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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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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

Sterling Pro Power Q Inverter

I believe that there may be a glitch with my Sterling Pro Power Q 12 volt 1800 watts Inverter, that was recently installed on a narrow boat.

The inverter supplies mains voltage with no apparent problem.

My query concerns the moment when mains voltage to an appliance is disconnected at the socket outlet.

For example, immediately my low wattage laptop is disconnected from the mains supply the high temperate siren alarm on the inverter sounds, at the same time the twin fans operate to run at maximum speed for several minutes until the unit ‘cools’.

Sterling support informed me that the activation of the inverter high temperature is normal for this new type of modern inverter. Sterling also advised me to simply isolate the inverter temporarily from the battery supply in order to silence the intrusive high temperature siren if required.

Anybody experience of using the Sterling Pro Power Q 1800 watts Inverter?

Asked by: Ian Nicholls  | Monday 11 August, 3.34pm | 1 answer


when you log in to the site and then go to the design tab click it asked you to log in click it says you can now use the tabs so you click design and it goes to log in and it just keeps going around and around

Asked by: Andy Bell  | Saturday 9 August, 9.12am | 2 answers

What RCD documents do I need to sell a narrowboat?

My narrowboat shell, fitted with engine, plumbing and electrics was sold in Jan 2000 to owner A, who completed the fitout and sold two other shares in 2003 to myself and another, whilst retaining one share himself. What RCD docs do we need to sell the boat now?

Asked by: Derek Robertson  | Thursday 7 August, 2.42pm | 1 answer

canal fleet

navy recruiting mocked up narrow boats to look like warships and a submarine the so called canal fleet.can i buy any photos?.any info at all Late 70,s i think.

Asked by: kennethhughes  | Wednesday 6 August, 1.47pm | 4 answers

Replacement Plank

I have been told about a plastic foam filled plank (in any colour)do you know where I can get one?

Asked by: Rob Mears  | Tuesday 29 July, 2.14pm | no answers yet - add one

Diesel leak

I recently had a major fuel leak which resulted in fuel ending up in the bilge in the main accomodation of the boat. It is all now removed and cleaned as well as we can under the fixtures. Has anyone any suggestions as to how we could get rid of the smell.

Asked by: Robin Emmins  | Tuesday 22 July, 9.20am | 1 answer

Rules governing private mooring

I am new to narrow boats, but I plan to retire soon and would like to live aboard one. Ideally I would like to buy a plot of canalside land where I could site my garage, workshop, caraven, etc. with mooring alongside. What are the restrictions? What permissions would need to be sought?

Asked by: Jim Shipp  | Friday 18 July, 3.54pm | 1 answer

Pigeon box design

I have an opening pigeon box. I need to maintain the opening facility for ventilation (cabin now used as bedroom). Two problems I'd appreciate advice on:

How do I stop condensation dripping onto bed on cool night?

How do I block out the light from the small prtholes (especially during short summer nights) but still maintain ventilation?

Some form of blind might cure both. Any ideas?

Asked by: Dave Martin  | Thursday 17 July, 1.14pm | 1 answer

Photograph of Simone of Black Prince

Please can you advise on how I would obtain a photograph printed in the Feb 1996 edition of Waterways world. The photo depicts The black prince hire boat simone sitting half sunk at the bottom of a pound.

Many thanks


Asked by: ian  | Tuesday 15 July, 3.59pm | no answers yet - add one

J&J Crook ?

Hi there i have a 42ft cruiser stern narrowboat which i have owned for about 9 months now and would like to know more about its builders J&J Crook. I have tried looking arond the net but cant seem to find any reference to them anywhere. I believe my boat to be around a 1980 build it is fitted with a lister st2 motor which goin by the numbers on the engine was made in 1979 . It also has JJC scrolled on the bow either side. Any help given to find out a bit of information about my boat and its roots would be greatly appreciated

Regards D Price.

Asked by: Dave Price  | Monday 14 July, 6.52pm | 6 answers

a.m. radio interference

Hi there. I just got a new boat and I am wondering how can I listen to a.m. radio without the engine interference while boating?


Asked by: steven  | Monday 14 July, 5.14pm | no answers yet - add one

model narrowboat

hello everyone i am new to the waterways site i am looking to build a model narrowboat that is radio controlled i want the size to be about 4feet long being disabled this is going to be an on going hobby i would be very gratefull if anyone could put me in touch with someone who supplies plans or advice on building model narrowboats thanks very much keith

Asked by: keith blakey  | Sunday 13 July, 12.08am | 4 answers

Make your own fenders

I'd like to make Bow & Stern Fenders for my own use - can anybody point me in the direction of a good book / article etc ?


Asked by: andysharpe  | Thursday 10 July, 1.48pm | 1 answer

boat registration numbers

how can I find the history of my narrow boat from the indentification number

Asked by: j gallagher  | Thursday 10 July, 12.11pm | 1 answer

Renting a houseboat in London

I would like to live on a narrowboat/houseboat in East London for 12 months.

I am not in a position to buy - I have searched on the internet but most of the rental sites seem to be for holidays rather than living.

What's the best way to go about finding a houseboat for rent, or even a room in a shared boat?



Asked by: Lu  | Tuesday 8 July, 11.34pm | 1 answer

narrow boat paint

I have bought a 45'narrow boat that was sunk for 6 months I have completly stripped inside should I use an undercoat before I spray foam inside?

And what undercoat can I paint the hull with I have mechanially wire brushed the existing paint it was dull black

Asked by: Mike Dack  | Tuesday 8 July, 7.51pm | 1 answer

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