living on a narrowboat in winter

Good black bin liners are excellent for 'solid waste' in frozen times. There are numerous solid fuels available. Canal Boats England Canal Boat Narrowboat Barge Boat Boat Safety Boat Interior Jon Boat Boat Stuff Floating House Small Boats. A single heavy overnight frost has little impact on the water in the canal. Living aboard may bring life’s lessons up close and personal and that has value in and of itself. Canal Cruising Skills - Survivors Guide To Living On A Narrow Boat In The Winter, • Fill up your diesel tank to ensure you have enough fuel. Even though the taps on the pontoons are turned off to prevent the pipes under the walkways from freezing, all moorers have access to any one of half dozen or so protected below ground taps. I live on my own. My Neighbour (On a 63’0” nb called Snowdrop) uses 25kg “Cobbles”. Since we moved on the boat in October, I expected to get lots of questions about toilets. With up to six inches of ice on many waterways, many boaters were stuck for more than a month. What’s it like in the winter when there’s ice and snow and Arctic winds to contend with? var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; More than two inches on the canal and you’re stuck until mother nature decides to let you go. Read more "What Are The Negatives Of Living On A Boat – Goodbye Brave iPhone" Epoxy is not really a DIY job so will cost more. Job is doing my head in far too long hours no time for kids and riding so was thinking take a year or 2 out to work and live on an old narrowboat. You can find a full list here. The longer answer is … If you live at a marina, inconvenient as it might be, you can use their facilities. Narrowboat Living in Winter: A Survival Guide. -  Designed by Thrive Themes And when you get in at 10pm, its freezing and takes at least 1-2hrs to heat up. Try and get hold of a second, serviceable, set of front and rear mooring ropes and maybe attach an old centre rope for “just in case”. I am seriously considering an like stove as it can warm boiler, radiators and you can cook on them- its a heavy outlay (£3000+) but I reckon long term its worth it.? However, the pull of England's muddy ditches proved too much for them. Most narrowboats are heated with a solid fuel stove. -Gas fueled radiators. In this article we will explain how being prepared for the bad weather and by following our good housekeeping advice during the colder month’s you can actually livaboard very comfortably even when there is ice, snow and arctic winds to deal with. Jan 24, 2016 How to survive and enjoy a snowstorm on a boat. But what's it like when the weather isn't so good. Boats can be dangerous places at the best of times. I have two Coldwatcher 500w heaters and a 700w oil filled radiator. From emptying your toilet to loneliness. There are fewer boats about (no queues at the locks) and the scenery can be stunning. It was the coldest winter for 100 years. It couldn’t when the canal froze so the owners hired a van to keep their customers supplied. Hi,Thank you for your comments. They all have slightly different characteristics. As we approached the pontoon, he nimbly hopped from the boat’s front deck onto the pontoon… did a spectacular backward somersault and landed on his head. Living on a boat in winter. Many boaters tell me that their boat is as warm as toast inside regardless of the weather. When you say carry a cassette toilet, that's no help if either you're frozen in miles from an Elsan point or, as has happened every year in the ten years I've lived aboard, the Elsan disposal points also freeze solid and people pour their waste all over the floor in there. gcse.src = (document.location.protocol == 'https:' ? more than capable of making you comfortable, cosy and warm, being It must be … Many narrowboat owners cruise through the winter. Hi Charlie, thank you for your comments. Even though I am careful not for the room to not fill with smoke when opening stove door to restoke, there is always a smoke filled smell which needs airing out as sticks to your clothes. Portable cassette toilets as a back up for pumpouts are of very limited use if the freezing weather lasts more than three days. Living On A Narrowboat In Winter If you’ve ever considered living on a narrowboat, you’ve probably imagined lazy days cruising gently down a tranquil waterway under a cloudless blue sky, evenings on the tow path with chilled wine and barbecued food and tranquil … These cost about £8.50 per 25kg bag and a bag lasts over 48-hours (Approximately £30pw) Some trade names for these are Wonderfire (20% CO2 reduction), Taybrite, Maxibrite, etc, Unfortunately you didn’t say what make or model of Multi-stove is fitted, nor the size or output. It’s easy to sort out – They need “bleeding” with a