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Just when you think you've seen it all


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Picky?

I wonder what he would find if he came over here and looked at some of the boats on the Broads?

To me he sounds like a guy I would like to survey a boat I was thinking about buying, if I ever get close to owning my own.

His explanation does also help to understand why we have the BSS rules...

(But it appears that in Canada they aren't quite so switched on to enforcing their equivalents!)

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Picky? I wonder what he would find if he came over here and looked at some of the boats on the Broads?

I think Mark left off the TIC emoticon Martin. That was my point really, and not just the broads either, I can genuinely claim to have seen worse, especially in heating and electrical areas. :o

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:oops: Rather silly mistake.

Have put a 3 pin 240v AC outlet in the engine bay of a petrol boat to plug the Tube Heater into. In mitigation it does have to be switched on at a fused switched spur which is not in the bay. Would I have thought about it if I had not been looking at the pictures, probably not but then in order for me to plug something in I have to be in the bay, hopefully I would notice the smell first?

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  • 3 weeks later...

go on then hands up if your boat was on there :wave lol

i think to be fair most of use can say there's something on our boats now or has been that could be put on a clip like that

i know when i 1st got my boat and wired it up (i'm an ex builder)

i just bought normal T+E wire (the hard stuff)

it passed the safety though :?

i'm glad to say it has all been ripped out now and replaced with marine flex :party: (loads more expensive though)

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:oops: Rather silly mistake.

Have put a 3 pin 240v AC outlet in the engine bay of a petrol boat to plug the Tube Heater into. In mitigation it does have to be switched on at a fused switched spur which is not in the bay. Would I have thought about it if I had not been looking at the pictures, probably not but then in order for me to plug something in I have to be in the bay, hopefully I would notice the smell first?

I think you're right Senator, and the BSS guidance on 240v is very "thin".

I wanted to be able to quick change my tube heater also, if ever necessary, so I fitted mine with an adjacent connector, rather than having to then re-route the cable through the engine bulkhead. I used a water resistant shrouded mains connector, as shown in the photo. I prefer to use a thermostat also, rather than just leaving it switched on permanently. To ensure no sparking in the engine bay (mine's petrol too), I use a solid state thermostat in the cabin, with a remote sensor probe in the engine bay.

I guess the concerns with domestic 240v 3 pin outlets in a petrol engine bay is that it would enable something else to be plugged in, like the non-sealed car battery chargers, and also that the unsealed fuse within a conventional 3 pin plug could blow on load, and cause a spark. :shock:

post-669-136713781007_thumb.jpg

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the unsealed fuse within a conventional 3 pin plug could blow on load, and cause a spark

Realistically the ceramic fuse cartridges used in 13Amp plug tops are extremely unlikely to rupture so any spark would be safely contained. Nonetheless it's obviously sound practice to keep mains outlets away from the engine bay in petrol boats. Switched outlets would be a definite no-no because the switches can spark even with resistive loads due to stray inductance and capacitance.

Your sealed inline connector seems perfectly fine to me (provided you avoid disconnecting it whilst live, of course).

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You're quite right Mike, I guess the fuses inside 13 amp plugs are sealed enough to stop the spark of the wire inside from igniting any vapour, and yes, any 240v switching would be a big hazard, because the simple copper contacts always cause some sort of spark. They're better sealed than 12v blade fuses, so the 6 way unit I fitted (in the photo) next to the heater is also a sealed unit with a rubber gasket.

Newf I agree, a 240v socket, (even switched) would not be a hazard in a diesel engine bay, since Diesel fuel requires extreme heat or pressure to vapourise enough to become explosive. I would think it would also be perfectly safe to use a simple self contained, thermostatically controlled frost heater (like a greenhouse "coldwatcher") in a diesel engine bay, as long as normal precautions regarding proximity to tanks, fuel lines, and combustible materials are observed.

I stress though, this is very much IMHO, since I have never found any official guidance in the BSS or any other boating publications. If anyone knows different, I would be very interested and I would stand corrected ! :)

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I stress though, this is very much IMHO, since I have never found any official guidance in the BSS or any other boating publications. If anyone knows different, I would be very interested and I would stand corrected ! :)

Covered in the Recreational Craft Directive and is perfectly acceptable,

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Thanks for the pointer Antares.

Since reading your post I've been Googling for an online or downloadable copy of The Recreational Craft Directive, with no success so far.

I found this: http://www.bis.gov.uk/files/file11294.pdf which seems to be an outline ?

and this: http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDoc ... 0Guide.pdf

but they seem to be generalities ? Is there a link to somewhere on the web where it's been published, chapter and verse, like the BSS ?

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Yes there is but you will need to put in an application and subscribe at £475, that's why I didn't put a link up, It's a bit like National Marine Electronics Association which I am also a member of, it makes the BSS look like a very small documemt indeed.

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I stress though, this is very much IMHO, since I have never found any official guidance in the BSS or any other boating publications. If anyone knows different, I would be very interested and I would stand corrected !

aha, I think my original statement above is still partially correct then, Antares. :)

It now seems strange to me that safety rules and specifications for such (not unusual) things as power sockets in engine bays should only be accessible by paying £475 !!

Given that the Internet is a virtually free publishing resource, it seems unfair that industry standard safety rules are completely inaccessible to the Public. :(

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I'm quite sure that if you contacted the EU or possibly even the DTI then they would provide a copy, it's not some kind of secret.

Hold on though, :) you said at a cost of £475 ? That's a bit stiff for Joe Public to abide by the rules !

(or have a misunderstood and demonstrated another of my senior moments ?) :)

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No, the subscription is for membership to rcdweb, a dynamic site with all sorts of stuff on it, renewal after the first year is £150, all is plus VAT, as I said you can probably get a copy from the EU or DTI at little cost, the thinking is possibly that anybody who is not a boat builder and therefore needs to comply with it would have no use of it and why it is not a public document. Unlike the BSS where an individual would need a copy in order to prepare their boat for inspection the RCD is a CE requirement for manufactire. I doubt the CE compliance requirements for many appliances are public documents either. If you think that's expensive you should see the price of some of the NMEA stuff, whilst the installation standards are not so bad, the actual sentences and approvals standards are meteoric.

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It's sinking in now Antares, (slowly) :)

So the stipulations within the RCD are focused on the requirements for someone building new boats for sale.

Although it looks like the only published reference that confirmed 240v sockets being ok in diesel engine bays, it presumably mainly contains masses of rules and stipulations that are applicable to new craft only. I guess most of it is going to be OTT for DIY owners.

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