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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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Bought five 110 leisure batts two years ago. I am mostly in a marina with shore power and the charge showing on the monitor is 105, having been out for 6 weeks I run engine for 3hrs, monitor shows 40-50%, when engine is turned off batteries will slowly rise to 80%, at night I turn everything off, except fridge, and monitor shows 55-60%, in morning it reads 0% and have to run engine to get it up to 80%. Is this a sign that I need new batteries? If so, what type? Maintenance free? Gel? Cheap ones every 2 years? Any advice welcome. Many thanks.

Asked by: Anthony Burnell  | Thursday 3 October, 10.12am | 1 answer

Gear box

I have 120 gear box on 35hp isuzi engine when i have been cruising for about 3 to 4 hours it will not go into forward gear after slowing down in reverse,can you HELP.

Asked by: Eddie Kingswell  | Wednesday 2 October, 9.56am | 3 answers

Aldi boiler

I've got an Aldi boiler that has a very slow water leak in the state somewhere. I will get it fixed soon! But, in the mean time, how do I top up the system? I can't see a header tank or anywhere obvious to put water and antifreeze in to it?

Asked by: Carl Young  | Thursday 26 September, 1.27pm | 3 answers

Inverter question below

Further to my question below about the inverter showing a fault when the engine is running
I've got a victron monitor which says that the voltage going in is 14.84. So, a bit over the 14.5. Is that enough to tip it over?
What can I so to reduce the voltage?
The engine is a year old Beta 38 with 120 hours on it and under guarantee.

Asked by: Carl Young  | Thursday 26 September, 1.24pm | 5 answers

What depth should the rudder be?

We bought a 10 year old 58' semi trad narrowboat for cruising this year which had previously been used as a liveaboard in a marina, complete with washing machine. Now that the boat is lighter, it has been commented that the rudder is not sitting as deep in the water as it should. What depth should we be looking for and how can we achieve it? Also, what power will we need to run the washing machine whilst cruising, or do we need to remove it (which will make the stern even lighter). Thanks

Asked by: chrissy  | Monday 23 September, 10.47am | 3 answers

Inverter doesn't work with engine running

I've just replaced my 3000w modified sine inverter with a 5000w pure sine. Brilliant, it runs my PS3 and espresso machine, which is why I bought it. I thought all was well. But, I took the boat out today for the first time since fitting it and as soon as I turned the engine on, the inverter threw up a fault light and stopped working. Turn the engine off again and it's works perfectly. What's going on? How does it even know my engine is running when its drawing power from my batteries (5 x 110a all new). The 3000w ran perfectly. Thank you.

Asked by: Carl Young  | Sunday 22 September, 3.00pm | 2 answers


what is the raysheo of anti freeze for an espass diesel heater for my central heating on narrow boat thanks

Asked by: janet alderson  | Tuesday 17 September, 8.40pm | 1 answer

BMC 1.8 Random Engine Acceleration

I have 20 year old Calcutt Marine BMC 1.8 engine in my narrow boat. It was re-tuned by them 18 months ago after fitting new injectors and injection pump. It has now started to randomly accelerate and misfire at normal cruising speed, which improves slightly as the engine warms up, I have replaced both fuel filters but this has made no difference. Could this problem be due to air getting into the fuel system, if so how? Any help would be most appreciated.
Many thanks Peter Heath

Asked by: Peter Heath  | Monday 16 September, 7.26pm | 2 answers

Lister SR2 Issues

We bought a 45' narrowboat last year fitted with a Lister SR2 air-cooled engine and a 16" prop (pitch unknown). I find it won't go much above 3mph without overheating and over a period of a couple of hours or so the oil pressure gradually drops to 10psi at that speed and looks as if it is continuing to drop slowly. Stopping and manoeuvring are poor. The air intake to the engine compartment is only 290x130mm. The cooling air comes off the manifold, turns a right angle into a rectangular box 130x100mm and 700mm long, then another right angle into two 160mm dia hoses to the outlet which is also 290x130mm. This appears from the manual to be inadequate cooling so would a fan in the duct help and would a new prop be a help? The space between the skeg and underside of the boat is 20".

Asked by: Andrew Strawson  | Thursday 12 September, 5.17pm | 1 answer

Inflexibility of Nylon Rope

Some years ago I bought a reel of 14mm white nylon rope with the intention of making up my own lines. The rope has a lot of stretch in it, which seems an asset. When new it is soft and pliable but with some use it quickly becomes stiff and unwieldy, but then develops more give as it ages, but never gets back to the soft feel it had when new.
Any ideas on why this is and, more importantly, any ideas on what I might do to treat it?

Asked by: Colin Wilks  | Wednesday 11 September, 9.33am | 2 answers

What colour paints last the longest?

We are about to have our boat stripped and painted so we can change her colours. Which colours tend to look good the longest. Red we understand fades badly, so what do readers think last the longest?

Asked by: Marian Birks  | Monday 9 September, 9.11pm | 1 answer

Squeaking inverter

Just bought a narrow boat a few days ago.
On Monday I cruised 2,5 hrs after picking up. On Wednesday I started the engine to charge the batteries then switched on the inverter to charge my phone. After about 20 minutes a terrible noise came from the inverter, so switched it off. Since that time whenever I try to switch it on does the same, so I'm unable to use it.
Any idea what could it be and what shall I do to have 240V?
Thanks a lot for the kind help, I'm really desperate as I moved on her and can't use the sockets :-(

Asked by: Andrea   | Sunday 8 September, 7.05pm | 2 answers

Fire extinguishers

How many fire extinguishers should I have on my 50 foot cruiser stern narrowboat?

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Saturday 7 September, 3.15pm | 3 answers

Sanitation hose odour

We have noticed an increasing plastic type smell next to our holding tank. This is not the same as when pumping out, and seems to be coming from the flexible hoses connecting the loo and the tank. Can anyone suggest a remedy? The boat is just over a 18 months old.

Asked by: John Phillip Lloyd  | Wednesday 4 September, 3.33pm | 2 answers


I think we need new batteries for a 59"7 narrow boat 4 leisure batteries and .1 starter battery ok . the 4 leisure batteries 2 show red and 2 show green as i can not get 2 of the same make of batteries can you mix diferant makes together thanks

Asked by: janet alderson  | Monday 2 September, 8.20pm | 3 answers

making a dinette

where can I get the plans to build one

Asked by: terry buchan  | Saturday 31 August, 7.26pm | 3 answers

Narrow boat length

What minimum length narrow boat would my partner and I need to tour the waterways system?

Asked by: Terry Quinn  | Sunday 25 August, 3.10pm | 2 answers

Spray foam

My boat is 4 years old and has significant staining on the hull side wood, on closer inspection the underside of the bearers has not been spray foamed, are rusty and dripping with condensation. The builders and spray foam company are saying this is due to a water pump leak we had and that it is standard practice not to cover the underneath of the bearers. The floor is fine, I would expect significant water damage to the floor if this was the case. I would just like peoples opinion on this issue. Thanks

Asked by: Nicole  | Thursday 22 August, 2.09pm | 3 answers

Lister engine

Looking at a well kept 1992 46ft boat with Lister lpw3 27bhp has covered 5616hrs. Acceptable??

Asked by: John Bass  | Wednesday 21 August, 9.17pm | 3 answers


my toilet does no flush on the canal boat its a thedford toilet we have cleaned the potty still does not work any sugestions what to do next

Asked by: janet alderson  | Monday 19 August, 3.06pm | 1 answer

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