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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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Skin tanks

How do I flush out my skin tank?

Asked by: Dave & Ann Mackintosh  | Monday 31 October, 11.25am | 2 answers

how can I identify my narrowboat No 46786

I purchased my 40ft narrowboat "Lockwood" No. 46786 7yrs ago for major renovation. ( I understand it had been out of the water several yrs then. I contacted BW and asked if they could give me any information on the boat but said they had no record of this number. No makers plate or numbers are present as far as I can tell. The hull is made from 1/4" plate and the upper cabin is timber beams & boarded, It has a josher style bow & swept up cabin at the traditional stern end.Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am aiming to have it in the water next year.

Asked by: John Lewis  | Friday 28 October, 8.11pm | 5 answers

Flickering LED lights!!

We have 4 LED downlighters which have worked perfectly for the past 15 months.They are positioned at the furthest point from the batteries and we have a bus bar running down the entire length of the boat which is 70ft long. We changed our batteries from 3 110ah 12v to 4 235ah 6v and since then these LED are flashing and flickering like mad and seem quite dim, however if we switch a light on elsewhere they stop flickering so much and appear brighter. Our other LED lights are fine. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Asked by: Sharron Watson  | Tuesday 18 October, 5.53pm | 5 answers

problems with new low sulphur Diesel

We have a narrow boat with a traditional engine (Gardner 2LW ) I have read that the new low Sulphur Diesel fuel will accelerate engine wear. What is the definitive answer to what additives, if any, should be added to this fuel to a) Guard against wear and b) to reduce bacterial action and water retention.

Asked by: Robert Doody  | Thursday 13 October, 6.05pm | 1 answer

Modifying a Diesel Filler

For security reasons I am considering blanking off my normal diesel tank filler on the rear deck and installing a new filler inside the engine room with its neck above the height of the existing tank and with a breather cap. The tank has an existing external breather in one of the dollies. Are there any Boat Safety regulations I should bear in mind?

Asked by: Colin Wilks  | Thursday 13 October, 12.28pm | 2 answers

Can't start my engine!

Hello, I recently took ownership of my first boat. It was delivered to me from Rugby and had spent over a week cruising to my mooring. Since then I have been unable to start my engine(Beta Marine 38). I have installed a new starter battery and checked all terminals. My control panel clicks, and all the lights apart from temperature are iluminated. The key only turns two turns to the right thus not heating up before turning over. Although this was the same prior to me purchasing the boat, the engine used to start. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Asked by: robert statham  | Monday 10 October, 9.46pm | 3 answers

3 phases to shore supply changeover switch

my 3 phase generator output splits it's phases to 3 seperate single phased circuits (neutrals commoned upstream of and circuit breakers or RCDs). i want to use a single 1ph shore supply line via a changeover switch to power all three final circuits. this would require a 6 pole, 2 way (plus off between), ganged switch. is there any reason with reference to the boat safety scheme or BMEA code of practice why I cant use 3 seperate 2-pole changeover switches, one for each phase/circuit?

Asked by: Workboat Pug  | Wednesday 5 October, 4.34pm | 2 answers

gangplank / boarding ladder


Asked by: david paine  | Tuesday 4 October, 10.51am | 1 answer

Underfloor insulation

I am starting to fitout a narrowboat with a planked oak floor. Is it possible to put some insulation or thermal barrier under the floor?

Asked by: Chris Plumpton  | Monday 3 October, 7.45pm | 3 answers

Fernie Narrowboat

there was link to some pictures on June 20th 2008 questions. I cant get the link can anyone help? its to do with a Fernie boat. Many thanks

Asked by: Amanda Wood  | Saturday 1 October, 5.39pm | 1 answer

new but arthritic wanabe boater

i have looked at areas in ww and think middle levels nav would probably be best for me I(fewer locks) how long a cb would be ok for this nav would be ok ? i am thinking of spending a lot of time cruising in my retirement

Asked by: david trevenen  | Wednesday 28 September, 11.07pm | 1 answer

Beta marine engine 38bhp book/manual

Hi, I have just bought my first boat and am trying to get aqainted with as much as possible before moving aboard. I especially need to know what oil I need for the engine and where to get it and grease for the stern gland.
Thank you

Asked by: robert statham  | Sunday 25 September, 7.48pm | 1 answer

Wispergen heating

I have been considering buying a boat fited with a Wispergen PP16-12MD 5.5 kW unit which claims to provide heating to radiators as well as 800W of electricity at 12 volts. I have never heard of these units and can find no information about them, can you help regards Jim Hanks

Asked by: JIM HANKS  | Tuesday 20 September, 9.17pm | 2 answers

Slightly shoddy paint job

My narrowboat was painted last winter, sadly I paid before I noticed the paint flaking off and I was immediately promised that and the bloom discolouration would be fixed in warmer weather.
It was repainted, though I still think it a poor job.
I asked for money back but they were very unhelpful.
Is there any legal advice I can get?

Asked by: Tilly   | Thursday 15 September, 6.41pm | 1 answer

Does size cost more

We are experienced boaters and have done many miles on the canals. We are planning to get a canal boat for holidays and future long term cruising. I know a 58 footer i ideal but we feel the extra length of a 68-70 footer would make life much more comfortable for long term cruising. The question is, will it cost us much more in fuel to push the extra 12 foot of boat though the water. Thanks for your advice.

Asked by: Nick Woodards  | Friday 9 September, 7.32pm | 2 answers

heating gizmo

I want to know what fitting is used to heat my rads from calorifier whilst engine is running and webasto is not on (hope this makes sense)

Asked by: Bayliss Brown  | Thursday 8 September, 10.36am | 3 answers

Transporting widebeam Chester-Bristol

If we were to purchase a widebeam located on the River weaver by what means & at what coat & whom would you advise we conntact to transport boat to Kennet & Avon. (i.e mixture of road transport & cruising) This is all new to us.

Asked by: Karen Baker  | Wednesday 17 August, 1.27pm | 2 answers

boat tests / reviews

Has WW reviewed any boats built by Kingsground if so where can I find them.
Regards Iain

Asked by: Iain Concar  | Monday 15 August, 3.31pm | 4 answers

Secondary diesel tank

It's getting harder to find diesel on the canal systems, but jerry cans often breach boat safety certification. Is there a way of installing a second tank without major redesign?

Asked by: Gordon Lane  | Sunday 14 August, 11.54pm | 2 answers

Trivia question

"No matter where you are in England you are no more than ? miles from a canal or navigable waterway." A friend's just challenged me to answer this and naively assumed that I'd know. I'm guessing 30 miles but I'm hoping someone knows the proper answer. My 'canal cred' hangs in the balance ...

Asked by: Graham Pierce  | Saturday 13 August, 3.41pm | 1 answer

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