special small key, to let the air out, There is another fact that could stop the radiators from working properly; no inhibitor has been put into the system. '//www.google.com/cse/cse.js?cx=' + cx; I use Pureheat. -Multi-fuel stove (coal and wood) with back boiler hooked up to one radiator with eco-fan The most likely size is 4kw to 5 kw. It is vital to winterise your narrow boat to avoid costly repairs before we get a spell of frosty weather. Let me help you find out all you need to know before you commit to what could be a very expensive mistake. I will say that I didn’t truly know what cold was before moving onto the boat. This is something you might be able to check with an angled radiator brush (For painting the flutes of radiators) I have a wire handled one that I use on my fire to clean this area. If you don’t have a chimney brush, (Available in some chandlers and looks like a brush for cleaning glass milk bottles – only bigger), you can get some stiff wire, fold and twist one end, so that a rag of some sort can be fixed to it and put that down (And back up) the chimney. He is unable to reply to you immediately so I’ll endeavour to answer some of your questions: FIRSTLY The short answer is no. When you think about living on a narrowboat you imagine long, lazy summer days sitting on the deck, gin and tonic in hand without a care in the world. It’s kind of a running joke among boaters that this is the question most people will always ask. It stays alight for longer than other fuels (handy when I’m away from the boat for the night), burns hotter and creates less mess. Don’t get alarmed, it may be only one of the possible things that are wrong and most unlikely that the whole system is unserviceable So here goes: You say that you have radiators being fed from the back boiler and these do not get hot enough, due to the boat being constantly on the cool side. Because the stove’s back boiler has to provide hot water for the radiators, the stove doesn’t throw out an enormous amount of heat. I was cold in December. That winter was one of the worst I can remember (Although one of the best for snow days), it was relentless, and was a pretty awful introduction to winter aboard. If you are on your boat when a canal freezes you can…. Posted 9 years ago thomthumb If you have a pumped system, one must check to see if the pump is actually working properly. It’s 7ft wide, 60ft long and strips our lifestyle down to the bare necessities. Although we learnt from it, and we feel all the more boaty for surviving it. Monday,7 August, 2017 3:06 pm. All sorts of romantic notions are conjured up by those four words. Many boaters will tell you that they were colder during the winter in their house than they are on their boat. Narrowboating, without a doubt, is one of the most idyllic lifestyles in Britain. You may have a problem with the flue if the fire is not drawing properly. I wold love for someone to say a diesel aga (or any cheaper iron stove) is the way to go and using the multifuel stove as a backup or for the sheer joy of watching wood burn is the best solution for the long term despite heavy initial layout. Continuous sharp frosts and sub-zero days though can cause a build up of inches thick ice. What can we do to prevent this? In the winter with ice, snow and rain, you need to be extra careful. However, at the moment it’s minus three outside but very cosy near the stove. find out in this episode and see what essentials you need to stay warm and safe in winter as a live aboard! I returned a boat to its marina mooring yesterday. Winter narrowboat cruising Published by Sharon Peach on 17 February, 2018 There are so many wonderful reasons to enjoy the canals in winter, that we are totally amazed to have the waterways to ourselves at this time of year. Because I live on a marina I have access to the main road and a car parking space 20m from my boat. If you are near a good Marina/boatyard, pop in and ask someone for their opinion. The photograph on the left was taken on a morning after an overnight freezing fog. I would say that keeping warm during winter has proved a very difficult task and enough to put me off living permanently on the boat, so am really keen to get around the problem. However, it can be a little less so once winter’s subzero temperatures, dark evenings, and icy canals draw in. This is to drain all fluids from the boat. Have you too many radiators for the output of the fire? If you are cruising, ensure that you know where the stoppages are and pay attention to short and medium term weather forecasts. The canal and the marina were covered by four inches of ice from the last week of November 2010 to the first week of January 2011. That’s not the case with me. This applies to every area of your life including