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trebby91

River canal Rescue, worth joining?

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Hi, All.

I am thinking of joining the River canal Rescue but after reading the Terms and Conditions I am a little hesitant.

There seems to be so many “if and buts” in the conditions, one is that the engine has to be serviced every 250 hours I do my own servicing, change oil, and filters at 200 hours (engine and gearbox) how do I prove it?

 

About 6 months ago the engine blew the head gasket, it’s an Isuzu 38 HP with 3000 hours on the clock I had to go into a marina on the Rufford arm in Lancashire, just about regrown the arm and leg it cost me! Would River Canal Rescue repair it if it went again?

Anybody experienced a similar repair or any other advice regarding River Canal Rescue?

Do they use the “if or buts” to wriggle out?

I was thinking of the bronze cover.

Any advice regarding River Canal Rescue would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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Would you drive your car around the country without breakdown cover AA RAC etc.

I have had occasion to call them out and as you say alternative choice would have been to pay an arm and a leg for an engineer to come and assist/fix problem probably costing more than one years membership or even two.

My only problem is levels of cover why go for top cover when you only use your own boat ?

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I would have thought that keeping receipts or some other proof of payment for oil and other consumables would be sufficient proof of servicing?

 

I am a member of RCR but can't comment on their service. I did however join after recommendations from others.

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Would you drive your car around the country without breakdown cover AA RAC etc.

I have had occasion to call them out and as you say alternative choice would have been to pay an arm and a leg for an engineer to come and assist/fix problem probably costing more than one years membership or even two.

My only problem is levels of cover why go for top cover when you only use your own boat ?

But if you're not on the central canal network, they will send out a contracted engineer- the same bod who you'd call in anyway, most like- and he's got I think 4 hours I think it is to fix the problem before he (and it's normally a he) can start charging you their normal rates, by which time you're paying for that and the RCR membership too. Some of the contractors are not good too- one chap we had made me take 3 afternoons off work to wait for him to turn up (he didn't) then blew up our wind turbine regulator through negligence.

 

Double check with them, this was a few years ago now, but I wasn't very happy.

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RCR do do engine servicing but it is yearly and not based on hours so how does that fit in with their conditions ?

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We have used our RCR cover several times. They have never asked for proof that we have had the engine serviced. (although it always has been)

 

We had an oil seal in the gearbox go when we were away for two weeks last year. They came and got us back up and running within 2 hours.

 

Last time we called them the alternator had gone. They fitted a new one for free. It also showed up the fact that the starter battery had died. (we thought it was a battery problem but when they tested the alternator it was not charging properly) They suggested that if hubby nipped out and bought a new battery while they fitted the alternator they would fit that for us too. I guess the cost of doing that probably paid for our membership this year.

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I think a lot of it is how mechanically confident you are....I towed two people the other year to local (to where I was at the time..) yards after RCR contractors had attempted and failed to fix problems on their boats....in both cases RCR's fix to was recommend a new engine...both were faults that I later found out weren't that serious....although both would have been hard to fix without workshop facilities.

 

Both tows were well over the two hours that RCR include in the membership.

 

I did write to RCR to see what they said about their service as at the time I was a member and was very disappointed how they handled both breakdowns...let's just say I didn't bother to renew my membership. I hope I can fix most stuff...and if it's more serious then the money I save will pay for what's needed...and I will have my choice of who does the work.

 

Cheers

 

Gareth

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RCR do do engine servicing but it is yearly and not based on hours so how does that fit in with their conditions ?

I have used RCR for engine maintenance and never again. My Beta 43 takes (I think) 8 litres of oil - that's an extra because RCR allow 5 litres. They don't change the airfilter - that's an extra. I asked them to look at a small water leak I had - that was an extra - and they didn't find it. There were numerous things they missed and I wouldn't use them again for maintaining the engine (checking the gearbox oil level was an extra).

 

However if you blow an alternator, for example, on the Oxford summit they will come and fit a new one and that's the peace of mind it gives me. Knowing that I have a standard well known engine they should be able to come with the right part and fit it easily. For those of you with more exotic power plants I expect being a member is probably not quite so important as you will know more about your engine and setup than RCR can possibly hope to know.

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. For those of you with more exotic power plants I expect being a member is probably not quite so important as you will know more about your engine and setup than RCR can possibly hope to know.

