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LondonRascal

Trixie (Rascal's Fleet)

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She is a lovely little boat - she looks super small in the expanse of Barton Broad.

She now even has a big screen entertainment - well, a cheap 24" telly from Tesco on offer haha but it fills the width of a bulkhead so looks far bigger than actually is. Just need the new Inverter to power it when away from shore hook up.

She also has unusually wide v berths so despite her dinky size sleeping is comfy. I'd like something a bit larger with some more room to put things, but at the same time there is this cuteness I can't see myself letting go of very easily. They are cracking boats these Sheerlines.

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6 minutes ago, LondonRascal said:

She is a lovely little boat - she looks super small in the expanse of Barton Broad.

She now even has a big screen entertainment - well, a cheap 24" telly from Tesco on offer haha but it fills the width of a bulkhead so looks far bigger than actually is. Just need the new Inverter to power it when away from shore hook up.

She also has unusually wide v berths so despite her dinky size sleeping is comfy. I'd like something a bit larger with some more room to put things, but at the same time there is this cuteness I can't see myself letting go of very easily. They are cracking boats these Sheerlines.

She looked great. We also have some odd attachment to our little boat when a bit bigger would be more beneficial. Can't seen Cal going any time soon though as she suits our needs.

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Just an update as to things - we are almost there but just been on the phone to Shaun and been given some news that I am pleased he had found out. We are not too sure if the battery charger and shore power system was installed by a professional or the last owner of the boat on a DIY basis, but suffice to say some of the wiring is not the best - 13Amp sockets fed with standard 13Amp flex tied up on hoses to keep it out the bilge with string suggests it was not a professional install.

When I bought my new Inverter (yet to be installed)  I went for 32Amp (4mm) flex to take the 240v output from the Inverter to the consumer unit. This all seems a bit silly now, as once it leaves the consumer unit it is down to 13Amp (1.5mm) flex to the sockets. Also the battery charger rather than being hard wired with its own breaker is wired to a 13Amp plug.  I will re-wire this down the road and upgrade the wiring and maybe place the sockets in more desirable locations. For the time being mental note has been made not

It has also been found the charger, a Sterling model that outputs up to 20Amps, has had some tinkering done and the incorrect fuses used resulting in some connectors down the line melting the plastic surrounds. It beggars belief sometimes what happens over the life a of a boat and 'tinkering types' - fuses are there for a reason and their value also is very important!

At this point I am thinking to myself, how is it that so much focus is put on to gas and fuel lines as part of the Boat Safety Scheme but so little focus on electrical wiring which, can be just as prone to setting light to things in fault conditions. It might not be practical for a BSS Examiner to be up to date with all the writing regulations, but perhaps something is needed where if you have any electrical works down ( especially for mains voltages/installs) it has to come with a certificate of compliance.

Tomorrow a Victron smart battery combiner is going in along with an additional battery. This will mean I have 3x domestic and 1x cranking battery - the smart system will fool the the Alternator to see a single battery bank and the Victron unit will then decide which bank gets the amps to re-charge. There was I wanting to keep Trixie relativity simple with her batteries but at least this will put the issues to bed for once and for all and I have an extra bit of capacity too.

 

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Just an update as to things - we are almost there but just been on the phone to Shaun and been given some news that I am pleased he had found out. We are not too sure if the battery charger and shore power system was installed by a professional or the last owner of the boat on a DIY basis, but suffice to say some of the wiring is not the best - 13Amp sockets fed with standard 13Amp flex tied up on hoses to keep it out the bilge with string suggests it was not a professional install.

When I bought my new Inverter (yet to be installed)  I went for 32Amp (4mm) flex to take the 240v output from the Inverter to the consumer unit. This all seems a bit silly now, as once it leaves the consumer unit it is down to 13Amp (1.5mm) flex to the sockets. Also the battery charger rather than being hard wired with its own breaker is wired to a 13Amp plug.  I will re-wire this down the road and upgrade the wiring and maybe place the sockets in more desirable locations. For the time being mental note has been made not

It has also been found the charger, a Sterling model that outputs up to 20Amps, has had some tinkering done and the incorrect fuses used resulting in some connectors down the line melting the plastic surrounds. It beggars belief sometimes what happens over the life a of a boat and 'tinkering types' - fuses are there for a reason and their value also is very important!

At this point I am thinking to myself, how is it that so much focus is put on to gas and fuel lines as part of the Boat Safety Scheme but so little focus on electrical wiring which, can be just as prone to setting light to things in fault conditions. It might not be practical for a BSS Examiner to be up to date with all the writing regulations, but perhaps something is needed where if you have any electrical works down ( especially for mains voltages/installs) it has to come with a certificate of compliance.

