Winter Maintenance

Get your boat ready for the winter with these tips and ideas.

In previous years, bad weather over the winter season has resulted in boats sinking on the Scottish canals.  Taking the time to make a few regular checks and inspections should help stop this happening to your vessel.

Take a look at the Winterising your vessel leaflet for some helpful guidance and advice, and also consider the following:

  • Adequate insurance to cover all eventualities, including the cost of refloating your boat should the worst happen (Scottish Canals reserve the right to charge on any additional costs incurred).
  • Be aware that access paths/pontoons etc will probably not be gritted or cleared.
  • Regularly clear snow/ice from your boat to prevent build up.
  • Don’t move your boat once ice starts to form as this could damage the hulls of other boats as well as your own.
  • Prepare for high winds by putting out extra warps and fenders and ideally protect ropes from risk of chaffing by using either plastic pipe or wrapping in cloth where ropes may rub on tow rails or cleats.

If you plan to be away from your boat for long periods or overseas, please make arrangements for someone to check your boat regularly over the winter. Please also inform office staff of a local contact in case of emergencies.

  • Lowland Canals customers should complete the Emergency Plan form and return to the Lowlands Office.
  • Crinan Canal customers should complete this Emergency Plan form and return to the Crinan Office.

Scottish Canals staff will do their best to support you, however it is your responsibility to ensure your boat is left safe at all times.