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Narrowboat maintenance and cleaning

Are you an expert at maintenance and cleaning? Owning a narrowboat might help you quickly become one. Do you want some handy hints and tips for the upkeep on board your boat? We have gathered videos from a range of experts, providing useful and insightful hacks to simplify these jobs and make them a piece of cake.

Cleaning the water tank

When you first purchase a narrowboat, one of the initial tasks will be to properly clean and purify any water tank. Don’t forget to add this to your to-do list, as it won’t be a one-time thing. Ideally complete this task at least once a year. To thoroughly understand this procedure, follow along Alan’s vlog, My Narrowboat Venture:

Engine checks

Familiarise yourself with the regular engine checks

Do you have any exciting long journeys planned? Or has your boat been out of action for a while? Then it’s very important to check the engine before your next trip. On Tony’s narrowboat Thing vlog, he talks us through the crucial narrowboat engine maintenance checks.

Touching up the paintwork

There’s no denying that your narrowboat may have had a couple of bumps and scratches over time, which can sometimes cause rusting. But there are many things that can be done to prevent this from happening in the first place. Covering up these small scrapes can prevent a possible larger issue from taking place. Do you want to know how to do this? Let David Johns, a Liveaboard boater teach you how, with an abundance of wisdom and skill, follow along the Cruising the Cut’s vlog for all your painting touch up needs.

Checking the sterngland

Grease the sterngland frequently and refill the greaser when necessary

One other vital check you should undergo is of the stern gland, this is responsible for ensuring the propeller shaft is kept watertight. You will need to grease the sterngland frequently, and you will periodically need to refill your stern gland greaser, ensuring it functions effectively. Follow the step-by-step process by watching this vlog, Flo with Mylo with Myles McDowell.

Before you cruise

If your boat has been moored up for a long period of time, it’s a good idea to give it a good check over. David Johns from Cruising the Cut runs us through an easy to follow step by step guide of all the essentials that you should look over on your narrowboat.

Fixing a cabin leak

We all try to prevent leaks from happening, however, especially in the rainy UK, that doesn’t always go to plan. But don’t fret, there are many ways to undo any damage and reseal any places that may have leaked. Follow Mel and Paul’s boat life vlog to help you control any leaks.

Basics: checklist

Let’s go back to basics, here is your maintenance checklist:

  • The engine
  • Bilge pumps
  • The control and cables equipment – look for wear and tear
  • Loose pipes or bolts
  • Oil levels
  • The battery (ensure this is filled with de-ionised water)
  • Leaks – plug to fix

Essentials toolkit:

To help with any maintenance issues you may have, then it’s a wise idea to keep a tool kit on board. This should consist of all of the essentials needed such as;

  • A multi-meter
  • Adjustable spanners
  • Multi-faceted and flat head screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • A socket set
  • Spare lengths of electrical wire/insulation tape
  • Spares: morse cables for the throttle and gear selection, bolts, fan belt, fuel filter, impeller, fuses and bulbs
  • PTFE tape
  • A hammer

Looking for somewhere new to take your narrowboat? Use our narrowboat mooring location finder for inspiration.

Disclaimer: The above information is solely a guide, we do not own the content provided. Correct maintenance of your narrowboat is the responsibility of the owner.