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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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purchasing a narrowboat

as anybody hear of Dual Duel narrow boat builders Rochdale

Asked by: Rob Sweeney  | Monday 6 June, 2.10pm | 1 answer

Ballast adjustment after fit out and relaunch

Hi I have recently bought a 50x10 wide beam which was an unfinished project,I intend to do the fit out myself with no previous boat experience but I am a carpenter/builder so I hope to draw on that knowledge.my concern is that the boat is currently in the water it has no engine fitted the ballast has been installed and ply flooring fitted ,I intend to have the boat lifted and transported to my local Marina to complete the fit out on the hardstanding,how do I determine what ballast adjustments will be required after have installed the engine and completed the fit out,I intend to fit oak floors through out so it concerns me that when I relaunch the bow might be pointing skywards and I would have no access to make major adjustments.I think this may be my first of many questions.David

Asked by: David Anderson  | Thursday 2 June, 4.21pm | 1 answer

River Trent to the Humber Estuary

Is it possible to leave the Trent and enter into the Humber estuary then onto some if the more northern canals, it was suggested at a question and answer session at Crick, that you could still navigate some of the northern canals with a 60 foot boat.

Asked by: Peter Wright  | Wednesday 1 June, 7.05pm | 1 answer

bmc 1500 with gearbox 19z 8316

the cooling sytem on my boat is internal, an in built tank on the rear bulkhead. the gearbox is an old velvet drive that is water cooled ,as the tank sits lower to the engine do i need an external water pump.

Asked by: matt cowling  | Tuesday 31 May, 3.00pm | 1 answer

Looking for courses to navigate/care of canal barge

My friend and I want to learn how to navigate a canal barge and look after the barge because we want to be confident in renting a barge for some hols. We live in nw London (NW3 postcode). Can anyone help by advising what the best courses are and where to go to do this.
Many thanks

Asked by: julia wisniewska-kennedy  | Monday 30 May, 2.11pm | 1 answer

Searching for refurbishment project boat in desperate need of TLC

My partner and I are looking for an insurance claim, burnt out or repossessed narrowboat particularly one that is low in price and needs some TLC, ideally a cruiser stern narrow boat for refurbishment project. We are open to potential projects that come in from 45ft plus.
We actually welcome internal and external work, this is not a problem, in fact we really want to do our own work on it. We would prefer to not be paying for a decent interior as we will be ripping this part out and changing it. A few more preferable details between 45 and 57ft if possible, all steel, cruiser stern, working engine (again preferable) preferably water tight, if not, do you have welding facilities on sight if the hull needs fixing?
Our budget is limited, we would prefer not to incur a debt and the refurbishment project allows us to complete the boat as money comes in and a lower price allows us to buy it out right.
Thank you

Asked by: Lolljee  | Sunday 29 May, 9.57pm | 1 answer

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

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