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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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Liveaboard realities on a narrowboat

I'm considering moving back to UK (university in early 70's). I live in my 30 foot sailboat 5 months a year. Is year round liveaboard possible (or idiotic) on a 40 foot NB? Advice/ideas much appreciated.

Asked by: Fred Belmont  | Saturday 28 March, 6.52pm | 3 answers

whats a general search term for non commercial club/societiy

hi does anyone know what would be a general search term for non commercial clubs/societies as they seem much cheaper that a marina to permanently keep a boat. am especially interested in anything closer to the west country that milton keyns. thanks

Asked by: mb  | Saturday 14 March, 10.11am | 1 answer

anyone know of a boatyard near cosgrove

anyone know of a boatyard near cosgrove where i can work on my boat while shes out. Willowbridge Marina [they have a sister buisness nearby in milton keyns] are out out the question as as no one has anything good to say about them

Asked by: mb  | Saturday 14 March, 4.23am | 1 answer

microbial corrosion

whats the treatment for microbial corrosion on steel
i have good photos and description of it but any info would be very useful

Asked by: mb  | Friday 13 March, 10.09am | 10 answers

where can i get engine spares for thornycroft

Ive got a thornycroft 3 cyl diesel , ive been told its a marineized Mitsubishi, is this correct? and more importantly where can i get spares?
worryingly some of the water hoses are molded to a particular shape so i cant use generic hose, what can i do here?

Asked by: mb  | Thursday 12 March, 4.03am | 2 answers

Perkins 4107 emgine

I'm looking at a narrowboat fitted with a Perkins 4107 engine. I haven't come across this engine before - any thoughts on reliability, etc.?

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Monday 9 March, 11.46am | 1 answer

Dry bilge?

I want to turn my narrowboat bilge into a 'dry bilge'. That is by placing a suitable container under the stern gland and putting the bilge pump in that. Any thoughts please?

Asked by: Barry Woodhouse  | Wednesday 4 March, 3.23pm | 8 answers

Electric motor ability

Any thoughts on how well a 70x12 widebeam powered by a20Kw electric motor would cope going against a 3knot current?

Asked by: nigel bradly  | Tuesday 3 March, 10.39pm | 1 answer

What is the maximum beam for the Rochdale canal?

I ask because the CRT web site gives a different figure from other sites. The CRT (canalrivertrust.org.uk) says 2.91m 9ft 5" but the Inland Waterways site (waterways.org.uk)and others say it's 4.01 m 13' 2". Can anyone confirm from direct experience which is correct?

Asked by: Christopher Bradley  | Saturday 29 February, 4.19pm | 3 answers

Coal and wet wood ban - 2023 ??? !!!!!

Below are the current rules as at 21st Feb. 2020, (web site will update) Nothing regarding boat stoves - follow rules in the area your boat is in at any given time.
what can be burnt in England https://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/fuels.php?country=england
& Wales https://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/fuels.php?country=wales
Has there been any thought to canal boaters & living on boats in winter. It appears not so far but only herd the headline - Ban on coal & wet wood in 2023.
What is classed as wet wood. Is it wood branches cut & left for two years or dry kilned wood to 12 -15 % as used in joinery ? I ask as there will be fines for non compliance. Currently £1'000.
There is not an out right ban on wood because the UK government thinks it is good and sensible to burn wood chips from USA - going off subject here :
And a new open cast coal mine to open in the north. So what are we too think and worry or not about this ban in 2023.
It may be not be possible to commission a new boat with a multi fuel stove after 2023 !!!!

Asked by: Gary  | Friday 21 February, 7.20pm | 2 answers

How do I increase my skin tank size?

For 25 years the BMC 1.8 engine in my 60ft narrowboat worked fine - until it wore out. Last year I had it changed for a Vetus M4.45 engine, which I was told was an equivalent.
It went in fine and seemed to work well and smoothly. However, I noticed on the tidal Trent a few weeks ago it was overheating, and had to throttle back.
It still worked fine, but I had another boatyard check and they said the skin tank was too small for the new engine.
What can I do to increase the skin tank size or cooling?

