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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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Beta Engines fault

We have become aware of a problem with Beta engines where the extended front crankshaft pulley becomes loose and damages the threads and keyways on the front of the crankshaft. This has happened to the engine on our share boat and a relative's liveaboard, both with several thousand hours use. We were advised that this is a well known problem related to loading the front of the Kubota engine crank. Having just bought our own boat with a Beta 43, with 2k hours, do you have any knowledge of this and what preventative steps steps should we take to avoid an expensive breakdown? I understand that it is difficult to check the tightness of the front pulley nut as it requires a specialist extended castellated 43mm socket.

Asked by: Donald Starr  | Friday 3 April, 3.40pm | 1 answer


Trying to locate hard copy of BSS Essential Guide [2nd Edition]. CRT Website no help!
Any ideas?

Asked by: Michael Clement  | Monday 30 March, 4.59pm | 2 answers

Mindon Marine Widebeam Narrowboat

We have just purchased the above mentioned boat in France which needs some TLC. Has anyone refurbished one of these and, if so, could they offer some suggestions. Many thanks

Asked by: donna  | Saturday 28 March, 10.57am | no answers yet - add one

Fuel Filtration

Installing new Barrus 50 hp engine in 57 foot new build. Looking to install extra filters to lessen chance of future problems.Advise please!

Asked by: Michael Clement  | Thursday 26 March, 3.28pm | 4 answers

Double glazing windows

Has anyone gone from single glazed to double glazed windows due to the good ol' condensation problem. I've got 12 [21" x 36"]to change so want the best price but also have read about double glazed windows breaking down and condensation leaks due to the vibration of the boat affecting the window glazing seals. Thanks BG

Asked by: bill goad  | Tuesday 24 March, 5.54pm | no answers yet - add one

Re-skinning a GRP ROOF AND SIDES

we have been rather taken with a dartline narrowboat that has a steel hull and grp top and sides. A survey has revealed the roof needs strengthening and re-skinning, she is 53ft and I hoping someone could help us with a rough price how much it would cost to put it right.

Asked by: aaron tweed  | Sunday 22 March, 6.58pm | 1 answer

Mooring hook, how do you attach it to a chain with rings?

I'm an armchair narrowboat enthusiast in USA. I saw a youtube video, subject: using a mooring hook on a chain with rings, wondering how do you attached the two, do you (1) feed one of the chain-rings from the open end to the closed end of the mooring-hook, (2) attach the mooring-hook to the chain with a chain-loop by passing the small ring through the large ring?

Asked by: rmalcolm  | Thursday 19 March, 5.21pm | 1 answer

which TV aerial?

I use a 240v tv/dvd player combo on my narrowboat, only having played dvd's so far. I want to watch TV now: what sort of aerial should I buy? I'd like it to be a low-lying type.

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Thursday 19 March, 1.30pm | 2 answers

what anchor?

I have a 53ft narrowboat, what type of anchor do I need, how heavy should it be, what length and what size of chain and length and size of rope? I have read so many articles and am more confused. What is the most likely sonario that I would need to use a anchor in the first place?
Many Thanks
David Gibbons. ND Lazy Daze.

Asked by: david gibbons  | Sunday 15 March, 9.21pm | 1 answer

Bollard mooring

Its an assumption, I'm not a narrow-boater, I'm in USA editing an article, are canal bollard moorings for temporary, live mooring; rather than secure long term mooring? I've seen them on approach of a lock.

Asked by: rmalcolm  | Sunday 15 March, 7.40pm | 2 answers

Folding seat as in feb issue on dune lark narrowboat

Is there any plans or advice on building this great looking space saving seat

Asked by: catherine sloan  | Sunday 15 March, 10.34am | 2 answers

heater on petrol engine boat

Can I install a diesel water central heating boiler on my petrol engine boat.I cant find the answer in the Boat safety guide.

