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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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poloma water heater

what size water pump do i need to run my poloma water heater

Asked by: graham blackhurst  | Thursday 17 March, 7.13pm | 3 answers

best engines for widebeams

hi,i would like to know what engines are considered to be the most reliable and best value for a 57-10 ft widebeam semi trad.any input would be greatly appreciated.

Asked by: rick butler  | Monday 14 March, 8.22pm | 1 answer

water coming from rad.cap

we are de-winterising our narrowboat. We have filled up the water tank and every time we turn on the water pump, the radiator cap on a tank in the engine well leaks waater. We have replaced the cap, what else can we do please?

Asked by: peter  | Friday 11 March, 8.29pm | 2 answers

Why do narrowboat passageways always go down the starboard (right hand) side of the boat?

I realised this today after working on a very tightly boxed in Lister engine with all the fuel and oil systems on the opposite side of the boat to where the engine access hatch is:
There seems to be a convention that if you have a corridor or walkway, or a door even, through a narrowboat, if they're not central then the builder seems to always route the walkway down the starboard side of the boat. Is this the case or am I imagining it? And if it's true, what might be the reasons why this is so?
Maybe this is why we like BMC engines, because they end up with all the interesting bits on the near side to the maintainer. ;-)

Asked by: Workboat Pug  | Friday 11 March, 6.36pm | 2 answers

Buying a second hand boat

...firstly, does size matter? We are planning to buy a boat soon, with a view to liveaboard soon - 2 of us.. 60foot about right? We want to travel all over the UK canal system....also 5 top things to look for when buying a boat? We will obviously have a survey. Thanks All!

Asked by: sue   | Friday 11 March, 4.14pm | 3 answers

hydraulics advice

Re WW.March/2011 p.87, BJM asks re hydraulics, which I installed on our narrowboat with a self pump-out too.Would you pass on my email address to him please?My first system was a failure in spite of advice, this one is very good. gunnyandbob@hotmail.com

Asked by: RA  | Friday 11 March, 3.19pm | 1 answer

Diesel Engine Servicing

How often should my diesel engine be serviced?
Once a year - or does it depend on the hours run?
If so, how many hours approx. between services?

Asked by: Mike Brown  | Wednesday 9 March, 11.57pm | 2 answers

Waterways World Annual 2011

Can you please confirm when subscribers receive the 2011 Annual? Thanks

Asked by: S Walker  | Wednesday 9 March, 2.31pm | 1 answer

black bottoming

How much to black bottom a 60ft 1989 trad narrow boat

Asked by: Pete  | Sunday 6 March, 3.58pm | 1 answer

bigger bed

Has anyone made the standard doudle bed bigger, I have got some ideas on how to make, a dropdown either side of the radiator, and add a rectangle of foam matress, and then sleep across the boat, but I would love to here about other peoples inventivness, we want to live aboard for a coulple of years and we would not be able to live with a standard size bed thanks

Asked by: Peter Wright  | Saturday 5 March, 12.50pm | 2 answers


The boat on which I live is coming up to 5 years old and was fitted with an Eberspacher heating system when we purchased it new. The Eberspacher failed approx 18 months after we purchased the boat and we followed advice and replaced it with a Webasto system in October 2008. This worked fine until the spring of 2010 when the heat exchanger failed. To complicate matters I had lost faith in the performance of the Webasto-approved boatyard who had originally fitted the system, so went to a trustworthy and competent repairman who was not Webasto approved.
The second heat exchanger failed a few months ago. Webasto refused to recompense me for the cost of the first replacement as I hadn't gone back to their authorised boatyard. Have other boaters had similar experiences ? What do I do next as I cannot afford to keep paying out £250 every year to keep repacing the same component. Why does it seem to be beyond the powers of the two major manufacturers to produce a reliable heating system for narrowboat use ?

Asked by: Sue Harding Hirst  | Friday 4 March, 6.41pm | 1 answer

Electrical problems

Our boat has a Victron inverter/charger and a dedicated alternator to support charging and 240 volt ac power.It also has a battery management system. All worked well at first, but now, after two seasons relatively low use, the batteries lose charge overnight to a point where the low level warning is flashing and 240 volt power fails in the morning without running the engine. We are sure we are neither using any additional electrical items nor using them for any longer than before this began to happen. The batteries have been bench tested and have been shown to be in good order. Can you suggest what else might be causing the problem? What further checks can we make to identify it and hopefully find a solution.

Asked by: Richard Holland  | Friday 4 March, 10.49am | 3 answers

Llangollen canal depth

Boating to Llangollen my boat draught is quoted as 26ins at baseplate and 22ins at bow. Will I have problems on the final section?

Asked by: Chris Orr  | Wednesday 2 March, 6.12pm | 1 answer

Adding a cold water tank

I am looking to buy a narrowboat with a plan to live aboard in a year or so.....the one I am planning to purchase has a very small water tank (in the bow) of about 55 gallons!!! How easy is it to add a tank within the boat....we plan to redesign the sleeping quarters and remove some cupboards.

Asked by: sue   | Wednesday 2 March, 2.33pm | 3 answers

solar powered boat

Has anyone had or going to have full solar power, does it really work, how much back up power is needed, we are going to live aboard for a couple of years plus, and an idea of cost. Thanks

Asked by: Peter Wright  | Tuesday 1 March, 9.15pm | 3 answers

Looking for a Houseboat

Hello my name is Dee Kalakoti, I work for a Liverpool base TV company called Lime Pictures. I am looking for a location for filming and wondered if you could help. I am after a houseboat to sleep up to 12 people; we would it to have a love a hot tub and look modern. We are open to ideas. Any suggestions would be gratefully received.
Many Thanks
Dee Kalakoti
Lime Pictures

Asked by: dee  | Tuesday 1 March, 11.29am | 1 answer

poloma water heater

why dose my poloma only run hot for a few seconds i have a new pump

Asked by: graham blackhurst  | Tuesday 1 March, 9.02am | 2 answers

Oxford to London cruising

We're hoping to travel from Oxford to Teddington lock in two weeks time (march 2011). Roughly how many cruising hours should this take there and back in our narrowboat? Many thanks.

Asked by: nicki davenport  | Monday 28 February, 10.42pm | 1 answer

12volt charger for computers

saw article last year about 12v charger for computers phones etc with adapters but cant recall which issue it was in.could you give me name of company that supplied them.thanks chris

Asked by: christopher smith  | Sunday 27 February, 3.50pm | 2 answers

Overhaul of electrical system

We live on our narrowboat and need to completely overhaul our electrical system including batteries. We use approx 85 -90amps per day ( Winter use). If you had to do this job what would you fit? We have Adverc battery management system and a galvanic isolater but little else. What are your thoughts on generators - either inboard or portable? We know that this will all come at a price but want to keep it at a sensible level. Many thanks

Asked by: Sharron Watson  | Saturday 26 February, 10.05pm | 5 answers

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