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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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treatment fluids for pump out toilet holding tanks

Can you give me any advice about the various treatments and products available for a pump out toilet holding tank? What are their various merits and/or problems. What is everyone out there using currently?

Asked by: heather dawes  | Wednesday 11 December, 9.21pm | 1 answer

Coates & Hubble

Do you have any information on Coates or Coates & Hubble Boat Builders - I am in the process of buying a 2007 Coates & Hubble boat on a Jonathon Wilson shell.

Asked by: Alan Wildman  | Thursday 5 December, 8.25am | 1 answer

Fridge wiring

I recently rewired my fridge in 60foot narrowboat. I took advice from Chandlery who said go direct to the batteries instead of going via the trip switch panel. Have now been told it will fail BSS inspection as new regs say it must be wired via battery isolation switch. Can I fit an in line isolator switch near to the battery bank and will that meet the BSS regulations?

Asked by: peter willard  | Wednesday 27 November, 1.38pm | 4 answers

Can you upload any PDF's or Photos?

Is it possible to upload PDF's or Photos onto this forum board as I wish to open up a new subject on Narrow Boat design and the old saying of a picture is worth a thousand words is very true.

Asked by: richardw66  | Tuesday 26 November, 12.29pm | 1 answer

Basingstoke canal moorings

are there any moorings on the Basingstoke if there are any suitable for a viking 26 centre cockpit please reply with their names

Asked by: James  | Monday 18 November, 6.01pm | 2 answers

Gas fridge re-ignition?

I recently ran out of gas and since changing the canister, my fridge is not working. I guess I need to re-ignite the gas flame but cant figure out how to do it..

Asked by: Nell Holmgren  | Sunday 17 November, 2.52pm | 2 answers


Thank you Mark for you reply, I think I should have been a bit more detailed, it already has comfort gas heating with. 1 rad in galley area, 1 in bathroom, none in bedroom, log burner in lounge, I was thinking more for an upgrade and what would be cost effective over a long term use, thanks David

Asked by: David Siverns  | Friday 15 November, 9.48am | 1 answer

Engine choice

Anticipating a new build 57' to 60', I am considering fitting a 50hp engine to allow for extra grunt and would ask ... What do other owners consider to be the most reliable of the currently available modern engines?
Thanks in advance.

Asked by: John  | Friday 15 November, 6.43am | 5 answers

Narrow Boat Gear Box

I have a 60ft narrow boat with a Vetus
M4.17 engine and a Vetus Technodrive gear box which is very clunky and noisy, I also think that the drive plate is starting to go, as it seems to be making quite a bit of noise.
So I was thinking if I changed the drive plate should I change the gear box as the Technodrive type does not get any praise in forums.
I have read that PRM gear boxes are very good but what size would I need, also are there other types of gear boxes just as good as the PRM type. Your comments would be much appreciated.

Asked by: boatfitout  | Thursday 14 November, 6.04pm | 2 answers


Which would be the best heating for a 63 ft boat , gas or diesel

Asked by: David Siverns  | Thursday 14 November, 12.47pm | 2 answers

fabric cratch cover cleaning

Just buying a 40footer with front and rear black cratch covers. The covers are clearly good quality and condition apart from the surface 'greening'. As it looks like its been sometime since these were last cleaned I'm thinking of powerwashing initially to get this off. Is this the right thing to do or should I use muc-off type cleaner?
thanks for any tips

Asked by: John Naylor  | Tuesday 5 November, 10.46am | 4 answers

Narrowboat painting

Our 50 foot cruiser stern narrowboat will need painting next year or 2015. Some painters I'm talking to for estimates, etc. say they'll use spray paint, others hand painting.
Is one better than the other? What would you recommend?

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Monday 4 November, 6.56pm | 2 answers

Increased water storage

I've been thinking about solutions to increase water storage on a liveaboard vessel, to limit water refill trips. Ideally a solution would double water capacity of a standard craft, e.g up to 300 gallons).
2 scenarios:
1. Refitting an existing hull with 'normal' size water tank built into bow.
Extend existing water tank back into hull so weight is balanced on both sides of hull. Requires lots of metalwork.
2. 2nd plastic tank somehow connected to 1st. Any ideas on how to get that to work reliably? Not so keen on this approach but maybe somebody knows how this could be made to work?
2. A new build hull with an increased size water tank. Again I guess the tank could extend back into the interior of the boat.
But maybe there is a way to centralize the tank.
Or maybe the bow can be designed so the whole space can be used for water. e.g if the boat has no gas so there would be no need for gas lockers.
Just looking for an expert's thoughts.
It may well be 'forget it'!

Asked by: Paul McMahon  | Monday 28 October, 1.40pm | 6 answers

loss of coolant fluid

My isuzi 35hp has just started to loose coolant fluid. The engine does not show overheating. It has 550 engine hours. Recently completed a 2 week holiday with no problems. After 2 weeks without running we now have a large puddle of coolant under the engine after 1 hours use. Why might this have just suddenly started and what may be the causes? How can I fix it? thanks Heather.

Asked by: heather dawes  | Friday 25 October, 6.50pm | 2 answers

Fitting Prestolite alternator to Shire 2002

I wish to fit a Prestolite 90A alternator to my Barrus Shire 2002 canal boat engine. Unfortunately the rear end of the prestolite will foul the waer cooled exhaust manifold. Some time ago on this forum someone had the same job done professionally. He too was worried about this problem but the professional installer got round it. Any ideas how? Has anyone else done this mod for themselves?
John Spicer

Asked by: John Spicer  | Friday 25 October, 4.38pm | 2 answers

Thornycroft RJ2

Hi There,
This is a bit of a long shot as I am aware that there are very few of these engines in The U'ÄčK'Äč.
I recently bought a narrowboat and it has a 1937 Thornycroft Rj2 onboard but we need some new pistons,as ours are damaged, do you have idea where I may get my hands on some?
My number is 078 777 16702.
Would be great if you could help me out.
All the best and looking forward to hearing from you.

Asked by: Shane Dempsey  | Tuesday 22 October, 3.11pm | 2 answers

Engine oil change

I had a full engine service in May 2013. I have now finished for the year and the boat is in a marina. If I myself using the hand pump supplied with my Vetus M4.17 engine change the engine oil and filter now, do I need to change it again in April next year. The oil will only have sat in the engine sump for 5 months and should not have lost any of its viscosity or has more changes throughout the winter occurred to effect the oil, what would you advise please.

Asked by: David Anderson  | Monday 21 October, 2.18pm | 2 answers


Who are the best wide beam boat builders?

Asked by: Tony Spruce  | Saturday 19 October, 7.54am | 4 answers


How do boat builders know what weight of ballast to put in the bilge so that the boat floats level and the right depth. I understand they know weight of most things in engine room but their are many other facts to take into equation.

Asked by: Mr Vernon Whitehair  | Friday 18 October, 9.19am | 1 answer

fuel in bilge

I appear to be getting some fuel in my bilge water. What might be wrong?

Asked by: Celeste  | Wednesday 16 October, 7.23pm | 2 answers

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