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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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Birmingham square base plates

I know Tyler Wilson build on a Birmingham square base plate that is wider than the standard 2 meters.Are there any other hull builders using this wider base plate?

Asked by: John Dibble  | Monday 12 March, 8.42am | 4 answers

Re: Continuous cruising and medication

We are planning to continuous cruise for the whole of the summer, we are both on long term medication and I wondered how continuous cruisers are able to repeat there prescriptions when the doctor will only write a prescription for two months at a time, this must be a problem for a lot of people and I wonder how they got around this.
Many thanks

Asked by: John Geobey  | Saturday 10 March, 10.16am | 1 answer

Airdraft of boats

I am thinking of buying a narrowboat with an airdraft of 6 feet 1 inch. We want to see the system, and would like to know how many canals this airdraft would rule out.
Ben Mitchell

Asked by: Ben Mitchell  | Wednesday 7 March, 1.37pm | 2 answers

Boat Batteries

I have been reading about Elecol 115 Ah AGM Solar batteries which are quite expensiveat £179 and they have a 7 year warranty. I presently have 4 wet cell batteries going into my third year with and they seem ok.However I do look after them but still have to top them up quite regularly and as I am getting older I have to be a bit of a contortionist to do them.
I hope to get at least five years from them so two lots of wet batteries would last me for 10 years at a cost of approx £700. However if I could get 10 years out of say the Elecol Batteries cost would be approx. £720 and I would have no maintenance. My boat is kept in a marina and I have shore power and a good quality battery charger. Are these Elecol batteries up to the job or can you recomend others just as good.

Asked by: boatfitout  | Tuesday 6 March, 10.51pm | 2 answers

TV/DVD combo - 12v or 240?

My previous boat was 12v only so there was no alternative. Now I have a suitable inverter but given that I intend to spend most of the season off the marina (and 240v) what is the best option/screen size etc?

Asked by: Brian Woods  | Tuesday 6 March, 10.14pm | 2 answers

Where will the water be?

Trying to plan routes for the season. I had planned to go south, Kennet & Avon etc but with water shortages have written that off. Where do you think might be best this year? (Based Braunston)

Asked by: Gordon Lane  | Tuesday 6 March, 7.51pm | 2 answers

Rope work courses

Is there enyone running fender makeing and triditional rope work courses. I seem to remember an add in recent issue but cant see it enywere. Eny info would be very helpfull. Many Thanks

Asked by: Nick Woodards  | Sunday 4 March, 5.10pm | 2 answers

What generator to buy

We are looking to buy a generator for our 42 foot narrow boat. The main use for this would be to charge the batteries when doing a short days cruising. It would also be used to charge a laptop and mobile phones. We currently have an electric fridge, cd/radio and lighting which are powered by 2 leisure batteries. Any advice would be appreciated

Asked by: Mike Hodder  | Saturday 25 February, 2.12pm | 3 answers

Foil insulation.

Can foil insulation be bonded to GRP cabin sides with Automotive grade carpet trim over the foil to finish. If so, what is the recommended adhesive?

Asked by: chris king  | Saturday 25 February, 7.38am | 4 answers

About the Stove Fan project.

In testing my fan I made from the Stove Fan project in last months WW - the wires from the TEC 100W to the motor are getting very hot from the stove- do I need to worry about this?

Asked by: Robert Hilsdon  | Friday 24 February, 9.19am | 3 answers

Re: 12 Volt radio and television

Where can i purchase a 12volt radio/television/DVD player.
Many thanks

Asked by: John Geobey  | Thursday 16 February, 12.33pm | 6 answers

Lees narrowboats, good shell

Thinking of looking at a boat built by Lees narrrowboats which i understand went bust in 2006. Apparantly they got their shells from morrocco. What is the general opinion on the shell quality?

Asked by: Paul Jones  | Wednesday 15 February, 2.09pm | 2 answers

Boat stove problems

I have a Valor Willow stove on our boat. We seem to have an air problem, it doesn't draw very well. I have checked Valors website and they recommend a flue/chimney length of at least 4.5 metres. Other manufacturers recommend similar length flues. How do I get my stove to burn better, with the standard boat flue/chimney?

