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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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over tight stern gland ??

hello all, wondered if all you wonderful people could advise me .
we have just bought a lovely 46ft narrowboat , the stern gland is dripping a little which i understand is normal, but after about 32 hours cruising over 4 days and regularly giving it a little turn of grease each evening i have noticed the drip being more frequent , so i tightened up the stern gland by about half a turn both sides but now the prop does not turn as freely by hand as it used to before, should i worry about it and maybe loosen it a little or not , any opinion would be greatly appreciated. happy cruising

Asked by: jean-marc bedos  | Wednesday 30 August, 5.39pm | 3 answers

Plumbing basics

Hi Mark
I'm just looking into plumbing a 57ft narrowboat we are fitting out after it had been completely stripped out apart from engine (Beta Marine 43) we have now Webasto heater, 375lt (roughly) water tank and a 55lt calorifier (new) horizontal, are there any helpful articles, diagrams, books or even videos to get me going as I've not done this before? There seems to bits of information around but I haven't yet gathered enough to think I could confidently make a start. I'm thinking of mostly plastic pipe and copper where needed, around engine and calorifier. Cindy's question in a previous post is a good one as we're thinking of putting the Calorifier under the bow next to the water tank but I'm not sure it'll be right, people say it needs to be near the engine?
We'd like to do some of the work but would get a plumber in to do the important bits - any advise would be welcome.

Asked by: Martin Parker  | Tuesday 22 August, 7.16pm | 1 answer

Location of Calorifiers

Hi Guys, I'm trying design the layout of a narrowboat as I would like to buy a sailaway and fit it out myself. I would like to place the Calorifier under the fixed inline double berth MIDSHIP! - which will be approx 15-18 foot from the engine. Would this cause a problem being so far from the engine? And if so, is there a solution, such as an extra pump to speed up the flow of water from the engine and, therefore, lessen the loss of heat? Thanks Cindy

Asked by: C Holton  | Friday 18 August, 1.02am | 3 answers

20+ year old boat

Thanks for previous response Graham. I will indeed order the book. Although the boat appears to have been well maintained, am I right to be cautious that on a +20yr old boat,the engine for example might be nearing end of life? It's an Isuzu 42, regularly serviced apparently. Although quite a bit under budget, I'm cautious - being somewhat mechanically challenged! - that it could turn into an expensive buy?

Asked by: Graham Jones  | Wednesday 16 August, 10.29am | 1 answer

Buying advice for a newcomer!

We are going to see a 68ft Mike Greation cruiser stern narrowboat, built 1995 by Stone Canal Carrying Company. It's a private sale.I've noted various comments re ownership, slightly concerned about loans etc that may be secured on the boat as no way of telling, but also it has a BSS to 08/2021 with no advisories but last survey available is 2013. Would it be naive to buy without a survey - can a lot happen to a boat in 4 yrs? Also, anything we should be wary of when buying a +20yr old boat? Comments greatly appreciated.

Asked by: Graham Jones  | Tuesday 15 August, 3.16pm | 4 answers


hello all, i am in the process of buying a 46ft fully fitted second hand narrowboat and need to know the approximate weight of it , it has a draft of 2 feet and wondered if anyone here may be able to give me an estimate weight, thank you all , happy cruising

Asked by: jean-marc bedos  | Friday 11 August, 4.39pm | 2 answers


Hello experts, i'm reading the barrus shire canal boat 14 35 engine manual, and it says , DO NOT USE BIO DIESEL, is that the same as red diesel ???, a bit confused with all the types of diesels with have these days,and would that apply for a Barrus Shire 1202 engine too?? excuse my ignorance please and thank you

Asked by: jean-marc bedos  | Thursday 10 August, 3.29am | 2 answers

What licence is needed

Could someone answer the following questions please.
What licences etc are needed to be in place when you move onto a boat?
What do you do about registering with doctors and dentists?
What do you do about a postal address/post?

