My partner and I are the proud owners of a narrow-boat, “Bonny Mary”. She’s pictured here on the Rochdale Canal a little while ago – before we got her name on the side.
We are her second owners and her original owner had bought her as a sail-away (just the hull and the engine). He then proceeded to spent eight years fitting her out very badly and then ran out of money.
The wiring was all done with solid core house wire, despite all the literature saying that this will fail with the vibration and banging about. This, together with many other crazy things our predecessor had done (which I won’t go into) made our first cruising seasons somewhat fraught. Suffice to say, on our very first outing we broke down within sight of the marina!
As a result, I spent the first winter completely re-wiring Bonny Mary which gave me a serious crash course in boat systems and wiring. I am pleased to say that five years on we have had no problems whatsoever with the wiring.
Narrow-boats only go slowly which gives you lots of thinking time and I started to think about the systems on the boat and how they might be improved. Specifically I began to wonder why I was standing on top of a 38 horse power engine when, for most of their history, canal boats were propelled by one horse power – provided by one horse.
The result of these thoughts is the “Marine Energy” series of posts which follow.