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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 company scam

Does the magazine cover stories of boat companies going bust and then starting again under another name only to go bust again, leaving people's lives ruined?

Asked by: costas  | Thursday 4 October, 2.27pm | 4 answers

What's the best way to drain the engine coolant?

I need to change the engine coolant in my Isuzu 42 hp engine as it is of unknown vintage. There is no separate tap or drain point to do this, so I have to remove the hose attachment from the bottom of the skin tank. But the bilge will then be filled with a large amount of toxic liquid, so cannot be just pumped overboard. What are the best ways of extracting and disposing of the old coolant easily and efficiently?

Asked by: Rod Nelson  | Wednesday 3 October, 12.45pm | 1 answer

2-pack on top of bitumen

My narrowboat was blacked only last year, but in the winter I was forced to do some icebreaking and it neatly removed a lot of the bitumen. I wanted to get it done again, and the boatyard is recommending 2-pack epoxy. Your last feature on the subject (October 2017) said 2-pack would last a decade or more - does that apply to icebreaking too?

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Tuesday 4 September, 10.45am | 2 answers

Ironworks Company

Do you know anything about the Ironworks Company, which is named as builder of my 1989 57ft narrowboat? I have searched extensively, but I can find no reference to them, which is a pity as the boat seems to be quite well put together, currently moored at Wenlock Basin in Hackney.
Many thanks in advance
Andrew Drinkwater

Asked by: Robert Cowling   | Tuesday 4 September, 9.53am | 3 answers

Boating and epilepsy

Hi I'm interested in getting a canal boat in a few years. I have epilepsy and I was wondering if I can sail a narrow boat with epilepsy even if I engineered the back of the boat to be safe for me. My seizures can accrue months apart from eachother and are well controlled but I was wondering how I go about been allowed to sail a Narrow boat and with epilepsy if I'm even allowed? I shall look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards Isabel.

Asked by: Robert Cowling   | Wednesday 29 August, 1.22pm | 1 answer

water tank

our water tank has started acting strangely where we cant fill it up! it looks like an air lock - any ideas - we get a mini water spout every 30 seconds or so as we try to fill up.

Asked by: ashley chambers  | Tuesday 28 August, 1.37pm | 3 answers

Gardner engine

My Gardner 4l2 engine has started to race when in neutral, this only happens when engine is hot after say 2 hours of running,anyone know the cause of this, thank you.

Asked by: andy wakler  | Tuesday 14 August, 10.53pm | 1 answer

Electric engine power

Hi, I am thinking about putting an electric engine in to my 39 foot narrowboat and I am trying to find out what kind of power I will need.

Asked by: Fiona  | Thursday 9 August, 8.07am | 1 answer

Oven/grill search

Dear WW,
I'm refitting the kitchen on my 50ft narrowboat, needless to say I have limited space, for ages now I've been searching for a oven/grill (preferably integrated not freestanding) that will fit in the space I have which is 50cm wide and 55cm deep.
Please help, it's driving me to distraction.
Kindest rgds

Asked by: paul mappley  | Wednesday 8 August, 11.23pm | 3 answers

Smoking exhaust from a Barrus Shires.

My 2007 Barrus Shires 45 which has done in the region of 5500 hours, has recently started to emit a smoke particularly an tick over.
Is this normal or do I have a problem that I need to deal with?

Asked by: Mike Halsall  | Wednesday 8 August, 6.06pm | 1 answer


New to this so any advise please would be really appreciated. Has anyone used a prity w12pm wood burner 4+12kw and would it be to big for a 57ft
Many thanks

Asked by: ladyt  | Tuesday 7 August, 9.55pm | 4 answers

Water Pump on its Way Out?

Recently our water pump has started making different noises from usual: possibly a bit more gurgly and sometimes seems to run on sightly more than expected after the tap is closed. Although we have had the boat for 11 years, I have no idea if we have an accumulator. There are two mysterious boxes on the hull-side under each side of the pullman dinnette. Should we be buying a new pump at the earliest opportunity? We've had three pumps whist we've had the boat so at that rate we we might be due another one.

Asked by: Clive Dutson  | Tuesday 7 August, 1.54pm | 3 answers

Engine vibrations

The engine in my narrowboat, a 3 cylinder Thornicroft 60 on oil filled mounts, is fine when on tickover, but as engine speed increases it starts to vibrate until between 800 and 1000 rpm the vibration of the engine is quite violent. Then at 1100 rpm the vibration stops and doesn't reoccur at higher revs. This has occurred over the last year, before which it ran smoothly at all engine speeds . Any suggestions as to a likely cause. The mounts are about 15 years old.

Asked by: Ian Burns  | Tuesday 31 July, 11.17pm | 2 answers

Blacking over vinyl tar

I found out recently that coal tar products are being banned from January 2019 and my narrowboat was blacked with Rylards Vinyl Tar from new last year and I understand that this product is coal tar based. I've also heard that bituminous blacking doesn't adhere to vinyl tar, so I was wondering which blacking I can use when the time comes, and for touching up any scrapes?
Many thanks

Asked by: Raymond Fowler  | Monday 30 July, 5.01am | 1 answer

Looking fior washer dryer

We are having a boat built. Need to decide on washer /dryer with depth available 540. Have you any suggestions as to a washer dryer? To consider amongst other things; can it do a separate wash cycle and separate dry cycle? Noise? Dimensions? Amount of water used? Quick wash cycle?

Asked by: Di Greasley  | Thursday 26 July, 4.17pm | 1 answer

Narrowboat hull

I am looking to purchase a narrowboat in the near future, and would like to know the Pro's and Con's of a 'Deep V hull'. are there any restrictions concerning depth of certain canals, locks etc. Also boat handling. Thank you.
M Haskins

Asked by: marc haskins  | Monday 23 July, 8.27pm | 4 answers


What size fuse from battery to solar battery controller 60amp

Asked by: Mick malton  | Monday 23 July, 6.38pm | 3 answers

Northern ring plaque

Dear Waterways World,
I wonder if you can help me. In your Annual magazine you publish an article that describes all the recognised cruising rings. We are currently doing the 'big northern ring' and really enjoying it. We like to collect the commemorative brass plaques as we complete such challenges and display them on our boat. However, we cannot find a plaque to represent this cruising ring.
As you describe this ring in your magazine I wonder if you can you advise me where to find a plaque or advise who makes them so I can ask them if they have any available?
Yours sincerely
Heather dawes.

Asked by: Robert Cowling   | Monday 23 July, 3.30pm | 1 answer

Dometic fridge

I was told you can re-gas a Dometic fridge - it is a small one that runs off of 12 /24 volt and gas. Can anyone advise me please on the procedure and who in London might undertake the work?

Asked by: Judy Head  | Thursday 5 July, 4.23pm | 1 answer

Changing antifreeze

I have a Beta 43 with keel cooling and calorifier circuit. I want to change the antifreeze and would like to know the best way of doing it. I would like to flush the system through once drained before refilling with fresh antifreeze mix. Do I need to remove the hoses for the skin tank and the calorifier from the engine in order to flush with fresh water or can I flush without doing that? Many thanks

Asked by: Raymond Fowler  | Thursday 5 July, 7.48am | 2 answers

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