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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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Should domestic battery bank be connected on a sailway?

We're on the verge of having our new sailaway delivered, but today recieved quotes called "Cabling costs, for location of batteries and electric" our package included boat side electronics and we're finding this a little hard to swallow. Are we off the mark or do we have any grounds to dispute this? Thanks for you help!

Asked by: Rebecca Shillito  | Wednesday 13 March, 3.08pm | 3 answers

Deepest lock

According to my Nicholson guides the deepest lock in Britain is Bath Deep Lock at 19ft 5ins with Tuel Deep Lock on the Rochdale a close second at 19ft 4.25ins. Tuel Deep Lock recently has been claiming to be Britain's deepest at 19 ft 8.5ins. Has there been a change or is it cunning marketing by Pennine Waterways?

Asked by: Gavin Scott  | Wednesday 13 March, 9.30am | 3 answers

Leaking windows

My windows and portholes are leaking and they are fixed by rivets. Is it best to dill the rivets out and replace with screws? Also should I clean the metal where the windows seat with a wire brush then treating it with fertan before using a seal? Thank you for your help.

Asked by: Andrew McLaughlin  | Sunday 10 March, 11.52am | 1 answer

What should a GRP cruiser cost?

I read with interest Mark Langley's article, Back to Plastic, in the February edition of Waterways World. I am looking to buy a GRP cruiser, and having considered all that are available, I came to the conclusion that a Viking 26 wide beam is the best bet. Like Mark, our budget would not exceed £30,000, and he comments that most good ones were over that amount. There is one 2010 model available but the asking price is well in excess of £30,000. I particularly like the later model with the U shaped seating in the cockpit. I think this design dates from about 2003. Since Mark has recent experience of searching for such a boat, would he be able to tell me what the expected price range would be?
Also, it would be really helpful if he could give me some tips on finding the boat. I know about the Viking dealers (David Mawby, Tingdene, Norfolk Boat) and a couple of other brokers on the Thames. Other than that, where am I most likely to find one? We are looking to moor on the Thames but I believe the boats can be transported, so location is not an issue (except for viewing!).
Pauline Lonsdale

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Thursday 28 February, 11.59am | 1 answer

Water Pump "Hunts"

Our recently acquired 12 year old 58 ft narrow boat has its water pump at the bow end, next to the water tank.
The pump operates whenever water is called for, i.e. the shower, hot and cold taps in the bathroom and the kitchen.
The pump operates satisfactorily for all outlets except the kitchen cold tap. For this the pump turns off and on every 2 seconds and although the flow is continuous it is at a lower rate than for all the other outlets.
This tap is the only one that has an in-line carbon filter which I have recently replaced as the original one appears to have been leaking for some time.
Am I right in assuming that the water flow through the filter is not enough to prevent the pump cut out pressure switch from operating, followed by a drop in pressure allowing the pump to turn itself on again?
Would installing an accumulator tank close to the pump outlet prevent this hunting, or are there better solutions?
If a tank is the solution what size would you recommend please?
Neil Murfitt

Asked by: Neil Murfitt  | Monday 25 February, 1.34pm | 2 answers

water outlet

hello ,I am fitting out a new sailaway , ive got round to fitting the sink the only thing is where I have to drill a hole for the out let for the sink its 7 inches above the water line and ive been reading that it has to be above 10 inches above the water line . any advice would be helpful

Asked by: Vince Sherlock  | Monday 18 February, 7.53pm | 3 answers

Battery charging

Like many boaters in the winter after a short chug I need to keep the engine running a bit longer to charge the batteries properly. Does the alternator run a flat charge or if I keep it running at more than tick-over do the batteries get charged quicker. Which is best?

Asked by: Chris Marriott  | Monday 11 February, 9.00pm | 1 answer

Sheffield canal transport companies

I'm about to repaint my narrowboat and am thinking of changing the name (which I"be never liked). Being based near Sheffield, I was thinking of using the name of an original canal shipping company that would have worked on the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal but can't find any reference to such companies anywhere. Can anyone help or point me in the right direction?

Asked by: Tony Richardson  | Friday 8 February, 1.06pm | 2 answers

Multi fuel stove

I have purchassed a stove with a straight chimney. However I cannot find anyone in my area that can fit the stove. I am a complete novice when it comes to things like this. Can anyone help

Asked by: Stephen Gooch  | Wednesday 30 January, 6.32pm | 1 answer

Licence for cruising in Europe

I have booked a hire boat in Holland, which has an attachable 'splash' pool fitted on the back. Unfortunately, the combined length of the boat and pool means that I have to have a licence. But what kind of licence, and how do I get it? No one seems to know.
Keiran Wood

Asked by: Robert Cowling   | Tuesday 29 January, 10.13am | 1 answer

Clyde Puffer

Scotland's best-loved boats, the Clyde Puffer. BBC4 For 30 days from Sunday 20.01.19

Asked by: Gary  | Sunday 20 January, 9.06pm | no answers yet - add one

Is it 'sluice' or 'paddle'?