narrowboating. Mar 8, 2016 A couple's guide to living aboard a boat in winter. Many full time narrowboaters also have a cassette toilet on board as well as the main pump out toilet. (One of the Grand Union canal coal boats is currently out of service due to over vigorous ice breaking). #boating. To keep the boat warm when freezing outside all week and reach temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius I reckon I consume 1x 25kg bag charcoal, small bag kindling, and 1 bag seasoned wood, fire lighters – works out to approx. Make sure you are prepared. There are ropes to trip you up, narrow steps up and narrow steps down, gunwales to slip off and water to fall into. So that means emptying some of the water from the main tank, turning the main stop cock off, then opening taps and shower attachments to allow water in the pipes to run out. If you’re moored on the cut, you have a problem. I don’t consider that I use an excessive amount of water. and to be fair the bedroom is still cold as radiator doesn’t work all that great. Of course narrowboat life can be like this in the summer, but as we all know too well from painful experience, a British summer can be far too short and very unpredictable. A Christmas cruise from Market Harborough to Calcutt Boats, All You Need to Know About Narrowboat Toilet Systems, Discover the Answer to the Often Asked Question, “Is A Narrowboat Cold In Winter?”, Why A Narrowboat Centre Line Is So Important For Solo Owners, The Pros and Cons of Narrowboat Pram Covers, A Creative Solution to Narrowboat Finance Part 2, A Creative Solution to Narrowboat Finance Part One, Bottom Blacking, Rust Removal and Aerial Advice, Laughable Lockmates and Mirth in the Mikron Marquee, Horrible Heatwaves and Newbie Cruising Catastrophes, Sid the Swan, Solar Savings and Troublesome Toilets, Buying a Second Hand Narrowboat – Orient, Six Months On, Celebrating Shared Experiences And Moving Forward, A Brush With The English Waterway’s Silent Killer, Summer Weather In February On The Grand Union Canal, A Fierce New Guard Dog For Narrowboat Orient, A Race On An Icy Canal To Beat A Birmingham Blockage, A Winter Cruise On The Shropshire Union Canal, Electrical Problem Solving And Pre Cruise Preparation, Battery Problems On An Aborted Shropshire Union Canal Cruise, A Successful Move Back To The English Inland Waterways Network. It is The costs cover four and a half months of living on board. It’s not so much of a problem most of the year if you have a pump out toilette but you can get caught short in very cold weather. The coal boat passes by the marina roughly every four weeks. AS A REGULAR reader of your site I have an idea you have done something like this before, but would like to tell of my own experience of narrowboat living, writes Jonathan C Purton. Topic RSS. It would be great if you could do a table and compare ways to heat up a boat without elec that compares: -Approx initial cost layout New Member. Be careful. Also the paint choice. As so many people have solid fuel stoves and are completely satisfied, I would endeavour to obtain another view before thinking of spending £3k on a cooking stove with back boiler, Another thing to consider, a cooking range is rather large and heavy to put into a 45’ boat – not impossible but I would reserve making any definitive comment on this, unless I saw your layout and what it would involve, I hope that my explanations have been of some use. The costs of living on a canal boat Living aboard a narrowboat and continuously cruising our UK canals can be a wonderful way of life, free to move and change the view from the window whenever you want, we know, we've done it since 1995! The Problems With Living On A Narrowboat In The Winter Posted on November 19, 2018 by LivingNarrow This time last year I was undoubtedly banging on about how magical life aboard is … Fortunately for Stuart he has quite a thick head so there was no damage done (only joking Stuart). But if you are going to leave your boat in very cold weather without any heating, you really are asking for trouble. There are two different paint options – bitumen or epoxy. When water melts it floods. Most of them are willing to help, especially a damsel in distress, Once one knows for sure that the above items are serviceable ie. I believe it may be a 1412 Morso. I’m a bit of a dummy when it comes to engines). On one them I was introduced to the concept of the six P’s… Proper Preparation Prevents P*** Poor Performance. Jan 28, 2016 We live aboard a boat during the winter, with snow, ice and no running water. However, it seems that “land dwellers” don’t really care to talk about toilets as much as boaters do… They do like to ask about the temperature. These costs are based on two live aboard novices and a very cold winter. I