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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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winter heaters on boats

can i use a greenhouse type heater to provide a low level of heat in my boat during freezing weather

Asked by: HGRIFFITHS  | Monday 6 December, 5.58pm | 3 answers

Axiom prop

Does anyone have an Axiom prop on their narrowboat? If so,does their narrowboat revers in a straight line as claimed by the makers of Axiom props?

Asked by: ELAINE INSOLE  | Monday 29 November, 10.04pm | 4 answers

Drained calorifier

I used my water pump to drain the water tank, pipes, shower and calorifier for the winter. If I run the engine to charge the batteries or for cruising is there any risk of damaging the calorifier. Engine cooling is by skin tanks. Thank you.

Asked by: Dave Fearns  | Thursday 25 November, 8.29pm | 2 answers

Will ultra low sulpher diesal ruin my engine?

I'm a liveaboard and have recently fitted a replacement 2.2 BMC engine in my boat, my aim is to try to modenise my boat but keep it as original as poss, if that's not too contradictory!! When I filled up with fuel I was told that the fuel will be city diesal, ultra low sulpher, from now on due to an EU directive. Will this new fuel damage my old engine? When I was a mechanic and this fuel came in to use, we virtualy had our whole fleet of dustbin lorries go down with fuel and engine problems within the first month.
Is there or will there be an additive to put into the tanks to replace the loss of the sulpher?
Thanks, CRAIG.

Asked by: craig sheaf  | Tuesday 23 November, 11.16am | 3 answers

Rudder Problem

I caught my rudder on a lock sill yesterday and it seems to have knocked the tiller up about 4 inches from the deck. It still works but it is obvious that the rudder has become detached from the bottom bracket. I am tempted to get in the water(shallow mooring) and lift it back in place - would this be viable

Asked by: martyn holder  | Sunday 21 November, 3.28pm | 2 answers

12 v vacuum cleaner

We have recently bought a Narrowboat with a 1500 W inverter and are having problems with our 1400 W vacuum cleaner and have been told that the only answer is a 12v one, but my experience of those is that they are useless on carpets. Does anyone sell an efficient 12v cleaner or a lower wattage mains cleaner, or do you have any other advice to solve the cleaning problem?

Asked by: Chris Dann  | Tuesday 16 November, 4.40pm | 5 answers

fuel polishing

having had 2 cases of fuel contamination in 2 years,is fuel polishing as seen in WWDec the answer?
Geof Long

Asked by: Geof Long  | Friday 12 November, 3.12pm | 1 answer

Lister LH150 gearbox

No oil pressure in my gearbox , therefore stuck in forwards . Have decided to take the box ( and reverse box ) out and send to professionals for repair , any tips on this job ? many thanks .

Asked by: Jos Flinn  | Thursday 11 November, 10.35am | 2 answers

Leaky windows !

Yup , it's that time of year , my narrow boat's windows are leaking !
I'm a G.R.P. top , fitted with aluminium framed ( caravan type ) windows , I'm looking for suggestions for the best type of sealant to do a neat , effective job ( I don't want messy bath sealant goop all over the place ) many thanks !

Asked by: Jos Flinn  | Thursday 11 November, 10.30am | 3 answers

the Bryces Bix

does anybody know what happened to Bix the Bryce's well travelled narrowboat.is the boat still with us,has the boat got a different name,and where is the boat moored.I would love to see this narrowboat for real to take a few piccy's. Can anybody help.thanks

Asked by: gaz bee  | Monday 8 November, 8.13pm | no answers yet - add one

Vu Qube satellite dish

I have been researching automated self-seeking satellite dishes to replace my manual dish which is a hassle to set up. Any recommendations from existing users? The Omniview VuQube, which is quite new to the market, is portable, would not spoil the roof line and can be located where there is the most open view. It thus appears suitable for use on a narrowboat. Does anyone have experience of it? Could it be reviewed for Boats & Pieces?

Asked by: Richard Holland  | Tuesday 26 October, 8.32am | 1 answer

Multi Fuel Stoves

I am going to fit a multi fuel stove to my narrow boat, and i need to find out all the regulations such as fire retardant wood and other lining materials etc that i should use. Is there a leaflet or book that i can read on the subject

Asked by: david lee  | Monday 25 October, 4.14pm | 3 answers


Our boat does not have the curtain 'retainers' to hold the closed curtains against the hull. Where can you buy them?

Asked by: Marian Birks  | Saturday 23 October, 1.54pm | 1 answer

White diesel - is it harmful to engines?

My partner and I use red diesel. What will the consequences be to our engines, Perkins 1992 and Beta 2000) when we have to change to white diesel?

Asked by: Barry Babbington  | Wednesday 20 October, 7.51pm | 1 answer

Size of fresh water tank

We are having a 57ft narrowboat built; for holiday not live-aboard use, generally for 2 people, occassionally for 4. What would anyone recommend as a minimum acceptable capacity for the fresh water tank? (asking the question as a desire for a bow thruster appears to limit space for this tank; we have also been unable to find advice on our likely daily water consumption)

Asked by: nigel cribb  | Monday 18 October, 8.14pm | 2 answers

Tee studs and Dollies

Hi, as a newbie to the boating world, why have Tee studs at the bow and Dollies at the stern? I find that the Tee stud is easier to attach mooring ropes, as you can get a good figure of eight around it. Is there a practical reason why Tee studs can not be used at the stern? Many thanks.

Asked by: Anthony Burnell  | Sunday 17 October, 10.30am | 2 answers

winteriseing narrow boat

we are new to narrowboating and are looking to winterise our boat for the first time what do we need to do

Asked by: Brian Finney  | Thursday 14 October, 11.49am | 1 answer

Installing a gas fridge

Is it best practice to install a gas fridge on a narrowboat. The fridge we currently have is 240v but hasn't got a power supply to it. There is a gas pipe to install a fridge on gas but I have no idea what other safety features may be required.

Asked by: Kate Somerfield  | Monday 11 October, 9.29pm | 2 answers

Is it worth getting an ebook reader?

As I live on a narrowboat and like reading I have been toying with the idea of getting a ebook reader. the options seem to be a Sony, Kindle or iPad. Which one would work best on a boat in terms of power use and lighting? We have 240v electric and a webbook with a dongle. Have other boaters found ebook readers worthwhile or just another gadget to take up space?

Asked by: Mrs Marilyn Biles  | Monday 11 October, 2.04pm | 1 answer

use of galvanic isolators

I have recently acquired a 64 ft Narrow boat which spends time connected to shore power. I have been advised to fit a galvanic isolator to prevent corrosion. Is this necessary ?

Asked by: Robert Doody  | Sunday 10 October, 2.00pm | 2 answers

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