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The leading inland marine rescue and repair company has sounded an alarm about the number of poorly maintained vessels it is called to in London - many of them live-aboards.

River Canal Rescue (RCR) says it is concerned over the high level of call-outs it receives to attend poorly-maintained boats with faults not covered by membership fees.


Managing Director, Stephanie Horton said: “The vessels have had negligible maintenance or if work has been undertaken, there are so many modifications, repairs are likely to be expensive. We are expected to undertake all repairs or do a ‘quick patch-up’ job but this is not always possible, as it depends on how many systems – ie fuel, cooling, drive or water - are affected.

”There are also safety issues as poorly maintained boats can be a danger to those onboard and other boats and people nearby.”

Key issues for RCR include;

  • Boats used as cheap accommodation and therefore poorly maintained
  • Many with no permanent moorings, so have to move every two weeks, and when a problem arises there are pressures to complete quickly.
  • Many boaters have never owned a car so are unfamiliar with even basic engine workings
  • Lack of good engineers available  in London to take on work that falls outside the owner’s membership remit
  • The number of forums and lack of qualified engineers in London causes people to try cheap solutions that often result in more expensive repairs
  • Diagnosis and work is often questioned with engineers being told ‘xxx said the equipment should be like this’

Stephanie concludes: “We are currently investigating a series of solutions for London-based boaters which we hope will reduce the number of call-outs and costs associated with attending poorly-maintained vessels, this may involve inspecting boats before we agree membership cover levels or a surcharge for callouts within the M25 ring. By exploring the options, we can better protect our wider-based membership against the impact of spiralling costs.”

To find out more about River Canal Rescue call 01785 785680, visit www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk or check out their Facebook page.

Story dated Feb 15th 2017