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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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Sailing times

Could any one tell me the official and the accepted time you can start to use your narrowboat in the morning and the last time in the evening

Asked by: Stephen Saunders  | Monday 8 June, 7.00am | 1 answer

Best boat specification

I want to build a new boat and wondered what readers considered to be the best makes of hull, engine, accessories etc?
Has WW ever done a best buy list?

Asked by: Michael Hammill  | Sunday 7 June, 4.59pm | 3 answers

Gearbox problem

I have a Beta 38 with PRM 120 gearbox.
When starting from cold the the movement into gear is smooth. After cruising for a while and going into neutral eg at a lock, the subsequent change back into gear results in a hard snatch. This happens more noticeably when changing to forward gear,to a lesser extent in reverse. The problem then remains until the engine is switched off and cools down again.
Could the engine speed on tickover be too fast when warm, but ok when cold? or could this be an oil problem eg overheating?

Asked by: Melvyn Haigh  | Tuesday 2 June, 3.27pm | 1 answer


i have always fancied being on the canal. now i have the space in my life to do so. but cannot afford to buy a boat. does anyone know of anyplace or person that i might rent a boat long term,,,same as i rent my flat shoreside ?

Asked by: keith mattison  | Monday 1 June, 6.07pm | 3 answers

useable canals

Are there any canal systems that will not allow narrow boats over 57-60'. I was thinking of the locks.

Asked by: DenisAlcock  | Monday 25 May, 7.15pm | 1 answer

what type of fridge

I have just purchased a sailaway and wander if i should purchase a 12 volt fridge or spend the extra money on a bigger and better inverter and a cheap 240 volt fridge any body any ideas

Asked by: richard williams  | Sunday 24 May, 5.49pm | 1 answer

significance of hydraulic drive?

i am looking to buy my first narrowboat. please can you explain how a hydraulic drive differs from the standard gear box set up?

Asked by: kala  | Thursday 21 May, 11.44pm | 1 answer

lobadini focs engine number ldw 1204

i have a lombadini focs engine in my narrowboat engine number ldw1204.can you help me with information on where i can get a workshop manuel

Asked by: mark walker  | Wednesday 20 May, 9.05am | 1 answer

electric earth ?

I have just brought my first narrowboat and have noticed there is no earth connection between the 240v consumer unit and the hull. Should the hull be earthed when using a shore connection or is the earth though the 240v shore line.

Asked by: Barry  | Monday 18 May, 9.49pm | 1 answer

Battery charging

I have one altenator on my engine, how many batteries could I safely charge using just the one altenator

Asked by: DenisAlcock  | Sunday 17 May, 6.33pm | 4 answers

small boat locks

I'd still like pointers to any small scale/small craft lock systems for punts/dinghies/skiffs anywhere in Europe. Water level difference 3.5-4m. I believe there is a slipway for punts in Cambridge. Names? Locations?

Asked by: jefferson chapple  | Sunday 17 May, 9.23am | 1 answer

pub at Braunston

is the Admiral Nelson at beside the Braunston Flight going to open again. we are going to the rally and festival in June and would like to walk to this pub if open

Asked by: carole dillon  | Tuesday 12 May, 3.56pm | 1 answer

central heating

Hi Folks My boat has a diesel stove with three radiators. I would like to replace the 230v pump with a 12volt pump so as to reduce the demand through the inverter. I wonder if this is possible and has anyone experience of which pump would be suitable.

Asked by: D. B. Sandal  | Friday 8 May, 9.39pm | 2 answers


Hi Folks, I would like to purchase an adjustable for length gangplank. I wondered if anyone knows of a manufacturer. preferably an alloy one for lightness Thanks

Asked by: D. B. Sandal  | Friday 8 May, 3.36pm | no answers yet - add one

Flue for gas water heater

We've owned a narrowboat in the family for several years now and its passed it's BSS with only minor problems however there is a new examiner on the scene and he has just failed a neighbouring boat because the flue for the gas water heater is not tall enough. I have been told that he will fail mine also when it is due this year even though the regulations have not changed. My neighbour has to have a larger hole cut in his roof for the flue to fit, apparently this will cost a few hundred pounds to do. Can anyone give me any advise re this problem, I have just had my boat painted and don't want to start cutting and welding the roof.

Asked by: David Grice  | Sunday 3 May, 3.19pm | no answers yet - add one


Do I need a anchor? I am coming down the avon fron Stratford in May.

Asked by: CHRIS ANDERS  | Saturday 2 May, 9.37am | 5 answers

honda outboard

hi, my friends honda 9.9hp outboard wont slow run, it runs fine further up the rev range but wont tick over ?

Asked by: jake martin  | Tuesday 28 April, 6.53pm | 1 answer

Moorings in the East Midlands

Having taken the plunge and bought a Narrowboat, we realise we know very little about the nitty gritty of getting a mooring. We've found the BW auction site. How else does one search for a mooring around the Braunston Buckby area?

Asked by: Peter Skinner  | Thursday 23 April, 3.43pm | 2 answers

artical on using ropes for winding

I understand that your magazine has done an article on how to use ropes to manouvre your narrowboat have had a fruitless on your back issue search engine.Could you help, thankyou

Asked by: lyn hanby  | Wednesday 22 April, 6.12pm | 1 answer

Lightweight Boarding planks/ladders

Last year I believe you showed an aluminium ladder fitted with solid sheet on one side of the rungs and which could be used to rescue overboards. Any ideas where to find?

Asked by: ANDREW HILL  | Monday 20 April, 8.32pm | 2 answers

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