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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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What are the rules for canoe's in Tunnels. Are they allowed or not.

Asked by: Rod Pinder  | Thursday 1 March, 5.14pm | 2 answers

Webasco heating

I'm having a webasco thermo top c fitted to are 40ft narrowboat, I'm having 2 radiators and a towel rail fitted, what size radiators and towel rail do I need to buy. Thanks for any advice

Asked by: Vince Sherlock  | Tuesday 27 February, 6.27pm | 3 answers

Energy issues onboard

We have a brand new narrowboat and are newbies as continuous cruisers. After 5 hours cruising our batteries are not fully charged. Is that normal as we do not have anything on whilst we are cruising except the WIFI. When we are moored up we watch TV for a couple of hours and the batteries go down to 11.8 so we have to charge them up again. We flush the toilet a couple of times and put the lights on for short periods of time i.e. 5 to 10 mins. Our setup is 4 x SMF VETUS MATINE BATTERIES 12 V 145 AH (20H) with a VICTRON MULTIPLUS 12V 3000 VA 120AMP. The alternator for the domestic batteries is 240AMP plus solar panels to top up 20AMP. Our domestic consumables are Vetus pump out toilet, fridge 12V, freezer 12V, LED lighting, Playstation 4 240V, TV 240V 133W, Satelite dish and 4G receiver and WIFI system and a digital radio 240V.
Please could you advise us if this is normal or is our system faulty somewhere?
many thanks

Asked by: costas  | Monday 26 February, 10.07am | 4 answers

Best product for protecting cabin bilge.

Hello. I've just bought a wide beam shell and would like some advice as to what's the best product to use on the cabin bilge. Is it preferable to use a bilge paint or something like black jack bituminous paint. I'm completely new to this so any help appreciated. Thanks.

Asked by: Lisa  | Saturday 17 February, 6.34pm | 1 answer

Central heating header tank, constantly needing topping up

I have a webasto powered central heating system with 3 Radiators, Recently i have noticed that the level in the system water tank needs topping up regularly. Ive checked for leaks but can not find any. where might the water be going.

Asked by: Byron Crook  | Thursday 15 February, 8.35pm | 1 answer

Water pipe tap leak

From our water pump that sits near the bow of the boat there is a pipe that leads to the water tank then there are two pipes that run through the whole boat one above the other, both lead from the water pump. The top pipe has a tap on it and this is leaking. I don't know what this tap is for and whether it should be closed and that's the reason for the leak. Can anyone explain its use?
Thanks for the help

Asked by: christina haste  | Tuesday 13 February, 1.30pm | 1 answer

Ni-Fe batteries

Your recent article seemed to promote the use of Ni-Fe batteries, but when I contacted the website suggested they said that their batteries were not suitable for use on boats and they did not ship outside of the USA anyway. Is there anywhere in the UK which sell them, and if so, are they suitable for boats?

Asked by: Fiona  | Sunday 11 February, 10.23am | 3 answers

Long Term Hire

My wife and I are fairly experienced boaters who currently own a share in a boat. Being now both retired we would like to have one long term cruise to explore at our own pace - between 3 and 6 months probably, but we don't really want the hassle of owning a boat we might want to sell after a year or two. I have found several websites such as Escape the Rat Race and Laughing Dog Boats which offer long term rental, but having survived the Ownerships collapse and being aware of the current rather dodgy market for liveaboard rentals, we are anxious to make sure any arrangement is reliable. We don't remember any coverage of this in WW and wondered whether you or your readers could provide any advice?

Asked by: Peter Dawson  | Friday 9 February, 2.32pm | 4 answers

Connecting battery negative to hull

A few months back I had someone look over the boat and I was told the battery 0V must be connected to the hull bonding point to pass the BSS. Is this correct?

Asked by: Adam Savory  | Saturday 3 February, 12.48pm | 1 answer

Stainless steel water tanks.

