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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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winteriseing narrow boat

we are new to narrowboating and are looking to winterise our boat for the first time what do we need to do

Asked by: Brian Finney  | Thursday 14 October, 11.49am | 1 answer

Installing a gas fridge

Is it best practice to install a gas fridge on a narrowboat. The fridge we currently have is 240v but hasn't got a power supply to it. There is a gas pipe to install a fridge on gas but I have no idea what other safety features may be required.

Asked by: Kate Somerfield  | Monday 11 October, 9.29pm | 2 answers

Is it worth getting an ebook reader?

As I live on a narrowboat and like reading I have been toying with the idea of getting a ebook reader. the options seem to be a Sony, Kindle or iPad. Which one would work best on a boat in terms of power use and lighting? We have 240v electric and a webbook with a dongle. Have other boaters found ebook readers worthwhile or just another gadget to take up space?

Asked by: Mrs Marilyn Biles  | Monday 11 October, 2.04pm | 1 answer

use of galvanic isolators

I have recently acquired a 64 ft Narrow boat which spends time connected to shore power. I have been advised to fit a galvanic isolator to prevent corrosion. Is this necessary ?

Asked by: Robert Doody  | Sunday 10 October, 2.00pm | 2 answers

Locating a boat

I am trying to find my parents old boat registered in 1974 named "Country Retreat" and it was birthed at Fennycompton Marina in the Midlands. I would really like to know if this boat is still around.
Kind regards, Susan De La Haye

Asked by: Susan De La Haye  | Friday 8 October, 3.49pm | 3 answers

Which engine ?

I am having a 58 ft narrowboat built in the spring & have a choice of engine. Are there engine reviews available comparing reliability, maintenance schedules etc ?

Asked by: Steve McPherson  | Sunday 3 October, 12.12pm | 2 answers

winter preperation!

I am just about to take ownership of a 2003 62ft cruiser style narrowboat as a live aboard, what preperations should a be making to the boat and engine to make things easier through the winter? thankyou.

Asked by: Gary Owen  | Sunday 26 September, 12.21pm | 2 answers

Residential or annual moorings

I want to live on a boat and also cruise occasionally. If I can't find a residential mooring will I bo OK to moor on an annual basis. If I do that, do I have to spend a certain time away from the mnooring or could I stay there permanently (for the year that is)

Asked by: Chris Hunt  | Friday 24 September, 12.54am | 4 answers

VAT on Narrowboats

Hello - I am just wondering if anyone has come across zero-rating a newbuild narrowboat as a primary residence?
Any help much appreaciated.
Thank you

Asked by: Amanda Grandison  | Thursday 23 September, 9.29pm | 1 answer

Difference between a houseboat and a narrow boat.

Can anyone describe for me the difference between a houseboat and a narrowboat? Is it just that anything which isn't a narrowboat and can be residential is a houseboat or is it more complicated than that?

Asked by: Corrine Shimmon  | Thursday 23 September, 4.06pm | 1 answer

Auto battery top up

Is there a system that I could install to automatically top up my 5 wet cell batteries. The batteries have to be unconnected and lifted out from their normal position to test them and top them up and then of course reconnect them

Asked by: colin  | Thursday 23 September, 12.00am | 2 answers

Axiom Propellers

Has anyone had one fitted to a narrow boat? If you have what do you think of it and do you think it is worth the extra money they cost?
David Lindsay

Asked by: D A LINDSAY  | Tuesday 21 September, 7.22pm | 2 answers

Single-handed practice

I aim to buy a narrowboat in the next couple of years and will be doing a lot of single-handed cruising. How can I get single-handed cruising practice before I make the big financial commitment? Hire companies seem to want a minimum crew of two.

Asked by: Alan Jones  | Saturday 18 September, 7.47pm | 2 answers

earth bonding on board

I've recently bought a boat, which has a stirling 1800w inverter and a landline/inverter changover switch. Its got a current BSS (May) had it done when I bought the boat. how can I check the mains earth/neutral are bonded to the hull correctly. I've no reason to think there's a problem, but I'd like to satisfy myself. Other than paying for and downloading the BMEA code of practice, which I'm loathe to do at its not cheap! I've not been able to find any accurate description of exactly how the bonding should be done. I'm a fairly competent with electrics generally.

Asked by: Jon A  | Thursday 16 September, 5.25pm | 2 answers


after connecting the shoreline while the inverter was also connected the result is a ruined inverter can anybody advise on a 3 way switch so it does not happen again
thanks Bruce

Asked by: bruce  | Thursday 16 September, 5.07pm | 2 answers

interim engine servicing for a syndicate boat ...

Firstly my apologies for such a long question!! :0$
After many years of being supported and reliant on recommendations of a recently demised boatshare company, we as a syndicate find ourselves having to find out what really IS needed and what in all honestly isnt needed in keeping our boat afloat without many too hitches along the way.
Our boat (which has an 1.8l BMC engine) has a high usage and I guess on average the engine gets 6-7 hours daily usage.
My question is, just how often should we give the engine a 'preventative' mini service?
Previously we have always been told that the engine should have a mini 'turn-around' service each time the boat returns to base, but at about £35+ a time, this seems a little excessive to me!! (my 2.0l diesel car which works at higher revs but probably only 4 hours a days doesnt get as much attention!!)
So in all honestly just how often should we be looking at having this done?
many thanks in advance.

Asked by: 0ldbloke  | Monday 13 September, 1.11pm | 2 answers


is it necessary to remove old anodes when renewing part worn ones

Asked by: bruce  | Friday 10 September, 9.50pm | 2 answers

re steel on hull

iv looked at a barge and been told its had to have the bottom and up to water line re steeled with 6mm steel ive seen all paperwork and it was done profesionally the boat is 26yrs old but in very good condition do i need to be concerned the boat has all reciepts for all work done in the last 7 years thats how long the couple owned it for and they have gone for a bigger boat

Asked by: sgpinder  | Friday 10 September, 8.33pm | 1 answer

want liecense for river/canels were do we get

new narrowboat we need river/canal liecens were do we get it.

Asked by: hedley muff  | Friday 10 September, 7.15pm | 1 answer

Boat purchase

I am looking to purchase a narrowboat and am going to look at one which is almost complete. Dialogue with the builder, Evolution Boats, indicates that we would have the option to make some alterations and bespoke finishes however I am unsure about, if we decided to go ahead with a purchase, what would be reasonable in terms of deposit as a show of good faith and final payments whilst safeguarding my finances.
I have purchased a narrowboat before through a broker, but this was only after a couple 'experiences' with perhaps questionable private vendors. I am aware of (but have no experience in) purchasing a bespoke boat and the basics of a British Marine Federation contract but this does not seem to apply in this situation. Can you please advise how to make a safe purchase.
Many thanks

Asked by: Andy Hunter  | Tuesday 7 September, 9.25pm | 1 answer

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