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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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Do Galvanic protection devices work ?

My narrow boat moored in a marina, is connected to the mains for months at a time to charge my battery bank. As most of the other boats in the marina are also 'plugged in', I am concerned about galvanic corrosion even though I have anodes fitted. I am thinking of installing an earth breaking device, do they work in stopping the corrosion ?

Asked by: David Spencer  | Tuesday 17 April, 4.59pm | 2 answers


Treatments for natural rope fenders

I have 2 new tipcats and a button made from natural rope. Is there a preservative treatment I should use before fitting to the boat.

Asked by: Kenton lock  | Sunday 15 April, 9.43pm | 1 answer


Grey water tanks and pollution

I am still new to narrowboating and until recently thought that grey water went into a tank which is pumped out at marinas. However I now understand that on most boats it goes straight into the canal or river. Do some boats have tanks and others not? Do you have any recommendations for good non-polluting cleaning products for use around a narrowboat?

Asked by: Julian Morrison-Little  | Friday 13 April, 11.35am | 2 answers


flying the flag

We would like to fly a flag on the stern of our narrowboat, should it union flag or the red ensign, i have been told it is illeagal to fly the union flag, would be gratefull for a diffinative answer

Asked by: stanley morris  | Friday 6 April, 8.33pm | 1 answer


What paint?

I'd like some suggestions as to what paint and undercoat (other than expensive marine paint) I could use once I've rubbed down some rust and ready to repaint my boat.
Thanks. Rob

Asked by: robert statham  | Monday 2 April, 7.56pm | 3 answers


Boat batteries again

Hi, Graham & Rupert, with reference to my last question on boat batteries on 25th March 2012, can you please give me any further info as follows.
Thank you both for your advice, I have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
If it all goes wrong I have been looking at battery types, Deep cycle wet lead-acid or Gel Deep cycle types Both types are sold as sealed and maintenance free, however all batteries gas when charging and must vent. Are sealed maintenance free batteries really maintenance free? or able to be topped up and worth buying, I do not mind paying a bit more for them if they give me better service than open type. Are you able to recommend your preferance Gel v Wet lead acid and any makes.

Asked by: David Anderson  | Tuesday 27 March, 5.48pm | 2 answers


Boat batteries

I have 4 Leisure batteries and 1 starter battery on my boat they are all wet cell type. One of the leisure batteries is eating up distilled water and must be starting to go faulty,the other 3 seem fine. I am aware you can not put in a new battery with the existing batteries, however my starter battery is exactly the same type and age as the existing leisure batteries so I was woundering if got rid of the bad battery and replaced it with the starter battery? they would then all be the same type and age. I would then buy a new starter battery. Do you think this would be ok.your advice would be much appreciated

Asked by: David Anderson  | Sunday 25 March, 4.07pm | 2 answers


best time of day to get through denver sluice

can any one help, im planning on moving my boat from ely to ringstead starting the night of 25th march 2012. can any one tell me the best time to get through denver sluice and is it possible to get through out of normal operation hours, also if any one knows if all the locks on nene are open
thanks guys i`ll look forward to any answers or sugestions

Asked by: damien  | Thursday 22 March, 2.41am | 3 answers


Getting hot water a problem

I am having problems with the heating of the water from my engine to the calorifier! Sometimes it's getting hot but other times it isn't! Can anybody help with this please? Paulnderszo

Asked by: Paul Repton  | Friday 16 March, 6.25pm | 3 answers


Double skinned chimney's

I am planning a few boat jobs for the spring and,having spent part of last year sorting out the wood burner, I wondered if it was advantageous to fill the cavity between the inner and outer skin of a double skinned chimney. I have searched online and various people have filled the cavity with fire resistant foam, rockwool, or tin foil and others say there is nothing to gain.

Asked by: Andy Hunter  | Friday 16 March, 4.50pm | 4 answers


engine gearbox oil

i have a beta 35 engine the manual says use mineral based oil for none turbo engines. can i use oil that says on the label for turbo and none turbo engines

Asked by: christopher smith  | Thursday 15 March, 8.47am | 2 answers


Deckboards

Where can I buy deckboards for my narrowboat, preferably in the Surrey, Southern counties area ?

Asked by: John Keane  | Monday 12 March, 12.16pm | 4 answers


Birmingham square base plates

I know Tyler Wilson build on a Birmingham square base plate that is wider than the standard 2 meters.Are there any other hull builders using this wider base plate?
Thanks.
John

Asked by: John Dibble  | Monday 12 March, 8.42am | 4 answers


Re: Continuous cruising and medication

We are planning to continuous cruise for the whole of the summer, we are both on long term medication and I wondered how continuous cruisers are able to repeat there prescriptions when the doctor will only write a prescription for two months at a time, this must be a problem for a lot of people and I wonder how they got around this.
Many thanks

Asked by: John Geobey  | Saturday 10 March, 10.16am | 1 answer


Airdraft of boats

I am thinking of buying a narrowboat with an airdraft of 6 feet 1 inch. We want to see the system, and would like to know how many canals this airdraft would rule out.
Thanks,
Ben Mitchell

Asked by: Ben Mitchell  | Wednesday 7 March, 1.37pm | 2 answers


Boat Batteries

I have been reading about Elecol 115 Ah AGM Solar batteries which are quite expensiveat £179 and they have a 7 year warranty. I presently have 4 wet cell batteries going into my third year with and they seem ok.However I do look after them but still have to top them up quite regularly and as I am getting older I have to be a bit of a contortionist to do them.
I hope to get at least five years from them so two lots of wet batteries would last me for 10 years at a cost of approx £700. However if I could get 10 years out of say the Elecol Batteries cost would be approx. £720 and I would have no maintenance. My boat is kept in a marina and I have shore power and a good quality battery charger. Are these Elecol batteries up to the job or can you recomend others just as good.

Asked by: boatfitout  | Tuesday 6 March, 10.51pm | 2 answers


TV/DVD combo - 12v or 240?

My previous boat was 12v only so there was no alternative. Now I have a suitable inverter but given that I intend to spend most of the season off the marina (and 240v) what is the best option/screen size etc?

Asked by: Brian Woods  | Tuesday 6 March, 10.14pm | 2 answers


Where will the water be?

Trying to plan routes for the season. I had planned to go south, Kennet & Avon etc but with water shortages have written that off. Where do you think might be best this year? (Based Braunston)

Asked by: Gordon Lane  | Tuesday 6 March, 7.51pm | 2 answers


Rope work courses

Is there enyone running fender makeing and triditional rope work courses. I seem to remember an add in recent issue but cant see it enywere. Eny info would be very helpfull. Many Thanks

Asked by: Nick Woodards  | Sunday 4 March, 5.10pm | 2 answers


What generator to buy

We are looking to buy a generator for our 42 foot narrow boat. The main use for this would be to charge the batteries when doing a short days cruising. It would also be used to charge a laptop and mobile phones. We currently have an electric fridge, cd/radio and lighting which are powered by 2 leisure batteries. Any advice would be appreciated

Asked by: Mike Hodder  | Saturday 25 February, 2.12pm | 3 answers

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