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TitaniumSquirrel's Achievements



  1. Hi All, Been searching on here and read some old topics where people have asked about a fuel gauge - I see that almost everyone says don't bother, and go with the tried and tested dipstick level instead. I love this as A) it's much simpler and nothing to go "wrong" once you've marked it appropriately and B ) much cheaper! Now, excuse this dumb part, but I'm 99% sure that my fuel tank is not directly below the filling point, and instead the diesel goes through a pipe at a slant/bend to get into the tank. Therefore I can't dipstick it right? Or am I being an idiot and there is typically some other access/inspection point from which to dip one's stick?! Many thanks in advance Tom
  2. Hello Looking to get some sort of water gauge for my water tank, so that I have a better idea of when I'll be running out and need to go top up, rather than being rudely surprised by it! I've seen a couple online where you install them inline when the tank is full, and it learns the first time round basically what you're tank size is, and from then on can approximate it each time after if that makes sense. However, they're over £100. e.g. https://www.force4.co.uk/item/Topargee/Water-Tank-Gauge-Surface-Mount/G39 There are then more expensive ones that seem to rely on pressure - https://www.midlandchandlers.co.uk/products/tank-gauge-fresh-water-ei-100 And then really cheap ones that I'm not convinced would do what I was after - https://www.amazon.co.uk/12-24V-Non-contact-Liquid-Detect-Container Just wondering if anyone has any advice or pointers on what they've used? Bad or good! Cheers Tom
  3. Yeah, I can't find any on there under 900mm tall though Oh interesting, maybe I'll ask them further details on the frame height. You're right it's the gunnel height, that's really good to know yours fits! What's your floor to gunnel distance?
  4. Hello, I'm looking to get a sofabed for my narrowboat and wondering if you lovely folks have any suggestions that might fit the bill, or pointers on where to search. I have been on sofabedbarn but they are all just a bit tall for my gunnels. Ideally I would like the following: 1) Proper mattress rather than futon style - strong preference 2) Double size bed - or near enough 3) Storage of some sort underneath, ideally drawer(s) - nice to have not a must 4) Arms - nice to have not a must 5)Wooden base/structure - far from a must, would be a bonus 6) 890mm tall max when in sofa mode - vital Look forward to any ideas or pointers! I'm open to making something myself but as a last resort. I wonder if sofabedbarn might make one a tiny bit lower? Most of theirs are 900mm minimum. Thanks! Tom
  5. Yeah, I think December and January will be real struggles but am fairly confident in other months. I think I may have to rely on a bit of gas top up during those two months (see attached report). I am hoping that given the large battery bank, when I do have the glorious Winter days, combined with using precious little electricity each day and a change of habits, that I can "bank" enough to last me a few days. It's all a bit of an experiment to see exactly what's achievable! PVGIS-5_OffgridPV_52.220_0.155_SA_4000Wp_15000Wh_20_3000Wh_30deg_15deg.pdf I'd love to see a photo! Unfortunately, there are no mooring points on the Cam with a shore hook up - they are all totally off-grid (but cheap!). I will have some roof access, and the panels will also fold/slide away, and maybe be movable onto the side of the boat during winter for better generation with the sun low in the sky!
  6. Yeah, unfortunately the waiting list for a mooring license on the Cam for widebeam boats is about a decade, so I have to go narrowboat!
  7. I guess you're right to some degree, it is more like a static home - most of the community on the Cam are like this, and yes, 4kW on a narrowboat. I don't envisage huge amounts of solo travel, if any. It would likely be weekend jaunts or perhaps the odd week with friends/partner. Yup, permanently south facing, permanently 30 degrees. I'm not going to be a cruiser, it's a liveaboard with permanent mooring essentially!
