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    • RichM

      Changes to our Site Chat   05/04/17

      Invision Power Services Inc, the developers of our forum & chat software will be retiring the existing Chat functionality of the site as of May this year. (You may read more about this here) As such, we are in the position of finding an alternative solution given we believe that our chat functionality still has a place on Canal World. We're currently trialing out new "Chatbox" software on the site which you may view both via the bottom of the main page or by clicking "Chatbox" at the top right of the page. We appreciate the design & functionality is different though we welcome your feedback. 

Froggy

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About Froggy

  • Birthday July 12

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  • Location
    Bristol
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    I'm originally from Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, but have lived in Bristol since the 1980s. My first sight of a canal would have been the Shropshire Union Canal as a young child, when my dad took my brother and i fishing one weekend. I'm now a keen rambler, and over recent years have done many canal walks, mainly along stretches of the Kennet & Avon. As a boater though, and as of October 2016, I'm a complete novice, so the next few months are going to be a very interesting learning curve that's hopefully going to be more pleasure than pain!

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  1. It's a 1997 build. It would be curious if the original owner wanted that electrical layout, where is the logic in having a socket in a small corridor between two rooms and another on the wrong side of the bedroom door? More likely imo that there was either an error of measurement or the owner changed their requirements with regard to bulkheads part-way through the work being done. It's the only criticism i can make about what's left of the original layout, which has been modified over time here and there such as bench seats being ripped out in the saloon to make it more open plan (JD supplied a detailed boat manual, so we can see the original layout from enclosed diagrams and descriptions). I'm certainly not displeased with what we bought except all the hidden costs that are due to neglect rather than design. Just to make sure that we're not talking at odds, i am talking about JD Boat Services and not JD Narrowboats.
  2. Apart from the fact that they haven't got back to me so far, i did find it rather curious that, as boat fitters, their website shows mainly outside shots of boats they have worked on and very little illustration of their own work. The website also seems dated and photographs can't be shown in expanded view or as a slideshow, so it had me thinking that it might be an archived website. The quality of work on our boat, despite years of neglect by previous owners, was obviously of a reasonably high standard when originally commissioned, and some considerable thought seems to have gone into the design and execution of the layout (notwithstanding the fact that there aren't enough 240v sockets, including none in the aft room which doubles as a guest bedroom, yet one in the tiny corridor between it and the main bedroom that is partitioned by doors at both ends and gives access to the bathroom, suggesting that there was some failure to accurately co-ordinate the wiring circuit with the construction of the bulkheads! In fact there isn't a socket in the main bedroom either, but there's one just on the other side of the door that leads to the galley and saloon at the front of the boat ).
  3. Just to clarify this: the company that fitted our boat was actually JD Boat Services (Gailey), and NOT JD Narrowboats of Shardlow, which appears to be a completely different company. I learned this when i contacted the latter company and they got back to me saying that the hull couldn't possibly be theirs because they hadn't been gong that long! I then contacted JD Boat Services, and so far they haven't got back to me. It's possible that, although they still have a live website, they are no longer in business. JD Narrowboats build hulls and also do fitouts; JD Boat Services only do the latter.
  4. Yes, that's exactly what our surveyor told us.
  5. JD Narrowboats, from what I've read elsewhere on the forum, are quite well respected, as is the hull builder, Gary Gorton. It's nice to know that JD are still going, and i note from their website that they now build the hulls too.
  6. Ok. I'm just sending a quick query off to JD Narrowboats. If they reply and shed any further light on things i'll feed back on this thread.
  7. Ok, fair enough, but at least i'm a little more reassured about our system being reasonably safe! D'oh! Yeah, of course! Well you've both been very helpful but nobody has replied re retro-adding an 'inverter' tag to this thread yet. All the information discussed might be helpful to others in the future.
  8. Now i'm outside the realm of my knowledge again though because doesn't that .pdf Victron manual linked above make reference to earthing the unit? If having the live and neutral isolated from earth worked why did later designs move towards bonding the earth and neutral? Presumably because the RCD route was even safer?