Asked by: Dawn & Keith Bell  | Wednesday 9 August, 8.06am | 1 answer

cost of narrow boat living

Could someone please give me details of what monthly bills would have to be paid whilst living on a narrow boat and travelling up and down the canals

Asked by: Dawn & Keith Bell  | Friday 4 August, 7.26pm | 2 answers

Lister sr3 power

Would a 3cylLister have enough power to handle upstream river journeys or Thames tidal?

Asked by: Baz  | Wednesday 2 August, 10.29am | 3 answers

north south journey

Can a wide beam boat travel on the waterways from the north of the country down to the south, or are there locks that you couldn't go through

Asked by: Dawn & Keith Bell  | Tuesday 1 August, 7.10pm | 4 answers

calm waters boats

hi, i'm thinking of buying a used 46ft cruiser stern narrowboat, it was built by calm waters narrowboats in 1999, has anybody heard of these builders or know anything about them, the owner bought it 3 years ago and also found it hard to find some history, any scrap of info would be greatly appreciated, happy cruising and thank you.

Asked by: jean-marc bedos  | Monday 31 July, 10.44pm | no answers yet - add one

Bed hieght

When Fitting out a sail away hull, does the bed need to be at a certain height
Also is it safe for dogs to sleep on the floor

Asked by: Steve Batt  | Sunday 23 July, 7.10pm | 2 answers

Paperwork for private sale

I found a boat in which I am very interested. It is private sale and I am sure the people are genuine.
What paperwork should I use to perform a sale? Is a receipt enough and if so what boat identification should I get on the paperwork?
P.S. The boat name does not appear on the two manufacturers plates at the stern door. Is this normal?

Asked by: Nevil Underwood  | Sunday 23 July, 3.48pm | 1 answer

Water cooled stern gear

I apologise if I get terminology wrong here. Our narrowboat is being built soon and I know the builder is fitting a Vetus water cooled drive shaft/ stern gear. As I know nothing about these, I have been looking for information. I found an instruction sheet from Vetus that suggests these things need checking every 200 hours or once a year in dry dock. Is this normal, am I really required to have the boat out the water once a year to check it? If I go cruising for 7 or 8 months of a year I could well rack up several hundred hours over the 200 in that time.
Any help will be appreciated
Thank you.

Asked by: Raymond Fowler  | Saturday 15 July, 10.42am | 1 answer

What's a good boat for someone with Parkinson's disease

I shake badly from Parkinson's disease, and don't think I could manage the tiller of a narrowboat. Would a GRP cruiser with wheel steering be better? What might be a good choice. I'll still have crew to help, but I'd like to do the steering.

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Thursday 13 July, 11.14am | 3 answers

How should I paint, varnish or treat my barge pole?

I've bought a new 12ft ash-wood barge pole (OK, 'shaft'). I'd like to paint it to match my narrowboat's roof, or varnish it.
But the chandlers warned me against doing that, saying that as soon as it scratched, water would get in, wouldn't be able to get out, and would rot it. They suggested oiling it with teak oil or similar.
Is that truly the case? How should I treat it, if at all?

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Thursday 13 July, 11.11am | 2 answers

Head linners

Can u give me a list of suppliers of plain coloured 6mm verniered plywood not wood finish please

Asked by: DEREK WALTON  | Friday 7 July, 1.57pm | 1 answer

Max amount of hose in gas locker

I have been told that there is a maximum amount of rubber hose that can be used from gas bottle before it must go into copper. Is there also any regulations around what sort of regulator should be used. I have a 5 ring hob along with oven and grill. These are the only items using gas. The regulator fitted just now is a Cavagna 1.5kg/h

Asked by: william boyle  | Thursday 6 July, 11.27am | 3 answers

Height restrictions

What is the minimum air draft between the wash and Brandon Bank (ouse/little ouse)please

Asked by: mick furner  | Sunday 2 July, 9.31am | 1 answer

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