Canal Cruising Skills - Winterise your Narrowboat
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Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 9:44am

Winterising your Canal Boat

We're coming to the time of year where boaters need to start thinking about winterising your Canal Boat!  For most of us summer months of cruising are well and truely over over.  With winters getting colder and sub zero temperatures becoming more common each year in Britain it is vital to winterise your Narrowboat to avoid a costly repair bills. 

Winterising of your Narrowboat should happen before we get a cold snap or frost but sometimes if you've forgotten to do it before the cold weather starts you may just get away with it (depending on how sharp the frost is).

Hints and Tips of how to Winterise your Narrowboat

  • If you are living aboard during the winter

For those of you living aboard during winter it is pretty much business as usual.  However extra attention should be given to sealed water systems (such as radiators) by topping up anti-freeze.

  • If you are mooring your boat to the side of the canal or in a marina
  1. Lag hot and cold pipes as many as possible
  2. Remove all the water from the domesic water pipe work. 
  3. Open taps in the bathroom and kitchen to vent system.
  4. Ensure your shower fawcet is drained - take it off and shake all the water out of it (they are expensive to replace).
  5. Make sure the instant water heaters are drained down
  6. Make sure your calorifier is drained down
  7. Grease the stern tube once the engine is off
  8. Top up anti-freeze in keel cooling and other sealed heating systems (such as radiators connected to the boiler).
  9. It’s also a good idea to run the engine for an hour every month- this pushes oil around the engine and prevents rusting, plus it tops up the battery if left running long enough.
  10. Top up diesel tank to prevent condensation and contaminating your fuel
  11. Don’t forget to change the oil filters in the spring when the engine is serviced
  •  If you've got your boat for sale with us at Venetian Marina

If you are unable or don't want to winterize your narrowboat then we can do this for you (at a charge). Please contact us at the office on 01270 528251 or

Don't forget that when you come back to live or stay on your Canal Boat you must Dewinterise it!


  1. Refill water tank
  2. Get the air out of the system
  3. Close taps in the kitchen and bathroom
  4. Check for any leaks

Our blog is for information purposes only and Venetian Marina cannot accept any liability.

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