  9. Does anybody know how to retrospectively add tags to this thread because it might be a good idea to add a tag for 'inverter' given how the discussion has wandered away from my original query about batteries?
  10. Many thanks for your helpful answer. Your comments seem to confirm my deduction (from other advice offered in the thread) that our boat is probably adequately safeguarded from a short to the hull (which is probably unlikely if the boat fitters did their job properly) but that users are at some risk from shorts within individual appliances when powered through the inverter. I'm not at the boat at present and although we should have a spare copy of the manual at home i can't find it (i think i took it to the boat to compare with the other one because some pages seem to be missing from one copy). I can remember the manual stating that the hull isn't used as a return but am not too sure about the earth arrangement; however i suspect from what i can remember of the circuit diagrams that the earth is bonded to the hull. As i was typing the above a very pleasant lady from Victron telephoned me all the way from Holland! She went into some detail to explain the inverter, including stating that it wasn't a sine wave model and therefore sensitive equipment like laptops might be prone to damage. She was of course in part trying to sell me a new model, and i was surprised to discover that a replacement would cost less than £900 because for some reason i thought they were several grand. It's possibly something that we might therefore consider later in the year or more likely next year. She confirmed that the earth-neutral bonding is done by means of a relay and can't be retro-fittedd to older models, but also said that the Victron is 'floating' and not earthed to the rest of the system (something i don't fully understand) and that she has never heard of anybody receiving an electric shock from these systems in the past. I'm going to have a long punt now and contact the original boat builder, JD Narrowboats, and see if they can shed any further light on things.
  11. But my main concern is that there is protection, whatever means it is provided by. The discussion began as specific to RCDs but then extended to the general danger of an electric shock in a boat from an unprotected 240v current via an inverter. At one point earlier today i queried what would happen if a live wire shorted against the hull. The inverter shutting down due to detecting overload in such an eventuality is imo pretty acceptable protection. I have acknowledged 7 posts up that there is still a danger from poorly fitted (or maintained) appliances where a person comes into direct contact with a live wire. This, as the linked article infers, can largely be avoided by purchasing good quality equipment that is double insulated, and then ensuring that this equipment is properly fused and properly maintained. The RCD clearly offers more effective protection but at least the protection isn't non-existent and, in the case of a live wire shorting to the hull (which is a hidden danger that can't readily be pre-empted) is probably more than adequate. I appreciate the help that has been offered in this thread, particularly the effort that WotEver has gone to (in stark contrast to the derision proffered by Northernboater). I don't profess to have much knowledge on the subject, hence the reason why i posted in the New To Boating section! It's unlikely that we'll be forking out to replace the inverter because of this shortcoming, so will have to make do with what we have. I'm sure there are a vast number of others out there in the same boat, figuratively speaking. I will feed back any reply i get from Victron, and might also contact the original fitters, JD Narrowboats.
  12. Ok, I might be naive regarding boat electrics, as I pointed out a few posts ago, but I'm not stupid, and in fact this qoute from the article WotEver has linked to backs up what I was saying myself: "Had the AC system had it's earth conductor bonded to the hull this situation could not arise because as soon as the live cable touched the hull either the fuse would blow or the inverter or generator would cut-out having detected an overload." This deduction was arrived at by a bit of logic and lateral thinking in lieu of expert knowledge on the subject Expert opinion is, of course, divided, as the article acknowledges. Thanks anyway for the useful link, which I will keep for reference.
  13. The above scenario is I believe an unlikely one anyway because I suspect that the boat fitters went to great lengths to ensure that all 240v cables were well insulated from the hull. This leaves the main danger that you could touch a live wire on a poorly fitted appliance, and perhaps fitting rcd protection on the sockets is the best that can be done to protect against this.
  14. Why? How much current can be drawn from a small bank of batteries and then dissipated through the entire hull? If this isn't the case what protection does earthing to the hull provide?
  15. I'm certainly no electrician, but I'm guessing that if you hooked up a live wire to a boat hull from 240v mains it would just keep pumping current through (without the RCD protection that exists at marina hookups) and quite easily fry you, but I suspect that a small inverter couldn't cope with anything like such a load and so would simply shut down (as per overload protection cited in the .pdf document).