How ready is your boat for the boating season? We’ve had some sunny weather recently in the UK and Spring is on the way. Who knows which weekend will be the one that you decide to take the boat out? Be prepared to get out on the Cut as soon as the sun shines, with these four essential checks that every boater should know.

1) Water system

If you have an accumulator tank set the pressure to 7psi. Order some replacement drinking water filter cartridges now, so that you can replace these before your first trip on the boat. Also, check if the in-line filters in the water pipes and shower pump need cleaning.

2) Heating systems

Yes it may be Spring but with our great British climate you may still like to heat the cabin on chilly mornings, or dry off some wet clothes after being caught in the rain! Consider servicing the central heating system. The radiators may need bleeding and topping up. Your solid fuel or diesel stove may need a clean and the flue may need sweeping.

3) Boat safety

Before lighting the gas fridge clean the flue. You may like to have a Corgi registered professional check any onboard gas systems including the water heater.

4) Engine service

Can you align your own engine? There are tutorials on YouTube if you fancy having a go. If not this could be something that can be checked by an engineer. Check the fan belt tension and keep a spare one on board. Renew the fuel filters, and the air filter and change the gearbox oil. You may need to repack the stern tube, and grease the stern gland. Check the rubber seal around the weedhatch as this can deteriorate. Tighten the jubilee clips on any hoses. Check also that the prop split pin is secure.

Ready to boldly go where no canal boat has…

Water system? Check. Heating system? Check. Boat safety and engine service? Check and check Captain! We are ready for cruising in 2014!

Checking the boat is ready for sale? You may like How to Sell a Boat: The Ultimate Guide

Looking to buy your first boat this Spring? Check out How to Buy a Boat: The Ultimate Guide

Disclaimer: These tips are for guidance only, and this is not an exhaustive list. If you have any concerns or queries about undertaking your own narrowboat maintenance seek the advice of a marine engineer.

Image credit:


You may also like:
Living on a Boat: The Boatshed Guide (free) / How to Sell a Boat: The Ultimate Guide / How to Buy a Boat: The Ultimate Guide / The best blog articles of 2013/ Don’t miss: The Boatshed Grand Union Daily/ A slideshow of our boat of the moment./More articles.

New here? Follow our blog on Facebook or Twitter and share your waterways pictures and news.

Never miss an article: Sign up and get the latest blog articles sent directly to you.