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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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Boat stove problems

I have a Valor Willow stove on our boat. We seem to have an air problem, it doesn't draw very well. I have checked Valors website and they recommend a flue/chimney length of at least 4.5 metres. Other manufacturers recommend similar length flues. How do I get my stove to burn better, with the standard boat flue/chimney?

Asked by: Tom Brady  | Sunday 12 February, 7.39pm | 5 answers


Water tank treatment

My boat is now three years old and I have a stainless steel water tank, when new I put in the recomended hygiene tablets (can not remeber their name)and have done nothing since, what would you recomend I do for this years boating and future years.We do not drink water from the tank but do wash vegetables with it.

Asked by: David Anderson  | Sunday 12 February, 1.03pm | 2 answers


dab radio

can anyone tell me if you can successfully run a dab digital radio in side a canal boat or do you have to have an external aerial, I am thinking of getting a combined cd and dab,

Asked by: Peter Wright  | Thursday 9 February, 9.53pm | 3 answers


Re : High Charging Voltage Problem

RE : Alternator Problem or Battery Problem ?
Following up my original query on 27th January - I have now had an opportunity to carry out tests etc. suggested by Mark Langley and Rupert Smedley.
Battery voltage decay over four days : Start 12.58 to 12.58 (= 0), Domestic #1 12.56 to 12.56 (= 0), Domestic #2 12.56 to 12.55 (= 0.01, are meters that precise ?)
On charge individually from the alternator :
Start 15.08v, Domestic #1 15.14v, Domestic #2 15.18v : ambient temperature just above freezing.
The two domestic batteries together, start battery disconnected, 14.83v : all three batteries on charge together 14.81v.
The batteries are bog-standard lead-acid, bought from a reputable chandlery - the two domestics are "leisure". No particular cell is using more water than the others.
I think the batteries have had a gentle life : we do perhaps ten weeks' cruising a year, + odd weekends and odd days. When at base, (until this problem started ) they have been on 'float charge' as advocated in WW by Graham Booth some years ago.
There is absolutely no "glow" at all in the warning lamp when charging : the alternator was load-tested by Carwoods (Coventry), who replaced the regulator, before being returned, with the following results :
Off-load 14.5v, 21a. On load 14.3v, 41a. At increased load 14.1v, 55a. - all at 3329 alternator rpm., which would be fast cruising for the boat.
I have not checked so far the voltage between the warning lamp terminal and battery positive - this will require dismantling of shelves at the back of the boat, and time has not allowed.
Richard Smith

Asked by: Richard Smith  | Sunday 5 February, 12.07pm | 1 answer


advice

can someone pleace tell me if you can put a wet room on a narrow boat insted of a shower tray

Asked by: martin jones  | Friday 3 February, 10.36pm | 4 answers


Why is my diesel heater sooting up?

I have a Kabola Old English drip feed diesel room heater which has given me good service over 13 years. It only needs decoking two or three times each winter and normally burns with a nice blue 'cup' of flame, indicating (if I remember my school chemistry lessons) good combustion.
Just this winter it has started to get very sooty and yellow, and even two or three days of burning leaves an appalling amount of diesel-laden soot after I turn it off. And I seem to need to clean it almost every day.
I was wondering if there's something wrong with the burner, or am I encountering the new dreaded 'biodiesel'?

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Tuesday 31 January, 7.48pm | 5 answers


Conversion to pumpout toilet

How difficult/expensive would it be to convert a narrowboat from cassette to pumpout toilet. I appreciate this will differ from boat to boat, I am just looking for a rough guide as i have found 2 boats i like but both are cassette and i would like pumpout.
Thanks in anticipation
Paul

Asked by: Paul Jones  | Tuesday 31 January, 1.43pm | 4 answers


Single Handed Lock operation

Hi,
I read the article in Feb issue on single handed lock operation and have a question.
The article says that you should tie off the bow and stern lines to central bollards. As the boat rises in the lock these lines will go slack, similarly as the boat descends the lines will get tighter?
A I missing something obvious? It seems to me that the boat would start moving on the way up or get hung up on the lines on the way down?
Thanks for any clarification.
/jh

Asked by: John Hitchins  | Monday 30 January, 6.25pm | 1 answer


paint restoration on a narrowboat

My boat is eight years old and unfortunately the paintwork was not looked after in the early days. I have tried various lotions and potions but nothing seems to bring back the shine for more than a day or so, however hard I work at it. Any fail safe answer or do I need to consider a re-paint?

