Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Boat Safety Inspection

I knew the three fire extinguishers were OK and the fire blanket. I knew our wiring was in good order, and that the fuel pipes were correct and undamaged. The batteries were secured and covered according to regs. But the gas is another matter.

Without the kit the examiner uses you don't know if the system is gas tight. Last time, four years ago, it took me a number of attempts to get a gas tight seal where the gas bottle hose joins the main copper distribution pipe. I feared it would not be right this time too. If so I have little confidence in fixing it as I'm not good with compression joints, especially when you have to be a contortionist to reach them.

The examiner attaches a manometer to a test point under the sink. The gas bottle is turned on to fill the system with gas at pressure, then off to create a closed system. The pressure is adjusted to the test level by letting off a bit of gas from the cooker. Then we wait for what seems like an hour (actually 5 minutes) to see if the liquid in the manometer tube moves. If it does, we fail. She peers at it incredibly closely. I worry. She tells me not to, she is just short sighted. Suddenly the manometer liquid moves. Aaaagh. No, it's just the rocking of the boat as I move about. Eventually she declares "That's fine then" and I breath a sigh of relief.

A few more checks and a lot of form filling and we've passed. Yippee! Herbie is declared officially safe and I am £188 worse off. A lot of money for less than an hours work and a fancy certificate, but I'm happy to fork out and have peace of mind and no more test for another four years.


Halfie said...


Sarah said...

A female examiner eh. I always wondered if there were any.

Vallypee said...

Well done! Such a relief!