More cost for boaters

Published: Thursday, 20 August 2020

LIKE I am sure many others boaters, I see the news that the BSS endorses the bilge filters as yet another cost that will soon be on our way, writes T Lang.

When River & Canal Rescue announced its bit of kit it told us that boats discharge 120,000 litres of fuel and oil into the waterways, a figure derived from every boat discharging two litres of fuel and oil every year.

Stupidity of the claim

You soon knocked this back with Victor and Ralph clearly showing the stupidity of the claim.  Thousands of liveaboard boats, particularly in marinas, never move, and of the 80 odd such boats in my marina I have never seen any 'rainbow' oil slick, that is the give-away of oil and fuel leakage.  And can you imagine the furore of marina owners if those boats were pumping out two litres each?  The claim was stupid.

sternGearIt was especially so as like yourselves, I too have the Volvo gland (pictured) on my stern shaft that I give just a smear of lubricant about every five years, and the section of the bilge where the pump sits under the shaft has never had a drop of oil in it since it was bought new ten years ago.

Discharge is nil

Any oil from the engine drops into a separate area of course, and I simply give it a periodical clean-out, and there is definitely no leakage on my fuel system, so my yearly discharge, Mr River & Canal Trust, is nil.  So why should I be faced with having to have a piece, that to me, would be useless kit, with I see at a cost of £99, not including fitting, and it seems that it needs its particles replacing from time to time, at a further cost.

The obvious, and sensible solution would be not to attempt to solve a problem, but to make sure the problem never occurs in the first place, so make sure that all new boats are fitted with the Volvo gland and not the ridiculous grease  'gun' type where grease is daily forced into the stern gland and then possibly into the waterways,

Archaic system

I had this archaic system in my old boat, but though a frequent cruiser I never used two litres in a year or even five years, and even then, like I should imagine most, I cleaned any grease that came into the bilge.

I have always had high regard for the work that those from the River & Canal Rescue do, that is very often under extreme circumstances, but I feel they should stick to this and refrain from silly claims and kit that to many with the Volvo glands would be little more than a waste of money.