“In our book, Ed Shiers is a genius. We’ve used him a number of times this year as we’ve worked our way into living aboard a 62-foot used narrowboat we took over nine months ago. He was recommended to us by the owner of a reputable, well-established boatbuilding company and has become someone in whom we have absolute confidence and trust. Ed’s strengths are many: thorough knowledge of marine engines, electrical and heating systems ; sharp investigative and diagnostic skills ; dog-with-a-bone perseverance with problem-solving ; excellent listener and equally good at explaining what he’s doing and why, thus educating us as boat owners ; superbly customer-focussed, willing to travel to fit in with our location plus working on ‘after hours’ to get the job done ; very responsive, thorough, personable, reliable, and trustworthy.” David and Marilyn McDonald. NB ‘Waka Huia’. 24V Alternator Installation. Webasto heating system troubleshooting.
“Finally and most importantly, I really want to thank Ed for a truly amazing job. With his guidance we have used the very best quality fittings and hoses etc to provide the most reliable and long life installation. It has been of massive benefit to have been able to get involved even to a small extent in the specification and installation at the various stages rather than just taking the boat to a marina and leaving it. The Charity is very fortunate to have the services of such a knowledgable, experienced and diligent engineer.” Mark Thomas, Beatrice Charity Boat. Beta 43 Engine Installation.
“Thanks again for fitting the new alternator and Mastervolt controller. It has transformed our ability to get the batteries charged quickly and quietly with the added bonus of a smoother running engine. Really appreciate how quickly you respond and the neatness of the installation.” 200 Amp Alternator + Alpha Pro install on Beta 38. Steve Hastings, Nb. Yardarm. Bollington.
“Ed was recommended to us 6 months ago, but we wish it had been sooner! We had several problems with our boat, from leaking pipework to levelling and lining up the engine, to incorrect wiring, just to mention a few! Ed has sorted all the problems out, and the boat, mechanically is the best it has ever been. If you are looking for a professional marine engineer, look no further.” Ange & Charlie Share. NB ‘Asante!’. Aston Marina.
“Many thanks for your help, you are a star. Or to quote my wife, ‘I like Ed because we can still afford the new cooker now’.” Iain Arthur. NB. ‘Enigma’, Crick. Travel Power fault.
“I’ve worked with Ed filming for my TV programme and on YouTube. He fitted a fridge and new batteries – both done quickly, without any fuss and no unexpected costs. Dealing with electrics on older narrowboats can be very complex when dealing with old wiring going in all sorts of directions. But Ed just gets on with it. He understands liveaboard life and can explain 12v systems in a way that complete novices like myself can take onboard. 100% my first choice for anything electrical.” Robbie Cumming. NB ‘The Naughty Lass.
“As we live on our narrowboat and cruise for most of the year we need reliable systems on board. Our Mikuni MX-40 was 20 years old and had been serviced when needed but we felt it was probably nearing the end of its life. We also had concerns about the availability of Mikuni spares, having spoken to people who had been experiencing long delays obtaining parts. We saw Ed Shiers’ advertisement in Towpath Talk and he travelled to the boat and suggested he fit his own Webasto TT C unit to see if we liked it. We did and asked Ed to fit a new unit. There was no ‘hard sell’, just sound, considered and knowledgeable advice. Ed quoted a reasonable price and that was the figure we paid. No hidden extras. His timekeeping was excellent, his work of very high quality and he is a really nice guy! Ed didn’t ask for this testimonial. I offered to write one as I was so pleased with every aspect of the job.” David & Teresa Moran. Narrowboat ‘Zenith’, Hudson Boat. MX40 to Webasto TTC Swap Out. SU Canal, Nantwich.
“Before I found FC Marine I was doing something like one domestic alternator a season. Although the conversion is only 10 amps more than the original (90A vs 80A) it seems to work in a different way as I can honestly say that since it has beeen done the low battery warning lamp has never come on. An added bonus for me was watching Ed work on our boat. He is meticulous about what he does and clearly very knowledgable as he made slight adjustments to the standard wiring on the engine.” Jack Parker, Narrowboat ‘Evelyn May’. Brinklow Marina. 90 amp Barrus 45 alternator upgrade to work with Adverc.
