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Technical Email Advice for Boaters


Please be aware that some email service providers are blocking all emails from services like  Hotmail and others who many in the industry consider are not doing enough to fight spam.  If you keep getting your emails to me bounced or simple do not get a reply please try to re-send from another service provider.

A new condition!

I am finding more and more questions arrive but my reply gets bounced by the questioner's server. I wasted over an hour researching a question only to have it bounced three times each about an hour apart. This is not acceptable.

As from January 2009 I may not reply to questions that do not contain alternative contact details - a WORKING email address or a mail address.


Please read all the conditions below.

This free service was originally intended to support our past and future students. It has now grown world wide. Tony is happy to try to help anyone, but if you manage to save money or solve a long standing problem a donation towards some of the costs of running this site would be appreciated.

Any email may be reproduced and published either online or in print. If this is unacceptable to you please contact Tony to organise private consultation.

The service is aimed at the UK Inland boater and non-planning offshore/estuary diesel craft of up to about 40 feet in length (length not applicable to narrow boats) although Tony will try to answer questions from any leisure boater.  He tries to make allowances for non-English speakers and those who are new to email, but the volume of impossible to answer emails may well make overseas questions unwelcome in the future. (I just can not give advice on the power train for Indian Dhows or African river cargo boat cooling systems as per two recent emails).

Emails from USA time zones are no longer welcome unless they give FULL details using terminology that is common to the UK.  "My Fisherboy 23 bogs  at  21, what's wrong?" is totally unacceptable as is "my trim tab stopped working, what's wrong ?" It helps if you can give me some idea of location and altitude.

Commercial organisations are welcome to contact Tony to discuss fees, but posts to the free service from such operations are unacceptable.



Failure to comply with the conditions may result in your email remaining unanswered - sorry but they are for the good of all and to save our time.

Please say how you found this website and service. 

It is the sender's/recipient's responsibility to confirm as accepted practice any advice before acting upon it. Tony takes NO responsibility for any outcome.

If your employer or system automatically adds a "confidentiality" or other clauses to your mail please counter it in your first paragraph otherwise we cannot use your email to help others. 

Users of an email address that does not show country or region of origin must provide this information (AOL, Hotmail and .com addresses take note).

Emails should be in plain text (not HTML) 

No graphics should be included unless you either ask before you send or you are asked to provide them to aid diagnosis.

Please try to use UK terminology and also supply details of the engine's systems - not just a make and model. E.g. Heat exchanger cooled, inboard petrol, outboard, Z drive etc.

Do  not send a long list of questions that will take hours to answer adequately - one or two questions at a time please.


Send your questions to


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