Asked by: Tom Brady  | Sunday 12 February, 7.39pm | 5 answers

Water tank treatment

My boat is now three years old and I have a stainless steel water tank, when new I put in the recomended hygiene tablets (can not remeber their name)and have done nothing since, what would you recomend I do for this years boating and future years.We do not drink water from the tank but do wash vegetables with it.

Asked by: David Anderson  | Sunday 12 February, 1.03pm | 2 answers

dab radio

can anyone tell me if you can successfully run a dab digital radio in side a canal boat or do you have to have an external aerial, I am thinking of getting a combined cd and dab,

Asked by: Peter Wright  | Thursday 9 February, 9.53pm | 3 answers

Re : High Charging Voltage Problem

RE : Alternator Problem or Battery Problem ?
Following up my original query on 27th January - I have now had an opportunity to carry out tests etc. suggested by Mark Langley and Rupert Smedley.
Battery voltage decay over four days : Start 12.58 to 12.58 (= 0), Domestic #1 12.56 to 12.56 (= 0), Domestic #2 12.56 to 12.55 (= 0.01, are meters that precise ?)
On charge individually from the alternator :
Start 15.08v, Domestic #1 15.14v, Domestic #2 15.18v : ambient temperature just above freezing.
The two domestic batteries together, start battery disconnected, 14.83v : all three batteries on charge together 14.81v.
The batteries are bog-standard lead-acid, bought from a reputable chandlery - the two domestics are "leisure". No particular cell is using more water than the others.
I think the batteries have had a gentle life : we do perhaps ten weeks' cruising a year, + odd weekends and odd days. When at base, (until this problem started ) they have been on 'float charge' as advocated in WW by Graham Booth some years ago.
There is absolutely no "glow" at all in the warning lamp when charging : the alternator was load-tested by Carwoods (Coventry), who replaced the regulator, before being returned, with the following results :
Off-load 14.5v, 21a. On load 14.3v, 41a. At increased load 14.1v, 55a. - all at 3329 alternator rpm., which would be fast cruising for the boat.
I have not checked so far the voltage between the warning lamp terminal and battery positive - this will require dismantling of shelves at the back of the boat, and time has not allowed.
Richard Smith

Asked by: Richard Smith  | Sunday 5 February, 12.07pm | 1 answer


can someone pleace tell me if you can put a wet room on a narrow boat insted of a shower tray

Asked by: martin jones  | Friday 3 February, 10.36pm | 4 answers

Why is my diesel heater sooting up?

I have a Kabola Old English drip feed diesel room heater which has given me good service over 13 years. It only needs decoking two or three times each winter and normally burns with a nice blue 'cup' of flame, indicating (if I remember my school chemistry lessons) good combustion.
Just this winter it has started to get very sooty and yellow, and even two or three days of burning leaves an appalling amount of diesel-laden soot after I turn it off. And I seem to need to clean it almost every day.
I was wondering if there's something wrong with the burner, or am I encountering the new dreaded 'biodiesel'?

Asked by: Andrew Denny  | Tuesday 31 January, 7.48pm | 6 answers

Conversion to pumpout toilet

How difficult/expensive would it be to convert a narrowboat from cassette to pumpout toilet. I appreciate this will differ from boat to boat, I am just looking for a rough guide as i have found 2 boats i like but both are cassette and i would like pumpout.
Thanks in anticipation

Asked by: Paul Jones  | Tuesday 31 January, 1.43pm | 4 answers

Single Handed Lock operation

I read the article in Feb issue on single handed lock operation and have a question.
The article says that you should tie off the bow and stern lines to central bollards. As the boat rises in the lock these lines will go slack, similarly as the boat descends the lines will get tighter?
A I missing something obvious? It seems to me that the boat would start moving on the way up or get hung up on the lines on the way down?
Thanks for any clarification.

Asked by: John Hitchins  | Monday 30 January, 6.25pm | 1 answer

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