“I had my narrow boat built in 1997 and maintenance has always been a priority for me. I met Ed Shiers approximately 4 years ago and have used his services exclusively since then. In that time he has installed and maintained a Webasto Central Heating System and a large alternator charging system, together with regular maintenance jobs. I can honestly say that I am always pleased with the quality of his workmanship and find him both approachable and honest – in fact he is the only engineer I trust with a key to work on the boat in my absence. I have never felt that I have been overcharged for a job and he sticks to the prices he has quoted me.” Roy Wearing. Lyme View Marina.
“Ed Shiers from Four Counties Marine was a complete superstar! We have a 60ft Narrowboat with a Beta 43 which was running a stock 70amp 24 volt leisure alternator, however the performance was poor and the voltage too low 27.3v. If we cruised a whole day for approx 8+ hrs the batteries were never 100% full. Ed met us canal side to diagnose and replace our poor performing alternator – however sadly after fitting the new unit it triggered an alarm and we had to call Ed back (by which time he was already 30+ mins away from us). Ed returned and after fixing wiring and testing the unit found the new alternator to be faulty, Ed undone all his hard work and put back the old unit until a replacement unit could be sort. Ed then came out again to replace the unit, and this time with a 120amp unit, however Ed was still unhappy with the voltage output from the regulator – therefore Ed came out again on a third visit to add a Mastervolt External Regulator to the mix which instantly resolved the issue. The alternator now can put out anything up to 130Amps @ 28.8v and quickly replenishes our batteries. The Mastervolt now gives us much more control over the output and loads put on the engine which was worth the investment. Ed is in our book simply a superstar for not giving up and getting to the bottom of the issues we were experiencing and we are over the moon with our installation. Ed was diligent, tidy informed us all the way any issues/problems he found and happily rectified for us. Installation was very tidy and I would have absolutely no hesitation in asking Ed back to carry out any work on our boat. Thank you again for all your hard work, it means a lot.” Matt & Clare Brown – Nb Quisqualis. Norbury Junction, SU Canal.
“Thanks for a great job you did on our Eberspacher central heating system recently. It has been working great ever since and it is just a pity we didn’t get you out in the first place as we could have saved ourselves a small fortune. I would highly recommend you to anyone with an Eberspacher. Thanks again.” Lynn and Ged Molyneux. Liverpool Marina.
“My 8000+ hour 12 year old Travelpower alternator was starting to give trouble. A BSS examiner in Thrupp pointed me towards Ed Shiers, and I have been delighted with his service. I was 100+ miles away, so he gave me (free) informal diagnostic advice and suggestions by telephone. This established the probable cause of the fault and Ed sent me, very promptly, a refurbished alternator at a reasonable price. I had researched prices elsewhere – the big players in the market would only sell me the complete outfit with expensive control box, although it was only the alternator itself that was faulty. The new alternator works well and has a one-year warranty. I will certainly be back if I need more help, advice or replacement parts.” Rob Hewison. Long-term cruiser onboard NB ‘Sunflower’.
“I cannot speak too highly of the service we got from Ed Shiers of Four Counties Marine last week. Not only did he rebuild our TravelPower alternator in double quick time at a very reasonable price, he rushed it to the marina special delivery so I could get it fitted without disrupting my co-owner’s tour in the boat. He is a very good communicator, we knew exactly where we were with the rebuild, and was a fund of good advice on the re-installation.” Gael Lewis (Narrowboat Tane Mahuta)
“Edward Shiers supplied & fitted my new 110 alternator he was very helpful & professional. His prices are reasonable & his service & advice excellent. I would recommend him without reservation the alternator upgrade works like a dream.” John Downes, Kings Bromley Wharf Marina.
“Our travel power wasn’t working and we found Ed’s details advertised in the Towpath Talk. We phoned him up and he came to see us, we were really impressed by his knowledge and expertise. We are now back up and running all thanks to Ed. We highly recommend Ed, he is a really friendly guy and knows his stuff. Thanks again Ed.” Kym and Tracey. NB ‘Tailwind’ www.littlechimneycompany.co.uk Coventry Canal. Electrolux Travel Power Refurbishment.
