Thursday, 18 July 2013

Prepare your boat for 40 days of sun

Predictions that the hot weather will last for 40 days has prompted River Canal Rescue to remind boaters about the importance of maintaining equipment and carrying spares - actions which could prevent call-outs for replacement parts.
Last year River Canal Rescue attended 573 call-outs for part failures and already this year the assistance firm has seen a spike in cases of broken water pumps.  Parts which commonly fail are;
·         Cables
·         Alternators
·         Fuel pumps
·         Starter motors
·         Drive plats
·         Gear boxes
·         Batteries
·         Water pumps
·         Couplings
·         Engine mounts
Failures are typically due to; lack of servicing, condensation getting into the components, excessive or harsh use, vibration, accidental damage, wear and tear, old-age, misalignment of parts, hitting underwater objects  and the effect of pollutants such as diesel, oil or anti-freeze.
Managing Director, Stephanie Horton, comments: “Folklore suggests the weather you have on St Swithun’s day (15 July) will continue for 40 days.  If this is the case, the prolonged heat may take its toll on major components.  To ensure their smooth running, service and check all parts and carry spare cables, a fan belt, impeller, spark plugs, fuel filter, bulbs, bolts, fuses, oil and ‘stop leak’ or putty for an unexpected hull breach.
“It’s also useful to have screwdrivers, spanners, pliers, a socket set, battery tester, electric wire and insulation/PTFE tape.”
Replacement parts cost, on average, between £20 (cables) and £1200 (gearbox), plus there are labour charges.  River Canal Rescue includes replacement parts within its membership package, covering up to £1000 of parts per repair, labour and VAT*. 
To find out more, visit or phone 01785 785680.
Notes to Editors
*Four claims a year can be made and an excess of £50 applies.
River Canal Rescue is a partner of the Canal & River Trust, having donated £5000 this year to support its work.

Media Enquiries
Stephanie Horton, Managing Director, River Canal Rescue, T: 01785 785680 or E:

Francesca Breeze, Freelance Journalist/PR Consultant, T: 01273 421115, M: 07710 963838 or E:

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Insurers asked to adopt approved repairer scheme for claims

River Canal Rescue Managing Director, Stephanie Horton, is asking insurers to review their clams handling processes in order to get boaters back on the water within days of an incident.  During a presentation at the recent Crick Boat Show, Stephanie emphasised the speed at which claims can be resolved if the insurer runs an approved repairer scheme. 

When an incident occurs, insurers typically require claimants to register the claim and complete and return a notification form with a minimum of two repair/replacement quotes.  Upon approval, the claimant is left to progress and pay for the work, submit an invoice and wait for reimbursement.

River Canal Rescue estimates this process, on average, takes between two weeks and three months.

Insurers running an approved repairer scheme, however, have authorised River Canal Rescue’s subsidiary firm, Canal Contracting, to make repairs up to an agreed limit, so there’s no need to source and pay contractors up front.   The breakdown specialist says this process; from notification to repair, can take one or two days as often only a single call is needed to the insurer for the claim to be registered, authorised and progressed. 

Stephanie went on to outline common causes of claims, such as navigational errors, grounding, accidental damage and vandalism and explained how to reduce further losses.   She also put insurance jargon into plain English and advised on claimants’ responsibilities.

Stephanie comments: “Boaters, particularly recreational ones, who insure with firms without this scheme, tend to resent the amount of time it takes to get their craft repaired and one of their biggest frustrations is having to return home to complete a claim form and source quotes/failure reports in order to obtain repair authorisation.  This takes up time and can involve a fair amount of travel to locate suitable contractors – all before anything is agreed. 

“Insurers must adapt their processes and take into account the stress and trauma often faced by boaters when they make a claim and equally, claimants need to understand the requirements and limitations of their policy.”

Recent Incidents Prompt Warning

Water Pump Alert
River Canal Rescue is urging boat owners to check their water pumps and act upon any leaks, no matter how small, after responding to seven times more call-outs in May and June. 
The inland waterway assistance firm receives on average, three calls per month for broken water pumps, yet in the last two months it attended 21.  The first week in July has already seen six calls for assistance.
Managing Director, Stephanie Horton, comments: “In many cases it’s where people neglect to put right a small leak so it develops into something more serious or they fail to replace their impeller, which only has a one year warranty and should be changed every year.”
The symptoms of a broken pump, which is typically caused by a faulty impeller or seal, are; a water leak, the pump not working at all or the engine over-heating.  Stephanie continues: “It’s important to get leaks sorted as soon as possible, as the loss of water from the cooling system due to pump failure can result in engine damage if overheating is not picked up, and this can occur within 15 minutes in severe cases.”

Visit River Canal Rescue at or check out Facebook.