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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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WW says:
"The coverage of 1 litre of gloss paint will be around 12 sq metres. Your boat is around 10m long; assuming that you are intending to paint the inside surface of the cabin this should be possible with 5 litres but only just, for one coat of the sides and roof. It would be best to use a metal primer such as red oxide with a gloss top coat. To ensure a decent coating that will prevent future corrosion two top coats would be best."
is ur advice [above] to use metal primer for bare metal or painted or both, surfaces.
and is a regular good quality top coat ok

Asked by: mb  | Thursday 31 October, 2.05pm | 1 answer

treating internal hull rust

inside of my hull has a 1/4 inch crust that i understand can be common.
after scraping what is an economical way to treat it , ive often seen rust come through red oxide, and fertan needs to be painted within 6 months, and is expensive

Asked by: mb  | Wednesday 30 October, 5.04pm | 1 answer

how much paint

how much metal paint is needed for 34ft springer [not blacking]
how many coats of each and how much paint would a coat use, if u can guesstimate an amount
im hoping 5 L of gloss, same of undercoat would do it
also is it worth using a gloss formulated for metal, or just a good quality gloss which does metal or wood

Asked by: mb  | Wednesday 30 October, 3.55pm | 1 answer

fertan v blacking

am going to pull my 34ft springer over a bit while a float to treat hull at the waterline, shes coming out in 5 monthes time to do proper job]
question is: would removing lose rust then blacking at the waterline suffice to stop FURTHER corrosion till she comes out, or would i need a rust converter [i do understand how converter works, i also have a way of preventing the converter from polluting canal]
my understanding is that providing the blacking keeps oxygen off the metal no further corrosion takes place, unless there more to it?

Asked by: mb  | Wednesday 30 October, 3.48pm | 1 answer

Rivers Little Ouse and Wissey

I live close to Brandon on the river Little Ouse and have been told that the maximum length of narrowboat to navigate this river is 45 feet. However, the boat I am interested in buying is 58 feet. Can you tell me if I could use it in my local waters?
David Flack

Asked by: David Flack  | Tuesday 29 October, 11.08pm | 2 answers

ring main or radials

I have a 57ft trad. narrowboat and need to install 230v wiring (2.5mm/flexi) to sockets on both sides. Which system is best, ring main or two radials (one either side), I've had 2 opposing verbal opinions so far, and some forums also seem to be split?

Asked by: Martin Parker  | Wednesday 23 October, 4.25pm | 3 answers

Is it normal for floor to give a bit?

We are looking at buying a used narrowboat and have found one we really like. I am concerned since as I walk through the boat there are several places where the floor gives a bit and does not appear to be solid (not significantly but it is noticeable).
It is not in any specific part of the boat but throughout the boat in several places. We are waiting for the survey, but was wondering if this is something that we should be worried about. Any Thought

Asked by: Sue  | Sunday 13 October, 5.47pm | 1 answer

What knot to use when tying briefly to a mooring ring?

I often tie up temporarily to just one mooring ring using my breast/mid-rope, say when filling with water or waiting for a lock, and can't tie it back on the boat. I always seem to end up tying one I can't untie!

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Tuesday 1 October, 4.51pm | 2 answers


The fuel debate. As we are planning a move back from Aus to UK as a constant traveller in retirement, the suggestion is that if permanently moored one will not be subject to the EU required taxes. I read also that if the craft is your primary residence one would also be exempt the taxes. Does this include constant travellers. Can you provide any advice as the impact could be significant.

Asked by: Kerry Brown  | Sunday 15 September, 3.28am | 2 answers

what size inverter

-what size inverter should i use for very brief/short use of electric drill or angle grinder 1000 watts max. also a computer
-is pure sine wave worth getting
-i find that charging my laptop while in use from a very small inverter causes screen fluctuations , would this be corrected with a pure sine wave unit?
im aware that they can over heat and do drain the batteries quickly.
am assuming that as wattage increases so does the price but i dont know by how much

Asked by: mb  | Thursday 12 September, 11.55am | 2 answers

finding red diesel outside the canal system

wish to transport red diesel to my boat but am having much trouble finding red diesel outside the canal system [for collection]
have phoned dozens of places , interested in suppliers near Cosgrove/milton Keynes or bristol
i keep missing the fuel boat .
thought there might be a list somewhere

Asked by: mb  | Thursday 12 September, 11.41am | 3 answers

isolators switch

if isolator switches [2] are turned off will solar panels still charge the batteries. i can only say that 2 simple flashing light regulators [dont know what they are called] were fitted with the 2 panels some years ago

Asked by: mb  | Friday 6 September, 6.07pm | 1 answer


gotta say as a new comer to the cut i luv this place for info.
i occurred to me that as im going to wait till spring to fit new anodes to my 34 v hull and don't know if there are even any of the old ones left maybe as a temp solution i could dangle a couple of new anodes into the water by thick copper cables firmly attached to the the steel coach roof. the boat will remain stationary
perfect use for very cheap and redundant battery jumper leads that aren't up to the job on cars

Asked by: mb  | Friday 6 September, 5.49pm | 3 answers

Painting Inside of our Narrowboat

Could anyone give advice on the type of paint that is best to use on the walls and ceiling inside the boat. Currently it is bare wood.

Asked by: Brigitte Pacheco  | Thursday 5 September, 11.38pm | 5 answers

tiolet options

i understand that regarding toilets a pump out system can be emptied by the owner at no cost as opposed to a paid for pump out service. does this go into the canal ?, presumably with a degradable chemical

Asked by: mb  | Wednesday 4 September, 10.51am | 4 answers

Where to install battery isolator switch

I have a cruiser stern. Can I put the battery isolator switch in the engine bilge as I'm worried if I put outside vandal/theft could steal the key but wording of the BSS seems to suggest it must be outside?

Asked by: ladyt  | Thursday 29 August, 6.05pm | 2 answers

stern gear

The prop on my narrowboat is about 7 cm from the stern and only 1or2 from the rudder. What is the correct ratio and are there any problems in shortening the shaft?

Asked by: mr c richold  | Wednesday 28 August, 7.56am | 1 answer

Recycle batteries

Can the new Lithium ion batteries & other new types be recycled, and how much will it cost me for this as a disposable charge ?

Asked by: Gary  | Tuesday 27 August, 2.24am | 3 answers

mixing bitument paints

i have a steel hull to black . I'm going to do it in ordinary bitumen paint [not the enhanced type], it has occurred to me that most bitumens are very similar, so my question is: can various brands, which i can source very cheaply, be mixed on the same job [obviously they will all use the same solvent]
as i suspect you cant, for legal reasons, give a definitive answer can you for see any problems?
thanks again, m

Asked by: mb  | Friday 23 August, 2.28pm | 6 answers

Fertan, blacking and rust

i was going to use Fertan on a 1990 springer steel hull where i found rust after pressure washing off the bitumen and prior to applying new bitumen.
i since read somewhere reputable that the fertan works buy turning the rust to a powder which is then washed of leaving bare metal, by WW says that it leaves a protective coating which dosent have to be painted for 6 months. sorry to be doubtful but can you pls confirm your explanation of what it does.
Also, is it necessary/recommended to do as i describe above or just leave the rust in any pits and black over. And will new bitumen adhere to the Fertan coating [if it does leave one]

Asked by: mb  | Saturday 17 August, 6.28pm | 1 answer

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