“Having never met Ed before we found him to be very knowledgeable and very helpful and willing to go the extra mile to solve our problem, so would highly recommend him to anyone who needs help, also very reasonable charges. (and doesn’t drink much tea)” – Dave Taunton. NB ‘Lea’. Hockley Port. Removal of twin Adverc system & Isuzu 35 120 amp alternator upgrade.
“Ed is extremely reliable. He quickly responds to requests. Our narrowboat heating and domestic water pump failed. Ed assessed the problem quickly, gave us options to repair or replace. He completed the work quickly and professionally and at a very competitive price. We would highly recommend him!” Tina and Barry Pitt. Narrowboat ‘Nowra’. Great Haywood Marina. Webasto TTC Installation.
“The service that Ed Shiers provides is second to none. A very reliable and prompt, first class mechanic, who is not out to rob you! We wouldn’t go to anyone else now. Long may his business continue to grow and flourish.” John Bond. Narrowboat ‘Tilts’. Haxey Quays, Misterton, Notts. Supply complete refurbushed 3.5KVA Travel Power with 1 yr Warranty.
“Ed replaced the domestic alternator on our Barrus engine with a specially modified 90A one that has consistently provided good levels of charge, his service and support are both excellent, and we can recommend him to anyone looking to improve their battery charging. The original alternator was not properly aligned, and he took great care to make sure the new one was, which has eliminated the belt wear we used to suffer from. The new alternator appears to run cooler too, which is very useful in a hot engine room. Our shared narrowboat is always hard on batteries, and this alternator has made it a lot easier to keep them topped up.” Hugh Dalgleish. Narrowboat ‘Maximus’. Trent & Mersey. 90 amp Barrus Alternator Upgrade.
“Whilst out cruising, I noticed that the Travel Pack wasn’t doing its job and I started a hunt for the problem. Well I quickly deduced that the fault was in the travel pack Generator itself, and whilst being a practical sort of chap, shuddered at the prospect of delving into it’s innards! I remembered that I had heard on the Canal World Forum of a chap who repaired these generators and set out to track him down. Well, it was quite easy and i made contact with Ed. And after a brief phone call he arranged to meet me on the cut the next day and within a few minutes of arriving had found the problem and sorted it, he also checked the other sources of problems in my engine bay and changed a fuse holder that wasn’t up to scratch. What cracking service, a very acceptable bill, and a lovely chap to boot! I would, and have, recommended Ed wholeheartedly.” Brian Gandy. NB Largo. Eturia. Travel Power fault.
“Having employed numerous engineers over the years, often unreliable, I found Ed Shiers a few years ago and he has looked after my boat ever since. He sources batteries and parts at sensible prices, is very reliable, an excellent mechanic, and has never let me down. I recommend Ed to any person who really wants to maintain their boat in top condition and know that when they turn the key the engine will start.” Robin Pickard. Narrowboat ‘Patience’. Great Haywood Marina.
“Ed Shiers fitted a 90 amp alternator kit over three years ago and it has run sweetly ever since. He provides a friendly and professional service” Chris Mann. Narrowboat ‘Aprillas’. Norbury Junction. 90 amp Barrus Alternator Upgrade.
‘Ed Shiers FC Marine has just upgraded my alternator on my Barrus engine and it works fantastically. You get good amps off it even on tick over, which is a vast improvement on my original one. While Ed was there he also noticed my engine water cooling stat was stuck open so my engine wasn’t getting hot enough which was causing it to hunt. He then realigned my engine for me, tidied up some engine wiring for me, and installed a Victron battery monitor which he supplied at very competitive price, which now works great for me as I had no way of monitoring before. Ed Shiers is a excellent marine engineer who really does know what he is talking about. I found him very reliable, a good time keeper, he stuck to the prices he quoted, which where very reasonable, you can leave him to it with out having to worry. All in all I would thoroughly recommend him as he does an excellent job and doesn’t rip you off.’ M Snelson. NB ‘Sandpiper’. Venetian Marina. 90 amp Barrus Alternator Upgrade. Webasto TTC Installation.
