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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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Hydrogen for generators

What are the issues when it comes to using hydrogen gas to power a generator?

Asked by: Mark Jeffries  | Sunday 14 July, 5.56pm | 3 answers

Scaly deposit in water tank

We have an aluminium water tank on our 2005 Sea Otter which has hard white deposits that block the pump filter. The tank is inaccessible and we've flushed it through with copious amounts of water. The problem hasn't gone away. Do you have any ideas to solve the problem? Do you know of a chemical that wouldn't make the problem worse considering it's an aluminium tank? Removal of the tank would be difficult and costly. Any suggestions gratefully received. Thanks for your time.

Asked by: Claire Scholes   | Sunday 7 July, 11.20am | 4 answers

Boat Electrics

I would much appreciate the answers to the following.
What is a SHUNT, and what is it used for, what is its purpose.
How close should the battery fuse be to the battery. Is it a good idea to have extra thick cable to this fuse than used after fuse?
Why fit the engine start battery to the bank by way of Negative. Why do this.
IF not so, should I re-wire the fridge directly from batteries [Will add fuse near battery end]. Is it worth going much thicker with cable than genuinely needed, say 16mm sq. for 5-6 meter run ? And would negative need to match positive mmsq ?
Finally is there a good book with all this in and a list of boat electric terms for items used?
My boat is a Viking 28 NB cruiser with 200 watt (max) solar with
Victron 75/15 Smart controller. Engine output 15 amps.
I had asked a Q. in the past but did not understand the cable layout as described. Diagrams are easy to follow for not so technical me.
Sorry if this has been asked in the past

Asked by: Gary  | Tuesday 18 June, 12.23am | 2 answers


Has anyone used Black Jack bitumen for the hull on their boat? if so, how effective was it?

Asked by: Ivan Davies  | Wednesday 5 June, 9.46am | 1 answer

Internal Height

Hi, could anyone tell me the approximate internal height of a 10' wide beam?

Asked by: David Wright  | Wednesday 29 May, 7.03pm | 2 answers

Streamline fabrications

Hi,I'm looking at a 2005 boat built by streamline fabrications in Cheshire.
Does anyone have any info about Them?

Asked by: Tony Meredith  | Tuesday 28 May, 2.21pm | 2 answers

Boat design

First of all, big thanks to Mark Langley for the very useful seminar. He mentioned a tool on the website to aid designing your own Narrowboat. I can't find it. I don't own a computer any more and just use iPad Pro 11".

Asked by: Kevin Wheatley  | Monday 27 May, 8.24pm | 3 answers

Crick Seminars

Hi I was at Crick on Saturday in the designing a boat Mark Langley mentioned that there was a website where you could get guidance on the requirements or regulations for fitting the boat out at the time I thought I would be able to remember but no I forgot could you please pSs this on to Mark for his attention, Thanks Steve Oates
Ps the seminars were very useful and informative

Asked by: Steve Oates  | Monday 27 May, 2.30pm | 4 answers

Covering insulation

Do I need to cover my Rockwool insulation with a vapour control barrier before I put my wooden panels on it?

Asked by: Rebekah Watson  | Monday 13 May, 10.37pm | 5 answers

Solid fuel stove

Hello, I want to install a multi fuel stove on our sailaway narrowboat, what dimensions do I have to build the hearth, ive looked on the bss and the looked at the diagram they have and can not build the hearth that big as we have limited space, any advice would be great

Asked by: Vince Sherlock  | Sunday 5 May, 3.18pm | 1 answer

Cruising canal network

Is there a suggested route to cruise the entire navigable network?
Roughly how long would it take, if travelling for 6 hours a day?
Are there any recommended sites to read about the experience of others?

Asked by: Rachel Eglinton  | Saturday 4 May, 10.59am | 3 answers

Cruising canal network

Is there a suggested route to cruise the entire navigable network?
Roughly how long would it take, if travelling for 6 hours a day?
Are there any recommended sites to read about the experience of others?