Asked by: laurence  | Wednesday 11 March, 8.20pm | 5 answers

48 hr moorings

if I use the last ring on the 48hr mooring and the rest of my boat is on pins am I ok for 14 days, my boat is 57 feet, thank you.

Asked by: andy wakler  | Tuesday 10 March, 10.02pm | 1 answer

How much Horse Power does a Narrowboat Need?

I am new to boating, but loved my first narrowboat holiday last year, and am considering whether to buy my own boat. Living in Derby, I would probably want to navigate the river Trent at some point. How much horse power should a narrowboat in the 40 - 60 foot range require for river cruising?

Asked by: Rod Nelson  | Tuesday 10 March, 12.28pm | 3 answers

Stiff rudder

I have a new 60ft narrow boat and when the rpm is over 1000 it is very hard to move the tiller to steer. why

Asked by: Tony Wilkinson  | Sunday 8 March, 10.57am | 3 answers

Engine Temperature

Hi, Thankyou for your quick reply.
The barrus shire 50 is fitted to a 65 foot narrow boat which was fitted 2 years ago and now has 235 hrs on the clock. The thermostats have both been replaced now to rule out any problems reguarding the opening, shutting at the corrected temperature. As I said before the old were tested and performed ok.
The problem seems to be with the thermostat housing to the skin tank, after just 5mins of the engine running at 1100 rrpm in gear, there is warm water going to the skin tank. Barrus have said there is a small hole (1mm) to allow a flow to reduce back pressure. If you clamp off this pipe and run the engine after just 20 mins the temperature on the clarifier flow is 70c, return 66c and the temp gauge is showing 80c.
By clamping the pipe this gets the system working, after 45 mins the skin tank pipe was still cool between the housing and the clamp but the engine temp gauge was displaying just under 100c. My thermocouple was reading around 87,deg but I felt it was best to remove the clamp at this point. Do you know if this is common practice to have a small hole to relieve back pressure in some way, I dont think it works in this way on vehicles.

Asked by: Nick  | Friday 6 March, 5.09pm | 1 answer

Engine temperture

My Shire 50 diesel engine dose not seem to reach what I think is it's normal operating temperature of 82degrees. Checking with thermocouple probe the max temp I can detect is 60 degrees after running the engine for 90 minutes. I have removed the thermostats (2) and checked by heating in a sauce pan and both proved okay. Can you help!

Asked by: Nick  | Wednesday 4 March, 7.22pm | 2 answers

Three Brown wires

I recently removed a 12v fluorescent light from the wall in my boat and didn't note the connections. When I came to look at the wires, there were three brown ones. How can I deduce which is positive and negative so I can put in a new light. Yours with hope, RF

Asked by: Robert Fresson  | Tuesday 3 March, 12.26pm | 3 answers

12V Wiring

Having now bought a 12v fridge to replace the old gas one, we have discovered there is no 12v wiring to the kitchen side of the boat. Now Hubby is an electrical engineer so installation won't be a problem
per-se but we need to know the following. Traditionally DC cables were red/black but is this still the case and if so where can we source it as drawing blanks? If it has changed, can you tell us the new colour codes? Also, is there a good book on marine electrics out there? He is keen to book a course but nothing available that he can attend until June but we really need the fridge installed before then. Thanks.

Asked by: Debbie Frankland  | Monday 2 March, 8.04pm | 1 answer

Battery blues

On my narrowboat I have been charging my batteries through a RAC car battery charger. I'm sure this is foolish but I am not a boat expert and it seemed to keep everything working for the past four years. No so anymore. If I disconnect the charger the lights go dim, the water-pump stops pumping and now, even when plugged in, the engine won't start and just clicks at me. I'm guessing my cheap charging solution has wrecked my batteries so its probably time to start from scratch...but how should I approach this electro-overhaul? Yours hopefully, RF
PS. I am (clearly) a boating electrics novice.

Asked by: Robert Fresson  | Monday 2 March, 7.43pm | 5 answers

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