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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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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

boat fit out

I am re-fitting out a 12 year boat 60ft.It had slab insulation which I shall replace.I am going to put 25mm thick foil backed polyurethane between the steel support framework, then fix 50 x 25 wood battens to the sreel frame every third bit of steel framing on the side of the boat. On the roof I will run 3 wooden battens length wise which will be used to fix the oak ceiling panels.I am worried about condensation as some steelwork will be left exposed as will the foil backing on the insulation which could cause condensation to drip on to the wooden roof linings when it gets very cold and I light the wood burning stove. Should I have all steelwork covered with insulation.

Asked by: boatfitout  | Sunday 13 February, 9.44pm | 3 answers

hot water system

i am starting a self fit out of a 32ft steel hulled boat. the boat doesnt have an in board engine but i would still like to use a calorifier linked to a backburner on the solid fuel stove. to me it makes sense using the excess heat this way,but i would like a back up source of hot water for times when the woodburner is not in use or just to bring the preheated water from the calorifier to a comfortable showering temperature. the ideal solution would be, i think, an instant gas hot water heater controlled by a thermostat which would kick in whenever the water wasnt at the desired temperature. the only water heaters i can find simply raise the incoming water temp by 25c or so with no control over this. i can imagine a problem with dangerously hot water coming out of the taps.
do you know of an instant hot water heater which can be used like this or have any other suggestions for my hot water needs. the boat is not really long enough to warrent having full central heating, and energy efficiency is very important to me, thanks theo.

Asked by: Theo  | Saturday 12 February, 11.29am | 2 answers

prop distance

is there any proper distance between stern tube and prop ie min or max

Asked by: bruce  | Friday 11 February, 10.58pm | 3 answers

Bread maker

I have a 2,500 kva mastervolt Dakar Inverter with four domestic batteries. If a bread maker is listed at a max of 550w is it alright to run without engine? If I did this how long would it take to flatten the batteries? Can anybody help or recommend a bread maker.

Asked by: Robert Bush  | Monday 7 February, 5.33pm | 5 answers

battery bank

I would like to have a deep cycle battery bank 3 x 135Ah (405Ah) and one starter battery 110Ah. I found on internet that suggested ratio alternator to battery bank is 20-25%. I would like to ask you about the confirmation please.
The second issue is the localization of battery bank. My boat is traditional narrowboat so the olnly space I can think about is the current place of the batteries under the deck. Do you think it is safe as it is confined space? Currently one leisure heavy duty and one starter batteries are there but with more batteries there would be more hydrogen from charging...
Kind Regards

Asked by: Joanna and Jarek   | Monday 7 February, 4.25pm | 4 answers

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