Asked by: Rachel Eglinton  | Saturday 4 May, 10.59am | no answers yet - add one

replacing deck board

The board over the engine is a single sheet of 18mm buffalo board approx 820 X 1150mm. This is quite heavy.
Would 12mm be OK - possibly with two extra battens across the width

Asked by: JDR Lloyd  | Saturday 27 April, 4.17pm | 1 answer

Missing plate

I have lost the plate that attaches the throttle control to the rear of my boat. Any idea of where I can source a new one?
(Posted on behalf of Robin)

Asked by: Robert Cowling   | Wednesday 24 April, 10.28am | 1 answer

Emissions in diesel stoves

What emissions issues are there with diesel stoves? (I mean, as compared to diesel engines or solid fuel stoves)

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Thursday 18 April, 11.03am | no answers yet - add one

Is my stove legal?

With the new emissions regulations coming on, how do I know if the stove on my narrowboat will be legal or not?

Asked by: C O‚ÄôRourke  | Thursday 11 April, 11.12am | 1 answer


Despite taking great care to avoid this problem, I have noticed unsightly streaks from the stove chimney down the side of my newly painted boat. I have used several wash and wax products, even Jizer but to no avail, it still remains , any suggestions please?

Asked by: Gail Hark  | Wednesday 10 April, 10.21pm | 3 answers

UPVC Front Doors

Hi - I'm looking to replace the teak front doors on our narrow boat with uPVC, as (1) the current doors need re-staining & varnishing. and (2) I found that the design is not weatherproof, rain pools on the top of the doors and is then blown in. (3) I'd like the new doors to be more secure too, the current ones are secured with an ugly padlock. I'm not worried about double glazing, as there isn't any elsewhere on the boat. The new doors will need vents though. So, i'm looking for comments, recommendations and things to beware of. Are there any companies that specialise? Thanks!

Asked by: Pete Samuels  | Monday 8 April, 4.45pm | 1 answer

Alternator over-voltage on tick-over

Our narrowboat built in 1999 with a Beta 37.5 HP engine has two alternators - the 40A charging the starter battery and the 80 charging the domestic bank (3 X 110) via an Adverc controller.
Before the start of the cruising season I fitted 3 X 100W solar panels connected via a Victron MPPT controller (the adsorption voltage limited to 14.25V) - mainly so we could leave the boat with the fridge running when away.
This worked fine until the 4 days into our summer cruise when with the engine on tick-over there were two loud bangs. Found cases blown off (gel) batteries. Called out Kings Lock Chandlery as they were nearby - they replaced 3 batteries and checked the charging voltage which was OK but two days later, again on tick-over - the Adverc green lamp started flashing indicating an over-voltage warning. I unplugged the Adverc as recommended when alternator's own regulator should take over (14v) but the meter was still showing 15v. I then disconnected the alternator to prevent further damage and relied on solar panels to run the domestic circuits for the next 5 weeks till we got to Stoke on Trent Boat Builders where we were booked in for re-blacking.
They sent the alternator to a specialist repairer and refitted it. Everything seemed to be OK but I kept monitoring the voltmeter. After 2 days at 14V it started moving between 14.25 and 14.5 V (as Adverc's "what to expect" instructions* predict) but whenever the revs dropped to tick-over the voltage rose to 14.5 and up to 14.8, dropping again as soon as the revs increased. This seems illogical.
I Unplugged the Adverc but still there is still an increase in voltage on tick over
Could the installation of the solar panels have caused the alternator and/or the Adverc controller to fail or was it just coincidence with a 19 year old system? On thinking back the alternator had over the past year been taking increasingly longer to "kick-in".
I have since found that the excitation connection on the domestic alternator is supplied from the starter battery via the "ignition" switch - connecting a lamp between the main output and the excitation terminal limits the voltage rise on tick-over.
Any suggestions or advice, please?

Asked by: JDR Lloyd  | Saturday 6 April, 6.01pm | 5 answers

Boat curtains

What are the regulations regarding curtains/blinds in the galley area in the proximity of a gas hob? We would prefer Roman blinds running in a channel.Is there a minimum distance requirement under the BSS?

Asked by: Trevor Hogg  | Thursday 4 April, 4.07pm | 1 answer

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