‘Ed was my Knight when i had no heating. He drove a long distance to repair my Mikuni system. Excellent service and a good and honest man to boot. Thank you again Ed.’ Chris. NB.‘Tamazy’. Bill Fen Marina, Cambridgeshire. Mikuni MX40 repair.
“Ed (Shiers) recommended and fitted a new central heating system (boiler, rads, pipework) and a new uprated alternator to our narrowboat, all of which has been a substantial improvement over what was previously installed. We would have no hesitation in recommending him.” Bob Eason. NB. ‘Kipper’. Swanley Bridge Marina. Webasto TTC Install & Barrus 90 amp Alternator Upgrade.
‘Ed came to our rescue one winter’s evening when our Mikuni central heating failed. Fortunately our boatyard knew about him and difficulties getting spares for Mikuni. Ed has devised an exchange service with a Webasto equivalent (a make increasingly favoured by today’s boat builders) including a mounting unit and wiring loom compatible with the Mikuni it was replacing. He got us warm again with a temporary unit there and then, while he set about making a permanent replacement. This was fitted on schedule a few weeks later. He also moved our thermostat to a better position without charge. My wife has been purring ever since…..We are very pleased with the change. The Webasto is quieter, at least as efficient and more economical on the batteries too. Ed even comes again in a year’s time to give it its first (free) service. Service with a smile? That’s Ed!’ Richard Parkhouse. NB ‘Esther’. Aqueduct Marina. Middlewich Branch.
“Edward Shiers worked on our narrow boat to change a faulty alternator when we were miles from no where on the canal system. We were so impressed with his work that we asked him to come to our moorings to rewire our boats charging system, which was not working correctly and to fit a new battery management system. On both occasions he arrived very promptly, and all the work was very neat and tidy and we would always recommend him for all electrical work and expert advise.” Phil & Pam Hester, Narrowboat ‘Lady Hester’. Bosley, Macclesfield Canal & Brinklow Marina.
“We were very pleased with the work that ed did on our boat. We were having trouble keeping our batteries charged so ed recommended a bigger alternator which has solved our problem. Also he gave us advice about our reflex stove and ebespacher.” Juliet Hutchinson. Narrowboat ‘African Queen’. Middlewich Branch. 90amp Barrus Alternator Upgrade.
“Very many thanks for sorting out our Mikuni – and doing it on time! And your detailed explanation of what needed to be fixed.” Nigel Street, Narrowboat ‘Progress No. 2’. Aston Marina
“I want to thank you for a very professional job. I don’t think your bill is excessive but the quality of the work is excellent.” Malcolm Gray. Narrowboat ‘Quicksilver’. Aston Marina. Eberspacher D5W fault finding.
“FCM visited at short notice and immediately solved a charging issue that had been present since I bought my boat, and had eluded others. Ed also pointed out some other issues with the “unusual and complicated” system on the boat, and having talked it through I asked him to upgrade the main alternator and simplify the system. This was done quickly and at a very reasonable cost, and now I have a reliable charging system in which I have confidence. I would not hesitate in recommending FCM to anybody – professional, knowledgeable, honest and reliable.” Ian Cleathero. Narrowboat ‘Inheritance’. 90 amp Barrus Alternator Upgrade at Pillings Lock Marina.
“Imagine a very cold and windy March day in 2013, our boat is making its way down the Caldon Canal when the alternator stops working. From a recommendation we call Ed, within an hour he arrives. He then works for an hour in the most appalling weather in a cramped and wet engine room to remove the offending item. He then left for his workshop to prepare the new alternator. Next morning we woke to find the boat covered in 6ins of snow, imagine our delight when Ed appeared as promised to fit the new alternator. He had to contend with a blizzard while he fitted the alternator during the morning. Since then we have meandered more than 500 miles and the alternator has worked perfectly. Thank you Ed for a job well done.” Lesley Fielding. Narrowboat ‘Independence’. Caldon Canal. 90 amp Alternator Upgrade.
