Winterising our narrowboat

Alisha and I went down south to visit my parents and brother’s family¬†for Christmas. That meant abandoning the boat for a week during the freeze. If a narrowboat isn’t lived on during winter you’re supposed to protect it against damage by winterising it.

Stern of frozen narrowboat

So we:

  1. Emptied the cold water tank at the front of the boat (takes ages because if you let the water pump run for too long it overheats and cuts out)
  2. Turned the tap to cut off the water supply from the water tank.
  3. Emptied the hot water from the calorifier at the back of the boat.
  4. Used the bilge pump to remove water from the engine compartment, then pumped the rest out manually.
  5. Closed the taps on the gas bottles in the front of the boat.
  6. Ran the pump to ensure the shower area was emptied of all water.
  7. Wrapped the shower head and water pumps in old clothes.
  8. Checked the electrical landline was plugged in, and the inverter in the “charge only” position, to ensure the batteries would keep topped up.
  9. Checked the antifreeze level of the water in the engine’s and diesel heater’s header tanks.

Good news is that on our return there were no problems, no cracked pipes or leaks, and the engine started first time. There was ice in the kettle, it had obviously got chilly in our absence! We warmed up the boat that evening and waited till the next day to fill up the water tank.

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3 Responses to Winterising our narrowboat

  1. Richard says:

    I can sympathise! I have a boat on the Norfolk Broads, I was frozen in sold for 2 weeks in the end. One of the guys at a neighbouring boat yard even went for a walk across the dike. Probably not to be encouraged! I was only away for one night and as you found, the kettle was frozen sold by the time I got back.

  2. Roy Cousins says:

    Nice to see my old boat again! I had her from new and was truly happy with her. Look after the old girl!

  3. admin says:

    Promise we’re taking care of her! She’s a grand boat to live on.

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