Tomorrow a Victron smart battery combiner is going in along with an additional battery. This will mean I have 3x domestic and 1x cranking battery - the smart system will fool the the Alternator to see a single battery bank and the Victron unit will then decide which bank gets the amps to re-charge. There was I wanting to keep Trixie relativity simple with her batteries but at least this will put the issues to bed for once and for all and I have an extra bit of capacity too.

 


LOL....we know all to well with Second Chance what “tinkering” previous owners can do!! Every time we go up we find something new...and boy oh boy did he “tinker”. Shaun and team has been an amazing help to us too. Everyday is a school day!!


Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app
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8 minutes ago, LondonRascal said:

This all seems a bit silly now, as once it leaves the consumer unit it is down to 13Amp (1.5mm) flex to the sockets.

Robin i'm rusty with regs these days, but depending on what your running on this ring main, it might well be advisable to lower the fuse ratings as 13a ring mains used to have to be 2.5mm cable not flex mate.

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You musnt use rigid cable for shorepower installations on boats, the flex takes into account vibrations.  If you already knew that appologies for teaching granny to suck eggs!

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Lets just get things nice and simple here. Flex, Cable - call it what you want - I want to have more capacity than I may currently need or use to 'future proof' things and also am going on what is on Independence and taking big boat ways to smaller boats.

I have a 16Amp shore connector like most do, but I have got it wired into some far heavier 4mm gauge cable capable of carrying 32Amps. This comes into the Consumer Unit on the boat. From here it goes down to 1.5mm cable which heads off to all the boats sockets. That is the same as you might have on some extension cable, it certainly is not what I consider ok to form part of the mains ring main and while 'safe' I'd not like to be running 3Kw off it for extended periods.

Furthermore, none of the cable it is in conduit which I think is a better way of doing things when running through damp mucky bilges. The sockets to which it runs to are floor mounted - but standard plastic boxes. If they are to be mounted on the floor where you can whack them, I'd rather they be metal boxes capable of taking such and not cracking. Even better would be to move them up to a more useful height of the floor.

The cable I have bought for the Inverter is also 4mm and I plan to replace all the wiring on the mains side to match this and therefore future proof the boat should I wish to upgrade to a 32Amp shore power system and run higher load appliances. On Independence I am finding myself very limited when dealing with only 16Amps coming into the boat and needing to keep a watchful eye on my smart electricity monitor e.g turn off the immersion heater if I am going to put the oven on since I cannot have both on without tripping a breaker.

I don't know all the regulations and ins and outs since I just tend to go to those who have such knowledge and say 'this is what I want to happen'. With Independence that all seems okay, with Trixie I have to get over the first question "why do you want to do that?" but once we are over that all is pretty smooth sailing.

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I'm a bit worried here.. I know nothing about electrics, but as we have mod's and staff talking here, perhaps it's wise to remind that all modifications should be carried out by professional dodars and then checked by a marine qualified electrician, marine surveyor and the by god himself..  Fires in boats are not something you walk away from.

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Robin, it's your boat as long as it meets minimum regs do what you want.

My only question is why have got damp dirty bilges?

That should be a priority fix.

Zimbi gets a little water but is dried out often this keeps the bilges clean and no smells.

Cables are clipped higher than the water should get and running them through conduit did not used to be a recommendation.

You cannot see if any chaffing is happening in conduit! 

paul

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To my mind a boat 240V wiring is very similar to domestic house wiring, with the notable exception of not using rigid wiring. In a domestic house it would not be allowed to use 1.5mm wiring on the ring mains, or even a single socket on a spur. Ring mains should always be wired in 2.5mm as a ring, or 2.5mm to a single spur socket.

I would follow that example and use 2.5mm flex cable as a minimum, not 1.5mm. One of the reasons for this is that domestic cable is often run in conduit, or walls and can overheat. Trailing sockets use 1.5mm because the cable is in the open air and can cool if heavily loaded. On a boat I would advocate using trunking, circular is often easiest, to protect any cabling, especially 240V from abrasions. Another reason why I would also use 2.5mm as a minimum.

 

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running a cable in conduit derates the capacity the cable can carry, as it cannot cool as effectively as it would in air, as does running multiple cables in close proximity to each other.

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Good points being made here - l;et me go over some.

First of all when you inherit something (in this case bought a boat) which has had shore power fitted, it should make you wonder how well it has been put in - in the absence of any documentation or invoices showing this was done by a professional, it would appear this was done on a 'DIY' basis.  I understand that especially in smaller older boats a lot of owners will go down that route, simply on the basis of cost. It certainly adds up, to date about £7,500 has been spent on Trixie since purchase and that does not include the new batteries and associated works that have been done recently or the next phases of works that are forthcoming and new seating to go in.