This is not a question but our experience. We found water in our cabin bilge and went through the process of checking pipework for leaks (none), checking condensation collection, (none) and nearly gave up thinking the hull must be leaking. At only 7 years old and having had an out of the water full survey before purchase we took it that a stainless steel water tank would not be the problem. We finally disassembled furniture, bed and front bulkhead to gain access and found that indeed the corner weld were leaking and also causing rust to appear in the domestic water supply, which we had put down to sand etc in the canal side water feeds. It transpired that the tank had been welded with MIG welding and stainless requires TIG welding. It cost us nearly £700 for a new tank and much hard work to fit and re-build the boat and much lost cruising time. This would not have formed part of the pre purchase survey. The moral is, check your bilges regularly and the colour of your water from the taps etc. Our new tank now includes an access hatch to allow us to inspect the condition with the tank drained down. Hope this is of interest.

Asked by: John Boggis  | Thursday 1 February, 5.07pm | 1 answer

Solar panel wiring

Our boat has the output from the charge controller feeding direct to the Domestic Busbars which are fed via an isolator and fuse from the batteries. Should the Solar panel wiring go direct to the batteries with a fuse for protection. We don't usually isolate the domestic isolator.

Asked by: John Boggis  | Thursday 1 February, 4.57pm | 3 answers

Boat Width

Does the width of a boat matter when you exceed 6ft 10". More specifically is a say 9ft boat able to access more canals than a 10-13 ft boat.

Asked by: Geoffray Hynam  | Friday 12 January, 12.56pm | 3 answers

Stove or aga

Hi after living on a Narrowboat for 5 years we've decided we have outgrown our boat and looking to buy a widebeam( not everyone's taste) but living on a boat with a 8 yr old boy we've outgrown a Narrowboat and don't do much cruising so widebeam is far more practical for the next few years. Would you go for a stove or a solid fuel cooker? Tia for your opinions

Asked by: Don Heppell  | Monday 8 January, 3.51pm | 2 answers


Is possible to heat the water in a calorifire with a external water cooled system as a oppossed to a skin tank .

Asked by: Mick turner  | Monday 8 January, 2.11pm | 1 answer


Do you have a list of accessible launderettes as we are planning on a long holiday on the canals. Thanks

Asked by: H BLoomfield  | Tuesday 2 January, 8.41am | 1 answer

100 w solar panel wiring

I have brought 2 secondhand solar panels.
1 panel has a red and black cable exiting from each side of the junction box.4 wires.When I look on the Internet panels have 1 red cable and 1 black cable exiting from each side of the junction box.2 wires.
Internally in my junction box the black is wired to black and red to red. I am looking to how to wire them up correctly for my narrowboat. Appreciate some help many thks Kevin.

Asked by: Kevan  | Sunday 31 December, 4.25pm | 1 answer

How can I run my shower without electric or the engine please

I have purchased a houseboat which has no engine and no coal burner, can anyone help me to find a way to run a shower as the electrics on the bank are only 16 amp and I believe I would need 32 amps. I am also on a tight budget. Thank you in advance

Asked by: Net Watmough  | Saturday 16 December, 1.23pm | 1 answer

Diesel additive

We get our new boat delivered in few days and I'll need to fill up with diesel for the first time. Should I use a fuel additive from the start, and on a regular basis, to inhibit the diesel bug and help precipitate any moisture? I'm having a Fuel Guard filter system fitted for added protection.
Thank you

Asked by: Raymond Fowler  | Friday 15 December, 8.11am | 2 answers

Exhaust lagging

I would like to ask if it would be a good idea for me to lag the hospital silencer in my engine bay? If so are there alternatives to the lagging that is mostly sold for exhausts as it appears to be quite narrow and would take a lot and is expensive. I was wondering about domestic regular hot water lagging?

Asked by: Raymond Fowler  | Monday 11 December, 6.41pm | 1 answer

Repainting a water tank

Is there any rust preventive treatment that can be used on existing rust patches in a potable water tank before repainting ? Rylard Paints seem to be the only supplier of bitumen water tank paint.

Asked by: Rodney Hardwick  | Sunday 10 December, 3.02pm | 1 answer

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