Typically, most people who choose a narrowboat hire do so during the spring and summer months, due to the more clement weather conditions, and this means that for many who enjoy the canals, they do not need to concern themselves with winterising.
However, for narrowboat owners, whether they live aboard as Autumn turns to winter or they find a winter mooring point, preparing their vessels ready in case of a harsh winter is a vitally important part of a boat’s maintenance to avoid expensive repairs in the future.
Here are some top tips to avoid costly repairs or your craft potentially sinking.
Sort Out Your Engine
Just before you moor up for the winter is the perfect time to do all of your basic engine maintenance, checks and examinations to ensure that it will fare just fine in the freezing conditions.
Clean your engine and check for any water or oil leaks, use a dipstick to check the engine’s cold oil colour and make sure all of the wires are firmly attached before changing the oil and filters.
This will avoid most of the major issues that can cause problems with your boat whilst it is away. After this, fill the tank with diesel as well to avoid potential contamination.
Run The Engine Regularly
Much like how you should run the radiators at least once a month during the summer in a house to make sure the system is working properly, you should also run the engine once a month for around an hour.
Not only will this move the oil around the engine to avoid potential damage, but it also keeps the battery topped up.
Don’t Forget The Anti-Freeze
Anti-freeze is an essential part of protecting boilers, radiators and keel systems. Check your owner’s manual to see the right amount to add, and make sure you use a safe, non-toxic product to avoid potential damage to the water.