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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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soler panels

are the large individuel soler panels fitted on houses the same as the smaller ones fitted on boats could i fit say 1 x200 watt panal 5x3feet on my boat

Asked by: christopher smith  | Monday 30 July, 7.52pm | 1 answer


I've just bought a boat and am replacing th engine and adding an additional 3 leisure batteries to the existing bank of 2 (plus a starter). The old engine had a single small altenator. The new engine (Beta 38) has twin 40 and 100. They will now run the starter from the 40a and 5 * 110a leisure batteries from the 100a. The boat has an adverc fitted but not connected (I don't know why). The elictrician I have coming in to fit the new batteries tells me that he does not like Advercs and that I would get no advantage from using it. Also, he says that the altenator would have to be adapted for it, so more trouble than it's worth.
I'm going to be a liveaboard, moored up most of the time but with no hook up. I'll need to run the engine to top up the batteries pretty much every day. Should I connect the Adverc?
Advercs seem to be a bit like Marmite with half the people I talk to loving and the other half hating them.

Asked by: Carl Young  | Thursday 26 July, 6.20am | 3 answers

panel type

sorry to pester you again i forgot to ask what is the difference between poly and mono solar panels which type are best

Asked by: christopher smith  | Wednesday 25 July, 7.14pm | 1 answer

Will my boat need replating

Hi I have a 1980s harbrough marine narrow boat the survey report reading said bottom plate5.5 to 6.1 counter base 5.5 to 6.1. I'm worried that it will need replating. If so how long would it be before I have to have it done??? Or how long before she sinks !!!!! Thank you

Asked by: jane  | Wednesday 25 July, 12.05am | 3 answers

solar panels

iwish to fit 300 watt solar panel and 500 watt wind charger how many amps will my controler need to be

Asked by: christopher smith  | Friday 20 July, 6.55pm | 3 answers

Use of 'Rediline mechanical inverter'

I am looking at buying a very tidy 1990-built 50' narrowboat that is fitted with a Readiline mechanical inverter that converts 12 volt power to 240 volts (or so it says in the blurb!)(the guy at the marina described it as a 'converter', an early form of inverter). Never having heard of these, can you advise me:
1. Would it be best to replace it with a modern inverter or, if it works OK, leave it alone and use it?
Will it run a washing machine, if we have one fitted?
3. Any other thougts/advice you may have?
The boat appears to have 1 starter and 2 domestic batteries.

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Sunday 15 July, 4.17pm | 1 answer

Fuel Consumption

We recently hired a 27'x10' boat with a Kubota diesel on the Norfolk Broads. We were very surprised at the fuel bill we received at the end of the hire. Can you tell me approximately how many litres per hour/hours to the gallon we should have achieved?

Asked by: Jonathan Barker  | Friday 13 July, 1.19pm | 3 answers

Hight and Draft

Dear Sir,
I am looking at buying a new narrow boat (sail-away). Problem is that I am 6' 7" tall with shoes. I do not wish to duck my head other than the odd roof light.
Can a boat be made that can still navigate all the waterways and not 'beach' its self on root or get wedged under any bridges?
Please no jokes, herd it all before. Otherwise I will have to start on the short people jokes.
Yours Faithfully
Mr G. Dean

Asked by: Gary  | Wednesday 11 July, 1.10am | 9 answers

compare engines

i am thinking of buying a57ft narrow boat with a vetus engine are there any things i should look out for and how do they compare to say beta engine

Asked by: jim stenhouse  | Sunday 8 July, 4.21pm | 2 answers

Narrowboat engine issues

I am looking at a used 45' narrowboat next week, with a view to buying it and have a couple of questions about the engine. Answers will guide me as I look at the boat! The engine is a Lister Petter LPW/S 3 cylinder 30HP.
1. It has 2605 hours on the clock. Is this a lot (I am used to cars and miles, not boats and hours!) or OK?
2. What sort of records of repairs and maintenance should I expect to see?

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Saturday 7 July, 7.48pm | 4 answers

Forward control narrowboat

I am looking to buy a small canal boat. My initial aim was a 20 - 25ft cruiser. However, I have come across a beautiful 20ft trad narrowboat which would be ideal. The only problem is that the steering is done from inside the front of the cabin. If anyone has any experience of this type of control, I would be grateful to hear about it. I just can't see how you would reverse onto a jetty for example.

Asked by: Andy Tulloch  | Friday 6 July, 6.55pm | 1 answer


Following on from a previous question.
Again, thank you. Unfortunately it's a single alternator on a BMC 1.5 engine. Is it possible to increase the size of an alternator, add a second or somehow increase the efficiency? I believe it's currently a 70amp?

Asked by: Carl Young  | Tuesday 3 July, 12.23pm | 2 answers

None Pure Sine inverter and Laptop

I'm buying a boat with a 2000w inverter. It's not pure sine though. What are my limitations with that? Can I use my laptop plugged in to that? Can I charge my laptop while not using it and then run it to flat and recharge it again?
What can you NOT use with a standard inverter?

Asked by: Carl Young  | Monday 2 July, 11.01pm | 4 answers

Boat painting

How much should I budget for to have a 45' narrowboat repainted, assuming the windows are taken out and put back in as part of the job? No need for work below the waterline as blacking, etc. has recently been done.

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Monday 2 July, 2.17pm | 2 answers

Installing a pump out toilet

How easy/practical would it be to replace a cassette toilet with a pump out one on a narrowboat?

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Thursday 28 June, 3.52pm | 2 answers

sound insulation

Where is the best place to get the sound proofing sheets? Cheers

Asked by: Robert Bush  | Thursday 28 June, 8.20am | 3 answers


Hi can any one tell me what the tap conections are on bw stand pipes, i mean are they hoselock type or the screw on type, thanks

Asked by: andy wakler  | Monday 25 June, 10.42am | 1 answer

Engine for river cruising

I need some advice about the best sort of engine I'll need to cruise the East Anglian rivers - any make/model best? What cc and HP? My boat will be moored on the River Great Ouse.

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Saturday 23 June, 10.47pm | 3 answers

Avtex portable satellite system

I am looking at portable satellite options.
I came across the Avtex AQF431 (suprisingly like the CAMOS PAPSA which doesn't seem to be available from the normal channels anymore).
I wondered if anyone has tried the Avtex or can recommend another portable solution.
Thank you in advance. Colin

Asked by: Colin Neale  | Saturday 16 June, 6.45pm | 2 answers

tank guages

I wish to install 3 guages for my water tank, holding tank and diesel tank, with the displays mounted on my control panel inside the boat. Can you recommend a product/supplier which I can use and is there anything wireless?

Asked by: mike bass  | Tuesday 12 June, 10.39am | 1 answer

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