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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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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

gearbox ratio

im having a 58ft semi trad built with a beta 43 engine and 150 gearbox.i intend to use canals and rivers, would you recommend a 3:1 or 2:1 gearbox ratio.

Asked by: d baird  | Thursday 14 April, 7.25pm | 3 answers

New regulations regarding solid fuel stoves

I've just read your article regarding the new British Standard for the instalation of solid fuel stoves in small craft. Is this to be applied retrospectively or only for new istallations? I ask because the BSS Certificate is due for renewal on my narrowboat shortly and I know my stove does not comply!
David Stebbens

Asked by: David Stebbens  | Tuesday 12 April, 4.56pm | 1 answer

Drawings plan/section drawings of barges

Can anyone advise where I can get hold of construction type drawings (plans & sections) of barges, in particular dumb barges or lighters.
Thanks Ed

Asked by: Ed McCann  | Thursday 7 April, 6.02pm | no answers yet - add one


Is there a suitable replacement for the recessed 8w fluorescent lights on my boat which do not give out much light without the need to replace the ceiling to cover up the cut-outs?

Asked by: Roger Beswick  | Thursday 7 April, 3.20pm | 1 answer


hi where can i buy a good set of waterways maps that show good pubs to visit and places of interest etc thanks.

Asked by: andy wakler  | Wednesday 6 April, 11.19pm | 2 answers


50ft narrowboat twin alternaters one for leisure batteries one for engine battery can i connect negitives to all batteries at present two seperate systems

Asked by: bruce  | Sunday 3 April, 9.47pm | 2 answers

Whale pump adjustment?

Just bought an ex-Alvechurch hireboat. The domestic water pump is a Whale. It hammers for 20 seconds when tap is turned off. Can't find an adjustment screw anywhere - any ideas? I have checked the accumulator and it's fine. (previously have used Shurflo's and Flojets, so am a bit surprised that I can't find an adjustment on the Whale).

Asked by: Cliff Eden  | Wednesday 30 March, 6.16pm | 2 answers

Chinese narrowboats

Can you please advise if there are any inherent problems with Chinese built narrowboats as we are thinking of buying a new one.
Many thanks

Asked by: Christine Etherington  | Wednesday 30 March, 4.58pm | 3 answers

Boat cruises on the upper Thames

To celebrate my 60th birthday I am looking for a day/evening cruise with the family and I have seen a TV programme about a large boat that operates on the Thames. Do you have more details on who to contact please?

Asked by: John Carter  | Tuesday 29 March, 10.36am | 1 answer

Spec for electrical system for liveabord and cruiser

I seek a an outline spec for the electrical systems of a liveabord and cruising boat that I wish to use on both some UK waterways and most continental. I wish not to be dependent on shore hook-ups for electricity supply but have the option of using 230 volt appliances and charge battereis from the boats own resources. I anticipate making light demands for electical supply both whiloe crusing and staying put.
I had initially expected to run a generator alongside the boats engine (saildrive?) but read of inbord engines that can function as generators and suppliers of hot water.At the same time I read that running diesel motors (my preference) for more than 5 minutes without load shortens engine life. Can you advise of a budget power source/set-up that will offer solution to this broad spectrum of demands.Ps thanks for the Q & A on your site -any chance of installing a search facility so for example all the electric issues can be found?

Asked by: Graham Davidson  | Sunday 27 March, 5.16pm | no answers yet - add one


we are unable to view any of the waterways world online magazines. We can see other pdf file downloads from other sites but notyours. Appreciate you letting us know when you are back online. Thanks Rewi and Janet

Asked by: Rewi Kemp  | Saturday 26 March, 5.56am | 1 answer


I have a bad condensation problem with newish 60ft Narrow boat I had bult which the builder wont repair it,I am now going to take legal action against the builder, does anyone know of a lawyer who has knowledge of what narrow boats are about and would then be able understand my condensation problem problem

Asked by: David Anderson  | Wednesday 23 March, 3.15pm | 3 answers

Self Fit-out Cost Saving

In Grahams Books and WW it is frequently stated that fitting out a shell yourself generates cost savings over having one fitted out for you.
Does anybody have any ideas on a typical saving on a narrow or widebeam against the Commercially Quoted Prices.??
I.e. Commercial 1,000-1,250 per foot for narrowboats

Asked by: PAUL BROWNETT  | Tuesday 22 March, 8.28am | 5 answers

Electricity supplies

Want a wide beam with usual home comforts, how do I know what type of inverter / generator I need to power everything without shore power. Yours in anticipation P J B.

Asked by: Peter Bailey  | Monday 21 March, 5.13pm | 3 answers

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