Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Thinking Multifunctional

We are slightly late with tonight’s post.  I became engrossed in efforts to record wifi hotspots near canals on our Google Earth canal template.  The wrists are stiff and sore after all that clicking and dragging of the cursor.  Of course many of these hotspots may not be free and there will be many more still to be identified as we progress around the network.  But it’s a start!  I’ve been doing something similar with laundries.

Jan decided we should do a washing cycle today.  Storage space is at a premium on a narrowboat and we’re constantly looking for ideas on how to save space.  One of the great ideas we read on Sue’s blog (nb No Problem) was to use the washing machine as the dirty laundry bag.  It would be a waste of space if left empty!  Why didn’t we think of that!!!  This was the first occasion we’ve used the machine without being on shore-power.   The domestic battery bank needed charging so it made sense to run the washing machine whilst charging the batteries.  It only took slightly longer to get the batteries up to 100%.  Water usage was quite minimal as we used less than ¼ of the tank.  Actually it was more an eighth of the tank. 

Another thing we have attempted to do is make the boat multi-functional as much as possible.  The stern post is a storage location for the anchor. It Is somewhere to hang fenders.  Can be used as a bicycle rack.  And today we fitted the clothes line on it.

It’s an idea we stole adopted after seeing a very similar setup on Kevin & Sue’s boat (nb Meander).  I was concerned the strong winds might lift the clothesline pole out of the stern post so I’ve drilled a hole through both and locked them together with a bolt.

Just after lunch the sun put on a very good show which provided an opportunity to experiment with the solar panels. When they were laying flat on the roof we were getting 2-3 amps.  By moving them to the edge of the roof and placing an inflatable plastic fender under the high side it was possible to tilt them slightly towards the sun.  The amperage immediately rose to 4-5 amps.  I confirms my belief about the need to make a suitable swivel and tilting frame and mounting for the panels.

Around 3.00pm the temperature plunged and the forecast is for a sprinkling of the white stuff tonight.  If this occurs it will resolve the mud problem but will again create issues with the K&A water levels.  And here we were thinking a cruise in the next few days might be possible!

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