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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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online subscription

I have just received a gift of 12 months subscription,I am logged in but
Unable to open any of the magazines

Asked by: Bob Witterick  | Friday 7 December, 3.49pm | no answers yet - add one

Internet access

I want to be able to access the internet when at the marina and when cruing, unsing my laptop from home. What do I need in order to do so?

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Sunday 2 December, 2.17pm | 2 answers

removing transfers

I bought a boat last summer that was a quality build by Amber boats. I would like to remove some on the letter transfers on the side indicating where the boat was previously moored. The boat was built 2008 and has very good paint work in original black. Please can you advise the best way of removing the letters without damaging the paintwork and appearance of the boat?
Phil Hill, Litchfield

Asked by: Phil Hill  | Monday 26 November, 8.33pm | 1 answer


Hello, I have a 60ft narrowboat which is stuck in a marina on tha Avon and due to the strong currents and flooding cannot get to a pumpout or diesel pump. I would normally drain the waste tank and fill the fuel tank but in the circumstances would 2 x 150 watt wardrobe heaters and a de-humidifier (conneted to shore mains)be sufficient to prevent pipes freezing or other damake if temperatures drop. The engine has anti-freeze and an insulating blanker. Should I drain the water tank? I will be going to stay on the boat one or two nights a week. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Asked by: Alan Denney  | Monday 26 November, 1.11pm | 1 answer

burnt out boat 57ft

i have a 57ft canal boat full steel with 1.8 bmc engine that the inside has burnt out and all windows now gone .nice project offer around 3k call dan in oxfordshie on 01869 346990

Asked by: dan chester  | Monday 19 November, 9.56pm | 1 answer

Portable Starter Battery charger

We have a narrow boat but have no shore power at the present time. We are having solar panel fitted soon however the starter battery is quite often dead when we go to start it. I am looking at buying a portable battery starter pack to attach and start the engine battery. As a novice to boating I would like to know if these are powerful enough to start the engine battery. We have recently had new battery but have not been to the boat for a while.
Thankyou. Mark

Asked by: MARK HURRY  | Saturday 17 November, 12.30pm | 3 answers

widebeam boat lifting yorkshire

where can i get my 24 ton boat lifted on to a lorry around south yorkshire

Asked by: miles halls  | Friday 16 November, 11.00am | 1 answer

Navigation from midlands to the south east

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to navigate from the Cheshire/Manchester area to my home town on the river stort?
I will be buying a boat next year to live aboard and there is not much choice in my home area but plenty in the midlands, if I could buy there and be sure I could navigate down to the lee/stort I would save on haulage and the trip would be much more fun. Also there is the question of size limitation, I would like to get a boat of around 57' x 10' but I believe that there are some narrow canals in places on the way so a wide beam may be the wrong choice for me. If anyone has made this trip or just parts of it and can help I would much appreciate some advice.

Asked by: Carole  | Sunday 11 November, 9.24am | 3 answers

Toilet advice please

Hi, sorry about the summery I have just noticed that! Moveng swiflty.
We are looking to buy our first live aboard boat and amungst other things I'm not sire which would be the best type of toilet to go for, i.e. Casste, porta potty or pump out? In addithion I would add that we do have another problem to considder as my partner suffers from IBS and as such will be using the toilet more often than most.
Thankyou for any advice.

Asked by: Carole  | Saturday 10 November, 9.36pm | 1 answer

Isolation transformers

Dear Sir.
I have recently been revisiting an article in your December 2009 issue regarding earthing boats, and isolation transformers.
My boat has a domestic bank of two 110Ah batteries and uses an inverter for supplying onboard 240V. Could you please tell me if a mains operated battery charger (from shore power supply) to directly charge the domestic battery bank can be regarded as an isolation transformer, both from the safety point of view and also from the electrolytic corrosion point of view. I take it there would need to be a shield between primary and secondary windings. Is a standard automotive charger likely to have this or some special marine version required.
Many thanks for your help.
Kind regards
Paul Rawson

Asked by: paul rawson  | Thursday 8 November, 11.34pm | 1 answer

Stove Fan

I have tried to build the stove fan as per your article, but after waiting 3 mnths for a TEC1 12709 from China The unit saturates at a high temp. The TEC only ever achieves an output of approx. 1volt is this correct. I have tried several different motors but there seems to be insufficient airflow to maintain a temperature difference across the TEC.The device is thermally glued to a heat sink.

