featured author - autumn 2021
stephanie horton, md river canal rescue
“I wrote Narrow Boat Engine Maintenance and Repair to help boat owners keep their engines operational and moving. This single reference tool combines RCR’s practical advice with our engineers’ specialist knowledge, who through years of experience have unrivalled skills and repair techniques. Hopefully readers will agree the content and photos simplify things and help them keep their boats in a good condition.”
I’ve always been interested in engineering and as a child, I spent time in my grandfather’s garage and shed, tinkering with equipment and asking questions about how and why things work. He was a ship’s engineer and my mother was equally very practical, so you could say it was in my genes.
After completing a degree in Electro Mechanical Power Engineering, I worked as an applications engineer for a power company in Stafford. I was also a power quality manager and power consultant, travelling the world dealing with power quality issues.
It was my husband Trevor (RCR ceo) who diverted my attention to boats. He was a diagnostic engineer working on the channel tunnel and had a passion for boats. Although he could fix any problems that arose, we realised this did not apply to everyone, so we decided to launch River Canal Rescue.
We opened for business in January 2001 and the rest as they say is history. Today RCR is the UK’s largest national breakdown and recovery service for boaters using the inland waterway system. Our 40-strong team operates on a 24/7 basis, covers a network of some 3,600 miles and responds to an average of 4000 general call-outs and 250 major incidents a year.
I fell in love with Pembrokeshire a few years ago and now split my time between living on a boat with Trevor in west Wales and living on land, close to RCR’s Stafford HQ, helping run the family business.
about the book
With a focus on diesel engines and their arrangements, Narrow Boat Engine Maintenance and Repair explains the theory behind the boat’s main systems – including propulsion, cooling and electrics - and gives instructions on how to identify key components, how to locate faults and where possible, how to fix them.
There are tips on everyday engine maintenance and how to complete a service and all instructions are accompanied by over 260 colour step-by-step photographs and 60 technical diagrams.
The book is well laid-out, easy to understand with little technical jargon and the ‘how to’ photos, showing basic maintenance, enable readers to recognise parts relating to their engines.
Reader feedback includes:
‘the book enables us to learn how to do things at our own pace’,
it ‘eases some of the dread associated with taking on a new boat, especially as we are keen to keep it in good condition, inside and out’
and ‘a very useful guide to have around’.
You can buy Stephanie’s book from River Canal Rescue here, discounted to £17 including postage & packaging, Amazon and bookshops.