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Winterising a boat


Greybeard
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Hi

 

I'm still very new to this so I've still got loads of questions to ask and advice to seek.

 

Not that we've had a particularly warm summer but this will be my first winter having a boat.

 

How do I 'winterise' it ?

 

The cars sitting on the drive have been sorted by the garage but where do I start with a boat?

 

Water tanks need draining, heating bleeding and of course the engine coolant ??????

 

How do I stop it becomming a giant ice box ?

 

Condensation????

 

I'm not live aboard but can get to the boat in 10 minutes if the traffic is bad so I can start the engine etc whenever I need to.

 

It's on a marina supply and has an electric radiator on board.

 

Any tips from some of the more experienced boaters would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks.

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Assuming the boat will not be lived aboard;

 

Check engine coolant, if not obvious then drain and replace anti-freeze mix.

grease exposed linkages

grease battery main terminals, isolate engine battery

grease stern gland

 

charge batteries to full charge and give them a charge once a month

do whatever you need to make sure bilge pump is working automatically or that you visit the boat to check the bilge water level especially in periods of heavy rain

light application of WD40 to vulnerable electrics (main control panel esp if outside)

 

grease all door hinges

 

drain down hot water heaters and leave drain plugs out

drain down central heating (or calorifier) or make sure indirect heating water has anti-freeze component

if possible close main water tank stopcock and pump out remaining water, leave all taps open, turn off water pump

 

remove all rottable food and rat treats

remove plants

 

leave all cupboards open for flow of air

leave fridge door open

remove as much textile as possible or store hanging in free air

make sure ventilators are unobstructed

put inside the boat boat poles and any roof equipment that will suffer being left out

 

turn off gas

turn off main electric (excluding automatic bilge pump)

Edited by Chris Pink
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Try and keep the diesel as full as poss to prevent water condensation in the tank, but also keep it locked in the light of recent events!

 

We only drain our main water tank to about half so there is always some on board for a quick cuppa during winter visits. Then it's turned off at stop cock next to tank before opening all taps and allowing system to drain down.

 

I'm also careful about making sure shower drain pump is run immediately before we leave the boat.

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I am a live aboard so don't have your problem but my friend who is a marina with electric hook up just drains his water tank to half, fills up diesel tank and has two 2 small electric heaters not sure what they are called but they are very low watage think people use them in greenhouses during winter, oh yes and goes down and starts engine once a month and while there just wipes down windows.

 

I am sure there are people on here know a lot more than me but some people do go right over the top such as water in heating systems this should have antifreeze in it anyway.

 

John

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Depends on where you are in the country as well. - We are on the K&A and have not drained down systems for the last two years as it does not seem to get as cold down here!

 

However we have been advised to visit the boat regularly (monthly?) over the winter and give the engine a bit of a run.

 

If your central heating system (and engine coolant) have been 50/50 water and antifreeze all year, then you should not have to drain down.

 

J.

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Or wrap up warm and take your boat out any time you can and enjoy the canals all year round.

 

All good ideas especially this one.

 

Earlier this year I saw some photos of narrowboats surrounded by frosty footpaths and trees and I just can't wait to get out during a cold snap, not up for ice breaking though.

 

I spend a lot of time outside during the winter so I've got the gear for it.

 

I've read that cruising on a clear & frosty evening really takes some beating - don't know about doing locks when it's dark and frosty though!

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Spot on, we have had some of our best trips in the winter, but sshhh we don't want it to get as busy as it is in the summer! :lol:

 

I've just come back from 15 days on the T&M and was pleasantly surprised how quiet it was sometimes.

 

My longest trip out so far and I didn't want to come back.

 

I really envy the lucky ffffffellows who cruise for months at a time but I still can't see myself as a liveaboard.

 

Strange that?

 

It must be a bricks and mortar secure feeling sort of thing!!!!!!!!!!

 

Is it me or do other people feel the same thing about moving from dry land and onto a boat? :lol:

 

Oddly enough I mentioned this to SWMBO and she said exactly the same thing...........she agreed with me :lol: .......still in shock!

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I've just come back from 15 days on the T&M and was pleasantly surprised how quiet it was sometimes.

 

My longest trip out so far and I didn't want to come back.

 

I really envy the lucky ffffffellows who cruise for months at a time but I still can't see myself as a liveaboard.

 

Strange that?

 

It must be a bricks and mortar secure feeling sort of thing!!!!!!!!!!

 

Is it me or do other people feel the same thing about moving from dry land and onto a boat? :lol:

 

Oddly enough I mentioned this to SWMBO and she said exactly the same thing...........she agreed with me :lol: .......still in shock!

 

 

Our 30 days on board (all of August) lead us to the opposite conclusion. Can't wait to be able to liveaboard.

The plan is to rent the house out to the kids - so that the bricks and mortar are there and not completely out of our control. Might work for a year or two at least.

 

 

J.

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  • 1 year later...

Some of the best boating is in the winter months.

 

All we do to prepare the boat for winter is keep the tanks topped up, install a couple of tube heaters on thermostatic switches and enjoy the winter weekends away. The waterways are a different experience altogether in winter. Adequate ventilation is the main issue come the winter months.

 

Go out and enjoy the winter months.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Sshhh!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dont let tell my dad boats go on canals in winter (help me god)

What have you peole got against your children molly age 15 xx

When I was about 13 my parents bought an old semi-derelict house. It wasn't fit to live in so we camped in the back garden for a year. That's camped, not caravanned! There were mornings that I crawled out of the tent into snow to go to school.

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  • 8 months later...

Check all shore power connections (watch for warning signs like warm plugs or hardened points near connectors).

Examine mooring lines, fenders and boat covers.

Run the engine(s) for an hour at least once a month.

Open the bilges and cycle bilge pumps to ensure function for next year.

Last year I haven't checked these few things before I left my boat and had big problems this spring.

  • Greenie 1
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Check all shore power connections (watch for warning signs like warm plugs or hardened points near connectors).

Examine mooring lines, fenders and boat covers.

Run the engine(s) for an hour at least once a month.

Open the bilges and cycle bilge pumps to ensure function for next year.

Last year I haven't checked these few things before I left my boat and had big problems this spring.

 

I think there are a few more things to do then that. :lol:

 

Do you really only check your bilge pump once a year? That isnt very often in the scheme of things.

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Winter afloat is great. I cant wait for it. :lol:

 

It's not the floaing bit that worries me,last year was ace. I still have two festivals to work at yet and I think my tent is giving up the ghost! :lol:

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  • 2 years later...

I've just come back from 15 days on the T&M and was pleasantly surprised how quiet it was sometimes.

 

My longest trip out so far and I didn't want to come back.

 

I really envy the lucky ffffffellows who cruise for months at a time but I still can't see myself as

 

Strange that?

 

It must be a bricks and mortar secure feeling sort of thing!!!!!!!!!

 

Is it me or do other people feel the same thing about moving from dry land and onto a boat? :lol:

 

Oddly enough I mentioned this to SWMBO and she said exactly the same thing...........she agreed with me :lol: .......still in shock!

 

 

Quite the opposite for us. We bought our 1st boat in July, spent 2 weeks traveling from Yorkshire and can't wait for the day when we can move aboard.

We spend 4 nights a week on it and it now feels like home.

Hate returning to bricks and mortar on a Monday morning.

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  • 2 months later...

Having recently bought our boat from Whilton Marina, we have to get it back to Droitwich during the Christmas holidays, so it will be a bit of a slog for us. We have a week to do it before the locks at Stoke and Aston are serviced. Looking forward to it though, our "maiden voyage".

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