Asked by: John Burt  | Monday 30 January, 1.46pm | 4 answers


New Build Boat

We wish to order a new built Wide beam, however are not happy to make stage payments. We are very happy to pay the full price in advance into escrow pending final delivery. The Boats seem to be built abroad, but what use to us is a part finished boat in Poland if the company goes bust. How can we secure our hard earnt cash ?

Asked by: Mark Meopham  | Saturday 28 January, 10.19am | 8 answers


High Charging Voltage Problem

Our boat is fitted with an Iskra 100a. alternator and an Adverc management system. Since fitting, five years ago, the alternator has charged as it should - cycling between about 14.1v & 14.5v through the Adverc system, measured across the starter battery terminals on the boat's built-in digital voltmeter.
Late last summer, the charging voltage abruptly changed to 14.7 - 14.8v - the boat's meter agrees with my hand held multimeter and with two others, one used professionally, so no question of faulty meter.
Disconnecting the Adverc made no difference - in any case, the Adverc will control up, but not down.
The alternator went away for a replacement regulator, but this too has made no difference.
The boat is also fitted with a Sterling 3-stage charger : the first stage 'boost' charge should be 14.4v, but is now 14.8v.
The batteries (1 x 96ah + 2 x 110ah) are only 3 years old, and hold charge very well, but are tending to need topping up regularly.
Do I have a problem ? - and if so where is the likely culprit, and how do I confirm ? I do not want to spend nearly £300 on new batteries on a hunch that they may be the cause.

Asked by: Richard Smith  | Friday 27 January, 2.06pm | 4 answers


Ellis Heatmaster Boiler

Can anybody please direct me to an online manual for an Ellis Heatmaster or does somebody have a manua they are willing to copy or sell.
Thanks very much, Roy.

Asked by: Roy Harris  | Tuesday 24 January, 11.15pm | 3 answers


Medway hire boats

Are there any companys that hire cabin cruisers on the Medway?

Asked by: BJM  | Monday 16 January, 12.51pm | 1 answer


tracing first boat

I would like to see if my one and only boat (owned for about 4 years around 1990) is still afloat. Is there any way I can do this?

Asked by: justrichard  | Saturday 14 January, 7.17pm | 7 answers


shore power

how do i fit a shore power to my narrowboat

Asked by: dave sykes  | Saturday 24 December, 5.55pm | 1 answer


canals on tv

id like a copy of all the waterway canal programs that have been on telly
ive looked everywere hopefully you can help

Asked by: tim porter  | Monday 19 December, 7.17pm | 1 answer


Too many windows

Ive just bought a hull that the previous owner had started to fit out before making the windown watertight. Most of his hard work has been undone by water damage. Now this boat has 'lots' of windows and marine windows are expensive. Has anyone ever decided to blank off any windows on a narrowboat and if they did, what did they do? thank you

Asked by: John Wright  | Monday 19 December, 3.05pm | 4 answers


Cratch boards

Where can i get plans to build a cratch board

Asked by: B Davison  | Monday 12 December, 11.28pm | 1 answer


a proper seat

is there a boat builder who puts a proper comfortable seat on the back of a narrowboat were you can sit for 8 hours without being tyred out I have been an narrowboat owner for 11 years
and at 70 i just can't stand there any more

Asked by: terry roberts  | Tuesday 6 December, 7.20pm | 4 answers


John Southcombe

Hi I have a cooling problem I have renovated a 37 foot narrowboat with a 1.5 BMC diesel the temperature does strange things it takes a very long time to warm up goes to 80 drops to 40 and sometimes does not cool but overheats. so there's the symptoms.
The engine cooling circuit seems strange it has a bowman manifold that has been disconnected from the water supply. it has twin keel tanks the R/H tank is the inlet for the existing bmc water pumpthe left hand tank has a Jabsco pump attached I first thought this was pulling water out of the engine from the thermostat but it is no its pumping water into the thermostat the back of the cylinder head had an outlet on that is feeding a header tank this tank splits and returns the water back to the keel tanks.
firstly is the BMC water pump man enough to circulate both skin tanks they each hold 40 litres.
would it be better to put the jabsco inline the the engine pump the help delivery.
Thirdly has anyone got a layout they can share with me. Overheated twice now damaged an impeller and think I may have cooked the head need to sort this out I believe it has had some tinkering with by the previous owner. The boat was stood idle for a couple of years and is now back to her former glory apart from the engine problem.

Asked by: john southcombe  | Sunday 20 November, 8.08am | 4 answers

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