Get Your Narrowboat Ready For The Boating Season!
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Sun Apr 2, 2017 at 9:26am

Prepare Your Narrowboat Ready For The Boating Season Ahead

Spring is most definitely here now, and if you own a narrowboat you'll be thinking about starting to make preparations for your summer cruising.

A good place to start is to get your narrow boat ready, so that it's in tip top condition and all stocked up ready for the season ahead.

Engine Service

If you haven't already, service the engine. Replace the oil filters, change the oil and check all connections and hoses for wear and replace if necessary. Check fan belts and cables. Consider adding a fuel conditioner, top up antifreeze. Check the engine mounts are clean and serviceable.


Check your batteries to make sure that they are holding a charge. If you need to replace one battery, make sure that you replace the whole bank at the same time. Unreliable batteries are a common reason for breakdowns. Clean the battery terminals and connectors.

Check fuses in your 12 volt systems and inverters.

Weed Hatch

Check your weed hatch and check the propeller for debris and check the weed hatch is secure and the seals are satisfactory.


Leaks are common after the winter when boats have been moored up in frosty weather, even if you have winterised the boat it is still at risk. So check the plumbing and water systems for any leaks. Disinfect the water tank to prevent any bacteria which could upset your tummy.


Check gas connection for wear and tear and replace if necessary. Get a qualified gas engineer to service gas appliances. This should be done every year. 

Stock up on gas for your next trip so that you don't run the risk of running out halfway through.

Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and replace if necessary. 

Check that your toilet is clean and working. If you have a pump out toilet you may want to flush the tank out by jet washing. If you have a cassette toilet you may also want to carry out a deep clean and check the seals and valves to avoid any nasty smells. Stock up with toilet chemicals so that you are ready!

Other essential Items to Check are Working

Make sure that your horns and headlights are in working order. You might need to use these if navigating through any long dark tunnels or during low light during the season.

Check your bilge pumps and bowthrusters are working.

Cruising kit to check

  • Make sure all ropes and fenders are in good order
  • Check the deck boards are sound and safe
  • Check engine covers
  • Check your torch works
  • Check boat poles, hooks and planks are sound.

Now you're ready to make your travelling plans and plot your route, fill up your boat with food, clothing and other essentials. Fill up with fuel and water and you'll be ready to explore the canals and waterways of the UK.

Wherever you cruise this summer, be sure to enjoy yourself.

Happy cruising!

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