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Raised ledge on rear deck

I have recently taken delivery of a 60 x 10 feet wide beam narrowboat and have had a gen set installed beneath the rear deck.The boat builder has left us with a 60mm raised area over the generator which is a trip hazard. Is this legal?

Asked by: Alec McCann  | 3.55pm, Wednesday 24 July

WW says:

The addition of a raised area over the generator has probably been fitted by the builder to give the required space for the generator beneath the aft deck.
As for it being legal- there is nothing in the requirements for boat fitting (either the recreational craft directive [RCD] or the Boat Safety Scheme [BSS}) which would prohibit the raised area as a trip hazard.
Many aspects of boats would be considered a trip hazard, such as door comings, gunnel changes, t-studs, cleats, deck lockers and so on. What you need as the owner of the boat is to make sure that people using the area are aware of any trip hazards, and to minimise them where possible (such as by adding a raised area of wooden decking to make the rest of the deck the same height.
However, depending on what and how you specified in the fitting of the generator, then the boatbuilder may have not fulfilled your instructions and therefore may have to rectify the work.
If you gave no specific instructions, then the boatbuilder will (hopefully) have fitted the generator to the specifications of the generator manufacturer, as constrained by the space available and the RCD/BSS.
If you specified a generator that did not fit the space available but insisted on fitting that particular generator, then the boatbuilder has done what they should have.
The requirements of the RCD/BSS are more concerned with the safe installation of the electrical and fuel systems, as well as the installation and integrity of the generator (engine) installation.
If you could send more details (and preferably photographs) to me at mark.langley@waterwaysworld.com then I might be able to advise further. Ideally these would include pictures of the installation within the engine space.
I hope that helps. Regards, Mark

Mark Langley  | 4.31PM, Wednesday 24 July

In that case, you may have a possible claim against the builder in that they did not complete the work to your specification. However, as this is heading into the realms of contract law, rather than marine engineering and maritime law, you may be better speaking to a solicitor for further clarification. It does seem that they have not completed the work to the agreed standard- but this is about the contract between you and the builder, so alas I am unable to give any further advice as it is outside of my specialism !

Mark Langley  | 8.13PM, Wednesday 24 July

Readers say:

The builder confirmed in an e-mail that the swim would be lowered by 3cm and the rear deck raised by 3cm so that the generator was "hidden below deck" This was not done. The rear deck is approx. 2.1m x 2.4m and the raised area is 860cm x 542cm and raised by 6cm. It is positioned directly where you enter and exit the stern.

Alec McCann  | 5.43PM, Wednesday 24 July

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