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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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How do I get oil out of my diesel engine cooling system?

My head gasket has blown, leading to engine oil in my narrowboat's water cooling system, including skin tank. The gasket has been changed, but what's the best way of flushing out the water system, including skin tank?

Asked by: Andrew Schmidt  | Wednesday 2 May, 3.12pm | 1 answer


How do I get rid of diesel smells?

I have a diesel heater in my saloon and there's always at least a faint smell of diesel hanging around my clothes & soft furnishings, and presumably on the floor and walls.
In addition there are always little spills of diesel around the boat, for example if you tread on a small splash of it when refuelling - then you can walk it through the boat without realising it.
Does anyone have any tips for getting rid of diesel and other fuel smells?

Asked by: Robert King  | Wednesday 2 May, 2.58pm | 1 answer


Toilet- retrofit?

Hi, I'm looking for a boat to buy 50-57 foot. I keep seeing boats I really like and seem almost perfect and then I get to porta-potti or cassette... and that's where I stop looking because I definitely want a pump out toilet. Is it generally possible to retro fit a pumpout toilet? If so, what sort of cost would we be talking about? Thanks.

Asked by: Carl Young  | Wednesday 2 May, 6.46am | 1 answer


security windows

I'm going to be living aboard,continuous cruising, on my own. I'm worried that if I leave my boat for a few days (visiting a relative or something) it may get broken into or the windows smashed. Ive thought about steel shutters for the windows but I've been given estimates at £400 per window and told that its a very awkward thing to install. What do others recommend? I have seen Wocester Marine's replacement windows, which look ideal. You take the glass out and replace it with a 3mm steel insert. Anyone seen these? Any good? Thanks.

Asked by: Carl Young  | Tuesday 1 May, 8.21pm | 2 answers


Engine cooling systems.

Am I right in thinking that you can't use a raw water cooled engine in freezing weather because you have to drain it? Not for a continuous cruiser then?

Asked by: Carl Young  | Tuesday 1 May, 8.10pm | 3 answers


Do de-sulphation devices work?

I seem to have to replace my leisure batteries too often. Although they are on a three stage charger on my mooring, when cruising it is not always possible to keep them fully topped up and incremental low charging takes its toll. I have seen these devides advertised, you seemingly leave them connected to the batter bank and they help to prevent build-up. What do you think?

Asked by: Nigel Scott  | Monday 30 April, 5.22pm | 2 answers


water tank repair

how do you repair a leak in the water tank

Asked by: dorry downes  | Thursday 26 April, 7.57pm | 2 answers


Gas free narrow boats

Hi, we are having a boat built and want to get it right. My wife is not a lover of gas and therefore we are thinking of having Diesel electric/Hybrid system. what are the pro's and con's? help.

Asked by: suzie  | Tuesday 24 April, 1.42pm | 3 answers


Fenders

We are lucky enough to be having a narrowboat built and I have 60 million questions but here is the first.....I am wondering why don't people have 6 fenders (Short ones to avoid being a hazzard in locks) attached to the sides? Surely the more you have the more protected the boat? I've see it described as a contact sport on several occasions. Looking forward to any advice on the matter.

Asked by: suzie  | Tuesday 24 April, 8.57am | 4 answers


inverter problems

electronics engineer ( mobile)boat moored thorne doncaster.

Asked by: david smith  | Monday 23 April, 8.26pm | no answers yet - add one


water ingress in diesel

what can i buy to prevent water getting in diesel fuel on my narrowboat

Asked by: barry philpott  | Saturday 21 April, 9.15pm | 4 answers


Toilet Cleaners and Brewers Yeast

Have just bought my first boat with electric macerator toilet and remote tank. I have been told NOT to use bleach for cleaning. Info for toilet says use normal domestic cleaners??. Also read that brewers yeast can be used in the tank to break things down. 2 Questions. 1. what's bet cleaning products to use for toilet? 2. How much brewers yeast should i use and do i buy it.
Thanks Paul

Asked by: Paul Jones  | Saturday 21 April, 12.12pm | 4 answers


ropes

Hi just a quick one whats the best length colour and diameter of mooring rope do i buy for 57ft narrow boat, thanks

Asked by: andy wakler  | Friday 20 April, 5.52pm | 3 answers


Slow charging of new batteries

I have recently replaced my 6 5year old leisure batteries with 3 new ones and am having trouble charging them.
What reason would my alternator charge at a low ampage (at 5amps) into the bank of the 3 new batteries (all 110 amp)which hadbeen discharged by at least 70 amps?
The old batteries were charging normally,for old batteries,before they were taken out.
The new batteries are numax brand,sealed.
Thanks very much,
Rachel welton.

Asked by: rachel welton  | Thursday 19 April, 6.43pm | 3 answers


Do Galvanic protection devices work ?

My narrow boat moored in a marina, is connected to the mains for months at a time to charge my battery bank. As most of the other boats in the marina are also 'plugged in', I am concerned about galvanic corrosion even though I have anodes fitted. I am thinking of installing an earth breaking device, do they work in stopping the corrosion ?

Asked by: David Spencer  | Tuesday 17 April, 4.59pm | 2 answers


Treatments for natural rope fenders

I have 2 new tipcats and a button made from natural rope. Is there a preservative treatment I should use before fitting to the boat.

Asked by: Kenton lock  | Sunday 15 April, 9.43pm | 1 answer


Grey water tanks and pollution

I am still new to narrowboating and until recently thought that grey water went into a tank which is pumped out at marinas. However I now understand that on most boats it goes straight into the canal or river. Do some boats have tanks and others not? Do you have any recommendations for good non-polluting cleaning products for use around a narrowboat?

Asked by: Julian Morrison-Little  | Friday 13 April, 11.35am | 2 answers


flying the flag

We would like to fly a flag on the stern of our narrowboat, should it union flag or the red ensign, i have been told it is illeagal to fly the union flag, would be gratefull for a diffinative answer

Asked by: stanley morris  | Friday 6 April, 8.33pm | 1 answer


What paint?

I'd like some suggestions as to what paint and undercoat (other than expensive marine paint) I could use once I've rubbed down some rust and ready to repaint my boat.
Thanks. Rob

Asked by: robert statham  | Monday 2 April, 7.56pm | 3 answers


Boat batteries again

Hi, Graham & Rupert, with reference to my last question on boat batteries on 25th March 2012, can you please give me any further info as follows.
Thank you both for your advice, I have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
If it all goes wrong I have been looking at battery types, Deep cycle wet lead-acid or Gel Deep cycle types Both types are sold as sealed and maintenance free, however all batteries gas when charging and must vent. Are sealed maintenance free batteries really maintenance free? or able to be topped up and worth buying, I do not mind paying a bit more for them if they give me better service than open type. Are you able to recommend your preferance Gel v Wet lead acid and any makes.

Asked by: David Anderson  | Tuesday 27 March, 5.48pm | 2 answers

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