I would second that as well....when I questioned them about their vintage engine knowledge I wasn't convinced....especially if they use a contractor.....you might be lucky...or not!

 

I hope I know most of the good vintage engine chaps....or I can ask on here if I'm stuck!!

 

Cheers

 

Gareth

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I have their Retainer cover that I alwasy buy when it's offered "cheap".

Helped a great deal when I was in the middle of nowhere and the soldered pipe connection on the bottom of the exhaust manifold failed. I had no suitable tools in the boat to fix it, but they came out and did the repairs for their £40 fee (on Retainer, you pay per call out a £40 charge).

 

Mechanically minded and I can fix most things, but it's a nice to have for when you're a bit stuck (and I was on holiday!).

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Towergate Mardon do an add on to their policy which give you two callouts at slightly less than the retainer cover.

 

If for no other reason RCR is worth consideration as a coordinator. My engine fell apart some years ago and RCR pointed me to Goldsdbrough who provided a fix. If I hadn't known about either I'd have been in a mess.

 

I now have cover - but not yet needed it.....

 

 

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I spoke to a chap today who was waiting for them to come out, it sounded like an electrical fault, ignition light on no oil presser gauge etc. He said they charge a £40 call out if its an electrical fault.

Yes I belong to the AA, only twice have they got me going roadside, taped up a water hose and had a can of water on the van to top it up, and jump started when I left the lights on over dinner. All other occasions have been relay home and I have had to pay for repairs.

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We've been members for many years and have had 4 or 5 callouts (including one as a result of having all our diesel stolen over winter at Whitchurch) and have no complaints so far. Ours is a "modern" engine so I think parts would not be a problem. Have not needed their parts replacement service yet so can't comment on that. We will stay members as long as we keep cruising as it means we have instant access to a breakdown engineer wherever we are.

Would recommend them.

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I spoke to a chap today who was waiting for them to come out, it sounded like an electrical fault, ignition light on no oil presser gauge etc. He said they charge a £40 call out if its an electrical fault.

Yes I belong to the AA, only twice have they got me going roadside, taped up a water hose and had a can of water on the van to top it up, and jump started when I left the lights on over dinner. All other occasions have been relay home and I have had to pay for repairs.

I think he was mistaken. If you are a 'retainer' member they charge you £40 per call out for any sort of fault, and don't AFAIK specifically state this is for electrical faults. Higher levels of membership don't incur this charge. Plus I cant seem to find any mention of this in the their T&C's.

 

http://www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk/breakdown-cover/terms-and-conditions/

 

I see they now also charge £40 for a 'domestic' breakdown which they didn't charge us when our Domestic alternator mounting bracket broke a few years ago.

 

Maybe he was confusing things with the above?

 

ed. - But then they go on to say -

 

3.13. We will not provide assistance in connection with any failure of domestic electrical systems, domestic appliances or plumbing on board the vessel.

 

Which seems to contradict them saying they will charge £40 to deal with such a scenario and must be something they have added as they certainly provided assistance to us in that situation.

Edited by The Dog House

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I think he was mistaken. If you are a 'retainer' member they charge you £40 per call out for any sort of fault, and don't AFAIK specifically state this is for electrical faults. Higher levels of membership don't incur this charge. Plus I cant seem to find any mention of this in the their T&C's.

 

http://www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk/breakdown-cover/terms-and-conditions/

 

I see they now also charge £40 for a 'domestic' breakdown which they didn't charge us when our Domestic alternator mounting bracket broke a few years ago.

 

Maybe he was confusing things with the above?

 

ed. - But then they go on to say -

 

3.13. We will not provide assistance in connection with any failure of domestic electrical systems, domestic appliances or plumbing on board the vessel.

 

Which seems to contradict them saying they will charge £40 to deal with such a scenario and must be something they have added as they certainly provided assistance to us in that situation.

From my experience they have a list of items in their terms and conditions that they will replace under their cover, if what breaks is not on that list you have to pay for it yourself.

