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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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model narrowboats

Hi,Have you ever done an artical on model narrowboats. I have made a GRP 9ft 1/8 scale R/C semi-trad narrowboat,which is now registered with british waterways.could be a first.Made for doing boat rallies and shows,plus a love of narrowboats.

Asked by: jonathan Brown  | Wednesday 11 August, 8.00pm | 1 answer

What is the best engine

We bought a 1988 Colecraft Narrow Boat last year with a Lister Petter TS3 engine. Spent £2,500.00 having the engine re-built this spring. It failed in 10hours. What engine would you recommend for this boat? It is 55 foot Cruiser Stern and a lovely boat.

Asked by: Richard Harrison  | Wednesday 11 August, 7.09pm | 4 answers

Buying a computer to use on our narrowboat

When we retire (12/18 months) we hope to spend a few weeks at a time crusing on our narrow boat on the UK waterways. We don't have a computer at home but want to keep in touch with family and friends while away. Can you suggest/recommend a computer (presumably a laptop) which we can use away from our marina and also at home in between cruises. What facilities/equipment would we need in order to run it for say a couple of hours when moored up using the internet? We have an electrical hook up at the marina. Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks.

Asked by: Maree Jenkins  | Wednesday 11 August, 2.28pm | 2 answers

Generator Soundproofing and Running a Freezer When Away

I suppose this is a supplementary to my previous question... How difficult is it to soundproof a generator - by which I mean soundproofing it from those inside the boat and those in neighbouring boats. Does a generator produce a vibration in the boat itself? If so, how effective are, say, rubber mountings? Is it possible to sound and vibration proof a generator at a reasonable (by which I mean not excessive) cost? How would one do it? The freezer question is 'How much energy would I need to run a fridge freezer while I was away from the boat - i.e. from batteries via an inverter'. I would run the fridge freezer via a separate circuit from any other appliances or electrical load. The fridge freezer would be 230v model with a rated load of 136W and a yearly consumption of 277kWh. If I had a set up of 5 x 110Ah batteries, how long before running flat could these be expected to last with just this load? I would anticipate having a separate battery to start the engine.

Asked by: John Blanning  | Wednesday 11 August, 11.23am | 2 answers

Underfloor Heating and Galley Appliances

I'm intending to order a new narrowboat with the intention of doing some of the fitting out myself. Leaving aside the method of heating the water, is there any reason why it would not be possible to install underfloor central heating in a narrowboat? Also, when installing electrical appliances in the galley, is there any reason why one could not install normal electric domestic appliances, e.g. by Bosch or Miele (I'm thinking dishwasher, oven, hob, possibly washing machine) if one had a reasonable generator installed?

Asked by: John Blanning  | Tuesday 10 August, 11.32pm | 2 answers

Correcting a light list to port!

Our 62'semi trad has always has a slight list to port, made slightly worse by a kitchen refit recently which included granite woktops having a longer run on the port side. Under the cratch floor area there are balance weights welded onto the floor on the starboard side, with space for more. I want to correct the imbalance so the thought occurred to me that it would be easy to put say, sand bags in the area. Is this a sensible solution especially as the BSS inspection is due in 6 months, I don't know if this acceptable? Alternatively should I find a boat yard able to weld some extra weights in to position.

Asked by: Chris Marriott  | Tuesday 10 August, 8.26pm | 1 answer

BDSBC20A-GB battery charger

Your recent article "battery chargers on test" quoted a price for the Black and Decker 20A charger as £56. I cannot find it for less than £120 please can you tell me where to purchase at your quoted price?

Asked by: C J Parker  | Tuesday 10 August, 11.41am | no answers yet - add one


I have recently bought a Creighton 26' GRP Cruiser. I know that she was not stored out of the water last year and suspect the same of the year before. Currently based on the Leeds, Liverpool near Ormskirk, does anyone know where i can store her out of the water this year to dry out and antifoul her ready for next year.

Asked by: John Woolham  | Monday 9 August, 8.57pm | no answers yet - add one

Hybrid propulsion

Hello -we are having a boat built early next year and are considering a hybrid system ( Hybrid Marine)
Other than the info from the makers we don't have any other information or advice. Can we ask for your thoughts/Advice on whether this is worth the additional expense -which we understand is in the region of 5K.
We do understand the evnironmental considerations but not the economical ones.
Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
Steve Edis

Asked by: SALLY EDIS  | Tuesday 3 August, 9.37pm | 1 answer

buying a boat

im 44 years old and im looking to buy a narrowboat,my house which i own is on the market 4sale.. My question is ..Are all narrowboat salesmen a**holes? Its only that ive bin to several this weekend and only one was ok,but even he knew nowt about the boat he was trying to sell to me..

