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Subject: Regulations

Dear Tony

I have just been looking at your web site, ( and I must say how informative it is.

Could you possibly help me please. I am a Communications Engineer with the West Midlands Fire Service, before that an Airfields Navigation Engineer in the R A F. and together with a friend of mine who carries out leather and upholstery work, we have recently started one off light aircraft interiors and would like to progress into the refurbishment of boats either Canal or pleasure in our local areas.

I can carry out work to MPT 1362 that is a regulation for the installation of communication equipment in land based vehicles.

I would like to try and find out what regulations we have to follow for the two said items. We do not like to replace, repair or install items that are not compliant with all regulations, (The CAA have very strict regulations). This might make the price that we charge slightly higher than people expect, but if a job is worth doing then we do it correctly.

Many thanks, look forwards to your reply



Dear Colin

I would suggest that you contact the BMF who offer training courses and publish such information.

Electrics are covered in the BMEA codes of practice.

All new boats not built for "own use" must comply with the Recreational Craft Directive and all inland craft must comply with the Boat Safety Scheme. Boats for any form of "commercial" use may also have to comply with MCA requirements.

Not withstanding the above, you will find that many inland boats do not comply even when new (at least, not to the standards that you would consider comply means) and many of the "regulations" also refer you on to further regulations like the Euro equivalent of BSI, ISO etc.

The whole thing is a minefield of regulations and codes of practice that are simply ignored as being too complicated to understand by many and I have considerable sympathy with this view having tried to clarify the electrical issues. I fear your background may not have equipped you to deal with this fragmented and cottage industry.

Tony Brooks



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Subject: Jetski

Hello Tony!

I have just bought an old American wet jet. I realise that you are probably not interested in jet skis but the inboard engine is probably similar to a boat.

The problem I have is NO SPARK at the plugs. How can I test the coils.

Are there any other things I should check out before putting the jet ski in the water. A friend has mentioned impellers. The jet ski hasn't been used for 2 years.

I await your reply.

Regards, Paul J



Dear Paul

I suspect that your engine has far more in common with motor cycles and outboards that inboard diesels.

I regret that on safety grounds I am reluctant to give any form of advice on petrol engines.

I fear that you will have electronic ignition on your engine and probably requires a "diagnostic" box to identify the fault. This implies contacting a dealer.

It is always worth cleaning and tightening all electrical connections.

Sorry not to be much help

Tony Brooks


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Subject: BMC Commander Engine - ambient temperature

Dear Mr Brooks,

Further to your guidance regarding the operation & maintenance manual for the BMC commander engine.

Our customer has just emailed me asking about the engines operating capabilities in high ambient temperatures. They hope to send the two units that we built to countries with temperatures of around 50 deg. C. and have asked if the engines will cope. I have attached a couple of photos of the bare engines and wonder if you can make any comment as to their possible capabilities. Once again, any help that you can offer will be most appreciated.

Thanks and regards,

Matthew K



Dear Mr K

I must assume that you have done (or had done) the calculations relating to radiator size and ambient temperature.

I regret that this is getting far too deep for me to give a definitive technical answer because I do not have the data BMC used when designing the engine, however I will comment, but advise you to seek a consultant.

This engine was/is used in many marine applications. Many of which are appallingly installed with insufficient air inlets and high engine room ambient temperatures. As far as I am aware this engine is not prone to more problems that any other make under these conditions.

If they are installed in "free air" there should not be any restriction of inlet air, so there is a good chance that the injector pump will not have to be de-rated to take account of the lack of oxygen caused by the high air temperature. I can not see any obvious oil cooler in your pictures so fitting one or organising a forced draught over the sump may be a good idea but to be sure I would need to run it and take oil temperatures.

I fear you are at the point where you may have to organise a controlled environment room and do a suck it and see test, measuring engine oil temp, coolant temp and exhaust emissions at 50C ambient.

I would also comment that BMC had a good name in the old Commonwealth so I think the basic engine probably would cope with African conditions - note THINK I am not sure.

Tony Brooks


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