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We have already noticed the change in weather as autumn has blown in. Foggy mornings, chilly winds and longer nights have reminded us that winter is soon on its way. With fewer occasions for us to use our boats it’s important that your boat is fully prepped for winter.

Winterisation is very similar and incorporates a minor engine service. The difference is that half is done in the autumn and the rest is done in the spring just before re-launch. Your boat must be protected against the harsh effects of winter from all angles including inside the boat, the engine, plumbing, electrical, exterior, generators and more.

Inside

When you return to your boat in the spring the last thing you want to see is clutter and rubbish that should have been thrown out the previous year. Remember to removed anything that could cause a smell on your return and remove soft furnishings that could get damp over the wet season.

Engine

This is where it gets a messy. Remember to change the engine oil and the oil filter. By doing this you will find that the engine will be cleared of corrosive elements and will run smoothly in the spring. It is also important to check the water cooling level and top it up if necessary.

Plumbing

Disconnect any water pumps and drain them of any trace of water, this includes any tanks and pipework. Any water left in the pipes could freeze causing splits and fractures.

Exterior

Clean down the side of the boat by steam cleaning the sides and hull and inspect the boat of stress cracks or gelcoat blisters. If you find something of concern now is the best time to spot it and get it inspected and repaired by a professional.

Don’t neglect

Try and visit your boat from time to time to turn over the engine and charge the batteries and inspect the mooring rope if applicable.

If you have any tips about winterising your narrow boat please share them with us on Facebook or tweeting us.

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