In order to have a boat on the Thames one needs a licence and in order to obtain the licence one needs a boat safety certificate.

I have now had the inspector come out to take a look and generally everything is up to standard. However in order to fully comply and gain the certificate I need to rearrange or replace the fuel tank so the it can be filled externally to the boat. Currently it is in the port cockpit locker so there is a risk petrol could spill into the hull when filing which is a big no-no.

Fuel tank in port cockpit locker

In the scheme of things reconfiguring it shouldn’t be to arduous, but after this week the examiner won’t be around for a month to sign off and without the certificate and licence I am not officially allowed to use the boat and will not be able to get past the lock keepers.

The solution he suggested is to decommission the engine by removing the fuel tank, electrics and carburettor and then use an outboard in the meantime. This is  a bit of a relief as it has had a domino effect forcing my hand on a few issues I have been debating.

Having the internal engine is great, but it’s just not reliable enough yet to provide the freedom of just being able to jump in the boat and head off at on a whim. As such I had been considering getting and outboard anyway and have now picked up a little Marina 7.5 on eBay.

The second issue was the boat’s name. For some reason I just don’t like it and have a much better one in mind which I feel is more apt. However, I have been slightly wary of the superstitions of changing a boat’s name and intend to do it with the requisite ceremonies which require pouring away a lot of champagne which I am not so happy about! This is also the reason I have never mentioned the current name here. Old superstitions do not allow for the Internet where nothing can be deleted permanently.

Anyway, having got the outboard I was waiting to spot a reasonably priced bracket, but then poking around in one of the lockers I found the original with its attachements! I really have a massive appreciation for the previous owners who in addition to keeping all the original parts also documented every penny spent over the last 30 years with receipts and brochures.

Original outboard bracket

However, the bracket fits to the transom exactly where the current name is displayed. As such, I will need to remove it and so have the perfect excuse for a renaming ceremony. The timing will also work well as I can get my certificate and licence with the new name and effectively start afresh.