Volunteers needed for engine safety monitoring system

Published: Monday, 30 April 2018

RIVER Canal Rescue is calling for volunteers to help test a new monitoring system.

This system picks up and alerts engineers to any abnormalities with a boat’s engine or electrics and also warns if the vessel is taking on water.

Engine monitoring deviceSmall computer device

The prototype monitor is a small computer device that continually reads data from a set of sensors, watching for any deviations in battery condition (domestic and engine), bilge pump activity, engine temperature and oil pressure. If an anomaly is identified, it relays an alarm signal to RCR who contacts the boat’s owner or nominated person to warn of the issue and if necessary, sends an engineer to investigate.

Having recently tested a single unit for a month, RCR plans to undertake a larger trial over a longer period of time—until February/March next year—and install the monitor on up to 50 continuous cruising or heavy-use vessels.

Device will be offered

Following the trial and any subsequent adjustments, the device will be offered to RCR members, potentially as part of their membership package for a basic kit with options to upgrade, and it will be available for private purchase, price to be confirmed.

Additional device options are already being worked on and include; a system with advanced sensory capabilities (operated via an App and web portal) that feeds live data to the user, a GPS function that acts as a security device to help vessel recovery after theft or loss and a boat security system with window and door alarms, which RCR says will reduce crime rates.

New technology

Operations director, Jay Forman comments:

“We’re very excited about the potential of this and other new technology we’re planning to test. This device offers peace of mind to boat owners as it alerts us to issues before faults or problems occur, avoiding costly repairs and potentially catastrophic events.

“It’s particularly useful for owners who are less knowledgeable about boat maintenance and during those high-risk times when vessels are left for a long time with no maintenance (over winter) or when they are being moved.”

RCR reports the monitor is the first of a number of new products in development with partners. To test a boat monitoring system, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with ‘test volunteer’ in the subject line or call 01785 785680.