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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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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

how good are shire engines

looking at buying 57ft traditional narrowboat
will be using it to travel all canals around uk in a years time.(when all things go to plan) been shown selection of canal boats with a selection of engines? the boat that serves age,length,condition has a shire 2000 fitted. as im no expert on cruisers it this any good. thank you rob.

Asked by: robert   | Monday 11 June, 6.01pm | 3 answers

Tidal Thames to River Medway

We are moving our narrow boat from the River Wey to Rochester, requiring a 12 hour trip along the tidal Thames. I am a confident and experienced boater, but the amount of open water is making my nervous - though many people must have done a similar journey. Should I just bite the bullet and get her tansported by road, or am I being a wuss? I have selected 14 July ( a neap tide) for the journey. Any comments or advice would be appreciated, especially from those who have made the journey and lived to tell the tale!

Asked by: Andrew Kennedy  | Thursday 7 June, 12.31am | 1 answer

Boat Sharing

I am an experienced boater (in hire boats) and am now very keen to buy a share of a narrow boat. Do you think managed boat shares are worth the extra annual costs compared to private boat shares? It seems that a boat share can be bought very cheaply but the annual costs can be quite high. I would value any suggestions or comments.

Asked by: Tim Heaps  | Sunday 3 June, 5.29pm | 2 answers

Winter Moorings

I'm shortly going to become a live aboard continuous cruiser. I'd planned to just get frozen in near to water in the winter. But, an experienced person told me the other day that some marinas allow CCs to moor up for the winter at what seem like very reasonable costs. He mentioned £300-£400 to moor between November and April. This seems too good to be true. Is it?

Asked by: Carl Young  | Sunday 3 June, 1.02pm | 1 answer

Game on (narrowboats)

I am about to become a continuous cruising live aboard. I'd like to supliment my cupboard with the odd rabbit. My intention is to ask at farms around my moorings if it would be ok to take a couple of rabbits using an air gun. Has anyone any thoughts about the use of an air gun on the waterways (apart from the obvious vegetarian issues). It may be worth just mentioning, that I'm retiring from a professional career in law enforcement.

Asked by: Carl Young  | Thursday 24 May, 11.22pm | 2 answers

lpg gas detectors

Can you please advise on inexpensive lpg gas detectors, for use in a narrowboat?

Asked by: fred dicker  | Thursday 24 May, 11.21am | 2 answers

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