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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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My late uncle worked on a tug named FALCONBROOK on the Lea Navigation during the 1950's, 60's and 70's. I have seen photos of the tug on the ShipSpotting site taken in Limehouse as recent as 2007. It does look a bit of a relic.Does anyone know its present whereabouts or its ultimate fate if no longer afloat ?? I do have photos

Asked by: John Cooper  | Friday 10 February, 11.18am | 1 answer

Ref grp narrow boat

some 30+ years ago there was a company that was trying to make a GRP narrow boat, what was there name, and what became of them?

Asked by: Bryan Victor Mayle  | Monday 6 February, 1.46pm | 4 answers

Boat cleaning and polishing

I was horrified today when looking for cleaning producs for my narrowboat to find them warning of long term damage to aquatic life and not to discharge them into watercourses! So I didn't buy them.
Any recommendations for environmentally acceptable products?

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Sunday 5 February, 7.45pm | 2 answers

Replacing rotten mushroom and bullseye vent liners

How do you buy and fit replacement vent liners for mushroom and bullseye vents?

Asked by: david moon  | Friday 3 February, 5.37pm | 2 answers

Ways of getting a good view from the saloon windows

We want to be able to look straight out of the saloon windows when sitting. One option is to increase the depth of the saloon windows so that the lower edge of the window frame is closer to the gunwale than it might be with say a typical 21" window. We may also have to combine this with an increase in the height of the sofa to achieve a good view. Apart from the risk of kicking the window when standing on the gunwale, can anyone see any problem with lowering the bottom edge of the window frame? Has anyone done this?

Asked by: Guy Campbell  | Tuesday 31 January, 6.42pm | 2 answers

Narrow boat Lifting near Ripon Marina

Can anyone advise me where is the nearest marina/boatyard to Ripon Racecourse Marina that can lift a 40 foot narrow boat onto a HGV Trailer please?

Asked by: Jerry Scott-Maber  | Sunday 29 January, 10.25am | 3 answers

Correct Anchor

Hi can anybody tell me the correct anchor, length of chain and size of rope I require. For my new 60ft semi trad narrow boat. We do intent to do quite a bit of river work
Thanks Tom

Asked by: Tom Grocott  | Tuesday 24 January, 11.29am | 1 answer

13ft widebeam

Hi, can I get a 13ft by 60ft widebeam from Sawley Marina to Leicester?are the locks and bridges wide enough?

Asked by: Adrian Chaplin  | Friday 20 January, 9.04pm | 3 answers

Sub-floor, floorboards and ballast

I'm in the process of fitting out a 4 year old 58ft narrowboat. I bought the shell, engine etc. and it has the original ballast and 18mm ply sub-floor which is not in too bad a condition but will need some treatment. I'm in the process of putting down 25mm Celotex between wood batterns (on metal struts) about 55cm apart so quite close together and therefore quite firm.
My intention is to have hardwood T&G floorboards, do you think I need the sub-floor and spend time and money on it as it's already there or better just to remove it for the floorboards. Does the sub-floor make that much of a difference?
As I'm not sure about the ballast and how the boat sits in the water (it's currently on hard standing), I'm just a little concerned as I may need to get to the ballast, once it's in the water, to move things accordingly? The sub-floor will make this much more difficult.

Asked by: Martin Parker  | Tuesday 17 January, 11.24am | 2 answers

Remote control for narrowboat in a lock

i am a single handed boater and wish to avoid clambering on roof when using a lock

Asked by: sharp  | Saturday 14 January, 8.54pm | 3 answers

Gary Dean

I wish to dispute the way you have put the question about earthing Generators "Should I earth it?" (W.W. February 2017 page90) I did not ask any such question. I would please like it to be corrected. What I did say and ask is as below (as in this forum). Please can you Mr Smedley not change the way questions people put to Waterways World. My question was as below [June2015]:-
Generator Grounding (Earthing)
Dear Sir,
I have just brought an IG770 Kipor generator for use on the bank. My boat being Viking 28, is of GRP construction. I had to ask the company (Kipor)direct about what is required to earth it (Grounding). Before looking on the internet it is not so simple as to just stick a bit of metal into the ground. For starters using a thicker grounding rod does not reduce the resistance from rod to earth[when earthing a power station but may apply to a degree] . The length of the grounding rod is important and also what substrate you are sticking it into (gravely soil, sand, wet soil or dry, clay etc). It is impracticable to use a four foot rod as it may well bend or be impossible to pull out of the ground. If using more than one, they should be spaced not nearer than the length of each one's depth in the ground. An Ohms test should be done between the earth cable hence the thick cable required from the generator to the rod or rods. The mind boggles if you start to look deeper at the subject.
We are interested in our own generator set, so require the earth rod or rods for what our generators max power can produce, plus (at a guess) 30-40% to be on the safe side. My boat is of GRP construction.
Kipor told me to use as followed. [I can email the information from Kipor along with drawing if required].
Materials needed:
1. a copper wire(cross sectional area 2.5mm2)
2. a threaded copper rod(diameter 10mm, length 600mm)
3. an ohm meter
Operation steps:
1. Find the ground terminal on the panel
2. Twin the terminal with the copper wire
3. Twin the copper rod with the copper wire along the threads
4. Insert the cooper rod into the earth, the cooper shall not be above the earth for more than 150mm, a warning sign beside the cooper will be better
5. Measure the resistance between the terminal on the panel and the cooper rod, the resistance shall be lower than 4 Ohm, or, please use shorter copper wire
Not quite what you may have expected(??) 2.5mm2 but may be ok for max 770 Watts output!
Yours Sincerely
Gary Dean.
WW subscriber.
PS I have seen generators this year at WW boat show along the canal at Crick, without any grounding, quite big lumps too. They must be mad or stupid idiots.
Asked by: Gary | Tuesday 9 June, 2.29pm | 3 answers

Asked by: Gary  | Friday 13 January, 3.42pm | 4 answers

Stove Flue Requirements

I am planning tofit a Morso Squirrel or similar in my 57 foot new build narrowboat. As insulated flues look out of proportion to the size of the stove, can I use single skin to the roof and then insulated, thus gaining extra heat as well? If this is possible what clearance do I need to uninsulated surfaces. Many thanks. Michael Clement.

Asked by: Michael Clement  | Thursday 12 January, 3.19pm | 2 answers

Best diesel central heating

We are having our own boat built next year and the builder will fit an Eberspacher hydronic heating system with fin rads and towel rail as standard. We will be liveaboards and I was wondering if this is the best system to have. I want to have diesel fired heating so I can legitimately buy fuel at a rebated price. I think the basic question is should I have a forced combustion type like the Eberspacher, or a pressure jet boiler like a Hurricane or Kubola? What are the known reliability problems with either?
Hoping you can help with my decision

Asked by: Raymond Fowler  | Wednesday 14 December, 1.06pm | 2 answers

Rudder to prop clearance?

I'm hoping to improve the balance of my tiller and the response to tiller movement by adding an inch or two to the forward edge of the rudder but don't know what the minimum clearance between prop and rudder should be.
Any help much appreciated.

Asked by: Rob Pendleton  | Monday 12 December, 12.17am | 3 answers

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

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