The good news is being small there are only three double sockets to worry about and not a lot of wiring. I have to say on the point of mains wiring, come on Independence if you want to see some bad practice. She breaks all the regulations because so much of the wiring has been done in Taiwan and the colour of said wire might change depending on where you are in the boat and there was liberal use of 'twist cable' connectors - so popular in the US and Asia but not here in the UK. A lot of this has been dealt with when we removed the old sockets, but it took Pete some head scratching when a white wire turned pink the other side of the galley and back to white again as it looped round behind the fridge.

Despite this, the wiring is all run in big cable trays or large conduit and DC wires are run so negative and positive are kept apart and I like the robust nature and ease to which it all makes sense - especially as it is all labelled and each conduit says where it has headed from and where it is heading to. This will make pulling cable easier.

I am not saying this sort of thing is needed on a small 24ft river boat, but I'd like to keep my AC mains wire separate completely from my DC wire. I see no reason why with the correct gauge wire, a  modest load on the AC side would cause it too hot especially when you see in so many commercial applications mains wiring within conduit serving several wall sockets around a room. So forgive my naivety but why would the same be a no no on a boat? And why should cable ever chaff if it is correctly put in and free from moment.

Trixie's DC wiring is not 'marine spec' - none of it is tinned unlike all the wiring on Independence (DC or AC)  it is just standard automotive stuff but I doubt the builders back in the day worried too much about the type of cable they were using which is a shame, since where it connects to various things like the water pump the green corrosion has started to show - luckily there is plenty to cut back to fresh stuff and then correctly terminate.

My bilges are dirty and damp because like many boat owners those who owned her before never had the floorboards up and had a good scrub and clean out. They are not too bad as some boats I have seen, but in an ideal world would have a through clean. Trixie has a centre keel that runs from near the bow to the stern gland and anything that can gets in it and it has a fair amount of water down there from a stern gland that was dripping a little too often than should before it was nipped up.

I also have bilge keels and while they look very sound externally, I think it might be a good thing I got down and deconstructed some of the harder to reach areas to check the bolts that will hold there on and go through the hull. For good measure I am having a new bilge pump and float switch put in.

What else..Hmm yeah my engine drinks coolant. Not much, and seems not to worry how long or hard the engine has been worked - a few hours at 1,400 RPM or all day at 2,200RPM it is about 150ml of coolant that needs putting back in the header tank. Now I have looked into causes of this and would expect there to me more being lost and steam present if it was a head gasket that was going, but none the less it is going somewhere and that needs looking at.  My heat exchanger needs taking apart and de-scaling because at anything over 2,100RPM she gets to 90c and if you push on will get close to 100c - she should run tops at 85c regardless of RPM's.  Despite having a service in April she is having another in August along with a replacement Alternator belt and Impeller.

 

 

 

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Are there many marinas with a 32amp supply at the berth?  I know they are available on the BA posts but I havent seen any anywhere else, maybe Ive not noticed

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5 minutes ago, dnks34 said:

Are there many marinas with a 32amp supply at the berth?  I know they are available on the BA posts but I havent seen any anywhere else, maybe Ive not noticed

No - which is a big shortfall compared to some large Marina's on the Coast. That is, not unless I turn up and ask for a quote to have such supplied.

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Sometimes on a boat there is an gearbox oil cooler fitted and the raw water comes in and goes through the oil cooler and then into the heat exchanger. Beta engines are sometimes built this way. In this case the oil cooler can clog up and prevents a good flow of raw water through the heat exchanger.

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5 minutes ago, DaveRolaves said:

Sometimes on a boat there is an gearbox oil cooler fitted and the raw water comes in and goes through the oil cooler and then into the heat exchanger. Beta engines are sometimes built this way. In this case the oil cooler can clog up and prevents a good flow of raw water through the heat exchanger.

I don't see an oil cooler - I have them on Independence, massive things for the gearboxes and hydraulics but on Trixie, seems pretty basic. She has a 43HP Nanni engine with a Herth gearbox that is unusual for such a large engine on a small boat and leaves little room especially at the front of the engine to work on.

I think the fact is she has just not been de-scaled ever or if was a long time ago. I am going to use something similar to Dynamic Descaler. It's impressive stuff:

 

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Hi Robin. You may not have an oil cooler fitted to your boat. On the Beta 43 hp engine (Kobota based) with a PRM hydraulic gearbox

then it would have the oil cooler fitted before the heat exchanger. The oil cooler on the Beta is about 7" long and 2" in diameter. Look out for two flexible oil hoses leading from the gearbox to the oil cooler.

