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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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Adding an engine

I'm looking to buy my first canal boat and have fallen in love with a very very old one that is a liveaboard but has never had an engine. Unfortunately I don't have a horse to pull it along like they used to so I was wondering if it is ever possible to just *add an engine*? If not I will try my best to get a bit more realistic. Thank you boaters.

Asked by: sazzlef  | Friday 28 August, 6.48pm | 1 answer

Window catches fall off

Has anyone found a better way than I have of fixng aluminium window catches to the glass panes? I use superglue but they're forever falling off.

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | Sunday 23 August, 2.13pm | 2 answers

Springer Hull Dateing

How can you date a Spinger narrow boat hull

Asked by: John Dymond  | Sunday 16 August, 4.50pm | 1 answer


Hi, when stopping or reversing the sound from the prop changes. It sounds like gravel hitting the boat or maybe air bubbles. Is this normal!
I have a 18x15 prop with around 1 1/4" top clearance using a 50 hp shire 150 gearbox. I did have a 18x10 prop and that did the same, I changed it because it was under proped and I bent the old one. Many thanks

Asked by: anthony spanswick  | Wednesday 12 August, 7.28pm | 4 answers

single-handed boat hire

I would like to see if I would enjoy a narrowboat. Everywhere I look it says try a holiday first but I am on my own. Does anyone know of a company which would hire to a single-hander?

Asked by: Tony Child  | Tuesday 11 August, 8.45am | 2 answers


I would like to fit a larger capacity alternator to my 3 cylinder Barrus shires diesel has anyone done this and if so what alternator is possible? I really would like 120 or more

Asked by: ian  | Monday 10 August, 4.22pm | 1 answer

Are you in need of an umbrella under £9?

Go to link below. [I do not have any connection to the company for this link or any other connection to it]. http://www.dragoncarpdirect.com/dragon-carp-fishing-umbrella-943188?colcode=94318816&utm_source=dragoncarp-150807&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FishOnFriday-150807

Asked by: Gary  | Friday 7 August, 11.05pm | 2 answers

Fracino Dual Fuel coffee machine

Hi i have just started up a mobile Coffee Cab and had a problem today the machine after 3 hours decided to flash on the panel and wouldnt work anymore I cant see any manual online what do i do? ideas what this means when all lights flash all the time on the panel.

Asked by: Le Quench   | Thursday 30 July, 10.33pm | 2 answers


Can you give me the contact no or the address of the lovely elderly gentlemen selling vanishes and abrasives.
He was on the bank round towards the boat trips at Crick show. many thanks.

Asked by: Dave Cox  | Thursday 30 July, 6.08am | 2 answers


In addition to previous question regarding the problems with my starter motor only clicking when I turn the key, on further investigation I have read the engines wireing diagram and it shows the wire from the ignition switch going to a relay then from there to the starter solenoid, I have however discovered that the previous owner has at sometime , bypassed the starter relay and installed a cable straight from the ignition switch to the stater solenoid. Is there any need for this additional relay or Could this be what is causing the problem. the engine is a Barus Shanks 35

Asked by: philip wiggin  | Tuesday 28 July, 10.29am | no answers yet - add one

Propellor spec

I have a 36' Fernie boat built ca. 1973 with an SR2 engine, which I have owned since the late '70s. It has always been rather slow and dreadful in reverse, so my ears pricked up when I was told very recently that these boats were often supplied with a propellor that was deliberately 'under-powered' so that novice hirers wouldn't get into trouble! The boat had a 'spare' propellor when I bought it, which I have always assumed to be just an eccentric purchase by the previous owner. However I now wonder (after all these years!) whether it was a better performance prop that the previous owner had bought but not got round to fitting!
My recent informant told me that the improved prop would be stamped '12 by 17'. However the 'spare' prop only has the numbers '360 02550' stamped on it.
Can anyone:
a) Confirm the story about 'under-powered props' for hire boats
b) Tell me what '12 by 17' means for a prop and how I could measure it.
c) Explain the significance of the '360 02550' - unless of course it is just a serial number.
Many thanks

Asked by: John Martin  | Wednesday 22 July, 12.52pm | 2 answers

Slipway or crane on river Nene

I need to take a 65ft 18 tonne narrowboat out of the water for a survey either on a slipway or arcane. She is located in Oundle on the river Nene ... Could you help me locate the nearest place that can handle a big boat like this .... Thank you , Andrew

Asked by: andrew furnival  | Wednesday 22 July, 9.50am | 1 answer


Hello, I have 2 problems I would like help with. I have 57ft cruiser stern with a Barus Shanks 35 engine. when cruising along, If I suddenly pull the throttle lever back into tickover, the engine sometimes stalls. if I pull it back slowly its ok, but when I pull it back quickly it stalls. The other problem I am having is with thw starter motor. When I turn the key Not every time but mostly, the starter just clicks. Sometimes it starts after just a few attempts but most of the time it can take 10 to 20 turns of the key before the starter works. I happened with the previous starte motor so I replaced it with a brand new one but it is still the same. Can you please help. regards,,,, Phil

Asked by: philip wiggin  | Monday 20 July, 6.54pm | 1 answer

Waterways world magazines

I have alot of Waterways Worlds that go back to the 60's 70's 80's and 90's. Could you tell me if there is any value to them please

Asked by: Margaret O'Riley  | Saturday 18 July, 11.28am | 2 answers

Battery size

I have been offered a good deal on a 12v 115AH starter battery. Can this be used to replace a 12v 110AH battery without any charging issues? The narrowboat is a 60ft Aqualine Madison. Thank You

Asked by: Alan Denney  | Thursday 16 July, 2.56pm | 2 answers

pump out

As on our new boat the gunwales are only 3 inches is there any reason why the pump fittings cant go on the side instead

Asked by: george  | Wednesday 15 July, 5.58pm | 3 answers

Engine Change - Mechanical v Hydraulic Gearbox

Following my earlier question about an engine change, what are the pros and cons of mechanical and hydraulic gearboxes? My current box is hydraulic but I see I could save several hundred pounds by selecting, say, a Shire 38 with a PRM120 rather than a Shire 40 with a PRM150 whilst only losing 2 bhp Both engines have the same displacement so presumably the torque can't be very different?

Asked by: Clive Dutson  | Monday 13 July, 5.12pm | 1 answer


I have a 57x10 wide beam currently heated with a webasto diesel central heating system. I have never been very happy with this. Can anyone advise what would be good to change the webasto 'firebox' for?

Asked by: val smith  | Monday 13 July, 12.40pm | 3 answers

what is the best hull blacking product

What is the best hull blacking product for steel bottom wide beam . What is the easiest for applying and quickest drying time. I have read that B&Q black paint is effective and cheap. Is this true of a boat in a marina in brackish water?

Asked by: val smith  | Monday 13 July, 11.23am | 4 answers

Engine Change

Our Lister Canalstar LPWS4A engine is now in a diesel repair shop for investigation and I'm wondering if now is the time to bite the bullet and fit a new engine as it is 20 years old and has done about 6500 hours.
The Lister engine powering our 55' Liverpool narrowboat is 36hp but I've noticed in recent WW articles that boats of this size usually seem to have 42hp or bigger engines.A Beta 38 35hp engine sounds like a sensible equivalent. Does it make any sense to consider a bigger engine? I guess there must be issue relating cooling and propeller size, at least.
with a change of engine is normal to change the gearbox? I don't much about our gearbox as it has been trouble-free for the 8 years we have had the boat - our survey describes it as a Newage 47x16.

Asked by: Clive Dutson  | Sunday 12 July, 5.54pm | 1 answer

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