Narrow Boat Stuff – The Essentials Of What You Should Have Aboard
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Tue Jan 3, 2017 at 4:11pm

How To Have A Successful Trip – It’s All In The Planning!

We have collated a list of the essential items that you should have on your narrow boat when you go cruising. So whether you are getting ready to cruise during the winter or summer months having all the items below will make your journey all the more enjoyable.

Just like any other journey/trip you take if you have prepared and plan in advance, things tend to go a lot smoother than the last minute dash to get everything together and get going.

Everything you need in the list below can either be bought from your local chandlery or purchased online.

The focus in this article is on those things that you need to take with you/have on board when you go to your boat, not the equipment you would need to fit out or maintain your narrow boat.

Outdoorsy Stuff    

  • Folding chairs and table for outdoor use    
  • BBQ    
  • Hose pipe    
  • Watering can
  • Washing line/Dryer

General Equipment    

  • A battery powered vacuum cleaner    
  • Spare portable toilet and extra loo rolls (just in case)    
  • 2 x windlasses    
  • 2 x lump hammers – one spare    
  • 3 x mooring stakes – one spare    
  • 3 x mooring chains – one spare    
  • British Waterways key    
  • Anchor, chain and ropes    
  • Weed hatch tools    
  • A set of tools    
  • Roof furniture – Pole, plank, centre rope and boat hook    
  • Coal, kindling and firelighters and lighter or matches    
  • A spare gas cylinder    
  • Oil    
  • Spare grease for the greaser    
  • A dipstick for the fuel tank    
  • Carbon monoxide monitor    
  • Fire extinguisher    
  • Stove top fan   
  • Spare grease for the greaser    
  • A dipstick for the fuel tank

Soft Furnishings   

  • Bedding 
  • Quilt and Pillows
  • Throws and cushions for the sofa   
  • Towels    
  • Tea towels/dish cloths
  • Door mat

Leisure and Practical Stuff   

  • Maps
  • Collin’s reference books for flowers, trees and birds    
  • A pair of binoculars
  • Paper work – insurance, boat safety certificate etc
  • Books/Magazines
  • Games
  • Fishing rod (with a rod licence)    
  • Compass    
  • Torches    
  • Light bulbs    
  • Phones/charger   
  • I pod/charger/speaker/earphones    
  • Tablets/charger
  • Kindle/charger    
  • Laptop/charger    
  • Camera


  • Waterproofs    
  • Wellington boots / Trainers or non-slip, rubber-soled shoes    
  • Sun hats and sunglasses    
  • Umbrella    
  • Gloves    
  • Fleece hats and tops
  • Pyjamas and slippers
  • Sensible and comfortable day wear.There’s no need to pack fancy clothes for the evening if you are planning to go out, most country pubs will welcome you in your casual attire.    
  • Life jackets

Odds and Sods    

  • Cleaning products    
  • First Aid Kit
  • Personal Medications    
  • Sun cream
  • Toiletries
  • Insect repellent – There will be more flies and insects by the water
  • A small amount of cash, you may find that some of the smaller canal side shops or farm shops don’t accept cards.

Food and Drink

  • Buy the essentials like; milk, coffee, bread and Pinot Grigio
  • Bottled water

For Pets

  • Beds, food, bowls, leads & collars, towels, brush, old blankets, doggie buoyancy aids if needed.
  • Make sure your mobile number is on your dog’s tag whilst you are away as a land line number will be useless when you are on your boat.  

Did we forget anything before we set off? Let us know in the comments box below....

happy cruising from the team at Venetian Marina.



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