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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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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

Battery life

How long can I expect a well maintained bank of 3 leisure batteries to last? They're five years old and the inverter had just started switching off after quite a short time, with the alarm light coming on.

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Thursday 29 June, 11.00am | 2 answers

VAT on new boats sold as a a live aboard

I have decided to buy a Brayzel 45 x 10 dutch style boat. It was on show at Crick. I often see boats marketed as no VAT, can you advise or point me in the right direction. Also in terms of payment. Andrew at Brayzel, suggested a large deposit, but I have decided to pay for the boat apart from the final extras, ie I'll own what I see at the moment, so I own the boat, in the unlikely case they go bust. I presume I don't need a survey just some pre-hand-over checks, and RCD,Dec of Conf. Is that a reasonable approach? Many thanks,

Asked by: Michael Connaughton  | Tuesday 27 June, 8.41am | 2 answers

Squeal from engine

When I start my narrowboat engine - a Lister Petter - there's a very loud squeal from it. The rev counter doesn't register. After a few minutes the noise stops and the rev counter comes to life. Lately the noise has been lasting longer. What might the problem be? I thought it was the fan belt slipping but it looks fine.

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Tuesday 27 June, 7.35am | 2 answers

Boat buying

I have recently seen a boat that I would like to buy but it is from a private seller. He has in formed me that he has a mortgage on it. I was wondering if you know the best way to proceed if i need to get a solicitor involved or best advice. I understand the normal buying process from a broker but how do i really check if he is the owner.

Asked by: Peter Rutter  | Monday 12 June, 6.22am | 2 answers

surveys and pittings

hello all, i have recently had a 40ft Liverpool boat surveyed at a boat yard next to Aston marina, i picked a reputable surveyor from your ads,the owner had it advertised on apollo duck & Aston marina website but was selling it privately, it was advertised as so - "40ft cruiser stern liverpool boats-£29,995 very nice boat located at Aston marina, definitely worth a look, trust me i looked at a lot before finding this little gem! repainted in 2013 by the previous owner & blacked by aston marina in august in august 2016, also had a full engine service & new auto bilge put fitted. she "Merlot has been very well looked & has had regular engine services"-.it was in wonderful condition on the water & inside, once out of water the surveyor discovered that it was a 10mm baseplate which seemed a bit strange seen that it said 8mm on the conformation of conformity dated 2000, i thought that was great & that it was going to be the one, all side readings were satisfactory, but when the surveyor started to scrape the baseplate to get a proper reading,he discovered lots of deep pittings,not just local ones but dotted all over the bottom especially around the centre from bow to stern, the deepest he found was 4.7mm with no guarantee that it was the deepest !, (i have photos) the surveyor was quite alarmed by this & told me it would need a complete over plate,we were saddened obviously,anyway he carried on the survey,i decided to walk away from the deal & stopped the survey before he got to electrics which was the last thing to do, it was a simple set up & we knew it was good because of the recent bss which the surveyor read, (we noticed no galvanic isolator fitted) also the owner had always had it plugged in to the shoreline when on board, he used the boat as a temporary place to sleep (2-3 times a week) for the last 13 months & told me there had been no problems. As the owner was not present i had to then ring him to tell him there was a problem with his boat & that i would request my deposit back, he refunded my £500.I was advised not to reveal the problem to the owner so that he may agree to help with the cost of the survey, i had already spent £270 on a lift out etc, he agreed to pay half the survey, but wanted me to send him the draft in pdf copy before payment, i was advised not to by the surveyor but i did as i wanted to get it over with. He is now complaining that the survey was stopped short of the electrics which he knows are fine ,he has not payed me half the survey & not replying to my messages & emails. The only URGENT survey recommendation is to overplate before use, yet the owner, nine days ago has it back on apollo duck for the same price saying what a "gem" it is with no mention of the recent survey nor URGENT recommendation.( i personally think it is criminal)
So i suppose what i am asking is where do i stand,is there anyway of reporting this for the safety of everyone on the canals. I would hate to hear that boat 505101 had sunk with unaware people on board, its a great looking boat that i would not be surprised if someone bought it without a survey !. Are there people in the C.R.T that i can report this to ??.
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. thank you all.

Asked by: jean-marc bedos  | Thursday 8 June, 1.29pm | 2 answers

Lacking Blacking

I've discovered a boat I'm interested in hasn't been blacked since 2010, when the anodes were also replaced. There is no Galvanic Isolater or Isolation Transformer installed on the boat. Should I bother paying to get it slipwayed (terrible verb) for a survey or say no thanks, quietly retreat and find another boat? Alternatively, I could try to get the owner to pay said survey and slipway costs?

Asked by: Michael Connaughton  | Wednesday 7 June, 4.59pm | 6 answers

legal advice on moorings

what is my rights as a boater on moorings

Asked by: les nott  | Wednesday 7 June, 12.34pm | 4 answers

Low water pressure and water not heating

I need a good plumber in the Hertfordshire / Essex area to help with low water pressure and water not heating

Asked by: sophie Stock  | Wednesday 31 May, 8.55am | 1 answer

Bricks in Engine Compartment

Is it normal/recommended to load the engine compartment with engineering bricks, to counteract the stern of the boat sitting too high in the water. I have a photo. The bricks aren't neatly placed and obstruct the bottom of the compartment, which is concern of mine.

Asked by: Michael Connaughton  | Tuesday 30 May, 12.24pm | 2 answers

Hour meter dip switches

I removed my rev counter from my BETA 38 engine as the bulb and the hour display were not working. I failed to find why the hours were no longer showing but more importantly the dip switches were accidently moved. What should they be set at to ensure that the rev counter is accurate? Is there any obvious reason for the hours not to be displayed?

Asked by: Alan Davies  | Monday 22 May, 6.42pm | 3 answers

Wood burning stoves

In choosing our new wood burning stove for our boat, do we need to buy a Defra approved stove or can we use the non approved versions?

Asked by: Raymond Fowler  | Sunday 21 May, 9.35am | 2 answers

cratch cove

have you a list of crachcover makers on the Shropshire union near norbury pleas regard alan jenner

Asked by: alanjenner  | Monday 15 May, 3.25pm | 5 answers

blacking the hull of my 60 foot narrowboat

How many gallons of blackening do I need per coat for my 60 foot narrowboat hull please?

Asked by: Net Watmough  | Thursday 11 May, 3.32pm | 1 answer

Manual toilet pump out pumps

Hi - literally got caught short at Kingswood junction with the CRT pump out facility not working [it got repaired two days later]and 7/8 full black water toilet tank. A fellow boater had a manual pump out facility and said it was very useful when quite often pump out facilities are not functioning and cost effective over a few years. Any suggestions as to what pumps there are available to manually pump out the tank if the electric pump out isn't working wherever you may be. Obviously the manual pump discharge hose is directed down the elsan disposal facility.
Thanks Bill G
nb Jamdrew of Larkfield

Asked by: bill goad  | Thursday 11 May, 12.49pm | 3 answers

Narrowboat/Marbella apartment holiday swap?

We would love a narrowboat holiday and have a luxury penthouse apartment near Marbella we could lend you in exchange- have a look at https://www.homeexchangegold.com/en/listing/13322

Asked by: Richard Amery  | Wednesday 10 May, 8.17am | 1 answer

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