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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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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

painting water tank

I need to paint my fresh water tank. Any tips would be gratefully received. Best type of paint, do I need to take it back to bear metal, any easy ways for preparation etc.. Also not sure if I can get into the tank easily (I`m quite large) so any help with this would would be great. Failing all this are there companies that would do it for me at my mooring (lechlade on Thames).

Asked by: Paul Jones  | Monday 26 September, 12.58pm | 3 answers

Looking for a narrow boat for me and my little dog polo

Right were to start? Right yer go's who do I go about looking for my narrow boat and how do I bye my boat

Asked by: Peter  | Monday 26 September, 11.50am | 1 answer

Suitable backing to be used when installing a wood burning stove

We are going to replace our wood burning stove and want to replace the existing tiles at the same time. Is there any other covering we can use such as a metal or tile sheet over a non combustible back board ? Regards Denise

Asked by: Denise Riding  | Tuesday 13 September, 2.09pm | 2 answers


I'm shortly going to be cruising rivers including the tidal Ouse. So I need to install an anchor. I've done a bit of research and it seems I need an anchor, some chain and some rope. But how heavy and how long? Mine is a 55 foot 16 ton narrowboat. I've heard that I might need a 25 kilo anchor. However, I don't think that I could physicaly pull that out of the water! What would the minimum weight be? I'm quite old and just not that strong : ) Also, how would I attach the anchor? I have a cratch cover, which makes it very difficult to get onto the front of the boat without unzipping the sides. I'm thinking that in an emergency situation, that's not the best thing to be doing. I have thought about attaching the anchor to the front of the boat and storing it in the cratch, ready to just throw over the side in an emergency. Does that sound sensible? Can the anchor be attached at the back of the boat instead, where I could quickly drop it ove the side (it's a cruiser stern)? Any help appreciated, particularly with anchor size and how to put all that anchor, chain and rope together. Thanks.

Asked by: Carl  | Thursday 8 September, 7.57am | 5 answers

battery charging

If I install a new 240v battery charger on my narrow boat, do I need 1) a 2 bank charger to charge domestic and starter batteries separately,but at the same time, 2)some switching device to charge the batteries individually off a one bank charger, ie domestic or starter, or 3)can I connect all my batteries in parallel and charge them all at the same time. If connected together will my starter battery loose power when I'm running domestic only and will I risk running it down. Your guidance on the use of a one bank charger would be very much appreciated as internet advise on this although very good and informative, does not appear to address this item. regards Colin

Asked by: colin dixie  | Wednesday 7 September, 1.43pm | 2 answers

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