Friday, 26 February 2010

Festival Times - February 2010

The following was published in the IWA's Festival Times newsletter and highlights our two months free membership on offer to all boats visiting this years IWA Festival at Beale Park.

River Canal Rescue (RCR) has long been a great supporter of IWA’s National Festival & Boat Show.  However, 2010 will see them taking that support to a new level.  

All boaters booking in for the 2010 show at Beale Park will – for the first time – be offered two months free breakdown cover from mid-July to mid-September.  During this period, RCR’s engineers can be called out as often as required and will provide engineering expertise to diagnose and repair any engine related mechanical problems.  The only costs will be a simple £35 call-out fee and the price of any spare parts that may be required.

David Pullen, IWA Festival’s Waterspace Director, said:

“This is an extremely generous offer and should be a significant incentive, particularly to any longer distance boaters who may be thinking of a Thames/London ring/K&A trip en route to the Festival at Beale Park. “

RCR is the UK’s leading waterways breakdown and rescue service and the National Festival organisers are sure that this generous offer will be very popular with visiting boaters, especially those who do not normally cruise on rivers.  Full information about the RCR offer will be sent out to boaters with their Festival packs in early June.

Stephanie Horton, RCR's MD, said that "as a company we've supported and worked with the IWA for many years, supporting the IWA awards for 'most enterprising journey', 'longest journey' and 'most enterprising non continuous journey' and we are keen to build on this, especially during the 2010 festival to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Tom Rolt."

The Beale Park Festival will take place alongside the Beale Park estate, Lower Basildon, Berkshire on the River Thames over the August Bank Holiday weekend, 28 – 30 August 2010 and is a great three day celebration of the inland waterways.

Attracting up to 600 visiting craft, including many historic vessels, with hundreds of trade exhibitors and live entertainment, the National Festival is a great day out for everyone.  The 2010 National will also celebrate the Centenary of the birth of Tom Rolt, one of IWA’s founding fathers who was passionate about waterways, steam railways and vintage cars and the organisers hope to reflect this during the Festival.

For further information please visit our website and click on Events.
For further information about RCR please see their website

IWA Launches New Tailored Boat Insurance Scheme With Built in Breakdown Membership

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has teamed up with both Navigators & General and River Canal Rescue to enable an insurance facility that it believes is unique to the market, with the added benefit that every policy taken out and subsequently renewed helps IWA, and so helps our charitable work for the waterways.

Our tailored inland waterway insurance policies cover loss and damage to your vessel, protect against legal claims, pay out for injury and damage caused to other property and provide the additional security of inclusive breakdown membership.

Key policy features

The policy incorporates many features that are unique including:

  • Membership to River Canal Rescue breakdown (which can be upgraded at additional cost)   

  • Dedicated insurance cover for owners who permanently live aboard their boats (Additional cost) - Personal public liability

  • Marina benefits

  • Medical expenses cover

  • £3 million pounds third party cover

Speaking on behalf of IWA, Neil Edwards, chief executive, said:

“IWA currently arranges insurance for over 170 of IWA’s corporate members, including most waterways societies and trusts, many boat clubs, community boat groups, navigation authorities, educational, industrial archaeological, waterways leisure and heritage bodies, museums and a wide range of other non-profit making organisations.  This is something that IWA has done as a non-profit making service for over 35 years, and has helped save many thousands of pounds from waterways insurance bills.  IWA’s experience in insurance matters led us to believe that something advantageous could be put in place for private boat owners too.  We believe that our partnership with Navigators & General, a leading pleasure craft insurer, and with River Canal Rescue, the foremost boat breakdown organisation, makes this scheme a market-leading proposition, and one which provides additional financial benefit to IWA that will allow it to further its charitable work for the waterways.”

For more information please go to:

Frost Damage

The freezing temperatures in December and January may be gone, but are not forgotten by Insurers Navigators & General as steady numbers of claims are coming in for damage caused by split or fractured pipes. Together with River Canal Rescue (RCR) the following advice is offered to owners. The number of notifications is already alarmingly high this early in the season, and it could be an indication of worse to come as owners start to return to inspect their boats since the thaw.

Whist seeming basic, the effects of a split or fractured pipe can be catastrophic on a boat leading to complete or partial flooding over a gradual period. If the pipe in question relates to a cold or hot water system on the boat the consequences will not be as severe as a raw freshwater cooling system, especially with metal pipes.

A split and leak here will almost certainly lead to flooding and possible sinking if not spotted. It also may not be covered by insurers as claims for frost damage is not covered by all companies, and gradual incursion of water is a common exclusion.

If frost damage is covered insurance polices normally insist that "machinery is winterised according to manufacturers recommendations" If not available than the advice of a qualified engineer should be sought, but taking no precautions is just asking for trouble.

For heating systems and fresh water tanks these should be drained and where possible taps left in an open position to allow for expansion. Just like cars any "closed loop" cooling system needs to have antifreeze added and replaced (per manufacturers guidelines) Not only will this minimise the risk of splits or fractures associated with freezing water, but it will also improve the cooling efficiency and minimise corrosion risk to the engine. Where raw water (drawn from the river) cooling systems are in place these should be properly drained down by briefly running the engine when out of the water to ensure the system is empty.

If afloat, Trevor Forman from RCR recommends “The quickest and simplest solution is to 'shut off' the inlet valve (seacock) and then drain as much water from the system as possible leaving a drain plug open or hose drain disconnected. Although this will not empty the system completely it will allow for expansion should the water freeze and therefore reduce the risk of ruptured pipes.

If there are any tight bends which are accessible it is also worth insulating as this is where fluid will collect even after draining. It is very important that you or anyone else