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Having completely removed the entire Heat Exchanger from a Nanni 50hp myself its not a complex job but access to the nuts underneath the HE holding it to the head really wasnt pleasant or easy!

If you can find a suitable thin flexible rod you can just remove the end caps at either end of the HE (with it in situ) then very carefully rod through each tube from either end if access allows then replace the end caps with fresh o rings and a shim if required. 

Could your coolant issue just be expansion loss each time?  Might be worth topping it up letting it use what it wants then not top it up for your next run and see if it looses anymore. 

I used to think our boat was using coolant topping it up each time till I realised this is what was happening. 

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1 hour ago, LondonRascal said:

So forgive my naivety but why would the same be a no no on a boat? And why should cable ever chaff if it is correctly put in and free from moment.

I am not saying its a no no, its just that the cable size required run in conduit may well be a bigger cable than not in conduit, for example a cable in conduit may only be rated to carry 70% of the current the same cable run loose would (similar to an extension cable only being able to carry 5A when coiled as opposed to 13A when uncoiled)

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1 hour ago, dnks34 said:

Could your coolant issue just be expansion loss each time?  Might be worth topping it up letting it use what it wants then not top it up for your next run and see if it looses anymore.  

It could well be since this model of engine has no expansion tank - you have two points to fill coolant - A and B. Once A is full B should also be full, but A should never need touching. A so far as not B on the other hand has, but if it is being lost through expansion it just will come out i think the best way to resolve this will be to put some hose on the cap where there is the little fitting for expansion, and see if it is coming out of there and collect it in a bottle. If it is good that is expansion, if it is not bad it is going somewhere else.

37 minutes ago, grendel said:

I am not saying its a no no, its just that the cable size required run in conduit may well be a bigger cable than not in conduit, for example a cable in conduit may only be rated to carry 70% of the current the same cable run loose would (similar to an extension cable only being able to carry 5A when coiled as opposed to 13A when uncoiled) 

I have been trying to find details on this, and cannot. I guess I am searching for the wrong things, as all i can see is charts and information on  conduit fill. E.g. how many wires or what gauge can safely be put in conduit of a certain size and not what cable when inside a conduit has to be to be able to cope with the full rated current.

This is getting complicated so I am not going to go down that road and I think the easy route is use a thicker cable to the sockets, run it in the open but well away from the bilge area and properly secure it with the appropriate hardware so it can not slip or sag. I would also like to hard wire my battery charger to the consumer unit so it has its own dedicated breaker and not just be on the end of a plug. I mean even a consumer unit on a boat, while ok it is hardly 'marine' and all nice and built in as you can have Brian Wards supply complete with polarity check and protection.

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It sounds like it will just be expansion loss.  Our HE sounds similar in that aslong as the coolant level could be seen atleast within a few inches of the cap I left it alone, they do hold quite a lot of fluid more than you realise.  If i brimmed it with fluid after cooldown it would always have lost the same amount. 

Do you have one of those basket type weed filters (the clear plastic ones you can see into) I have known an engine run hotter or overheat at higher revs due to that having been fitted to high up in the system?  As you suspect a partially blocked HE core will cause your problems, there were only a few tubes totally blocked in ours and after cleaning it did make a noticeable difference to running temp at higher revs, we were getting up to 90 degrees before cleaning but it stays at a steady 85 regardless of revs now. 

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https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Technical/Charts/VoltageDrop.html

here is a voltage drop calculator, if you use the twin and earth you will see application options for clipped to a wall or in conduit in an insulated wall (worst case for conduit) I used 3kw and 20 m with 2 circuits, and one returned a minimum cable of 1.5mm (in air) and 2.5mm in conduit.

with stuff like this its best left to qualified electricians (or at least get one to check it over once done).

at work we are usually working with bigger cables, longer cable runs, but we still have to allow for cable de-rating when running the whole length in cable ducts for example.

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3 hours ago, grendel said:

at work we are usually working with bigger cables, longer cable runs, but we still have to allow for cable de-rating when running the whole length in cable ducts for example.

On the railway we used to run miles of cables, its surprising the gauge of cable for even a 12v half amp draw that had to be used. We also had to allow, for expansion and contraction of the conductors within the cables, some of which had 48 conductors.

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the longest run of cable I have worked on was 6.5kM at 33.000 volts ducted all the way

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Just now, grendel said:

the longest run of cable I have worked on was 6.5kM at 33.000 volts ducted all the way

The heaviest we worked on was 660v and some runs on that could be up to about 15m in concrete toughing and or concrete cable posts. That was at 33 1/3rd cycles not the 50 found in most buildings. It feed locations along the way to be transformed do to lower voltages for use 12v  right through to 110v depending on the circuit it was to be used for.

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