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.
- 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)
- Turned the tap to cut off the water supply from the water tank.
- Emptied the hot water from the calorifier at the back of the boat.
- Used the bilge pump to remove water from the engine compartment, then pumped the rest out manually.
- Closed the taps on the gas bottles in the front of the boat.
- Ran the pump to ensure the shower area was emptied of all water.
- Wrapped the shower head and water pumps in old clothes.
- Checked the electrical landline was plugged in, and the inverter in the “charge only” position, to ensure the batteries would keep topped up.
- 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.