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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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porp going round

engine going prop turning boat wont move

Asked by: graham blackhurst  | Saturday 25 August, 8.24pm | 2 answers

Problems with inverter

Hello, we have a sterling Inverter and have just had 4 new batteries, but have a problem with the power. The ac out light on the inverter flashes intermittently and affects the radio, fridge, tv etc so that we cannot run them. This happens when travelling or moored, but not when we are connected to the mains

Asked by: Carol/Keith  | Tuesday 21 August, 7.50pm | 2 answers

Engine struggles after a few hours cruising

Hi there. I have a Narrowboat with a Nanni diesel 4110 with a PRM150 gearbox. I usually go along at about 1500 - 1800 revs quite happily. Recently, after a while cruising the engine gets more and more laboured until at 2500 revs it is struggling to keep going with smoky exhaust. It's as if the prop is tangled (which it isn't) or like it's dragging something heavy behind.
The engine runs cool, at around 45-50 deg C instead of the recommended 71 deg C and I have identified that the thermostat has been removed by the previous owner (I've ordered a new one). Oil pressure seems within bounds and in neutral the engine sounds fine, it has recently had the injectors reconditions.
Gearbox oil seems fine and having had new engine mounts recently the prop has been aligned. I have had an oil and all filters changed too.
Any thoughts? Could the low engine temperature be causing this issue?

Asked by: Keith R Harris  | Tuesday 21 August, 11.26am | 4 answers

Sealing fibreglass roof.

I have a 50-year-old narrowboat with a fibreglass roof. In recent years it staretd to leak more and more, in different places, particularly after heavy rain. I can't find the actual cracks, and more will probably appear, so I was wondering if I can seal all of it somehow, for instance using glass fibre resin or epoxy. Is it feasible? Would it make the roof texture very uneven? It doesn't have to be perfect and shiny, but I'd rather avoid thick smudges and such.
Thanks a lot,

Asked by: Jedrek Burakiewicz  | Monday 20 August, 2.09pm | 6 answers

Contaminated hot water?

Thank you for your first ansewer. The boat surveyor could not find the PRV and has said in his report that one must be fitted. If there isn't one at the moment, could this cause the contamination?

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Sunday 19 August, 10.14pm | 1 answer

Contaminated hot water?

My narrowboat's hot water is heated by the engine (this may be usual; I don't know). There is a noticeable smell of diesel when the hot water is run, e.g. in the shower, which can't be right. Any thoughts please on cause(s) and solution(s)? Thanks.

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Sunday 19 August, 8.02pm | 1 answer

Battery Charging

My domestic batteries are still going strong after five years but I had to replace my starter battery of the same age at the beginning of this season. This is probably due to the use of a three stage charger on the domestic batteries over the winter. My starter battery doesn't have the same charging facility. My question is would it do any good or harm if I connected a lead between the sets of batteries once the charger was at the trickle stage?

Asked by: Clive Dutson  | Wednesday 15 August, 12.32pm | 4 answers

solar panels

thanks for your advice soler panels ect just one last question 2x120 watt solas 60feet batts to solas what size cable do i need thanks

Asked by: christopher smith  | Monday 6 August, 12.39pm | 1 answer

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

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