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Q & A

Got a technical question or a boating query? Post your quandaries here and pick the brains of the WW team. You can also add your answers to others' questions, or browse through previous answers.

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Isuzu panel - hour meter

The hour meter display on my Isuzu panel is unreliable but does sometimes show the hours run, especially after running for a few hours. I have heard that this is a common problem with Isuzu panels. Any ideas on a fix, apart from fitting a separate hour meter?

Asked by: David Fearns  | Friday 2 November, 10.07pm | 3 answers

Draining Down Water System

Can I add an anti freeze to my narrowboat water tank

Asked by: Peter Allan  | Thursday 1 November, 12.07pm | 1 answer

etiquette - Acknowledging boats in tunnels

We were going north through Saddington Tunnel the other day and as I was approaching the entrance with my tunnel light on I could see an approaching boat's tunnel light, although the boat looked like it was some way off actually entering the tunnel. The light appeared to go off for a while and then came back on. I wondered if this was down to a bend or moored boats at their end of the tunnel, or were they just testing their light?
We met about 200 yards from their end. There is plenty of room for two narrowboats to pass, but we both slowed down and I said hello as we did so. Their reply was to greet me pleasantly but also to complain mildly "but you didn't acknowledge us, and we weren't sure if you were a boat".
I said "oh sorry" automatically, but then thought what else they imagined I might have been.
Saddington has the narrow locks at Foxton plus the lock free Market Harborough arm to its south and the start of the wide locks to the north at Kibworth Top Lock. Since I would assume that a wide beam going through Saddington needs liaison with CRT to book a passage I'm not sure what they hoped to achieve by my flashing my tunnel light at them, which is presumably what they had expected me to do.
Any ideas?

Asked by: Colin Wilks  | Wednesday 31 October, 5.06pm | 2 answers

Replacing an exhaust silencer

I am replacing the silencer box on my BMC 1.8 engine with an identical 15 inch standard box from Midland Chandlers. Does it matter which way round the silencer is fitted? The new silencer can be fitted either way round,but at one end there appears to be holes in the internal pipework of the box. Many thanks

Asked by: Peter Heath  | Tuesday 30 October, 9.08pm | 1 answer

tiller shape

does the tiller have to angled I want to put a bike rack on the back of a cruiser, can the tiller be straightened without any compromising steering.

Asked by: Peter Wright  | Sunday 28 October, 9.51pm | 1 answer

What weight of anchor for river cruising

I have been looking for information, without much success, regarding the weight of anchor/length and weight of chain/length and size of warp for a 60ft narrowboat going from Worcester to Gloucester in November. Any practical guidance would be appreciated, especially tips for stowing such a heavy object. Would it affect the trim if kept in the cratch? Thanks in advance, Alan

Asked by: Alan Denney  | Monday 22 October, 8.22pm | 1 answer

Best boat fridge for livaboard

Can anyone recommend the best fridge for livaboard without shorepower so something economical. I dont have a huge budget but if i can find the name of the best models i may try to find a second hand one. Thanks.

Asked by: Jo  | Monday 22 October, 7.36pm | 3 answers


i am about to purchase a 55ft narrow boat and my mooring does not have a hook up i plan to live a board what is the best silent generator to use
would be grateful for any advise.

Asked by: tracie white  | Saturday 20 October, 2.39pm | 2 answers

canal boat to france

Has anybody written a guide to taking a canal boat to france?

Asked by: chris bones  | Wednesday 17 October, 11.55am | 2 answers

roof boxes

Where can i buy narrowboat top boxes from?

Asked by: maggie elliott  | Sunday 14 October, 6.48pm | 1 answer

hot water

i have a 57ft crusier and for the first time last night i had an electric hook up , on board i have an sterling pro combi inverter and a wabasto central heating motor, i switched the inverter to auto and plugged in the hook up i left this on all night so this morning i expected to have hot water but i didn't, am i doing somthing wrong, when i run the engine for an hour the water is red hot!!, can anyone tell me step by step about how to conect to the hook up and get hot water!! thanks

Asked by: andy wakler  | Thursday 11 October, 2.33pm | 2 answers

16 AMP Generators

I recently asked for advice about a Generator for my narrowboat as the electric had been cut off at my Marina. I have found a Generator I wish to purchase but, as with all i looked at, the output is 16AMP. Can i just connect it my boat in the same way I would a landline or do I need equipment to reduce to 13AMP. I am assuming standard hookup is 13AMP. Any info gratefully received.