  8. Not in the slightest at all, I have the courage of my convictions and this is exactly what I am going to be doing. Currently boat hunting and have a mooring license in Cambridge under my arm ready to plonk a boat on! Absolutely! Makes quite the difference. The Cam is pretty bloody slow moving I must say, I think it's something like 0.4m/s so not a huge flow to be honest.......... but it's better than nothing I guess. The chap who runs the renewable heat division where I work is adamant it has legs and will work, I think I'm the guinea pig, but he's really quite serious and done all the maths! Powering the thing is the issue in winter, but we're getting there.
  9. Amazing! This is awesome! Thanks so much for this, very useful research and thoughts on heat pumps. I have been thinking about the heat exchange issue, though I thought this is dependent more on the liquid used as the heat exchange rather than the temperature? Air source heat pumps work domestically for buildings when the air temperature is below freezing from my knowledge, and I'm keen to explore how that could translate to water source (as then a huge amount of the bulky parts of an air source heat pump could be negated). I will be able to get around 4kWp on my narrowboat which should get me 20kWh a day in Summer as I'll have them tilted and orientated properly, and around 4kWh in Winter. In terms of electricity draw, I'll just have a fridge, lights, a phone charger and a telly. Induction hob in the summer maybe but that'll be further down the line in phase 2. To begin with I'm trying to be realistic and have gas as a backup so that should it all go belly up, then I can still make some hot food on a gas burner for now. Fully electric in the winter I think is almost impossible, but I am keen to try! If I can get away with a shower twice a week and cooking on the woodburner then it might be feasible....... The plot thickens, thanks again I'm a little offended actually, I am not here to push heat pumps in the slightest, I had though I might find some people who are interested or knowledgable in this area - and I have on the most part. Please reserve your misguided judgment for others, and don't bother replying if you don't have something to input other than insults and slander. Hmmm, yeah I am likely adding in quite a huge amount of maintenance and potential issues with a heat pump.... I hadn't though of that side of it! The more complex I make it all, the more there is to go wrong and maintain/fix. Worth considering.... thanks!
  10. Thanks Tony! I can't find the edit button on my OP haha....... oh dear. I meant more that I don't find comments of "you cannot do it" very useful, I was hoping to engage a more constructive dialogue, even if that dialogue is mostly negative, I'd like to why rather than just be told I'm a dreamer and stupid. I know fairly clearly that I am not, and have case studies and the theory to back most of it up (bar the heat pump idea!) I can get 3-4kW on my narrowboat no probs, the panels are about 1100 wide and I can tilt them to 35 deg facing south and mounted in portrait, they're >400W so to get to 4kW would require around 10m of length, or around 30ft. I'm permanently moored, and will only be cruising occasionally. Typically, the ratio of solar generated in the UK in summer (and this is a huge rule of thumb) is 1kWp:5kWh in Summer and 1kWp:1kWh in Winter. Thanks for the advice on general posting too, new to this forum so that's handy to know. I hadn't meant to insult anyone, but perhaps could have phrased it better.....
