Getting ready to winterise your Narrowboat.
When I left my boat yesterday morning, I noticed a light frost on the hull and my car windscreen was also frosted over. Seeing that Jack Frost was back in town, my thoughts went back to last year and, what a long hard winter that was.
If you intend to live aboard then it’s pretty much business as usual, but take a look at your radiators, engine cooling (keel), central heating systems and fresh water system you may need to add some additional anti-freeze.
fitting an automatic bilge pump float, if any water does get into the bilge you will at least have peace of mind that this water will be removed.
Problem for the interior of a boat that isn’t lived in over the winter period is the soft furnishing becoming damp which then leads to mould. If possible consider storing all removal items like bedding, cushions, towels, clothes food etc to a dry and warm place till you are ready to start using the boat again in the spring.
Check the window drains are also clear. Plumbing Drain down and disconnect the water system also empty your water tanks and calorifiers. Pay attention to your shower remove as much water as possible. Open up your taps allowing all the water to drain away. Also remember to drain the toilet water system as well.
The aim is to remove as much water from the boat to protect the pipes from bursting if it freezes. Lag as many of the hot and cold pipes as you can. Top up anti-freeze in keel cooling and other sealed heating systems like radiators connected to the boiler.
Electrical Remember to turn off the isolators on the battery as well as greasing the terminals to prevent corrosion, leave the batteries fully charged and if possible left on a float charge.
Turn off all electrical appliances and it’s advisable to leave the fridge door slightly a jar for circulation.
Carry out an oil change on the engine and gear box.
Grease the stern tube once the engine is turned off, this is to prevent water getting into the engine room and if this builds up could cause your narrow boat to sink! If possible leave your diesel tank full so that condensation doesn’t build up in the tank also add fuel conditioner (anti diesel bug treatments) which you can purchase at most good chandleriesIt’s advisable to visit your boat once a month so you can run the engine for around an hour this pushes the oil around and prevents rust, it will also help top up the battery. Remember to re grease the stern tube if you do run the engine each month as every time the propellers turn it breaks the seal.
look after the exterior of your boat as well as the interior. wash/remove moos/leaves/clean front and re canopies to stop build up of green mildew.
Hope this help, and if you do venture out for a winter trip keep a watch on the weather forecast for big drops in the temperature. Happy winter cruising from all at Venetian. Marina.