One of the most lovely aspects of a narrowboat hire is that you can have the enjoyment of the canal life during the boating season without the need to winterise or take care of your own vessel during a time when you are unlikely to move much.
Once the worst of winter is over, however, it is time to dewinterise your boat and get it ready to start cruising in time for the first flush of spring.
Thankfully, the process of coaxing your boat back to life is neither as complex nor as time critical as winterising, and here are some tips for getting your canal boat ready for smooth cruising ahead.
Restart The Water Pump
The first step is to restart your water system after draining it over the winter. Turn off the taps, switch on the water pump and turn on each tap separately to let water through it from the one closest to the one furthest away.
This stops any vapour locks and allows you to systematically check for leaks.
After this, drain the tank again and refill it before using any of the water.
Check Engine And Electrics
Inspect the engine for any obvious damage caused by the frosty weather, such as leaks or cracks, before checking the levels of oil and coolant, topping up as needed. Once you change the oil in the gearbox you should be ready.
As well as this, turn on all electrical appliances to ensure they are working properly before you go out onto the canal.
Grease The Stern And Check The Prop
Check and grease the stern gland, and ensure that the prop nut is secure, to ensure that there are no issues with your boat before you set off that could keep you high and dry.
Finally, replace any of your creature comforts such as your soft furnishings that were taken off the boat and get ready to sail again.