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eco-boat

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eco-boat last won the day on December 26 2014

eco-boat had the most liked content!

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About eco-boat

  • Birthday 23/12/62

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Princes Risborough

Contact Methods

  • Skype
    jmarkwalker

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Biogas CHP products
  1. Definition of 'mooring'

    Apologies folks for not being complete in my questions. I had assumed that the rules would be the same across all rivers in the UK, but if they are different, it would be good to hear about the differences. As for my specific circumstances, I had originally plan on using the Thames and the grand union, but I've sort of relocated now (the blog is out of date) and now plan to use the Trent and Erewash and possibly the Soar. Now, can someone tell me what the definition of mooring is on a canal. Let's say the boat is stationary and out of the way, but is not tied to the bank, am I still moored? Mark
  2. Definition of 'mooring'

    Hi Folks, Can anyone tell me what the definition of 'mooring' is please. I've been reading around permanent and short-term mooring, and have realised that there are time limits on canals and charges on rivers. I'd like to understand the details of what can and can't be done. For example, if I find a quiet location on a wide river and I drop an anchor so that I am out of the way of traffic but still some way from the bank, am I moored? Would I need to pay the nightly mooring charge? Regards, Mark
  3. Engine emissions

    Hi Everyone, Thought I better give you an update. Firstly thanks to Alan for giving me precisely what I was asking for. It took a good few hours to begin to understand what the RCD2 was telling me. There were sentences in there that frequently referred to many other documents and subsections, so the reading didn't flow. And thank you to the others that gave constructive comments - I particularly liked the outboard idea. The blog is very 'out of date'. I'll start writing on it again once the design is complete. I think it is perfectly acceptable for a boat builder to say 'I don't know', when asked if an unknown engine from China meets all he EU legal regulations. All a boat builder needs to know is that an engine he is buying is conformant to current legislation. All he needs to hear is 'yes' from the engine supplier. I'm not sure how I will end up using the boat. It will certainly be my home and I am most likely to be tied to a location due to work, so the amount of travelling is expected to be low. This is why I chose the generator strategy - I didn't want to be firing-up a 3L engine regularly to give me a few kWhrs of electricity..........unless I.......[read on] The original idea was to have:- the entire roof area covered with solar PV; a huge bank of LiFePO batteries (30kWhrs); a fully heat recovered 10kW DC generator (CHP); and a huge electric motor to propeller the boat. I've spent a lot of time researching into the requisite technologies and sourcing components, and soon realised that the battery bank needs a Battery Management System (expensive and potentially unreliable), the motor needs a very heavy duty controller, the generator needs a sophisticated controller to allow it to provide power to the motor but not so much that it becomes over-loaded. I've then got to make sure that the solar PV MPPT charger fitted in with all that. Also, due to the power requirements of the motor, I would need the battery bank nominal voltage to be 96v, which means the inverter (to get it to 240VAC) would be quite rare and therefore expensive. And then there's still a lack of 12VDC supply and a bow thruster would have to be AC driven. All these extra components are what bust my budget and not to mention added huge complexity. At the same time, the guy who is designing my propeller said that the best the motor could do for me and my boat is 4knotts. The motor is rated at 20kW but can push up to 50kW for short periods. That sounds adequate to me but electric motors have very different characteristics to IC engines - beyond a certain speed the torque starts to drop off so 4knotts is the best I could expect. I've now decided to dump all this stuff and go for the traditional approach. I did go via a few commercially available existing hybrid marine systems but the price got in the way again. My current plan is to separate travel power from living power. I'll have lots of solar panels for power and a multi-fuel stove with back boiler for heat. That should suffice in the brighter months but if I do need to run the engine for power, I'll keep the running time to a minimum by using a 190Amp alternator regulated at 28.4v (with a 24v battery bank). The alternator is water-cooled and I'll recover exhaust and coolant heat too so I'm not gonna be short there. It's been a long and sometimes frustrating journey, but I can't say I haven't enjoyed it. I'm that kinda bloke. Now, while I'm making fundamental decisions about my boat, does anybody have any opinions on toilet technologies?
  4. Engine emissions

