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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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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

Cleaning of hulls?

Hello, We are moving from sailing on the sea onto the canals. Every year we clean off, scrub and anti-foul the hull. This makes a big difference to the speed, commonly going from 5.5 to 6.5 knots at the same engine revs. We notice that, on the canal, many hulls are weedy and rough and never cleaned. The speeds on the canal are between two and four knots so the drag must be quite high with a surface area of about 715 sq ft on a full size boat. I know that many are now having smoother epoxy on the bottom but still no-one seems to scrub off.
Do narrowboaters notice a big difference after blacking? If so, why do they not spend an hour or two scrubbing the fouling off?
Baffled, Andrew and Val.

Asked by: Andrew Durrant  | Tuesday 6 July, 10.09am | 3 answers

Boat security

I am considering putting a GPS tracker on my boat. Obviously it needs to be hidden away. Do these devices work on steel narrow boats without them having to be placed near a window where they would be obvious to a thief?

Asked by: Chris Sims  | Monday 5 July, 9.38pm | 1 answer

what is the difference between trad and semi boats

Please excuse my ignorance but what is the difference between a trad and semi trad narrow boat is it the age or style? As a complete novice to the narrowboating world I find it all a bit confusing.

Asked by: angie bates  | Saturday 3 July, 5.47pm | 1 answer


Hi. Have seen a narrowboat with a 3kw. pure sinewave inverter. Was told this would be sufficient to run a washer/dryer, is this true, or would I need a generator, and whats a travel pack? Many thanks.

Asked by: Anthony Burnell  | Wednesday 30 June, 5.53am | 2 answers

Rotary washing line for narrow boat

Hi, we have bought a umbrella holder to clamp onto the tiller and would like to be able to put a rotary clothes driver into the clamp. All the rotary lines we have found are quite large (turning circle of 1.97m is the smallest) does anyone have any ideas where we can get a mini rotary? thanks

Asked by: Linda McLaughlin  | Sunday 27 June, 8.08pm | 3 answers

Replating bottom of narrowboat

I own a 1983 Mike Heywood 38ft narrowboat which has just been surveyed. Some deterioration and pitting was found in the steel bottom plate(originally 6mm) and the surveyor said it should be replated within about 12 nmonths. I keep the boat at a Boat Club near Warwick (no suitable facilities for this work) and would be grateful if anyone can suggest/recommend boat engineers in this area to carry out the work at a reasonable standard and price?

Asked by: Angela Richards  | Tuesday 22 June, 2.12pm | no answers yet - add one

Central Heating question

Hypothetical question: If there is a gas boiler connected to finrads throughout the boat (and a calorifier) and a solid fuel stove, could the stove be replaced with one that includes a back boiler and just connect it in series (or parallel?) to the existing central heating system at the closest point?

Asked by: David Pinney  | Tuesday 22 June, 1.56pm | 2 answers

Solid Fuel Cooker

Going to see a narrowboat with a Rayburn cooker, having only used gas before was wondering how easy and practical they are to use, and how legal is it to just chop down branches on the side of the cut for wood, and would fresh branches burn? or do you have to let them dry? Many thanks.

Asked by: Anthony Burnell  | Monday 21 June, 10.38am | 2 answers

Varnish woodwork in new fit out

Just fitting out a narrowboat with tongue and groove oak and oak faced ply. Should I seal the back of the oak before I put it up? What varnish would you recommend? Many thanks, Peter Thompson

Asked by: mrpthompson  | Saturday 19 June, 5.45pm | 2 answers

GP surgery

My wife and I are from New Zealand and we intend to spend 2 years on your canals cotinuous cruising.My wife has a UK pasport and I am a Kiwi.Our problem is a GP surgery and prescripions,can you help? Geoff NZ

Asked by: Geoff Griffin  | Friday 18 June, 11.40pm | 2 answers

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