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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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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

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, 1.27pm | no answers yet - add one

Marine generators - raw water to keel cooling

Its seems most of the small second hand marine generators advertised are raw water cooled. Can these be converted to keel cooling by diverting the water flow from the exhaust elbow injection point to a calorifier to keel tank and fitting a dry exhaust or is it not as simple as that?

Asked by: Mark  | Tuesday 4 December, 1.54pm | 2 answers

Time limit

is there a case for compensation for a long boat build. My builders have been fitting out my boat for 54 weeks and I can't seem to make them complete the build.

Asked by: alan griffiths  | Sunday 2 December, 4.48pm | 1 answer

Overflowing anti-freeze in engine header tank

I have a new Vetus M4.45 engine with a coolant header tank that came with the engine.
Since installation the header tank has leaked when the water got hot and expanded. I took it off thinking that the tank had a small split, only to find that there was a small hole in the back at the top, which (it turns out) was supposed to have a return pipe to deliver any overflow back to the skin tank of the engine -the expanded excess water was overflowing out of this hole.
The dealer has given me a replacement header tank without this hole, so now it will be properly pressurised. However, the dealer asks if maybe my skin tank is too small, since he says the coolant shouldn't expand so much in normal use.
My previous engine was a BMC 1.8, which never had any problems with overheating in normal use.

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Tuesday 27 November, 12.14pm | 2 answers

Power Audit

I know that this question regularly does the rounds, but what is the best way to do a power audit?

Asked by: Fiona  | Sunday 25 November, 11.00am | 2 answers

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