How to fill up water on a narrowboat

It might seem crazy, but before we bought our narrowboat we were googling questions as seemingly obvious as “How to fill up water on a narrowboat” and devouring every blog post, forum entry and Facebook comments. Even the most basic of boating tasks need explanation if you’re new to the life because although you know how things work in houses the chances are that boats will be a whole new world to you. As our first few weeks of living on a narrowboat drew to a close it became very apparent that we would have to put all of our research to the test and fill up our rapidly emptying water tank and thankfully (despite a few tool malfunctions) it couldn’t have been easier, so here’s how we did it.

Our water tank in the deck at the front of the boat

Refilling water on a narrowboat is simply a case of connecting one end of a hose to a tap, putting the other end into the opening for your water tank, turning it on and just waiting, and waiting, and waiting. After rooting around in our engine room we found that there was an old garden hose lying around which we immediately hooked up to the tap and the water tank switched on a sat back assuming we had sussed it all out. When we didn’t hear any water trickling into our empty tank we figured there might be a blockage in this old hose so upped the pressure only to be soaked by the myriad of leaks in the hose before the force of the water blew the hose off the tap and soaked us and the boat pretty extensively.

Our X-Hose

This incident made us realise, as with everything on the boat, having the right tools, and storing them in the right way is key to getting the job done. As such we replaced our old bulky garden hose with a brand new 50ft X-Hose. This awesome piece of kit is 50ft long so we can reach taps even when we aren’t able to get the boat anywhere near them but automatically shrinks down to be a third of the size, making it ideal for storing in the small space that is our boat. It’s durable and comes with all the attachments you’d need to quickly and easily connect it to the taps on the towpath and marinas so was an obvious purchase for us compared to the more traditional coiled hoses we saw.

Now we had the tools the next question to answer is where you actually get the water from? The simple answer is from water points along the canal network, be it taps on the tow path to service points within marinas. Part of your licence fee goes toward the water points maintained by the Canal and River Trust which are found along the network and are accessed using one of the facilities keys you can buy from the Canal and River Trust and it’s from these points that you are able to attach your hose and fill your tank. Thankfully for us, our mooring has its own service point where we are able to hook up the hose without having to leave the pontoon and so it is from here that we get our water.

Now it’s just a waiting game

Like we said previously, it’s a remarkably simple task and should not be anything that worries any potential narrowboat owner, knowing how to fill up water on a narrowboat is as simple as knowing where you water tank and hose are as well as being able to locate a tap. If you have any questions about narrowboat life, no matter how simple then don’t hesitate to contact us or leave a comment and we will be happy to write about it

You can get the X-hose we have here