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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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Boat toilet

I currently have a pump out toilet on my narrowboat.
It required pumping out after four days use with 3 of us on board.i am considering getting a cassette type.I have seen a porta potti with 21ltr waste tank can anyone tell me how these stack up against a pumpout. does the cassette seperate from the toilet when needing emptying as my old caravan model did not have a tank had to carry it to the elsan.

Asked by: edward Connolly  | Friday 30 April, 5.06pm | 2 answers

Matt paint for gunwales to rubbing strakes

It has been suggested to me to use matt black paint for the gunwales down to the rubbing strakes, rather than gloss, to ease touching up of this frequently damaged area. Can you recommend a suitable paint, and are there other considerations?

Asked by: Gordon Lane  | Sunday 25 April, 1.44pm | 1 answer

Steering in reverse

What is the secret to stearing a narrowboat in reverse? I find that before my boat makes any headway (and hence steering) in reverse, the paddle wheel effect tends to take over and pivot the boat across the canal.

Asked by: Clive Neale  | Thursday 22 April, 1.21pm | 5 answers

Split battery charging

We run a charity trip boat which is having trouble driving the second alternator and wish to just run off the primary alternator to charge the engine & domestic batteries. We propose to buy a Sterling PSR122 split charger. Are we likely to run into any problems when we come to fit it?

Asked by: Duncan Paine  | Monday 19 April, 11.28am | 2 answers

Further information on one of your contributors.

In a doctor's surgery I read an article on a Victorean rowing trip from Chester to Kendal in 1899 by a R E Froude'
Is it possible for me to make contact with the author?

Asked by: Mike Spence  | Thursday 15 April, 5.55pm | 1 answer

Moving a narrowboat from Lincoln to Bedford.

A route planner maped it via the Wash is this possible or not advisable?

Asked by: Trevor James Lewinton  | Tuesday 13 April, 11.33pm | 1 answer


Hi there,
I am due to sell my home, and wish to purchase a wide beam as a live aboard subject to finding a suitable residential mooring. My question is, if the boat I buy is brand new would I have to pay VAT, if it was to be my home?

Asked by: Griff  | Monday 12 April, 8.45pm | 4 answers

leisure batteries

what are the best leisure batteries and is there an advanage in having 135 amps over 110 when we seem to run out of power in the late evening

Asked by: D A LINDSAY  | Monday 12 April, 2.32pm | 1 answer

Roof colours - light or dark?

I am planning the paint scheme for a new 58 ft boat and am getting conflicting advice about roof colours. People I respect say a) that the roof must be a light colour to keep the cabin cool on hot days, or b) I mustn--t use a light colour for the roof, because on bright days, the sun will reflect and glare into the steerer--s eyes making the boat extremely unpleasant to use. I see many new boats with light coloured roofs - how does it work out in practice and is there a noticeable cooling effect?

Asked by: Gordon Lane  | Saturday 10 April, 4.58pm | 2 answers

Washing line pole holder for tiller bar

I saw an attachment that you could buy for your tiller bar in the magazine so that you can put up a rotary clothes line on your boat, where can we buy one?

Asked by: Rachel Rice  | Friday 9 April, 8.49am | 5 answers

winding at Oxford

I am planning a trip from Welton Hythe to Oxford and back again and obviously will need to wind at Oxford. Nicholsons is some help, Google Earth too, but I am a tad confused as to where I can wind...below Isis Lock perhaps???....and where is a good place to moor overnight closish to the city centre???

Asked by: peter west  | Thursday 8 April, 10.08pm | 1 answer

Isuzu 42hp oil filter

I have an Isuzu 42hp engine but can't find the cc or the oil filter number I need. Can anyone help please?

Asked by: YVONNE SANDERSON  | Wednesday 7 April, 3.17pm | no answers yet - add one


when we fitted out our narrowboat we was told although not an exact method 1 ton should lower 1 inch.we are now considering a dutch style barge at 60'x 12'is there a rough guide for this size as a feel being wider than a narrowboat it can't be the same method

Asked by: mick turner  | Wednesday 7 April, 12.19pm | 2 answers


pumpout or cassette toilets which are the most popular.soon to be new boaters

Asked by: hedley muff  | Tuesday 6 April, 4.47pm | 3 answers

subscription from France

Hello I was wondering if it were possible to subscribe from France and how much it would cost if it is.

Asked by: QUENOUILLERE  | Saturday 3 April, 6.26pm | 1 answer

who paints boats in 2 pack paint

in common with a lot of boats my recent repaint has failed this winter with water blistering. I conclude that 2 pack paint is the only paint worth putting on the boat. So is there a painter that can srip to bare metal and paint in 2 pack?

Asked by: Ian Evans  | Thursday 1 April, 4.51pm | 1 answer

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