Although we are having some fabulous sunny summer weather at the moment and the winter seems far away, it is always a good idea to keep your boat well maintained. The summer season is the best time of year to get those important maintenance jobs done on your boat well before the autumn arrives.
Check your solid fuel stove by making sure that there are no cracks in the casting, sweep the flue and make sure that the door seal is in tact and in good order, check that the stove is secured down to the floor. If you have a back boiler make sure that the water system has antifreeze to the correct strength added, (usually 50 percent antifreeze). Make sure that the high and low level ventilation is free from dust and debris by cleaning all mushroom vents and ventilation grills thoroughly. If you have a gas boiler on your boat now is a great time to get it serviced in plenty of time for the winter, whilst service engineers are probably quieter too.
Its a good idea while we are having such nice dry weather conditions to get your boat re-blacked and paint or touch up the superstructure if required. While you are having the boat blacked make sure to check that the annodes are serviceable and replace them if required. Whilst the boat is out of the water for blacking check the stern tube and the rudder cup for excess play and renew if required and check your weed hatch and renew the weed hatch seal. Read Venetian Marina's blog an checking your boats stern gear for more information.
If you are luck enough to have a bow thruster fitted to your boat check that the bow thruster tube and gauze to make sure that it is free from debris. We recently found a boat that had the remains of an eel wrapped around its bow thruster tube.
Make sure that your diesel powered central heating boiler is serviced so that it is in good working condition before the winter. Check the density of your antifreeze in the central heating system, which should usually be approximately 50 percent antifreeze.
All of the above narrowboat maintenance will make for an easy transition into winter and will mean that you will be prepared when the temperature eventually drops and winter arrives.