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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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engine oil

hello you wonderful people, it is time for my barrus shire 1200 diesel engine built in 1999 to have its oil changed, i only bought the boat last august and the previous owner told me back then that the oil would have to be changed around april / may so now is the time, he did leave me a bit of the oil he last used which is barrus shire 10w 30 api cc, the problem is that there isn't enough , so i thought i could use what is left in the prm 120 gear box which i believe is ok as it says in the manual to use the same oil, please correct me if i am wrong, however i can not find this same oil on line even on the barrus web site, have they stopped making it or / and is there a replacement ?? any info will be greatly appreciated thank you and happy cruising.

Asked by: jean-marc bedos  | Tuesday 1 May, 7.50pm | 15 answers


What is the average charge that is produced to the battery Thanks

Asked by: peter  | Tuesday 1 May, 10.13am | 1 answer

Anchors for narrow boats

I have a 58 foot narrow boat which we wish to use on the Thames this year. Where would be the best place to attach the anchor to the boat, and what would be the best type of anchor?

Asked by: Jerry Golland  | Thursday 26 April, 5.20pm | 2 answers

galvanising as an alternative to blacking

I heard that a company in Middlewhich does galvanising, has anyone heard of it?

Asked by: Diane Molloy  | Friday 20 April, 10.18pm | 6 answers

navigating manchester ship canal to weaver navigation

Hi - any thoughts on the passage from Ellesmere Port to the Weaver navigation to access the Anderton boat lift onto the Trent
Appears to be some complex information on the Nicholson guide about the MSC but is it easily navigable through to the Weaver nav to the boat lift
Bill G

Asked by: bill goad  | Wednesday 11 April, 9.34pm | 4 answers

Re-plating a Hull.

I am considering buying a 60' Narrowboat that needs its hull re-plating.Having seen overplating where weld is only applied to the sides of the hull I would appreciate your advice. To prevent sagging,surely extra weld points across the steel to the existing hull would be required. Please advise on a suitable spacing for such extra support.

Asked by: Michael Clement  | Friday 6 April, 2.06pm | 1 answer

Smokey Exhaust

I wonder if you can help. I have a Yanmar Barrus Shire 3-cylinder 3TN74 engine that continuously smokes smelly blue exhaust fumes.
The engine itself runs very well but I am getting tired of the diesel smell.
Have you any suggestions that can cure this?
David Croft

Asked by: David Croft  | Thursday 5 April, 5.43pm | 3 answers

Hyundai HY3000SI Generator inverter or similar

hello all you wonderful people at waterways world, i am not a liveaboard and have my 46ft narrowboat in a marina ,but visit at least twice every ten days, i have no access to shoreline but wired for it , i had the pleasure of using shoreline last month while blacking it and finally got to fully charge my two new 110ah agm leisure batteries via a sterling battery charger, it took around 7-8 hours for the float charge to finish but well worth it , since then i have had to recharge them running the engine, sometimes in idle which i believe isn't good for my barrus shire 1200. for those reasons and maybe using the vacuum on occasions i have decided to buy a Hyundai HY3000SI Generator inverter or something similar, it comes with 13 to 16 amp caravan adaptor leads , now , does that mean i can plug it in to where i would plug in the shoreline and let the sterling battery charger do the rest or would i have to charge each leisure battery individually , sorry for my ignorance but electricity is not my strong point, any info is of great help, thank you very much and happy boating.

Asked by: jean-marc bedos  | Sunday 1 April, 4.26pm | 4 answers

optimin gap between prop and rudder

im trying to improve steering on our 58 ft N B what is the optimin distance I/e gap between prop and leading edge of rudder please I have about a 4.5 inch gap I look forward to your advice regards alan jenner

Asked by: alanjenner  | Sunday 25 March, 9.58pm | 2 answers

vertical dimensions of wide beam

Apologies if there is any easy answer to this but I've been searching for sample plans/designs that show the vertical dimensions of a wide beam. I'm trying to understand both the external and internal dimensions, baseplate to gunnel, to highest roof point, to maximum aircraft (possibly different to highest roof point. And then similarly the internal dimensions. Bilge depth, then internal floor to gunnel height (inside) and to roof. Ideally a cross section diagram with some sample dimensions on it would be ideal.
Hope someone might be able to help. Its just a sample I'm looking for.
Many thanks

Asked by: sean sailes  | Thursday 22 March, 5.47pm | 1 answer

Ultrasound Tank Gauages

I read with interest the item by Mark Langley headed "Spring Improvements" in the latest issue of W.W, in particular the item about tank gauges that use ultrasound to measure levels.
I have searched the internet and can only find mention of gauges that require the sensor to be screwed to the top of the tank.
Mark refers in his article to gauges that require no cutting into tanks and pipework and I would be grateful if you could give me any information you have as to the manufacturers of such gauges.
Many thanks,
Gary Wilson
(Post by Robert Cowling on behalf of Gary Wilson)

Asked by: Robert Cowling   | Monday 5 March, 1.39pm | 1 answer

Perkins, no thermostat?