    I think I need to explain a little more to steer the speculation. My long term goal is to have an electric drive with a diesel generator, but the cost of the batteries alone stops me from making this project float (pun intended). I am planning to spend the first year on the water fitting the boat out whilst pinning down a full time job, so I'm expecting to not move the boat much (permanent mooring), so this is why I'm looking for a lower cost engine solution. I have 12 years experience of importing Chinese engines. My day job is buying Chinese diesel generators and converting them to run on biogas. There are some very good engines made in China (MAN, Deutz, Cummins, and even some kubota and Yanmar copies that making their way into UK narrow boat - I saw them at Crick). There are some bad engines made there too, but I know which ones they are through painful experience. So I still haven't managed to find the emissions regulations and who and when they get checked. I'll have another search this evening. Mark
  5. Engine emissions

    Hi Folks, I'm having a new boat built in the new year. I'm currently spec-ing it out. I've very quickly bust my budget so I'm looking at ways of reducing cost. I don't intend to move the boat much (if at all), so the performance of the engine is not important. I can get old second hand or even a chinese engine, but what regulations do I need to conform to (wrt emissions)? Who does the checks and when? My boat builder doesn't have the answers. Mark
  6. Mooring naivety

    I'm starting to investigate mooring options. I won't need it for a good six months so I've plenty of time. I started at the CRT website and due to the location of my work and the width of my boat (widebeam) I've decided to situate the boat around the Trent, Erewash and Soar area. I like the idea of cruising around but I need access to my car so that's not gonna be easy. I also need to fit out the boat so keeping it in one place would be best for that. So I started to look at residential moorings and came across a document by the CRT that was reviewing prices. Useful info but here comes the naivety - they didn't put units on the prices. I saw a range of prices from £85 to £120, but is this:- per boat per year - that would be nice but I'm guessing that's not the right unit per boat per month - £1,020 to £1,440 - still nice but highly unlikely in my opinion per ft length per year (my boat will be 65' long) - £5,520 to £7,800 (£650 per month), Ouch!!!!!!! Also, there was no explanation of any higher costs being imposed on widebeam boats. Are the mooring charges the same as narrowboats? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Mark
  7. Finance

    Yes, good point. But there are a few ways to spin this. A lender may think that you will certainly add value to a new sailaway because that's what you must do if you're going to live in one, but with a second hand boat there's no guarantee you're going to improve it.
  8. Finance

    Isn't it also easier to get a loan for a new boat than it is to get a loan for a second hand boat?
  9. Finance

    Many of those are new.
  10. Finance

    From the research I've done, I'm not sure that is true. There are new sailaway widebeams advertised for £35k. I've yet to find a second hand widebeam for less than £60k and the ones at that price don't look like they'll stay afloat for long.
  11. Finance

    That's good to know, but I'd rather not go there - I can't trust myself.
  12. Finance

    I don't have a house, just a good deposit. It's a widebeam liveaboard sailaway I'm buying, so I'm going to have to borrow at least £25k. I'm frantically trying maintain/improve my credit rating. It's nice to know there's a bit of competition between lenders. Thanks for the help. Mark
  13. Finance

    Hi Folks, I've been planning to live afloat for over five years and now the time has come. I want to start my boat build in January, so I'm deep in the planning phase. I have some money/savings but not enough to get what I want so I'm going to have to borrow some money to fund the build. I was wondering if the group could recommend an appropriate finance company. Thanks, Mark
  14. DC Power Connectors

    Thank you all for your comments. I will be distributing DC power for LED lighting. I will also use it to power small inverters for the little stuff like phone chargers, shaver charger, tooth brush charger, laptop charger etc. The suggested DIN connectors look as though they'll do the job. I just wanted to see how far I could push DC. Cable costs have set a limit on that. Respect to those who weren't derogatory.
  15. DC Power Connectors

    I've decided to run DC power lines around my boat. I want to use inverters at the point of use rather than have them near the batteries and then route AC cables around the boat. The problem I have is I don't know what type of connector (plugs and sockets) to use for DC power circuits. Is there a standard DC connector? I don't want to use the standard cigarette lighter plug and socket from cars because I find them unreliable (they work loose). Using standard AC plugs and sockets would add danger:- appliances could end up on the wrong circuit; and they are designed for no greater than 13Amp. This equates to 156W maximum on a 12v circuit. I need much more than that. Does anyone have any suggestions on a plug/socket combination that would be suitable for DC circuits (with a sensible amount of power)? Thanks in advance. Mark
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