  11. Yeah most of my research had lead me down the insulation being pretty key in this venture, and agreed that spray foam seems to be the best from what I've read. I think I'll be looking to go double glazed with thermal breaks too... I do have a basically neverending supply of wood - both palletwood which, whilst not ideal, is a decent kindling, and then also some proper hardwood thanks to a tree surgeon friend. Certainly not annexing any land, though where I'll be moored most boats have a nice wood pile and kit-store just on the shore! I won't be cruising that much, maybe the odd weekend in the summer - I work full time and not remotely so cruising continuously isn't an option - the desire to be on a boat is being closer to nature and the water, and also to put myself in an environment where I am pushed to be practical and be more attuned to what resources I'm using. I'm strongly driven by mitigating climate change. I spent a good chunk of 2019/2020 winter on a narrowboat and it certainly was a different beast! But we stayed warm and cooked well off the 2.5kW solar we had, and a woodburner. That was on a quite poorly insulated boat and some knackered batteries, so I am keen to see how I can improve things with more solar, more insulation, better batteries! Heat pump is certainly the most questionable part of this whole approach, but I think it has legs! Here you go! Hi Tony, Thanks for your continued input, but it's a bit archaic and not very useful. Please see the video I just posted, no diesel in sight, not a wind turbine. Just solar, wood and a bit of gas in winter. Unless you have something constructive to say, please don't bother! I am very happy to take on board reasoned, constructive criticism, but you're not really doing that, not offering any sort of evidence or thinking to support your claims. If you think what I'm talking about is utterly impossible, then you are not up to date with current technology nor my situation. Cheers, Tom
  12. Awesome! This sounds like you've headed down the same path I'm looking to. Very glad to hear the immersion and induction can be fed off that solar in the summer - may I ask how many people are on your boat? I will just be on my own so might mean less demand than you? I'm on a narrowboat but will be using 410W panels at around 1100x1700, and should be able to fit 8-10 on no probs, in portrait in a row, tilted at around 30 degrees, and I'll be facing South. I'm contemplating putting solar thermal panels on the side of the boat that faces south also, as it's a more efficient way of generating hot water, and would be ideal for the Winter when the sun is low in the sky. The heat pump is certainly a more "out there" idea, but in theory it should be possible - I work with a chap who's been in heat pumps for around 25 years and we've gone through the theory a few times, obviously the proof is in the pudding but part of this journey is seeing whether it can work!
  13. Thanks for the feedback, I guess what I meant was I'm not interested in people who just say "this cannot be done" and don't offer any sort of reasoning or advice as to why, such as experience or evidence etc. Yours isn't naysaying, it's useful commentary on my ideas - as I said, I'm very open to constructive criticism, I'm just not interested in "you're stupid go away" kind of comments of which I see there have been some. I am getting a narrowboat, and will be using 410W panels that are approx 1100x1800. They will be mounted in a single row, in portrait on the roof of the boat which will be moored S facing, and tilted to approx 30deg. I should be able to fit 3kW on about half of my boat this way, or push to 4kW if needed in future. I'll let you know how I get on
  14. Okay, so I'm soon to have my own boat for the first time! I have a brother who is a wooden boat builder, a boss who lived off grid on a narrowboat for 20 years and turned it entirely electric, and work for a renewables company so have access to expertise and hardware when it comes to solar, heat pumps and batteries. However, turning all of the theory of what I envisage into reality, requires some knowhow of things I am quite clueless about! Diesel. Engines. Insulation. Plumbing.... So, here's the idea: 3-4kw of solar on the roof, lithium ion battery bank, small heat pump, wood burner with a back boiler feeding some radiators, hot water with immersion and gas backup. The idea being I can fully power, heat and provide hot water for a pretty damn comfortable lifestyle. This is a bit of a journey for me, and I want to see how practical it is to keep a decent number of modcons whilst being utterly off grid, all year round. So, can I tap into the hivemind to see if anyone has done anything similar, or advice on small parts on it: Heat pumps - has anyone ever had one on a boat? How is it? How did it work? What size? Hot water - how practical is it to have it running off an electric supply initially (with the solar kit I'll have, I should have plenty of electric without a hookup) with gas as a backup option? Is there kit out there that does this already? Would it require some sort of mash up of two systems with a manual changeover? Heating - if I can make a heat pump work, this is sorted. If not......... how do people find running heating off purely a stove with a backboiler? I assume insulation is key? Double glazing with thermal breaks too!? Cooking - I am contemplating having dual induction and gas..... induction in the summer when I have plentiful solar, and gas as a back up for the winter. Ultimately, I want to use zero fossil fuels and be totally solar dependent, without sacrificing warmth, hot showers, or footy on the telly. I'm not interested in naysayers sorry! I will more than happily take constructive criticism, but please don't tell me I'm mad. I know the theory is sound, I have seen most of this done before, I'm just looking to take it one step further! All advice, questions, suggestions and comments welcome! Get involved! Thanks!
  15. Thanks Tony, I am more interested in the issue of water condensation and therefore rusting between the polystyrene and the steel hull. What was your experience with that? Cheers Tom
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