Forums » Ask a Question

Use this forum to post your questions to our experts – you need to be logged on to do it (you can register here ), then scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the blue Post Thread words

If you can help answer the question, feel free to post a reply – you need to be logged on to do it (you can register here ), then hit the reply button on the thread.

 

To go back to the experts page click here>>

AuthorMessage
mrsdee
mrsdee

Posted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:40pm

Post Subject: narrowboat cooling

dear experts I am on the point of buying a narrowboat and I am slightly confused as to which cooling system 1.e. water, keel or air is the best? Is it a case of each system having its own advantages and disadvantages so in the end you are no better informed than when you started?I am aware of how each system works from the excellent diagrams on your website a brief opinion would be greatly appreciated. angie winspur te website

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:32pm

Post Subject: narrowboat cooling

Dear Angie, you are correct in saying each has its own advantages and disadvantages so I will first of all give you a brief outline. Air cooling: Tends to be noisy, the majority of these engines are getting a bit old now, can not produce domestic hot water. The major advantage is the cooling system can not freeze. Water cooling: Quieter, can produce domestic hot water, probably more familiar with the majority of engineers. Disadvantages: needs antifreeze and arguably more maintenance, many hull builders do not fit cooling tanks (you did say narrowboat) with enough surface area. Now by far and away the largest disadvantage of air cooling is that although the Boat Safety Scheme still allows the fitting of non-room sealed instant water heaters you will not be able to get a Gassafe engineer to fit one for you because it is against their codes of practise. It will also probably be illegal on a full time livaboard or hire boat. You can get over this problem but it either involves gas or oil central heating boilers (not nice running them in the summer) or an expensive mains powered room sealed instant heater that means you will also need an inverter. I also found that instant gas water heaters tended to need a fair bit of maintenance. With a tank or heat exchanger water cooled engine you simply use waste heat from the engine's cooling system to heat your domestic hot water. In my view there is no contest unless you are into "traditional" and older engines or money is very tight. A tank cooled system plus calorifier for domestic hot water is the way to go. Heat exchanger cooling is needlessly complicated on boats with dry exhausts and you do not want to be sucking water plus debris out of a canal for cooling purposes.(Tank cooling is the keel cooling used on the inland waterways on metal boats). The most important thing to do is to ensure the tank is large enough Beta say 1 sq ft per 4 engine hp and my calculations suggest 3 might be better, but either figure will do. This is on one face only and the larger the better. When you shortlist some boats one important test, before survey, is to ensure you run them as close to full power (in gear) for at least 15 to 30 minutes once they are at running temperature. If the temperature seems to creep up or it shows signs of boiling the tank is possibly under size. Any vendor who declines to facilitate this must be treated with grave suspicion. Tony Brooks

Most Read

Like us on Facebook



Follow us on Twitter

Cache: Disabled for this object  Total Queries: 43.  Total Objects: 162.  Total Unserialized: 3. Total Runtime: 0.30 seconds.