Investing time in to a regular maintenance routine on your narrowboat will help to ensure your cruising is hassle-free and protect the longevity of your narrow boat.

A regular maintenance routine will help keep the narrowboat engine in top condition
On-going maintenance costs need to be factored in to living costs on a narrow boat
Filters on a narrowboat will regularly need to be checked and replaced if required

Maintenance Schedule… What’s Your Routine?

The following is a suggested narrowboat engine maintenance routine, however always refer to your engine manufacturer’s manual for their recommended time scales.

Daily (when cruising) or every 8 hours of engine running:

  • Check engine oil level
  • Check gearbox oil level
  • Check coolant level
  • Check battery fluid
  • Give stern gland greaser a turn
  • Check drive belt tension
  • When starting the engine make sure that the charger light goes off and the alternator is charging
  • When engine is warm chich the oil pressure and coolant temperatures are as they should be


  • Check condition of fan belt; stern gland; all coolant hoses; fuel lines and shut off valves
  • Check all moving parts are fully greased
  • Check all bolts and connections are tight
  • Check charge rate from alternator to batteries

Annual (or around 250 running hours):

  • Change engine and gearbox oil
  • Change oil/air/fuel filter
  • Change antifreeze
  • Check air filter, replace if required
  • Check anode condition
  • Check all external nuts, bolts and fastenings
  • Use fuel treatment if boat is vacant in cold weather

Maintenance Schedule

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