Asked by: Mark  | Friday 30 July, 10.47pm | 3 answers

boat purchase

Can anyone tell me please what is the best method of, when buying a narrowboat privately, checking to find out if there are monies owed or if the owner has bought it with a marine mortgage?
Many Thanks in anticipation

Asked by: keith poulton  | Monday 26 July, 12.00pm | 1 answer

First time Boat Owner...

I've just bought my first boat. She's a Creighton 26, mid cockpit GRP cruiser with an inboard Beta deisel engine. Does anyone know of where i can get advice from about maintenance and general advice about good practise in this area. Are there any Creighton or Cruiser Clubs we could join. We're based on the Leeds, Liverpool Canal near Ormskirk. Can anyone please help...

Asked by: John Woolham  | Sunday 25 July, 4.43pm | no answers yet - add one

rudder cavitation

I have been told that if i fit a cavitation plate on the rudder of my 40 ft narrowboat I will use less fuel as the thrust from the prop will push out more under water. not loosing some of the thrust pushing water above the water level off the stern?.I have seen this fitted to a number of boat rudders. Any thoughts please. thank you. Regards Arthur

Asked by: Arthur  | Friday 23 July, 10.23am | 2 answers

hydraulic steering problem

I have a Dutch Barge narrowboat with hydraulic steering. trouble is, it takes 2.5 turns of the wheel to move the rudder from centre to left or right. Is there a way to sort this so that it moves in real time? e.g as you would move the tiller (1:1)

Asked by: Lee  | Tuesday 20 July, 11.02pm | 3 answers


Further to my plans to return to the UK from NZ and live on the Cut.
The question is - if one buys a "Sailaway" - is it possible to get a licence and long term mooring from BW whilst doing a self fitout actually on the water or does one have to do sufficient work towards a BSC on the bank first?.
For someone that would be returning to the UK with no existing accommodation it would be helpful if you could literally order a hull and return straight to pick it up and literally "sailaway" .

Asked by: PAUL BROWNETT  | Monday 19 July, 6.28pm | 3 answers

25mm Bottom Plates

I am researching travelling to the UK in a few months time and ordering a wide beamed boat. In looking at design specs it would seem that it would be best (to get away from excessive ballast and to keep height in the boat) to get a 25mm base plate as part of the structure i.e. 25.6.5 instead of the more usual 10.6.5. My question is - is this feasible or normal and what does it do to the price of the plates against the cost of ballast?.

Asked by: PAUL BROWNETT  | Thursday 15 July, 6.15am | 1 answer

problems with international intertuff

has anyone had any problems with international intertuff blacking blistering

Asked by: jake martin  | Monday 12 July, 12.03pm | 1 answer

floor ins.

in referb.to our narrow boat is it best to put ins. under the floor or not,if it is what would you recamend?

Asked by: ian the boat  | Sunday 11 July, 5.42pm | 1 answer

Throttle problem on new narrowboat

A friend has purchased a new narrowboat. The throttle lever is in neutral, the end pulls out and allows boat to go forward. When reversing the throttle lever goes back to neutral and then has to pull arm out again to into reverse. This lever is very stiff and sometimes needs two hands to operate it and thus takes her eyes of where she is going. Also, there is no facility when in neutral to rev the engine for charging batteries when moored. There is only a minute charge showing when the engine is idling. Is this normal for a new boat to have no facility for revving the engine?

Asked by: john potter  | Saturday 10 July, 5.27pm | 3 answers

Semi-traction or Leisure batteries?

Have 4 110ahr domestic batteries wired up to give 24v, charged via Adverc. Get fairly heavy use throughout year (around 90 days on boat, but not live-aboard.
Have always used semi-traction batteries, and have had 5 years use from this lot, but now need replacing.
Would Leisure batteries be a better bet? Certainly cheaper than semi-traction, but almost certain to not last as long. Any experience/views gratefully received.
Has this been covered in a WW article in the past, if so, when?

Asked by: Dave Martin  | Thursday 8 July, 3.12pm | 1 answer

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