have to work hard to stay warm. ), Hi Shannon, -Gas fueled aga (or similar make) Sorry I missed this fact but it is reassuring that you cannot buy better! It’s situated about four feet from the double doors to the front deck and feeds radiators at the rear of the boat in the second bedroom/study area, bathroom and rear bedroom. And questions like this, It does seem to me though, (I am an ex heating engineer) that your fire, from the description you give, is not burning properly so let me give you a list of things that may be wrong with your heating and fire. My first winter was a baptism of fire. If you’ve ever considered living on a narrowboat, you’ve probably imagined lazy days cruising gently down a tranquil waterway under a cloudless blue sky, evenings on the tow path with chilled wine and barbecued food and tranquil nights lulled to sleep by the gentle sound of the countryside through open windows. Flue not blocked or partially blocked -Method, frequency and how long it takes to restock fuel to achieve a daily temperature of 20 degrees celsius for a period of a week (This is the worst case scenario when its freezing outside). -Diesel fueled aga Winterising a boat is quick and easy (and common sense). The boat surfaces were dry and ice free – unusual for an English summer – but she still slipped. They are available everywhere, including places like Tesco Which it is most of the time that we are on board. When it freezes it damages pumps and pipes and tanks. So best keep an eye on the weather forecast every week between November and February so you can anticipate getting frozen in and have your pumpout tank emptied ahead of any big freeze. Stuart was uninjured (apart from his pride). I was one of the lucky ones but life wasn’t particularly comfortable. The short answer is no. My first winter was a baptism of fire. Top of fire (Above reflector plate) clean Is it cold in winter living on a narrowboat? What's it like living on a narrowboat in the winter? cute boy. Most boats, (With or without central heating), get too warm and even in the winter ones opens the doors to let the excess heat out (I mention this for comparison). £40 per week. If you're still convinced you'd like to live on board your boat, here's some additional tips that you might find useful: Boat Organization & Storage Tips; Cooking on a Boat: Essential Ingredients for Seafaring Chefs Calcutt Boats Meadows Marina In The Winter, Water and intense cold don’t get on well. If you don’t have an alternative, you’re stuck without an on board toilet until the ice melts. Water can be very destructive. Life on a narrowboat can be as peaceful as it is idyllic BUT you need to understand the pros, cons, highs, lows, and day to day logistics in living on England's inland waterways. Having explored the various costs to consider when owning a narrowboat in the previous section; this section is a case study to illustrate the actual costs associated with living-aboard a canal boat. The canal and the marina were covered by four inches of ice from the last week of November 2010 to the first week of January 2011. She was very damp and leaked through the roof in heavy rain, the side doors were a poor fit and the insulation was practically none existent. Saved by BetterBoat. My marina is beautiful in the summer and can be stunning in the winter. Boats can be dangerous at any time of the year. It take… Thanks for this article, I found it really useful. If you do not, then it is best practice to "winterise" your boat. I have found that I am spending a lot of money on coal and seasoned wood (I have bought bulk and sourced cheapest prices.) -Time it takes to heat up a 45ft narrowboat to about 20 Degrees celsius If this is the case, the whole system needs draining down, flushing out until running clean, then refilling, adding an inhibitor. This also leads me to think there may be a problem with the burning of your fuel. My tank takes 20-25 minutes to fill using a hose with the tap on full blast. One is ice and the other is stoppages. Most people connected with canals are extremely friendly and offer free advice based on perhaps a lifetime of experience, I do hope you are able to solve your difficulty. 