Two recent dramatic stories, of a person and a dog rescued after being sucked down by open lock paddles, lead me to wonder, is the whole thing (the lock winding gear and the passageway that carries the water) called a paddle or a sluice, or what?

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Friday 18 January, 10.36am | 2 answers

"Outboards, power of TORQUE what rivers can I go on ?"

Knowing what torque is, but not knowing what it is capable of on rivers like the tidal Trent and others as love to visit all inland waterways in UK (not Scotland) The engine held the boat stationary OK by Denver sluice lock on the tidal side with a good current not in flood. Mark Smedley said in his super article (Feb 2019) he wished to go to Hull presumably along the coast from the Yorkshire Ouse. Would he need an engine upgrade ? I would not be keen with a 25 HP outboard to attempt The Wash, even a short skip.
I have on my boat an Mercury 25 HP (18.39 kw) EFI 3 cylinder 526 cubic capacity (cc), Four Stroke outboard with alternator power 186 Watt, 15 amp. For the record the gear ratio is 1.92:1 2-valve single overhead cam. Prop that came with the engine as new in 2014. With an hydraulic trim for tilting the engine.
Engine fitted to a Viking 28 narrow beam (NB) cruiser (Viking Cruisers, Dunmow, Essex). We will take it the hull is clean and hull shape is ??

Asked by: Gary  | Friday 11 January, 2.35pm | 3 answers

Solar Panals & Battery Charger

Is it possible to connect a 240v land line connected Battery charger to my domestic battery bank whilst my solar panals are still connected without causing any damage or creating any problems ?

Asked by: Chris Burton  | Wednesday 9 January, 8.19pm | 1 answer

Which way round for your bed

Which way round should one fit a double bed in a narrow boat so the boat does not wobble at night ?

Asked by: Gary  | Wednesday 9 January, 2.06am | 1 answer


A conversation I had over a dinner table, I was boring my friend talking about Narrowboats again,he said why can't we capture the energy of the water running through our locks, this sparked an hour of conversation with a guy with no interest in our waterways imagine what it could dowith people actually interested in the subject , for instance energy produced from a 10/20 lock flight, I have no knowledge of how, but sure it could be sorted out over a couple of pints what do you think?

Asked by: doug  | Tuesday 8 January, 5.22pm | 3 answers

Firefox 5 clean burn stove

I'm just about to purchase my first stove for my narrowboat and need some advice. The stove is a Firefox 5 clean burn and I want to follow all the safety instructions as much as possible. I spoke to the manufactures of the stove and they state that it must sit on a 2 inch concrete or granite hearth but when I look at http://www.soliftec.com/boat%20stoves%201-page.pdf installation instructions, it states "THE HEARTH needs to project at least 225mm in front and 150mm to each side of the stove OR have a high lip. Made of sturdy, non-flammable material, to fully protect combustibles underneath." So nothing about the base having to be concrete or granite. The FireFox chap did say he was quoting building regulations.
My question is, are building regulations applicable on narrowboats when it comes to installing a stove and would my insurance be void if there is a fire and the stove was not sitting on a recommended 2 inch concrete or granite hearth?
Any help with this matter would be very much appreciated.

Asked by: darren  | Monday 7 January, 3.09pm | 1 answer

Isolation Transformer v Galvanic Isolator

Our surveyor has recommended we install an Isolation Transformer rather than a Galvanic Isolator as we have neither at present. What are the relative merits and is the substantial extra cost of the former justified? The boat is 12 years old and will occasionally be hooked up to shoreline power.

Asked by: Neil Murfitt  | Tuesday 18 December, 10.04pm | 1 answer

looking for advice on stoves

So straight to the point. Squirrel is out of my league so looking at lillyking stoves with back boiler. Any advice about this?

Asked by: darren  | Friday 14 December, 8.43pm | 1 answer

Honda Gas Generator

If using the above gene can we have a gas connection within the gas locker for making temporary connection as required.
Intend to use gene outside what is max length gas hose and what material should it be

Asked by: angela  | Wednesday 5 December, 1.56pm | 3 answers

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