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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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dock size

Can I tie down a 26ft long boat to a 20 ft long dock? the dock is at the end of a canal. Thanks,

Asked by: Marisa Feito  | Monday 8 March, 6.55pm | 2 answers

Boat leasing

I would like to rent a 57 foot narrowboat for 6-8 weeks during June and July to see whether I like the lifestyle prior to buying one and cruise continually. Can anyone recommend the best way to do this please and what to look out for?

Asked by: Michael Hammill  | Tuesday 2 March, 6.54pm | 6 answers


I am looking for a suitable VHF radio for cruising the tidal Trent in a 60' narrowboat

Asked by: Rob Henry  | Tuesday 2 March, 6.12pm | 5 answers

Chimney collar seal

Hello After having my stove lit for a few days last month (very cold weather)after about 24hrs a black liquid started to run down the insde of the flue pipe. I can only think this may be tar leaking through the seal between the chimney flue pipe and the collar where the chimnry pot fits.Can anyone advise what should be used for this seal so i could renew it. Or if anyone has similar problems.

Asked by: neil  | Monday 1 March, 11.13pm | 3 answers

disabled boaters dont get reduction on licence

can anyone tell me why disable fishermen get a reduction in there licence but the ea dont give disable boaters a reduction in there licence is it discrimination and how many disabled boaters r there and how would u go about getting the ea to change there policy

Asked by: david gregory  | Monday 1 March, 7.54pm | no answers yet - add one

Marine Battery chareger

Can anyone tell me what size marine battery charger i would need to be able to charge 2x 180amp leisure batteries.Wat amperage output would i need and can anyone recomend one and where to get it.

Asked by: edward Connolly  | Monday 1 March, 3.26pm | 2 answers

Anyone with experience of a JCB engine?

I have just bought an 'empty with everything to do' Westlander dutch barge. I have to buy an engine and am considering a JCB 85hp. It has only been on the market since 2005 so there is not much historical information to find. Or is there recommendations for any other make. I want to buy a new engine. The boat will eventually weigh around 25 tons. Any info would be gratefully recieved. Thanks

Asked by: Becky Webb  | Sunday 28 February, 10.44pm | 3 answers

BBC PBS show, poet barge

A while back Public tv here in yankeeland aired a program of a man also a poet who took a journey by barge and put the journey and his poetry together quite nicely. I would like to find a copy of that show but no one at BBC or PBS or anywhere else admits to knowing what I'm talking about. How about you?
Thanks and warmest regards
Michael Howatt

Asked by: Michael Howatt  | Sunday 28 February, 9.11am | 4 answers

Naming a narrowboat

If I buy a used narrowboat, and don't like it's name how easy is it to change it?

Asked by: Steve  | Friday 26 February, 12.12pm | 3 answers

battery water

could you please explain why my battery water is dark brown to black.I found this when i did a hydrometer test.also thanks for your last info on batteries.

Asked by: mick turner  | Thursday 25 February, 10.57am | 3 answers

What are the problems involved in extending an existing 12v lighting circuit?

The existing centre lights in my 57ft narrow boat are inadequate for reading/food preparation and I would like to fit perhaps up to six spotlights in the galley and main cabin area on the cabin walls.
I was thinking of breaking into the existing wiring system through the centre lights and running wires across the under side of the roof and down the cabin sides using brown plastic mini-trunking (as an alternative to trying to get under the roof and cabin wall linings).
Do you have any advice as to whether this is practical (and safe) and how best the spur system should be wired into the existing circuit?
It occurs to me that many people probably want to add additional lights and this might be a good topic for an article in WW.

Asked by: John Burt  | Sunday 21 February, 1.26pm | 3 answers

how good are axiom propellers

thinkinking of purchasing a axiom prop for my 58ft narrow boat

Asked by: michael deacon  | Sunday 21 February, 12.47pm | 1 answer

engine wont start

Went to start our boat today 1st time in 2 weeks and the engine turns over but wont fire Never had a problem before, seems plenty of life in Battery as tied for about 1 min 3times
checked fuel its ok
engine is a 2 cyl thornycroft (mitubshi) 1991
Any ideas what to try next

Asked by: Jim Bratt  | Saturday 20 February, 8.16pm | 4 answers

Identification of boat builder

Last year a friend saw a narrow boat on the Shroppie, I think it was called Thursdays Child. The boat featured tiller steering and internal wheel steering. Does anyone know who built this boat please.

Asked by: Tom Brady  | Saturday 20 February, 12.17pm | 7 answers

battery banks

I read so many ideas about battery banks and also told 5 110amp leisure is the maximum what is this the reason for this

Asked by: mick turner  | Thursday 18 February, 4.36pm | 3 answers

Problems with old engine/gearbox

We are very fortunate in that friends lend us their dutch barge, built 1925, which is based in France. The problem is that occasionally when putting the long gear lever into the neutral position there is a short delay before the change takes place in the gearbox. This can be awkward when manoevering into locks. The engine is a Kromhout 52 hp 3TS117 diesel fitted in 1960.
David Bowker

Asked by: David Bowker  | Monday 15 February, 2.23pm | 4 answers

Using Generator as electric hook up problem.

I have purchased a Generator (Clarke FG3000/2.8kva), to use via my elctric hook up socket. On the boat i have a sterling iverter/charger(1600watts) which the hook up passes through and the inverter automatically recognises if it's the engine charging the batteries or whether it's on the hook up.
My problem is that when i connect the gen to the inverter it switches to "shoreline power and fast charge" for about 10-20 seconds and then switches off to drawing power straight from the batteries and then back to "shoreline power" and so forth, when it switches to "shoreline" you can hear the gen go under load and then off, in time with the inverter. Do i need to buy a special generator for use with the inverter ?
The generator does run 230volt appliances if plugged directly into it and powers them fine, it only plays up when i try to use it as my shoreline power.
I don't like to run my engine every day to charge my batteries and use the inverter for my 230 volt equipment, which is why i have bought the generator. Thanks for taking the time to read this and all advice is gratefully received. Lee.

Asked by: Lee Farrell  | Sunday 14 February, 7.25pm | 3 answers


Can anyone help me decide the best way forward with invertors. I was looking at a victron invertor 12/3000/120-16 at around £2k, however someone mentioned in passing that getting small invertors which would connect to each plug socket would be 1) less draining on the battery power as these large victron actually use lots of power, and 2) would work out a lot cheaper as you can pick the small invertors up for around £20 each.
I have got quite confused about it all and would be grateful for any advice or ideas.

Asked by: pippa wood  | Saturday 13 February, 3.32pm | 2 answers

Instant water heaters

I'm looking at buying a boat which only has a calorifier which is no good as there are days when work means I won't be able to run the engine. I was told that as the boat was built in 2005 I can't fit an instant water heater but I can't find any info in the boat safety guidelines indicating that this is true. Can anyone confirm or deny? Thanks

Asked by: Jenni McCalman  | Saturday 13 February, 2.11pm | 5 answers

Maximum dimensions on The Broads

I have enjoyed boating on The Broads and the recent article in WW but have been unable to discover the maximum recommended dimensions for the smaller cuts. E.g. both Catfield Dyke and Waxham new cut have signs warning that they are only suitable for smaller boats but was size is a smaller boat?

Asked by: Simon Barber  | Friday 12 February, 6.43pm | 1 answer

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