 

I have called them out twice in the year that I've been with them, on the first occasion it was the oil pressure warning light that came on, shortly followed by the water temperature warning light. It turned out, rather oddly that both sensors had failed, neither of these are on their list of items covered by insurance so I had to pay for both of them, £50 for the oil pressure sensor and £90 for the water temperature sensor. The second occasion I called them out was for an unidentified warning light coming on (seriously, the manual just said 'warning light' and there was no marking on the light to identify it). It turned out that it was a warning lamp for the domestic alternator, and once again that isn't something on their list so that cost me £220 to replace through the engineer that they sent out. On the first 'breakdown' I queried about towing (at the time I was concerned that something had failed on the oil circulation system) and was told that all that you get for the towing service is a 2 hour tow, but that includes the time it takes for them to get to you! How far are they going to tow you in that time??

 

My renewal is coming up and I'm seriously considering not bothering, I have access to the internet on the boat so I can pretty much do what they do and look up the nearest Marine engineer and call him out directly. Perhaps even come onto this forum for recommended Marine Engineers in the area that I'm in. On top of the £140 charge for the Bronze cover I've paid out and additional £270 making a total of £410, on balance I would have probably paid less if I'd dealt directly with an Marine Engineer. Add to this the fact that on both occasions that I called them out it took a week to get fixed and moving again. It hasn't been quite the AA/RAC of the waterway that I'd hoped for.

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We have been members for years....some years we are lucky enough not to need them and some years we seem to be on first name terms with them. They have always been brilliant.. \the way to look at it is ... if the problem stops you moving then you are covered.... if it is a "domestic" issue they will now offer to help via their new business at 10pc supplement to normal cost but that guarantees the work done. (how many times have you had work done and then found out that they have not fixed the problem and you are now 30m down the canal). Try getting a private engineer on a bank holiday Monday ...but they come no questions asked. My husband needed to rush home because his mum had been taken in to hospital and I was faced with moving the boat from Festival Park to Stone marina, I rang them explained the problem and they sent an off duty engineer to help with the locks..... charged me, but very reasonable cost and they were bril. Picked up a bike round the prop ...they towed us into the nearest marina. Over the years we have been members we have never been disappointed with their help or service....is it worth the bronze membership fee? For us it is essential but if you are an ace with a spanner and

keep every spare part you need then I suppose you can save the money.

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We suddenly found we had no drive to the prop - RCR sent out a chap who diagnosed this as a lack of oil in the gearbox.

 

The guy was a subcontractor and fixed this with oil. No charge!

 

At the time, we didn't even know how/where to check the gearbox oil, but now we do.

 

We got cover via our insurance.

 

If you're as ignorant as we were, RCR cover is invaluable: without it we'd still be stuck with no drive. The more you know the less valuable it will be. The same goes for AA or RAC cover for a car. We've benefited from that too, but no longer subscribe...

 

How many problems can you fix yourself?

 

The answer will tell you whether RCR cover is worthwhile!

 

Roger

Edited by MyLady

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After our experience a couple of weeks ago I feel that our Gold membership has been worthwhile. (Details here: http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?s=008d93b0d95b67077f0295ee214e7ca5&showtopic=68720&hl= )

 

There were two things that stand out for me. First, the chap who came out to us is based a fairly long way away, but was available on a Friday evening, and capable of dealing with our sort of engine. I very much doubt we would have found him otherwise, but were very pleased with the service he provided. Perhaps we could now just call him directly, but it was so easy to just call the call centre and have them assign and contact him.

 

Second, they would have done various other things for us if we'd needed, such as towing us home. On the canal I'm not sure this has so much value, but on the river it's really reassuring. They even asked whether the mechanic should bring us any provisions - if we'd been a long way from anywhere or had kids on board that might have actually been really useful.

 

I found the call centre to be rather inexpert, which was a little frustrating, but it seems that they managed to get the right chap to contact us in the end.

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why would people pay for gold membership ? silver covers your boat why cover other boats ?

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We have two boats (until the narrowboat is sold!) and know lots of boaters so often travel on their boats too :)

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A boquet for RCR.

 

Our alternator, or so we thought was not charging the batteries. We were at Brownsover. Call to RCR at 9:00, by 10:15 man arrived. By 1:00 he had diagnosed and fixed two faults, A relay was on its last legs and the wires going from the starter to the alternator had fatigued through at the starter terminals.

 

My knowledge of boat electrics is not too good so for us worth belonging to RCR.

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Another vote for River and Canal Rescue. After a bit of a kerfuffal with them initially when my boat broke down they came up trumps and then some, twice. I'm happy with them although I'm not sure how the fire that happened at their premises a few weeks ago is affecting how they operate now.

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