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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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Solar panels

I have a 57ft narrowboat which has four leisure(135) and one starter battery. I would like to fit solar panels to save running the engines. Any suggestions to number and size of panel would be appreciated.

Asked by: Peri Purnell  | Friday 3 October, 8.59am | 1 answer

Why does my battery use water?

I have 4 leisure batteries one of which runs dry in three of the six cells. Why is this?

Asked by: Peri Purnell  | Friday 3 October, 8.53am | 1 answer

WW October issue

Page 51 makes reference to a "licence checker" within the "Licence it or lose it" section of BW's web site. I can't find the facility - where is it? Have BW lost their nerve?

Asked by: Roger Michael  | Tuesday 30 September, 6.35pm | 2 answers

getting from river Dewent to Bristol channel

Im planning a trip from the river Dewent, going down the Nottingham canal to Leicester then under Birmingham to the Bristol channel. First of all, is this possible. And is there anyway that I can measure the distnce? Thank you.

Asked by: Paul Bassett  | Tuesday 30 September, 10.32am | 3 answers

Where can I buy this saucepan/oven?

A few years ago I purchased a pair of saucepans that could be used either as 2 pans or by turning one upside down on the other it bacame an oven you could use on top of the hob. I have done many fantastic roasts, stews, even bread and cakes in it. I now want to buy another one but can't find them anywhere. I purchased it at an inland waterways boatshow where they were demonstrating them. Any help with tracking down the supplier would be much appreciated.

Asked by: Jane Fisher  | Tuesday 23 September, 4.50pm | 1 answer

Lap Top Power Supply

My laptop battery does not last long enough for me and I don't want the noise of the engine running while I work. Any suggestions of how I can get power to it without draining my domestic battery. Am I correct in thinking that laptops are power hungry?

Asked by: Jane Fisher  | Sunday 21 September, 6.36am | 2 answers


Have you ever published articals on Charles Ballinger canal carrier Gloucester (died 1962).He was my uncle and gardian and I did start to write a book about him.

Asked by: JOHN LEE  | Wednesday 17 September, 11.29am | no answers yet - add one

Powering a computer on board

Hi guys,

I'm looking for a power lead to run my laptop on board a narrowboat. Surely all I need is a power lead with a three (round) pin plug on one end and a (correctly sized) jack on the other? But can I find anything? Plenty of in-car chargers, but they're designed for 'cigarette lighter' sockets and seem to have extra gubbins in between...

Any suggestions?

Cheers, Paul

Asked by: Paul Evans  | Tuesday 16 September, 7.07pm | 1 answer

Getting through Calder & Hebble

Living in Leeds, the Calder & Hebble is an important link for us. We are looking to buy our first narrowboat and I would love to hear from anyone who has actually taken a boat of more than 57' up the Calder & Hebble.

Asked by: Colin Wilks  | Monday 15 September, 9.15am | 1 answer

Ceramic tile adhesive

I am about to tile the bathroom in my narrowboat. What type of adhesive would you recommend for ceramic tiles on to unvarnished pylwood?

Asked by: Peter Heath  | Friday 12 September, 3.25pm | 1 answer

living on a canal boat

can anybody tell me if you live on a canal boat who do you pay and how much does it cost annually im new to this and thinking of selling my house and buying one...thanks....

Asked by: thomas roberts  | Friday 12 September, 10.14am | 1 answer

What anti-freeze to use in boat heating system

What anti-freeze should I use in my boats heating system? I have an Eberspacher heating radiators and a calorifier.

Asked by: Dave Cleaver  | Thursday 11 September, 5.01pm | 2 answers

Info on BWB hire fleet from Nantwich

Does anyone remember the hire fleet that BWB had at Nantwich. One boat was a "staff" boat which I hired in about 1972 - it cost £20 for the week including gas and diesel. I can't recall the boat name, can anyone help please? Thanks.

Asked by: Dave Cleaver  | Thursday 11 September, 4.59pm | no answers yet - add one

can you cruise French waterways during the winter

If you live aboard a dutch barge and want to explore all the european waterways can you continue your journey all year round or are you obliged to find moorings during the winter months?

Asked by: gizzey  | Tuesday 9 September, 1.35pm | 1 answer

wiring question

Can I run 240v,12v and audio cables in the same conduit.

Asked by: colin benford  | Wednesday 3 September, 3.52pm | 1 answer


i am having a lot of problems with spiders thinking my boat belongs to them can you recomend something to get rid of them please

Asked by: ray casey  | Monday 25 August, 4.24pm | 4 answers


just acquired 1st narrow boat and have limited budget as just retired and don't do technical! Please advise type/make and availability good all round aerial for 15" lcd tv. with built in 'freeview' Thanks Brian Todd

Asked by: Brian & Lynn Todd  | Sunday 24 August, 9.29am | 4 answers

Ropes and stern gland

As a mainly solo boater I recently had the experience of my centre ropr snapping in a lock.On inspecting the rope I noticed other weak points so have decided to change all three ropes.The boatbuilder fitted 41,36,41ft 24mm ropes(Sept 2004).What would be your recommended lengths and how does one seal rope ends? (hot iron, naked flame?)

I know the term stern gland/packing and that one needs to tighten and re-pack but don't know how. Would you say some words of wisdom about what it's all about and how to check when to tighted and repack and how to do it.

Thanks and regards Tony Bakinowski

Asked by: Tony Bakinowski  | Wednesday 20 August, 3.16pm | 2 answers

Printing from Boat Design

The boat design facility is great, but I can't seem to get it to print - it just prints a blank page with no boat on it - how can I get a print of my design to give to the boat builder?

Asked by: david clarke  | Wednesday 20 August, 7.15am | 2 answers

waterlines "September issue" licence reminders

I keep reading letters from boaters complaining about not receiving reminders to renew there licence's and missing out on important discounts.

In this day and age we can still put reminders in our diaries, computers and even mobile phones to inform us of impending events.

Paying ones licence by direct debit would also overcome the problem providing a suitable inducement encouraged us to pay by this method which would benifit those who only pick up their post once in a while if continuously cruising for example or in the case of those who do not have a computer on board.

this would also reduce overheads by not having to constantly remind us.

It is more important nowadays to maintain our licences lest the boat be impounded or even worse.

Asked by: john carr  | Tuesday 19 August, 11.49pm | no answers yet - add one

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