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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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jcb engines

thinking of putting a jcb 85 hp into a 60 by 12 widebeam, has any body got any reviews on engines yet. cheers gary

Asked by: gary dures  | Sunday 29 May, 3.45pm | 1 answer

Gearbox ratio.

I have a Lister SL2 series engine which I will be putting in a 70ft narrow boat, what ratio box should I have & would you advise going for a modern one?

Asked by: Trevor James Lewinton  | Tuesday 24 May, 6.23pm | 1 answer

Water Hose Pipe

After fifteen years we need to replace our hose pipe for filling up the water tank on our narrowboat. We have been advised that certain hosepipes can taint the water and some hose pipes say not suitable for "potable water". Can WW recommend a hose pipe which is safe to use for drinking water?

Asked by: AnnePointer  | Monday 23 May, 3.53pm | 1 answer

Replacement of stern tube and propeller shaft

In brief:- Back in May 2009 the stern gear of my narrowboat was replaced. On 2nd May 2011, I took my narrowboat in for blacking and asked for the stern tube packing to be redone as we were getting a lot of water ingress and using a lot of grease. I was advised that the stern gear was worn significantly and needed to be replaced again. Surely this is not normal. I have written to the boatyard that did the original stern tube replacement and they don't want to know. Do I have a case to persue the matter further?

Asked by: Richard Facer  | Friday 20 May, 12.07pm | 2 answers


do i need a seperate licence to go on the thames from oxford to kennet and avon canal

Asked by: christopher smith  | Wednesday 18 May, 1.29pm | 1 answer

Caledonian Canal

Would like to try the Caledonian Canal, thinking of hiring a cruiser for a week.
Anyone got any recommendation? Thanks

Asked by: Mr Tony Shawcross  | Monday 16 May, 2.10pm | 1 answer

LPG Fires for narrowboats?

Can you advise me if there is a lpg fire suitable for a narrowboat and if there is what are the regualations?
Could you for example use one that is suitable for a caravan? Ideally one that has a glass front, flueless and hangs beneath the gunwale.
(not much to ask)!!!
I would love to have a solid fuel stove, but due to the layout of the boat and the new regulations the only
place it would be suitable is at the front next to the steps, which I am sure there is not enough space to
meet the new requirements.

Asked by: sheila gentle  | Friday 13 May, 2.54pm | 2 answers

Seeking burnt out narrow boat

Can anyone recommend where to go and how to go about buying a burnt out narrow boat? I am looking for one that is 45ft plus,I am based in in the North West.
Thank you.

Asked by: Lolljee  | Thursday 12 May, 3.14pm | 3 answers

Mixing last years fuel with this years new spec.

My Narrow boat fuel tank is about 3/4 full with last years old spec fuel.
Would it be better to run it right down before filling up with the new spec fuel, or top it up with new now.
Will the two fuels mix OK or what problems could I expect ?

Asked by: David Spencer  | Wednesday 11 May, 11.25am | 1 answer

Advice on seeking rollers and runners for Dartline Frobisher sliding roof?

Hi we have a Dartline Frobisher with a sliding roof? However, we need to replace the rollers and runners which are in poor condition due to age. Please does any one have any suggestions, we are really struggling to find replacements.
Thanks in advance

Asked by: Tracey Russell  | Tuesday 10 May, 12.43pm | 1 answer

alternator problems

what is the best replacement alternater
model to replace an old lucus unit which is running with a 4tr alternater
controller fitted to a 1.5 bmc diesel engine charging a 110ah battery

Asked by: derek dunlavey  | Monday 9 May, 3.35pm | 1 answer

river nene and middle level navigations

do i need a licence to cruise from peterborough to middle level navigations via river nene

Asked by: christopher smith  | Sunday 8 May, 1.25pm | 1 answer

boat history

is there a webisite where i can trace my boats history by its BW reg number?

Asked by: arnie  | Thursday 5 May, 9.11am | 4 answers

Barrus Alternator Replacement

I have a Barrus Shire 1952LB (4Cyl, 2Ltr) engine of around 2002 build with two alternators. The water pump and both alternators are driven from the crankshaft by a single belt. The larger of the 2 alternators is mounted near the top of the engine and is stamped 'Mando Korea'. I understand it has an output of 80amps. I have a Sterling alternator regulator connected to this alternator for charging the cabin batteries (3 x 110ah)using the wire installed on the alternator by Barrus for this purpose. The original alternator failed after about 1200 hrs and I replaced it with a reconditioned unit from my local dealer. After a further 800 hours this unit has also failed. In comparison with the longevity of car alternators I find this quite apalling. My local dealer no longer has reconditioned units available and Barrus can only advise me to get it repaired. They also referred me to Nantwich Canal Centre centre who say that they regularly get these referrals but have no solution. Can you advise me where to get a replacement? I am prepared to have a reconditioned unit but would probably prefer to get a new and more reliable make of alternator if I can find something which will fit the existing brackets.
Also, I am told by various sources that the problem is most likely to be that the regulator in the alternator burns out. Is this because my engine compartment is too hot (cruiser style NB) or is the alternator actually unsuitable for a narrowboat application? What operating temp should an alternator be able to tolerate? Should I be considering some kind of forced ventilation? It may be that getting the existing alternator repaired is only a short term fix to keep me going for another 800 hours.
I hope WW or its readers can help as my present alternator currently only has any value as a pulley wheel to allow the smaller alternator to continue to charge the starter battery!

Asked by: Paul Swinney  | Tuesday 26 April, 12.22pm | 3 answers

fitting an Adjustamatic Bed in a narrowboat

I am sure i have read an article in the last 3-4 years of someone that fitted an Adjustamatic Bed as a cross bed in a narrowboat and with the bed in the raised position access was possible through the boat. I have looked through my old copies but cannot find it. Am i imaginging it or can someone help me locate the item. Thanks.

Asked by: Nigel Galton  | Monday 25 April, 10.34pm | 2 answers

The difference between round and square sterns?

Please could you tell me what difference having a square stern makes on a widebeam, compared with the traditional round stern?
Does it make the boat more difficult to handle?

Asked by: Steph Swainston  | Monday 25 April, 9.55am | 2 answers

Hanheld VHF

Taking my narrowboat on the Thames next month, need a cheap handheld vhf radio for a one of trip, any ideas please?

Asked by: Graham Little  | Sunday 24 April, 5.41pm | 1 answer

Engine Hours

Looking at a 2004 NB. Nanni engine has 4650 hours on it. Is this excessive? Should I be thinking of a new engine? Many thanks.

Asked by: Anthony Burnell  | Saturday 23 April, 3.24pm | 1 answer

isolate switch

how do i connect a battery isolater switch thanks

Asked by: graham blackhurst  | Friday 22 April, 7.00am | 1 answer

cut off switch

how do i wire a cut off switch

Asked by: graham blackhurst  | Thursday 21 April, 4.11pm | 1 answer

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