Become an expert on narrowboat maintenance by watching these 5 videos

Narrowboat life consists of constant rounds of maintenance and cleaning. Want some handy hints and tips for the maintenance onboard your narrowboat? We have collated videos from a series of experts to provide useful hacks to make these jobs a piece of cake.

  1. 1. After a period of your boat being moored up, it is best to give your boat a thorough check over. David Johns from Cruising the Cut talks us through a step by step guide of all the essentials to give your narrowboat the once over:
  2. 2. Before commencing a long journey, or after a time of your boat being stationary, then one of the first and most important elements to check is the engine. Tony guides us through narrowboat engine maintenance on the vlog It’s a Narrowboat Thing:
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    1. 3. Another important maintenance check is the stern gland, which is responsible for keeping the propeller shaft watertight. You will be required to re-grease your stern gland regularly to ensure it functions effectively. Follow the vlog Flo with Mylo with Myles McDowell, who gives a step-by-step guide of this process:
  2. 4. One of the initial maintenance tasks when purchasing a narrowboat is to thoroughly clean and purify the water tank. It’s important to repeat this process regularly - ideally at least once a year. Alan talks us through this procedure on his vlog, My Narrowboat Venture:
  2. 5. It is likely that your boat will have encountered a few bumps and scratches along the way, leaving the hull prone to rust. Stop this much bigger issue in its tracks, by patching up these minor scrapes before they become a major problem. Liveaboard boater, David Johns, again drops his pearls of wisdom in the vlog Cruising the Cut’s, will teach you how to patch your paintwork:


To break it down, the maintenance basics to check are:

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


Essentials toolkit:

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

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

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