Asked by: Dave  | Wednesday 7 November, 9.48am | 1 answer


I have 4 leisure batteries and 1 starter battery all wet cell. They are all 4 yearys old and in good condition, will recharge within 5 hours when cruising.
I have a 4 stage victron 60 amp charger which is connected to 230volt mains when in the marina. I do not use my boat from November to April so should,I leave my batteries on charge throughtout this period or should I take them of charge now and then,I always visit the boat about three times during this period of none use and could alternate the charging periods.

Asked by: David Anderson  | Tuesday 6 November, 8.26pm | 1 answer

Vetus Electric Toilet

Any tips on how I winterise this. Antifreeze in the s-bend ( like the shower). Do I disconnect water hose?
Any advice appreciated.

Asked by: peter osullivan  | Tuesday 6 November, 8.15pm | 2 answers

Calorifier issue

I have a Kelvin J3 with an non-pressurised, skin tank cooling system. There's a header tank on the engine-room bulkhead, about a gallon capacity, with a removable lid. Normally the tank is about half full when cold and about three-quarters when hot. Recently the coolant level has been increasing when check cold on successive mornings during boating and after a few days eventually overflows when hot. The domestic water system has a twin coil calorifier, one fed from the engine and one from the Alde. The boat is 20 years old and the tank has a strap on jacket, not a foam-sprayed one. My suspicion is that the engine heating coil in the tank is failing and that domestic water in the tank is getting into the engine circuit when the domestic pump is operating. I can't think how else additional water is getting introduced into the engine cooling system. Would this concur with your view, or can you think of anything else that would cause this symptom. Regards Colin

Asked by: Colin Bigmore  | Monday 5 November, 9.51am | 3 answers

Electric shocks

I sometimes get an electic shock from my light switches and today from the brass door handle from my front door. I have a 12v system with inverter. Any ideas as to what mightbe wrong?

Asked by: Chris Marriott  | Sunday 4 November, 5.47pm | 2 answers

Isuzu panel - hour meter

The hour meter display on my Isuzu panel is unreliable but does sometimes show the hours run, especially after running for a few hours. I have heard that this is a common problem with Isuzu panels. Any ideas on a fix, apart from fitting a separate hour meter?

Asked by: David Fearns  | Friday 2 November, 10.07pm | 3 answers

Draining Down Water System

Can I add an anti freeze to my narrowboat water tank

Asked by: Peter Allan  | Thursday 1 November, 12.07pm | 1 answer

etiquette - Acknowledging boats in tunnels

We were going north through Saddington Tunnel the other day and as I was approaching the entrance with my tunnel light on I could see an approaching boat's tunnel light, although the boat looked like it was some way off actually entering the tunnel. The light appeared to go off for a while and then came back on. I wondered if this was down to a bend or moored boats at their end of the tunnel, or were they just testing their light?
We met about 200 yards from their end. There is plenty of room for two narrowboats to pass, but we both slowed down and I said hello as we did so. Their reply was to greet me pleasantly but also to complain mildly "but you didn't acknowledge us, and we weren't sure if you were a boat".
I said "oh sorry" automatically, but then thought what else they imagined I might have been.
Saddington has the narrow locks at Foxton plus the lock free Market Harborough arm to its south and the start of the wide locks to the north at Kibworth Top Lock. Since I would assume that a wide beam going through Saddington needs liaison with CRT to book a passage I'm not sure what they hoped to achieve by my flashing my tunnel light at them, which is presumably what they had expected me to do.
Any ideas?

Asked by: Colin Wilks  | Wednesday 31 October, 5.06pm | 2 answers

Replacing an exhaust silencer

I am replacing the silencer box on my BMC 1.8 engine with an identical 15 inch standard box from Midland Chandlers. Does it matter which way round the silencer is fitted? The new silencer can be fitted either way round,but at one end there appears to be holes in the internal pipework of the box. Many thanks

Asked by: Peter Heath  | Tuesday 30 October, 9.08pm | 1 answer

tiller shape

does the tiller have to angled I want to put a bike rack on the back of a cruiser, can the tiller be straightened without any compromising steering.

Asked by: Peter Wright  | Sunday 28 October, 9.51pm | 1 answer

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