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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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What paint is best to use to black bottom of narrowboat?

We are on river chelmer and our only access to under the waterline on the narrowboat is by craning the boat out. We want to paint the bottom and wish to use something that would last as long as possible to avoid regularly craning the boat out. What paint/medium do you suggest?

Asked by: Janette Allen  | Tuesday 8 June, 11.24am | 4 answers

The 1908 boat 'LAPWING'

I have heard the name 'LAPWING' being used by a canal boat company - The Floating boater. I have visited this narrow boat in Little Venice, London. This boat was built circa 1912/13.
My father was born on a boat named LAPWING in yiewsley in 1908. Would you be able to help me find any details of this earlier boat please?

Asked by: Anthony Mason  | Friday 4 June, 7.48am | 3 answers

Petrol generator storage

Is it safe to store a petrol generator inside the boat?
The petrol is kept outside the boat and I am aware of the safety issues with filling up
the generator and using it.

Asked by: matty  | Thursday 3 June, 11.11pm | 1 answer

can you rent barges for a few months?

can you ret bages to live on for a few months. I am thinking about buying one but want to try it first. Around the tring, marsworth, cheddington area is where i am looking.

Asked by: steven ham  | Thursday 3 June, 6.12pm | 1 answer


hi! i know this might sound stupid, but is 57 my age, 60 my wifes age she wont mind me telling you,to old to start living on the cut or have we left it to long, toni

Asked by: toni  | Tuesday 1 June, 9.57pm | 8 answers

Water Filter problem

I wonder if you or any readers can help with a problem we have.
Having purchased a unlined sale-away, and been fitting it out our selves at weekends and any spare time over the past three years the water filtration system was purchased from the Crick Show in 2008, a '3M--s 'WV-B3' whole system water filter--, we liked the idea of filtering all the water, rather than just the single tap, and used the summer of 2009 and is now due to have its filter cartridge replaced, we now find that the company that sold the system are no longer trading.
At the time we didn--t think we would have any problems with obtaining replacement filter cartridges being a well known company, in fact 3M have a distribution centre two minuets from where we live, haw wrong could we be.
This system seems to be designed for the American 'Recreational Vehicle and Marine-- market, and not available from any 3M stockist that we have been able to contact in the UK.
Can you or any reader give us any information on a supplier in this country, they are available mail order from the USA.

Asked by: Don Titchmarsh  | Tuesday 1 June, 11.47am | 1 answer

I am interested in legislation adn taxes that you have to pay in UK for your boats

Recently Serbian government has put in power new regulations in the area of nautical and boating.
Just for an example, by the law it is forbidden to fish from your own boat (I am speaking about recreational fishing not proffesional).
Or, another example, if you have a small cabin motor boat LOA=5 m (16 ft) we have to pay the tax which is dependant on the power of ones outboard.
7.35-22.05 HP means that you have to pay 150 EUR.
Or if your outboard is between 73.6 and 96.6 HP tha tax is 990 EUR. For outboards over 220 HP the tax is 2,100 EUR.
Having in mind an average income which is monthly app. 330 EUR (net) this is a lot.
This is why I am really currious to find out how these things are regulated in the UK.
Your feed back will be highly appreciated.

Asked by: Lazar Stanojević  | Wednesday 26 May, 5.23pm | 5 answers


WW has just carried an item about the sinking of a boat with a low "freeboard". We bought a 1993 built, 62', 6 berth Braunston semi trad steel 10/6/5 boat last year. In the cabin there is a notce about the maximum number of people on board but the number has faded away. I guess the freeboard is like the "plimsoll line", designed to stop overloading. Is there a rule of thumb for a 6 berth (apart from it being cramped with 6 people on board), so I can safely work out what the maximum people loading should be?
Many thanks

Asked by: Chris Marriott  | Tuesday 25 May, 9.47pm | 2 answers

What do I need to use a laptop on a narrowboat?

