Solar Power

Published: Wednesday, 28 January 2015
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IMG 20150128 141722I took delivery of the solar panels from HPS today and have trial fitted them on the boat. It looks like they will fit as planned along the centre line of the boat leaving around 300mm each side to walk on.

The aluminium brackets suppied look they will do the job although will need some more holes drilled in the panel frame and the brackets, and I am going to change the fixings to anti tamper bolts with Shear nuts so they cannot be removed easialy without the correct tools.

A location for the Charge Controler unit has been identified and some sutiable fixings are on order.

Other bits needed include some angle to create a rope guard on the front edges of the panel.

Once all the parts arrive it should be a fairly easy job to bolt it all together.


Solar panels ordered

Published: Saturday, 24 January 2015
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After much research the solar panels for the boat are ordered. 4 panels of 135w each along the middle of the roof over the rear cabins. So plenty of room to walk around them if needed.

this will give 540w peak which should provide 2-2.5Kwh a day during the summer which is about the daily electrical consumption on the boat, excluding useing the washing machine, or extended use of the oven.  Hopefully this will eliminate the need to run the engine for even prolonged stops away from mains power, and when not cruising will keep the batteries topped up ready to go without the need for a shore supply. For winter moorings a shore line will still be useful to power the electric radiators used to stop the boat freezing, and the output from the panels drops to a few hundred watt hours a day.

pics to follow.

Ribble Link Link dates 2015

Published: Friday, 02 January 2015
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The Ribble Link passage dates for 2015 have now been published on the CRT website Ribble-Link and there is an unfortunate gap between the 3rd and 13th June. This means we either have to push on to make the 3rd or extend the cruise to arrive on 13th. At present its looking like aiming for the 3rd.  This means 8days of cruising from Market Drayton to Tarleton with an average 5.5 hrs a day, and given that this is 99miles but only 48 locks there is limited opertunity to make up the time on the lock flights.

One advantage of this plan is that the trip will include a couple of extra days on the Lancaster canal so we should be able to find a suitable temporary mooring.

Last visit of 2014

Published: Sunday, 14 December 2014
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imageI was at the boat yesterday for what is probably the last visit of 2014, so checking everything is secure, electric radiator on to prevent freezing, and get a pump out. The canal adjacent to the marina, and the less used parts of the marina itself had a thin coating of ice.

All the work I asked Gordon's Narrowboats to do is complete so the water tank was ready to be refill, the angle in the cratch and the old ladder stands on the roof removed ready for the solar panels.

It was nice to have running water again although filling the tank significantly changes the trim of the boat and the stern lifted by about 100mm once the tank was full, leaving a brown alge stain on the nice new paintwork where it had been under water. A little scrapeing with the frozen deck mop removed the worst of it.

With the plan to fit a composting toilet next year we have been trying to extract as much of the solids from the toilet tank as possible, this included dosing the tank with soda crystals (the universal houshold solution to everything) and washing detergent. This defiantly seems to have been having an effect as I had to do the pump out twice and the stuff coming out was still fairly solid after the second one. A few more pump outs over the next few months and hopefully the tank will be fairly clean when it gets sealed up.

Water water everywhere

Published: Sunday, 23 November 2014
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aIMG 20141123 121653nd now loads to drink.



As the main water tank is drained to be cleaned and repainted we lashed up a temporary water supply using a 20L bin bag as a liner. Enough for a shower and even with careful topping up enough to run the washing machine.





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The new filtered drinking water font is now fitted so no more need for bottled water.


A fiddly job cutting a 'T' piece in to the piping behind the cabinets, but after a couple of leaks where the fittings were not pushed fully home now all done and dry.

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