My engine is a Perkins 100 series with a Perama Marine conversion, indirect cooling. On a sunny day going against the current on a river the engine temp gets to 70°C. On a canal going slower to about 40°C and on a cold day it barely rises off the bottom of the dial. I assumed either a thermostat stuck open, or missing. I have a downloaded copy of the manual and there appear to be two variants, one with the thermostat behind the water pump, one with it in a housing. I can't see a housing so I took the pump off and there's nowhere behind it to fit a thermostat. Am I being stupid? Or is it possible a previous owner has built a Franken-engine using parts from both types so there is no place for a thermostat?

Asked by: Phil Thane  | Sunday 4 March, 4.24pm | 5 answers


What are the rules for canoe's in Tunnels. Are they allowed or not.

Asked by: Rod Pinder  | Thursday 1 March, 5.14pm | 2 answers

Webasco heating

I'm having a webasco thermo top c fitted to are 40ft narrowboat, I'm having 2 radiators and a towel rail fitted, what size radiators and towel rail do I need to buy. Thanks for any advice

Asked by: Vince Sherlock  | Tuesday 27 February, 6.27pm | 3 answers

Energy issues onboard

We have a brand new narrowboat and are newbies as continuous cruisers. After 5 hours cruising our batteries are not fully charged. Is that normal as we do not have anything on whilst we are cruising except the WIFI. When we are moored up we watch TV for a couple of hours and the batteries go down to 11.8 so we have to charge them up again. We flush the toilet a couple of times and put the lights on for short periods of time i.e. 5 to 10 mins. Our setup is 4 x SMF VETUS MATINE BATTERIES 12 V 145 AH (20H) with a VICTRON MULTIPLUS 12V 3000 VA 120AMP. The alternator for the domestic batteries is 240AMP plus solar panels to top up 20AMP. Our domestic consumables are Vetus pump out toilet, fridge 12V, freezer 12V, LED lighting, Playstation 4 240V, TV 240V 133W, Satelite dish and 4G receiver and WIFI system and a digital radio 240V.
Please could you advise us if this is normal or is our system faulty somewhere?
many thanks

Asked by: costas  | Monday 26 February, 10.07am | 4 answers

Best product for protecting cabin bilge.

Hello. I've just bought a wide beam shell and would like some advice as to what's the best product to use on the cabin bilge. Is it preferable to use a bilge paint or something like black jack bituminous paint. I'm completely new to this so any help appreciated. Thanks.

Asked by: Lisa  | Saturday 17 February, 6.34pm | 1 answer

Central heating header tank, constantly needing topping up

I have a webasto powered central heating system with 3 Radiators, Recently i have noticed that the level in the system water tank needs topping up regularly. Ive checked for leaks but can not find any. where might the water be going.

Asked by: Byron Crook  | Thursday 15 February, 8.35pm | 1 answer

Water pipe tap leak

From our water pump that sits near the bow of the boat there is a pipe that leads to the water tank then there are two pipes that run through the whole boat one above the other, both lead from the water pump. The top pipe has a tap on it and this is leaking. I don't know what this tap is for and whether it should be closed and that's the reason for the leak. Can anyone explain its use?
Thanks for the help

Asked by: christina haste  | Tuesday 13 February, 1.30pm | 1 answer

Ni-Fe batteries

Your recent article seemed to promote the use of Ni-Fe batteries, but when I contacted the website suggested they said that their batteries were not suitable for use on boats and they did not ship outside of the USA anyway. Is there anywhere in the UK which sell them, and if so, are they suitable for boats?

Asked by: Fiona  | Sunday 11 February, 10.23am | 3 answers

Long Term Hire

My wife and I are fairly experienced boaters who currently own a share in a boat. Being now both retired we would like to have one long term cruise to explore at our own pace - between 3 and 6 months probably, but we don't really want the hassle of owning a boat we might want to sell after a year or two. I have found several websites such as Escape the Rat Race and Laughing Dog Boats which offer long term rental, but having survived the Ownerships collapse and being aware of the current rather dodgy market for liveaboard rentals, we are anxious to make sure any arrangement is reliable. We don't remember any coverage of this in WW and wondered whether you or your readers could provide any advice?

Asked by: Peter Dawson  | Friday 9 February, 2.32pm | 4 answers

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