Could anyone advise to me in laymans terms what is needed to use a laptop and have internet access on a narrowboat? Also is there a piece of kit that can be used to charge laptops via 12V on the move other than by using 240V through an inverter? I'm concerned that broadband might be so easily accessible inside the boat so need help on advising everything I might need to get the best signal/access to the internet. Thank you for your help.

Asked by: Marilyn Bishop  | Monday 24 May, 3.30pm | 2 answers

Split water tank

We have discovered a serious split in our plastic fresh water tank. In fact the top surface of the tank has actually burst off from the sides of the tank - perhaps due to the water tank freezing up in winter?. Questions please. (a) Is this something that might be repairable (welded / adhesive); (b) how complex is it to fit a new rigid plastic tank in view of space restrictions; (c) what are the benefits or detrements of a flexible tank?
Our boat is a share boat, and I have not actually observed the split, nor can really accurately comment on the space limitations under the fore deck.
I welcome any suggestions

Asked by: Richard Chappell  | Sunday 23 May, 3.47pm | 1 answer

Is there a Mersey Crossing chart?

We are taking our narrowboat across the Mersey from the MSC to Liverpool and cannot find a chart with the relevant bit of the river. Can you help?

Asked by: Monica Darlington  | Saturday 22 May, 11.50am | 3 answers

Need to renew boat lighting.

Neew to renew our boat lighting. We need very shallow fitting for the ceiling as low height in old boat. Don't know whether to use LED or halogen. Fitting out kitchen first. Can we see with new LED's say 6 in 8ft kitchen. Only ones found so far are single LEDS £19.95 each. Very cheap and nasty, round chrome and we feel very overpriced, from Rainbow Conversions at March.

Asked by: Philip Board  | Saturday 22 May, 7.49am | 1 answer


hi what type of licence do i need for a narrowboat which will be moored up in the winter months but out and about in the sumner months, thanks

Asked by: andy wakler  | Friday 21 May, 11.45am | 2 answers

How do I connect a shoreline?

In what order should I connec t a shoreline

Asked by: J M Lindsay  | Thursday 20 May, 8.41pm | 2 answers


We're shortly travelling up the north Stratford, then on the Worc & Birmingham and BCN to Wolverhampton/Autherley Junction. Then we'll go right on the Staffs and Worcs to Great Haywood junction. We'll need to stop at least once overnight in the Birmingham area,including the BCN old line. Any suggestions? MIKE

Asked by: MIKE WEBB  | Thursday 20 May, 7.06pm | 4 answers

boat sizes

what is the max lenth of narrowboat i can have to do the north and south waters, to fit all locks thanks

Asked by: andy wakler  | Wednesday 19 May, 12.06pm | 2 answers

What happened to budget boats?

Returning to boating after an absence of ten years I'm dismayed to see how few short boats there are (up to 42 ft) and how few with cruiser sterns. There seems to have been a massive move 'up market'. Has this squeezed out the week-end boater and the boater on a budget? Is there anyone producing basic boats along the lines of my old Liverpool Boats 32 footer with Triton fitout or are those days long past?

Asked by: Graham Pierce  | Tuesday 18 May, 8.01pm | 1 answer

calorifier connection points

how do you connect a calorifier to a 1.5 bmc engine

Asked by: mintig  | Tuesday 18 May, 7.51pm | 1 answer

Walkie talkies with head-sets?

My partner is new to boating but very keen to learn. With me on the boat and a novice on the bank (Or vice versa) we need a good way of communicating. I was wondering about walkie-talkies with head-sets. I wondered if anyone had any experience of these and could suggest a particular model?

Asked by: Graham Pierce  | Tuesday 18 May, 7.48pm | 2 answers

Marine Electrician

I am looking for a good marine Electrician on the Grand Union, in the Bugbrooke area, suggestions please

Asked by: SP Gammond  | Tuesday 18 May, 10.21am | no answers yet - add one

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