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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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Diesel Engine Servicing

How often should my diesel engine be serviced?
Once a year - or does it depend on the hours run?
If so, how many hours approx. between services?

Asked by: Mike Brown  | Wednesday 9 March, 11.57pm | 2 answers

Waterways World Annual 2011

Can you please confirm when subscribers receive the 2011 Annual? Thanks

Asked by: S Walker  | Wednesday 9 March, 2.31pm | 1 answer

black bottoming

How much to black bottom a 60ft 1989 trad narrow boat

Asked by: Pete  | Sunday 6 March, 3.58pm | 1 answer

bigger bed

Has anyone made the standard doudle bed bigger, I have got some ideas on how to make, a dropdown either side of the radiator, and add a rectangle of foam matress, and then sleep across the boat, but I would love to here about other peoples inventivness, we want to live aboard for a coulple of years and we would not be able to live with a standard size bed thanks

Asked by: Peter Wright  | Saturday 5 March, 12.50pm | 2 answers


The boat on which I live is coming up to 5 years old and was fitted with an Eberspacher heating system when we purchased it new. The Eberspacher failed approx 18 months after we purchased the boat and we followed advice and replaced it with a Webasto system in October 2008. This worked fine until the spring of 2010 when the heat exchanger failed. To complicate matters I had lost faith in the performance of the Webasto-approved boatyard who had originally fitted the system, so went to a trustworthy and competent repairman who was not Webasto approved.
The second heat exchanger failed a few months ago. Webasto refused to recompense me for the cost of the first replacement as I hadn't gone back to their authorised boatyard. Have other boaters had similar experiences ? What do I do next as I cannot afford to keep paying out £250 every year to keep repacing the same component. Why does it seem to be beyond the powers of the two major manufacturers to produce a reliable heating system for narrowboat use ?

Asked by: Sue Harding Hirst  | Friday 4 March, 6.41pm | 1 answer

Electrical problems

Our boat has a Victron inverter/charger and a dedicated alternator to support charging and 240 volt ac power.It also has a battery management system. All worked well at first, but now, after two seasons relatively low use, the batteries lose charge overnight to a point where the low level warning is flashing and 240 volt power fails in the morning without running the engine. We are sure we are neither using any additional electrical items nor using them for any longer than before this began to happen. The batteries have been bench tested and have been shown to be in good order. Can you suggest what else might be causing the problem? What further checks can we make to identify it and hopefully find a solution.

Asked by: Richard Holland  | Friday 4 March, 10.49am | 3 answers

Llangollen canal depth

Boating to Llangollen my boat draught is quoted as 26ins at baseplate and 22ins at bow. Will I have problems on the final section?

Asked by: Chris Orr  | Wednesday 2 March, 6.12pm | 1 answer

Adding a cold water tank

I am looking to buy a narrowboat with a plan to live aboard in a year or so.....the one I am planning to purchase has a very small water tank (in the bow) of about 55 gallons!!! How easy is it to add a tank within the boat....we plan to redesign the sleeping quarters and remove some cupboards.

Asked by: sue   | Wednesday 2 March, 2.33pm | 3 answers

solar powered boat

Has anyone had or going to have full solar power, does it really work, how much back up power is needed, we are going to live aboard for a couple of years plus, and an idea of cost. Thanks

Asked by: Peter Wright  | Tuesday 1 March, 9.15pm | 3 answers

Looking for a Houseboat

Hello my name is Dee Kalakoti, I work for a Liverpool base TV company called Lime Pictures. I am looking for a location for filming and wondered if you could help. I am after a houseboat to sleep up to 12 people; we would it to have a love a hot tub and look modern. We are open to ideas. Any suggestions would be gratefully received.
Many Thanks
Dee Kalakoti
Lime Pictures

Asked by: dee  | Tuesday 1 March, 11.29am | 1 answer

poloma water heater

why dose my poloma only run hot for a few seconds i have a new pump

Asked by: graham blackhurst  | Tuesday 1 March, 9.02am | 2 answers

Oxford to London cruising

We're hoping to travel from Oxford to Teddington lock in two weeks time (march 2011). Roughly how many cruising hours should this take there and back in our narrowboat? Many thanks.

Asked by: nicki davenport  | Monday 28 February, 10.42pm | 1 answer

12volt charger for computers

saw article last year about 12v charger for computers phones etc with adapters but cant recall which issue it was in.could you give me name of company that supplied them.thanks chris

Asked by: christopher smith  | Sunday 27 February, 3.50pm | 2 answers

Overhaul of electrical system

We live on our narrowboat and need to completely overhaul our electrical system including batteries. We use approx 85 -90amps per day ( Winter use). If you had to do this job what would you fit? We have Adverc battery management system and a galvanic isolater but little else. What are your thoughts on generators - either inboard or portable? We know that this will all come at a price but want to keep it at a sensible level. Many thanks

Asked by: Sharron Watson  | Saturday 26 February, 10.05pm | 5 answers

Engine maintance

I am planning to carry out my first engine service and have 2 questions on my thorneycroft 2 cyl engine circa 1991
1. my book says use 10w30 engine oil but i can only buy 10w40 will this make any difference
2. i am going to change the fuel filter will i have to bleed the system after fitting the new one my book says that the pump has a mechanical pump
any other advice you could give me would be well received
many thanks

Asked by: Jim Bratt  | Wednesday 23 February, 8.34pm | 2 answers

Selling a self build Narrow boat

I am planning to buy a second hand boat, strip it and fit it out myself. I want to sell it straight away. I am told there are certain standards and safety issues that have to be addressed before selling the boat on. Can anyone please advise me.
Many thanks

Asked by: Ray Sutton  | Sunday 20 February, 1.27pm | 2 answers


I was hoping to cruise the LLangollan canal this year but have been told with a draft of 66cm.this is not possible is this true.

Asked by: CHRIS ANDERS  | Saturday 19 February, 11.23am | 2 answers

Route question

I'm planning a journey. I'd like to go from Nottingham to London, eventually ending up on the river Lee i east London.
I'm planning to head down the Leicester line of the Grand Union, but then I face a choice and was wondering what someone with experience of both routes would suggest.
The first option, to carry on down the Grand Union seems the most straight forward, but involves lots of locks and goes through some not very exciting places like Milton Keynes!
The other option down the Oxford canal then to London on the Thames appears to have far fewer locks and potentially prettier countryside but the dangers of a big river and risk of being stuck due to river levels. I'm planning to travel in late March and April.
Does anyone know which route is quickest? and any other advice gratefully received.

Asked by: Annwen  | Thursday 17 February, 4.32pm | 1 answer

Return pipe on Lister engine

What is the best stuff to use on diesel leakage on a return pipe.

Asked by: Lynne  | Wednesday 16 February, 1.41pm | 2 answers

LPG supply pipe size?

Please could you advise me on the size of LPG supply pipe (low pressure side 37mbar)I require in my narrowboat to feeda free standing oven/hob on a run of approx 9 meteres.the one fitted is 10 mm but not sure if this is adequate this is the only gas appliance that will be on the boat.please advise. thank you

Asked by: Ray Fleckney  | Wednesday 16 February, 11.45am | 1 answer

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