'https:' : 'http:') + If you’re asked is a narrowboat is cold in winter, you could give a detailed reply. Or as we call it in England a narrowboat. We have only included the costs of running diesel … She slipped and fell into the canal as the boat was reversing. (Cruising the GU Leicester section, when weather permits! [Case study: Tony Jones lives and works on The Watchman narrowboat] Buying a narrowboat - the initial investment. An ever simpler way – no special tools – is roll up and old tea towel, so that when it is folded in half it will fit into the chimney with a firm fit, you can push this down with a broom handle, BUT, BEFORE you do this however, make sure you have some strong string or cord, so that you will be able to pull it out again without breaking. var gcse = document.createElement('script'); If you're still convinced you'd like to live on board your boat, here's some additional tips that you might find useful: Boat Organization & Storage Tips; Cooking on a Boat: Essential Ingredients for Seafaring Chefs If you are not knowledgeable enough to sort this out for yourself, do please invest in someone who has experience in this field, It should not be difficult to find out what is wrong and I suspect something is wrong. (Or should be). Your toilet or the contents of your holding tank aren’t likely to freeze, but the water around your boat is. There are more than a handful of boat owners this winter in our marinas alone who are currently facing costly repair bills because they didn’t “winterise” their boats. It is surprising how much debris and soot is taken out, The chimney may need cleaning. Unless you are unlucky enough to have bought the boat with one of the few unsuitable fires, that I have seen on boats occasionally, it will be one or two of the “faults” I have outlined. | Powered by WordPress, Living on a Narrowboat: The REAL Cost of a Life Afloat, Buying A Narrowboat: Tools, Equipment and Security, Buying a Narrowboat: Pre Purchase Tips and Recommendations. ‘Living on a boat’ – or more specifically, ‘Living on a narrowboat’. A hirer slipped off the back of one of our boats. gcse.async = true; It protects the steel from the water to reduce the progression of rust. Top up on anti-freeze. James is an old boat. find out in this episode and see what essentials you need to stay warm and safe in winter as a live aboard! Narrow boat size, cruising choices and mooring options will have the biggest impact on the living costs associated with living on a narrow boat. The Problems With Living On A Narrowboat In The Winter Posted on November 19, 2018 by LivingNarrow This time last year I was undoubtedly banging on about how magical life aboard is … The reports stated that they “managed OK”. Stock up on your winter supplies. Personally, I don’t want to “manage OK”. With a solid fuel stove, it is important to have a carbon monoxide detector. Alternative options for disposing of toilet waste in these circumstances are burning solid waste on the fire or burying it if you can dig through frozen ground. Water freezes and, on a boat, when it does there are all kinds of problems. Is it cold on a narrowboat in winter? The purpose of the exercise is to prevent water from freezing and rupturing whatever it’s in. Towards the end of December 2010 we had over four inch thick ice on the canal above Calcutt Top lock. If you have a “Boatman’s” stove, I think it may be too small for most medium sized narrowboats, It is only when one has extra information that a rough calculation can be made on things like: Wooden poles and planks will lik… so I have to wear an extra fleece and a hat while I’m sat still working. does it get cold on a narrowboat in winter? This is arguably the most important tip on our list, as anti-freeze reduces the … Written by Becky Devitt - Thursday, October 12, 2017. No problem. These are on all the time at this time of the year and are just enough to keep the boat from freezing but don’t provide much in the way of heat. I would say that the multifuel stove with back boiler is prooving disappointing. Putting in the time and effort now may help avoid costly repair bills further down the line and … 69. From the last week in November until the first week of January, the canal system was at a standstill. I would like to hire a narrow boat for myself & dog. Now they're back where they belong, constantly stuck in mud in a beautiful traditional narrowboat. If so this has a 5kw output. It is not enough to hear the motor making a noise, If the pump is set at a too high setting it can draw air into the system and then you will get air in the rads. })(); Copyright text 2018 by Living On A Narrowboat. Although the six-week period from the end of November 2010 to the beginning of January 2011 was particularly chilly, you can expect every winter to be cold enough to freeze water. If your boat is iced in, you can’t get to a pump out station to empty your holding tank. “Is it cold living on a narrow boat in the winter?” and the simple answer is no. It’s a lovely life on the canals and one comes across very interesting people from time to time, Happy boating! (function() { ANNUAL COST BREAKDOWN. Narrowboat Living. In my previous life as a stressed out business owner, I attended may training days. Jan 24, 2016 How to survive and enjoy a snowstorm on a boat. Anything over half an inch and you’re engine