Asked by: Paul Jones  | Tuesday 9 October, 12.03pm | 2 answers

Problems running the engine whilst moored up so as to charge the batteries.

Referring to Graham Booth's article "A Sunny Solution" (p.48 WW Nov 2012), he warns about glazing the cylinder bores if the engine is run to recharge the batteries.
I was concerned about this potential problem, which many people seek to minimise by running the engine with the prop engaged, so asked Beta Marine about my own 1994 BV2203, which is a 50hp four cylinder Kubota diesel. Their advice was to run the engine at about 1200 rpm without engaging the prop. Their technical guy stated that they had had no trouble with glazed bores.
Since this question seems to crop up quite often please could the sages at Waterways World provide a definitive answer?

Asked by: Colin Wilks  | Monday 8 October, 6.05pm | 4 answers

Solar thermal on a boat

I know the panels would be ugly, but has anyone tried solar thermal for hot water heating on a boat?
It might be good for liveaboards who are not moving much/don't want to use engine to heat water up.
Also it should save on gas/diesel over traditional hot water systems.
On domestic houses they are very efficient and can produce piping hot water all year round.
The basic set up would be:
- 1-2 panels on the roof (I did check online and it appears there are panels of the right size for the top of a narrowboat).
- pipes from panels through roof to water cylinder.
- small 12v pump to pump the fluid to the panels. This fluid circulates in the panels, absorbs the heat from the sun and takes the heat back to the water cylinder.

Asked by: Paul McMahon  | Monday 8 October, 4.01pm | 3 answers

No reverse

Hi folks my friend has just inherited a narrowboat on our first trip out the craft seemed to only forward but no reverse when engaged into reverse it propelled the boat forward it's a morse trottle no model number on it side mounted and has a tap like choke on the front of it any solutions would be great

Asked by: barry  | Sunday 7 October, 9.26am | 1 answer

Solid fuel stove

Where can I find detailed information on fitting a solid fuel buring stove in my narrowbaot to current standards? I am particularly interested in the flue requirements. Thanks.

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Friday 5 October, 12.11pm | 1 answer

Which water pump???

Heh ww, Iam fitting out my narrow boat from scratch and I need some water pump advice. It is 70ft with a water travel from pump to tap of 10 metres. I will be running 2 sinks and a shower from my pump and also an instant gas water heater heater. I have checked what the minimum working pressure is for the water heater but I just havent got a clue which water pump to buy... I want a good waterflow for the distance and pump to travel and I know you get what you pay for, so what pump would you recommend.

Asked by: Chris Trendowicz  | Wednesday 26 September, 9.59am | 2 answers

Trickle Charging Batteries

I read in your Q & A section that someone has 5 x 110 AH and 1 X 50 AH batteries which they want to leave on trickle charge unattended over the winter months. It was suggested that a 60 W panel would be ideal. I have a 150 W panel, can I use this and what sort of controller woulkd I need. I also have a 1 x 110 AH bow- thruster battery which I would like to keep charged. Thanks for any advice.

Asked by: Alan Denney  | Monday 24 September, 3.32pm | 8 answers

electric bike

Anybody got any experience of charging batteries on an electric bike, we will be using the power from on board mostly only sometimes using mains ie. marinas. simple electronic calculation please.

Asked by: Peter Wright  | Wednesday 19 September, 7.48pm | 1 answer

solar cells

I have 5x 110amp hoise batteries and 1x 120amp starter battery. I am returnimg to Australia for 3 months in early December and am considering solar cells to trickle feed batteries and hopefully ensure they are not ruind by an unforseen cold snap. What size cell will I need to do this? Will I need two- one for domestic and one for starter?

Asked by: peter osullivan  | Wednesday 19 September, 4.44pm | 2 answers

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