Technology on a canal boat
If you are looking for your first canal boat for sale or perhaps a narrowboat in Hertfordshire or London you may have questions about technology and it’s place in canal boat life. Whether you’re thinking of living on a wide beam, going on an extended cruise or simply looking for a leisure boat for sale you may be wondering how many mod-cons are suited to boating?
A lot of it depends on your electric supply.
If you have a marina mooring you could have ‘shore line electric’ which will be some kind of 240 volt supply to your boat. This may well provide all you might wish for in modern life. For example: Washing machine, dishwasher, microwave, computer and television. However, some online moorings may have a less reliable source of mains hook-up. (When we moored at a farm a couple of years ago I managed to short circuit the electric supply to all the boats on the mooring when I attempted to run the washing machine and tumble drier at the same time!)
Travelling away from your mooring your electronic gadgets will rely on an inverter or generator or both. If you plan on any extended cruising you will need a good number of domestic batteries on board; we have four. (Your engine starter battery will be separate so as not to drain the starter battery with domestic use.)
Computers, microwaves and washing machines prefer a good quality electric supply. Depending on your appliances you may like to invest in a pure sine wave inverter. I have a Dell laptop and a Hewlett Packard printer, scanner and copier that does not have a problem running off an ordinary 300w invertor. This is however insufficient power for our washing machine which requires a generator.
I personally feel laptop computers are more suited than desktop computers to boat life, not just because of the electric supply, but also because they are so much more portable and can be easily stowed away. Depending on where you are moored or travelling it may be advisable to stow away expensive equipment and close the curtains when you are out, to avoid tempting thieves. Mobile internet access is available using a ‘dongle’ supplied by mobile phone companies. Coverage can of course vary as you travel. I use the Three network, with a Vodafone dongle as back-up when the Three network is occasionally inaccessible.
You can buy 12v versions of TVs and microwaves but ordinary appliances will work if you have an adequate invertor with domestic battery bank.
If you’re looking for a boat for extended cruising or living aboard we have plenty of boats for sale around Hertfordshire and London.
Image credit: www.narrowboatwife.com
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