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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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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

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

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