“We have know Ed for 6 years, and he has come to our rescue on several occasions. His work is thorough, reasonably priced and he is always willing to suggest time and cost saving solutions to engine problems. Most recently he has sorted out our domestic alternator when RCR told us they don’t cover any domestic problems. Happy to recommend him for any engine or heater related problems.” David Walters, Narrowboat ‘Land of Green Ginger’. Kings Bromley Wharf Marina.
I found Ed Shiers on the Internet when I was looking for someone who knew narrowboat electrics and modern electronics too. I had a Sterling alternator-to-battery charger but ever since a local boatyard fitted a new engine I had been having battery problems. Ed sorted out the wiring problem and at my request tidied up all the wiring in the engine compartment. A really neat job and everything worked properly. I have since used him a couple of times to upgrade the alternator, including Ed’s special pulley and belt for maximising output at low revs, and to add a Victron Battery Monitor which he recommended – it’s a really great piece of kit. I wouldn’t use anyone else now – his work is neat, expert and reasonably-priced. Ed himself is good to work with, being completely dependable and trustworthy.” Jeremy Stagg. Narrowboat ‘The Shrew’. High Offley & Chester.
“We have used Ed on three occasions for our Mikuni mx40. He has always arrived on time and explained problems to us and what needs to be done – in a way we can understand. He has always fixed the problem – even leaving us a replacement boiler while our is being fixed. He will always try and explain over the phone before coming out to the repair. I would definitely recommend Ed to anyone who needs his services.” Mandy. Narrowboat ‘Best Mate’. Smethwick, BCN.
“ I contacted Ed after the Mikuni MX40 on my boat stopped working after burning out two heater plugs with a lot of smoke. The flashing code on the control panel indicated ‘ignition failure’ so time to call for assistance. Ed turned up promptly and removed the whole unit. As the boat’s up for sale, I didn’t want to spend a lot, so he pointed out the likely problems (the air motor and flame sensor), described how to fix it and supplied me with the parts and gaskets for a complete repair and overhaul. Problem solved. I’d recommend Ed to anybody with similar issues; he’s competent, punctual, reasonably priced and will perform a complete repair or provide parts and valuable advice if you feel like doing it yourself.” Andy Mellor NB. Lyra. Longport Brokerage.
“We’ve had this boat around 13 years from new and right from the start the Mikuni has never worked well. It rarely starts in the mornings when the batteries are at their lowest, which is, of course, just when we need it to work to heat up the boat before we get up. The rest of the time it would only fire up with the engine going and the batteries full. We’ve told Mikuni and their answer was just to tell us to get it serviced. The man who usually services it had no other suggestions beyond saying it is a common fault and usually due to poor quality fuel. We had more or less decided that we were going to have to fork out for a new heater – of a different make of course. We saw your advert and discussed it over the phone. You suggested it would be worthwhile your looking at the Mikuni before deciding on a change of make. Despite not being nearby, you were happy to travel to look at our Mikuni and you discovered that the wiring to the glow plug was a) too thin and b) took too long a path, so leading to unacceptable voltage drop. You replaced the wire with something more suitable and shortened its course. Hey presto – problem solved! It now fires up straight away, even in the morning. We’re so grateful, after all these years, to have the d*** thing working properly. We were prepared to spend money on a new heater. It was so gratifying to find someone who was more interested in sorting out our problem than just making a profit. Once again, many thanks. We’ve been aware that diesel heaters in narrowboats have had a poor reputation for reliability – often apparently put down to the poor quality of red diesel (though this shouldn’t be the case now that the quality has been improved). People seem to grumble about Mikuni especially. I know the manufacturers of our narrowboat changed to using Eberspachers. I feel sure our original installation was according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If it is the case that a lot of the poor reputation is just due to the wrong thickness of wiring being recommended, it seems a shame not to tell Mikuni themselves; and perhaps a letter to one of the canal boat magazines..” Bill Arrowsmith. N.B. ‘Charlotte May’. Newark.