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How to winterise your canal boat

It’s getting to that time of the year again when we need to start dusting off our winter gear and prepare ourselves for the cold harsh British weather that is looming around the corner.

It’s also time to consider winterising your narrow boat to avoid those nasty repair costs that are caused by poor winter preparations. Whether you are living in your narrow boat or deciding to moor the boat for the season; it is always good practice to ensure the boat is well prepared for the winter weather.

If you are planning to moor your boat throughout winter, there are a few extra considerations you need to make.

Check the engine

If you have an air-cooled engine in your narrow boat, then you won’t have to worry about ice problems, however, water cooled engines are at a higher risk of freezing if not treated correctly.

It’s also worth changing the oil and filters, as fresh new oil is a lot better for the engine as the old oil can contain corrosive by-products of combustion.

Spray the electrical components and terminals with a silicone-free lubricant to prevent any rusting and corrosion in order to prolong the life of the components.

Check the water and heating

Drain down your water system to prevent freezing and burst water pipes during the colder months, which can be a nightmare to fix if not prepared correctly. Once the taps are drained and the water system is sealed, you can also leave the taps open to release any water excess.

Protect the exterior paintwork

Ensuring your boat gets a good coating of wax will help to protect the exterior and don’t forget to treat any rust spots, as early detection will help prevent further rust from spreading when the weather takes for the worst.

Cruising hardware

If you are choosing to lay your narrowboat over winter, then it is worth removing ropes, poles, hooks etc. and store them in a weatherproof storage unit. Bad weather can cause rotting and degradation to the materials and they can be expensive to replace if damaged.

And don’t forget to de-winterise your narrowboat after the winter season, ready for the spring weather! If you’d like to hire a mooring space then click here to find out more.