, but enough to suspect that matty40s will be right, converting from diesel to electric must be a big job. If the dog can't be trained, maybe get him a trip on some electric boat and see how he likes it? If he does, sell your boat and buy one purpose built to be electric?

Due to the seasonal nature of solar power, I'm guessing electric boats are not good as live aboards unless you spend the winter on a shore line.

Yes, start the dog of on a boat with a quieter modern engine and then try taking it on one with a slightly louder engine and so on... Conditioning init

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If you are serious about going electric you could do far worse than speaking to Peterboat, he has gone Lithium Ion batts and electric drive.

Phil

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Use the antiquated engine as a mud weight and fit a nice smoooooooth Japanese unit.

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