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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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Strange heating system??

Hi, I'm new to boats and looking to buy one. I have my eye on one but I can't fathom out how the heating and hot water work. The chap that showed me round it didn't know much ether as he was just a keyholder really. There is no radiator type central heating nor instant hot water gadget next to the sink or shower.
There is a large multi fuel stove centrally located, which has thick copper pipe coming out of the back of it. That pipe disappears through a unit and reappears in the bathroom where it is bent around to form a big "S" shape, making what looks like a good radiator. It then continues towards the back of the boat. I took a couple of pictures, which you can see if you click these links.
Can anyone tell me what this system is? What are the advantages and disadvantages and is it expandable? Thanks you.

Asked by: Carl Young  | Sunday 6 May, 8.15am | 4 answers

best boat to sell on

Can anyone tell me what is the most popular of the three to be sold a trad a semi trad or a cruiser all being brand new 57ft long and do the prices vary a lot, thankyou

Asked by: andy wakler  | Saturday 5 May, 10.05pm | 1 answer

12v - 240v same time?

This is probably a stupid question but, can you have both running at the same time? It I had, say 1 12v tv with a 240v satelite receiver, would that work? Likewise, 12v lighting while running a 240v computer.. etc

Asked by: Carl Young  | Wednesday 2 May, 7.39pm | 2 answers

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


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


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

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