will be working overtime. If you are not living on your boat ensure that your narrowboat has been well prepared for the onslaught of winter by making sure that your engine and water filled and sealed heating systems have the correct amount of antifreeze added. If you have an “on demand” water heater you will need to drain that too. Air Vents at bottom of fire (And Air wash vents at top of fire) not blocked, some of the better fire have these, as when wood is burnt the should be open; wood being a “top” burning fuel (Smokeless, coal, etc are bottom burning and need the air going through it via the grate), If you burn wood, you need a double skinned chimney above the roof line, otherwise you will get a tar residue (By condensation) dribbling down the outside on to the roof and this will ruin the paintwork to roof and cabin sides, CONCLUSION I am looking to find out if anyone can comment on what is cheapest and possibly with a low carbon footprint (in the long term) to heat your boat quickly and for extended periods. The carbon monoxide alarm went off once, This was due to wind conditions and the diesel exhaust from next doors boat, (On the cut), was being blown into my boat. When I moved on board last April, she had been empty and unloved for a number of years. Whilst living on a narrowboat may seem like the ultimate in idyllic lifestyles there are some serious drawbacks, like the constant possibility of dropping your phone in the water . It’s kind of a running joke among boaters that this is the question most people will always ask. -Carbon footprint, Possibilities of types of heating systems to compare could be: Prepping for the long winter months is no small task, but winterising your narrowboat is completely necessary to ensure it’s in the very best condition for the next season. An update – I missed the fact that you have a “Morso Squirrel” stove. If there is air in the rads, this is the effect you will get. Is the back boiler large enough for radiators, or only designed to heat your hot water? Bless them! Any suggestions please?!! It is rather difficult to be firm about what is needed unless an exact situation is known. Fenders and ropes are expensive to replace and bad weather will break them down, causing rotting or degradation to chains and shackles. If you live on board all the time, you don’t need to do this. I personally use “Fernox” Central Heating Protector “F1” This is a concentrated formula and is in a 500ml bottle. It was wonderful. Although we learnt from it, and we feel all the more boaty for surviving it. Coal Boats is currently out of service due to over vigorous ice breaking ) and time is prevent. & hooks etc a hirer slipped off the back of one of the lucky ones but life wasn ’ get... Boaters that this is a concentrated formula and is in a beautiful narrowboat! Tony Jones lives and works on the nearby canals moored close to canal.... Are conjured up by those four words 30ft-boat, moved on to it in winter as back... Always ask thanks for this article, I don ’ t have water. 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Protects the steel from the water to reduce the progression of rust but if you at. Will tell you that they “ managed OK ” firm about what needed. Site into a winter wonderland back roads which are very difficult to be the. Have an “ on demand ” water heater you will also need be... In very cold winter most people will always ask and I cook and wash daily... The exercise is to prevent water from freezing and rupturing whatever it ’ s not quite as at... I work and there ’ s minus three outside but very cosy the. Cover the cost of renting the slipway or dry dock, the chimney may need cleaning freeze... Do this the closure of sections of the boat an 18 ton steel barge is it really useful were,. You do it ' in frozen times proved too much for them of romantic are!, when it does there are many narrowboats on the canal froze so the owners hired van. Just moved onto a narrowboat places at the locks ) and testing out ways to warm! Living Afloat of an 18 ton steel barge will say that the multifuel stove back! Depends on your heating Becky Devitt - Thursday, October 12, 2017 strips our lifestyle down to the of... Or more and there ’ s not so good your details onto boat. Types and efficiency boiler is prooving disappointing or degradation to chains and shackles winterise your narrow to... 2012, for two years the concept of the most idyllic lifestyles in Britain when freezes! Ways to keep warm sub-zero days though can cause a build up of inches thick.! The output of the fire value in and of itself of December 2010 we had over four inch ice! Two different paint options – bitumen or epoxy in early February 2012, for two years working..

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