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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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if i get a mooring for twelve months in say llangolen and then go off on the system for five months can i stop for two weeks along the way any were i want to,

Asked by: andy wakler  | Tuesday 18 May, 9.08am | 2 answers

rudder/tiller bearing

how difficult is it to replace the bearing at the top of the rudder/end of the tiller 'swan neck'. mine looks like a fairly standard ball race which has disintergrated completely. There appears to be a large nut holding the tiller on and then a plate bolted to the hull which should have a bearing in it. I assume if i take off the big nut and remove the plate I can take the bits to a bearing stockist and get a new ball race/bearing and reassemble. I suspect none of these bolts have ever moved since the boat was built (1998) so may need some force, is there risk of damaging the rudder or indeed a risk of the rudder falling off. obviously the boats in the water and I don't want to dry dock it to do this repair. Any advice/tips would be most welcome.

Asked by: Jon A  | Monday 17 May, 4.05pm | 2 answers

Long term hard off water boat storage

I may be working overseas for a few years. Is there anywhere that I can store my 60foot narrow boat off the water for a few years at reasonable cost?

Asked by: Harry Noyes  | Sunday 16 May, 9.25pm | 1 answer

240 V Electrics

Does a 240 volt AC miniature circuit breaker function correctly on 12 volt direct current such as on a narrowboat?

Asked by: Steve Lawrence  | Tuesday 11 May, 7.57pm | 2 answers

BMC 1.8 Engine Mounts

I have a squeak coming from one of my engine mounts as the power is applied. Can anyone tell me how to determine which one? Also can it be changed by removing the engine support bracket or will I have to raise the engine? many thanks

Asked by: Peter Heath  | Saturday 8 May, 9.38pm | 1 answer



Asked by: mintig  | Friday 7 May, 9.01pm | 3 answers

Cooling water level for Isuzu 42hp engine

Please can you advise the correct water level in the header tank for a skin cooled system, with a calorifier. I have recently noticed water loss but not sure if this is because I am overfilling it? On most recent cruise I needed to add 4lt of antifreeze solution after just 1.5 hours! Have yet to check hoses and connections.

Asked by: Dave Fearns  | Friday 7 May, 8.07pm | 2 answers

curtain rods

where can I purchase stainless steel or satin chrome curtain rods and fittings for my narrowboat?
many thanks

Asked by: N.Dewhurst  | Wednesday 5 May, 10.13am | 2 answers

Water Tank overflow / air vent?

I am about to install a new water tank in my narrow boat and I--m unsure about the best approach to arranging the overflow/air vent. Both the original and new tanks are around 100gals.
The tank is under the floor of the forward cockpit and sits flat on the bottom of the boat and is 500mm high, so the top of the tank as about level with the boats water line. The original tank was GRP and although the top was reinforced with external ribs any amount of upward pressure on the top of the tank put unacceptable load on the top of the tank and therefore we were never able to push water up an overflow by any more than a couple of inches. Consequently, we have lived with never filling the tank to the top. The overflow/air vent terminated inside the boat and simply acted as a vent.
The forward well is not self draining; there--s a wooden floor above the tank supported on removable steel floor bearers. Any water that does get into the forward well drains though a pipe running the length of the boat and into the engine well.
The new tank that is on order is polypropylene and I--m told by the makers (Henderson--s Plastics) that the tank will be tested to a pressure of 8ft of water head and that pushing water up an overflow of up to about two feet above the top of the tank should not be a problem. I hope they--re right?
I really need the tank to overflow to the outside of the boat, probably through a skin fitting at least a foot or so above the water line; my concern is how I prevent any possibility of contamination of the fresh water tank by ingress of canal water, and or creepy crawlies?
I--m considering some kind of non-return valve in the overflow pipe and providing a separate air vent, above the overflow, inside the boat.
I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter; do you have a better solution? Do you know of any suitable devices that would fit the requirements?
Many thanks for your time.

Asked by: Peter Bone  | Tuesday 4 May, 8.42pm | 1 answer

Bow Thrusters

As a single handed boat owener to be, bow thrusters seem like a good option, which is best, ellectric or hydraulic? Many thanks.

Asked by: Anthony Burnell  | Sunday 2 May, 8.22am | 2 answers

Narrowboat Insulation.

Thought I would go with Spray Foam insulation for my new boat, but was told that it could trap moisture and Flame Retardant Polystyrene sheeting would be best, 50mm. on hull and 25mm. on cabin walls. Any thoughts on which would be more suitable? And do I need any on cabin roof? Many thanks.

Asked by: Anthony Burnell  | Saturday 1 May, 7.56pm | 3 answers

Boat toilet

I currently have a pump out toilet on my narrowboat.
It required pumping out after four days use with 3 of us on board.i am considering getting a cassette type.I have seen a porta potti with 21ltr waste tank can anyone tell me how these stack up against a pumpout. does the cassette seperate from the toilet when needing emptying as my old caravan model did not have a tank had to carry it to the elsan.

Asked by: edward Connolly  | Friday 30 April, 5.06pm | 2 answers

Matt paint for gunwales to rubbing strakes

It has been suggested to me to use matt black paint for the gunwales down to the rubbing strakes, rather than gloss, to ease touching up of this frequently damaged area. Can you recommend a suitable paint, and are there other considerations?

Asked by: Gordon Lane  | Sunday 25 April, 1.44pm | 1 answer

Steering in reverse

What is the secret to stearing a narrowboat in reverse? I find that before my boat makes any headway (and hence steering) in reverse, the paddle wheel effect tends to take over and pivot the boat across the canal.

Asked by: Clive Neale  | Thursday 22 April, 1.21pm | 5 answers

Split battery charging

We run a charity trip boat which is having trouble driving the second alternator and wish to just run off the primary alternator to charge the engine & domestic batteries. We propose to buy a Sterling PSR122 split charger. Are we likely to run into any problems when we come to fit it?

Asked by: Duncan Paine  | Monday 19 April, 11.28am | 2 answers

Further information on one of your contributors.

In a doctor's surgery I read an article on a Victorean rowing trip from Chester to Kendal in 1899 by a R E Froude'
Is it possible for me to make contact with the author?

Asked by: Mike Spence  | Thursday 15 April, 5.55pm | 1 answer

Moving a narrowboat from Lincoln to Bedford.

A route planner maped it via the Wash is this possible or not advisable?

Asked by: Trevor James Lewinton  | Tuesday 13 April, 11.33pm | 1 answer


Hi there,
I am due to sell my home, and wish to purchase a wide beam as a live aboard subject to finding a suitable residential mooring. My question is, if the boat I buy is brand new would I have to pay VAT, if it was to be my home?

Asked by: Griff  | Monday 12 April, 8.45pm | 4 answers

leisure batteries

what are the best leisure batteries and is there an advanage in having 135 amps over 110 when we seem to run out of power in the late evening

Asked by: D A LINDSAY  | Monday 12 April, 2.32pm | 1 answer

Roof colours - light or dark?

I am planning the paint scheme for a new 58 ft boat and am getting conflicting advice about roof colours. People I respect say a) that the roof must be a light colour to keep the cabin cool on hot days, or b) I mustn--t use a light colour for the roof, because on bright days, the sun will reflect and glare into the steerer--s eyes making the boat extremely unpleasant to use. I see many new boats with light coloured roofs - how does it work out in practice and is there a noticeable cooling effect?

Asked by: Gordon Lane  | Saturday 10 April, 4.58pm | 2 answers

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