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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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Diesel stove v solid fuel stove

I can't decide between the two. We were set on diesel stove but reading some information of maintenance they appear to be more onerous to keep clean and in full working order. Also, other reports I've read, they appear to be somewhat temperamental to light and the regulator and fuel jets can become blocked quite easily. There is also the problem of another tank of fuel to have problems with contamination etc. I have not had first hand experience of diesel stoves and I've never seen one working, or speak directly with an owner of one. Am I imagining these potential problems or are they really okay?

Asked by: Raymond Fowler  | Tuesday 29 November, 9.39am | 2 answers

dehumidifier and portable electric heater

Could you recommend a suitable dehumidifier to leave on a boat over winter.I am also thinking of placing a portable heater on the boat with a thermostat to say keep at 4'c / above freezing. The boat is connected to shore mains, any suggestions.

Asked by: michael Hawkins  | Sunday 27 November, 11.56am | 3 answers

oil separator for bilge water

There is no actual oil leak into the bilge but when pumping out bilge water there is often a film of oil from the discharge. Are there any separators that can easily be installed in the bilge pump outlet?

Asked by: Martin Brett  | Tuesday 22 November, 12.48pm | 3 answers

Question forwarded from email

Please consider the following for publication in Waterlines.
Recently my wife and I negotiated the locks down the Aston Canal into Manchester, not a route we have taken for many years. We found the locks heavy with fountain-like leakage from the top gates on many of them. I had to make sure our boat stayed forward on the bottom gates or the back deck would get flooded by the leakage. This set me thinking about an aspect of boat behaviour when going down locks that I am at a loss to explain, despite being a Chartered Engineer with some knowledge of hydrodynamics. Perhaps WW readers might enlighten me?
When descending in a canal lock the boat initially move forwards onto to bottom gates as the paddles are opened; no mystery there as that's the way the water in the lock is moving as it begins to empty. However, when the lock is just about empty, the boat moves backwards towards the top gate and cill. I can't understand why this happens. It tends to happen on just about all types of lock regardless of single, double, gate paddles or ground paddles. It's as if water is flowing back into he lock when it's empty, but why? Often this effect is quite useful, particularly on single bottom gates as it moves the boat away from the gates ready to open them. On the Aston Canal though the unwary may get there back deck washed!
Can anyone come up with a convincing explanation? In case it matters, our boat is a traditional designed 58 ft. narrowboat.
Bill Root

Asked by: Robert Cowling   | Thursday 10 November, 4.07pm | 1 answer

Morse Squirrel rope door seal

The old seal is all removed and new 'official' rope seal inserted. The problem is that we can no longer shut the door. Despite giving it time to settle it is no better. Is there some trick or have we been sent the wrong seal kit??

Asked by: Roger Munt  | Saturday 5 November, 11.09am | 2 answers

Galvanic Isolator or Isolation Transformer

We're in the process of specifying our boat that will be built next year and I'm wondering which form of galvanic protection I should have? We will be spending many months moored in a marina connected to shore power surrounded by many other boats. I know I need some form of protection and having read about Victron's Isolation Transformer I'm wondering if I need to spend that bit more to have the ultimate protection?

Asked by: Raymond Fowler  | Saturday 5 November, 5.54am | 2 answers

update to prop shaft rubber seal

The renewal of PSS seal on the prop shaft looks strait forward enough,but I have to some how remove the uniflex coupling to do this.I do not know what is in this and don't want it to fly apart. PS Boat is out of the water. Regards Mike

Asked by: mike farmer  | Wednesday 2 November, 9.37pm | 1 answer

Is lightning ever likely to strike a narrowboat?

If a narrowboat could get struck by lightning, what precautions could I take to reduce the risk or consequent damage?

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Wednesday 2 November, 9.50am | 1 answer

Should I reduce my calorier pressure when I leave the boat?

When I leave my boat I switch off the battery isolator. This, among other things, turns off the water pump.
But the calorifier system remains pressurised, so to reassure myself I run the hot tap to release the pint or two of water that the pressure forces out.
My question: Does this make any difference? And does the pressure remaining make the water less or more likely to freeze were an unexpected frost to strike?

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Wednesday 2 November, 9.47am | 1 answer

prop shaft removal

I need to change the rubber gaitor on my water lubricated prop shaft,but am not sure how to remove the steel and rubber custion off this shaft?

Asked by: mike farmer  | Tuesday 1 November, 11.14am | 2 answers

Fuel for Narrowboats

I've been boating for less than a year, and was a bit confused to find a fuel pump at a local marina labelled 'gas oil' rather than diesel. An online search of WW articles suggests that gas oil and diesel are not the same thing. What is the difference? Can I use either for my Isuzu diesel engine and for my Eberspacher water-based central heating system?

Asked by: Rod Nelson  | Tuesday 1 November, 10.43am | 1 answer

Engine Stack Pipes

I have a Beta Marine JD3 tug engine with a roof mounted stack pipe which is too short. I have tried off the shelf Midland Chandlerblonger stack pipes but they are too small. The connection is quite shallow and does have a thread. What is my best way forward?

Asked by: david moon  | Friday 28 October, 3.00pm | 1 answer

working out power usage

is there a rough guide as to how many amps the standard electrical items pull to enable me to work out my requirements for batteries and solar panels.

Asked by: william boyle  | Monday 24 October, 5.57pm | 1 answer

would this be a good type of frost heater for my boat?

the cold months have started and I'm worried about frost, i have found this tubular heater http://www.jc-direct.co.uk/heatstore-tubular-heaters-1ft-6ft.html and wondered if it would be a good to keep the frost away or maybe you have an alternative?

Asked by: gareth  | Sunday 23 October, 2.57pm | 3 answers

Limescale remover compatible with Elsan Blue

Hi - we have macerator loos with Elsan Blue in the holding tanks. The bowls are getting badly stained at the exit route where limescale is forming. Can someone recommend a cleaner that will not harm the chemicals in the holding tank please nor the (hard plastic) pipe seals.

Asked by: Ian Hawkes  | Tuesday 18 October, 5.19pm | 1 answer

Multi fuel stoves

Hi all looking at a multi fuel stove for my new build can anyone recommend a stove that does not coke up the glass or what features I should look for to help prevent this .
thanks Tom

Asked by: Tom Grocott  | Sunday 16 October, 10.28am | 3 answers

Reviews of Cuttwater boat builders

Hi, I'm almost ready to buy my first nb and was hoping I could get some feedback on cuttwater boat builders in Doncaster. Are they good builders? Does anyone have a cuttwater boat? Advice is appreciated. Thanks, Lisa

Asked by: Lisa  | Wednesday 12 October, 7.38pm | 2 answers

Solar power

Hi I am nearing the end of my 60Ft boat build, and now my attention turns to the need for power. We have decided to have a generator fitted to give us 230v when on the move ,but most people seem to have solar panels fitted are these a good option and if so which ones are the best and what wattage should we go for it will be a live aboard thanks Tom

Asked by: Tom Grocott  | Monday 10 October, 5.38pm | 3 answers

Singe handed

How to Singe handed run a

Asked by: Pete Friend  | Friday 7 October, 5.11pm | 1 answer

change of address

I need to change my address, how?

Asked by: dave  | Wednesday 28 September, 10.37am | 3 answers

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