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winter preperation!

I am just about to take ownership of a 2003 62ft cruiser style narrowboat as a live aboard, what preperations should a be making to the boat and engine to make things easier through the winter? thankyou.

Asked by: Gary Owen  | 12.21pm, Sunday 26 September

WW says:

If you are to be using the boat through the winter you do not need to make the usual preparations against the water freezing. It always a good idea to keep the diesel tank topped up to reduce condensation. Make sure the batteries are topped up, winter is a hard time for them unless they are within the warm cabin space. Do any servicing jobs that are needed, before it is really cold and horrible.Check that there is antifreeze in the central heating water, this can be done by taking a small sample with cotton wool and putting it in the freezer at home!
If you are reliant on a diesel boiler for central heating it might be an idea to have it serviced. Liveaboard boats are best having more than one form of heating.

Rupert Smedley  | 10.55AM, Friday 1 October

In addition to the points mentioned by Rupert, I remember once visiting a boat whose owners were living on it through a very hard winter and being told they had no domestic water. This was not because they had run out but because the pipe from the tank to the galley passed through an unheated part of the boat and had frozen up.
To avoid this, you could try lagging the pipes but this might just keep the cold in. A better solution is to make sure that the whole boat is heated and that the pipes are not buried away too much so that they do no benefit from the warmth.
Frozen pipes are not only an inconvenience while they are frozen, they may also split or push a joint apart as they thaw out. This applies particularly to copper pipes but, fortunately, not so much to plastic pipes which are found on most modern boats.
You might also consider buying a spare water pump so that the original one can be replaced quickly if it fails or freezes.

Graham Booth  | 11.07AM, Saturday 2 October

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