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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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I am currently planning my life on a narrowboat. I would like to move around alot but it will have to be local to my place of work in Birmingham. I know marinas are an option but it would not suit my personality. Could I move around and stay in different places for a couple of weeks at a time?

Asked by: Lee Kruba  | Wednesday 16 June, 5.37pm | 1 answer


if i had a continuous cruzing licence can i still pay for private mooring for say 3 months or do i have to keep moving thanks

Asked by: andy wakler  | Monday 14 June, 10.17pm | 1 answer

Battery charger & inverter

I have a max 6 amp supply on landline in marina. Can I run a battery charger permanently on my 5 x 110 amp/hr batteries and have a 2Kw inverter permanently connected? This would allow me to occaisionally draw more than the 6 amps allowed on the land line. I normally have lights, bilge and water pumps and radio on 12 volts, and fridge (absorbtion), tv (15" flat screen), microwave, lap top and various rechargeables (mobile, torch etc.)on mains. Do I need to do anything about earthing the mains side, and will there be increased decay of the sacrificial anodes.
thanks in anticipation
Robsuch drank

Asked by: Rob Francis  | Monday 14 June, 2.39pm | 2 answers

Canal Maps

Is there a source for electronic canal maps online?

Asked by: Mervyn Charlton  | Saturday 12 June, 5.35pm | 4 answers

Medical Support

We are (my wife a I) about to start planning our life on a narrow boat. Selling our home etc. and buying an appartment and then a boat. Can anybody advise on medical cover, attending GP surgery for monthly prescripions etc. or for more general medical issues. We intend to live aboard and travel for most of the year.

Asked by: Mike Davies  | Friday 11 June, 11.58am | 1 answer


Hi, as a newby to boating, I know of pumpout and cassette toilets, but composting? I have found out that the waste is heat dried and shaken into a powder and you have to empty the tray 3-4 times a year. Downside is cost, £2000-£3000, upside is savings on pumpouts and emptying of cassettes and as an exteral flue is included, little or no smell, so why is this not the toilet of choice? Or am I missing something? Your comments would be welcome. Many thanks, Tony.

Asked by: Anthony Burnell  | Wednesday 9 June, 10.14am | 3 answers

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

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