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Wednesday 19 February, 10.32am | 4 answers

Engine bay sound insulation fixing

Rather than spray glue would it be feasible to attach insulation sheets using countersunk hole ring magnets bolts and fixing washers to the steel areas of engine compartment? The ring magnets would have a combined pull weight greater than weight of sheet.

Asked by: tony  | Wednesday 12 February, 7.34pm | 3 answers

growth on hull going hard

my steel hull is coming out end of march but will have to wait untill next day to be pressure washed by the yard. AT least 10 years worth of muck is on the hull, will the days delay cause it to dry and be harder to remove?

Asked by: mb  | Tuesday 11 February, 10.42am | 1 answer

Boat Manual

I'm a self fit out boat owner and have been told I require Owners Manual
Does any one know if there is a set format for this document or can any one point me to a web site that would help ?

Asked by: Leslie Swann  | Saturday 8 February, 8.44pm | 1 answer

best way to remove paint from steel cabin roof

ive asked before and the person replying said they used a belt sander. but doesn't it get clogged quickly then needs new belt.
i could use a Turbo Blaster but i think the teeth would leave a rough surface. its gloss paint on outside of steel cabin . any ideas welcome

Asked by: mb  | Friday 7 February, 12.23pm | 7 answers

Centaur 12/30 Battery Charger

can I power this charger from a 2kw generator\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\/

Asked by: Peter Hargreaves  | Tuesday 4 February, 2.53pm | 1 answer

Toilet Holding Tank

We discovered yesterday that our steel tank fitted to the pump out toilet on our 13 year old Liverpool Boats narrowboat has "rotted" at the top, condition unknown at the bottom and back. What is the best solution, i.e. if we replace it what is the best material, if the top was cut off it could it be lined?

Asked by: Neil Murfitt  | Monday 3 February, 1.30pm | 1 answer

SPRING SAFETY. fire extinguishers - WW Mar. 2020 p. 66

Powder fire extinguishers are messy and Rated for : A, wood. B, liquid fuel. C, gas. (without gas explosive risk) and electric fires if correct ?
On my powder extinguishers - the electric fire symbol does not have a designated letter, so may be not suitable for electrical fires. Is this correct ?
Your article does not imply this so presume powder extinguishers are ok for electrical fire although the powder may well ruin the circuitry as said in article .
Looking at the picture of the foam extinguisher in WW it appears to only cover wood fire and flammable liquids So I am UNABLE to remove the Powder Fire extinguisher (BS EN3) from my boat that has gas as well as petrol and electric AC and DC. on board and just having FOAM only would not cover all fire risk for my boat.
Having two types of extinguisher on board, one could in the rush come panic of fire pick up the incorrect extinguisher for type of fire. True?
There is also a gas fire extinguisher CO2 (not an flammable gas)
Below is from a company web site -
CO2 fire extinguishers contain pure carbon dioxide which is a clean extinguishant, leaving no residue. Suitable for class B flammable liquid fires (petrol, oil, solvents), and recommended for use on live electrical equipment.
I think the subject of fire extinguishers is or can be as I am concerned a complicated subject and needs more explanation in Waterways World from an expert from a company or Fire Service. This web site from the FIRE SERVICE will help any one needing more information. Do approach them in person if needing more help. www.fireservice.co.uk/safety/safelincs/
Remember to check for boat use.
I am not a fire fighter, just an boater wishing to find out more about extinguishers without having to have an Powder one on board, but seems necessary to keep powder extinguishers on my boat.

Asked by: Gary  | Sunday 2 February, 8.49pm | 5 answers

gas fridge on new boats

Is there a Balanced flue(Room sealed) gas (or multiple fuel that includes gas) fridge on the market at all.
im fitting out a new narrow boat. I really dont want to use my batteries to run the fridge. Propane is the way.

Asked by: ben   | Friday 31 January, 9.05pm | 9 answers


I was told on my helmsman's course that there was no point in putting the tiller over by more than 45 degrees, as pushing it any further would not make the boat turn sharper. Is this correct? I often see boats making right-angled turns with the tiller also at a right angle!

Asked by: Brian Ferris  | Thursday 30 January, 10.33pm | 1 answer

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