Friday 24 February 2012

Putting on the Power

During our visit at Fernwoods the question of power was broached.  I happened to mention my Sleep Apnoea and that I sleep with an air pump on all night.  We discussed various requirements for TV, laptops etc and rather naively added we wanted an electric oven. This raised a few alarm bells for Ken and so we discussed the options further ending with Ken asking us to provide a list of equipment we would want on board.

My original thinking was to have shoreline chargers to the batteries with solar panels to keep them topped up.  We would have a 5KV travel pack on the Beta 50 supplemented with a separate diesel powered generator to cope with the oven etc when not on shore power.  Both Ken and Julia advised against this last option as at £12K on board price was a bit excessive and Ken felt this would take up far to much valuable space in the back cabin.

Following our discussion we have obviously dropped the idea of an electric oven as the 3.8KV/hr consumption would be far too much, so we settled for a gas oven, much more practical.

Ken suggested we could go for a cheaper £4K on board option of more expensive but greater capacity batteries and having more of them. He also added the 5KV travel pack may no longer be available due to belt issues and so we may have to settle for the standard 3.5KV shipped with the Beta.  I've sent him the list below and wait to see what he says.

Amp/Hr Watts Voltage
Res med Pump
240 or 12
Acer laptop charger
Samsung Netbook Charger
Mobile phone chargers

Steve camera charger
Chris camera charger

Chris Hair Dryer
9.17 2200 240
Chris hair straighteners
0.13 30 240
Steve toothbrush charger

Bose V35 unit (console and Base)
1.54 370 240

Washer Dryer
6.25 1500 240
5.00 1200 240

9.17 2200 240
0.73 175 240

Total (If in use symaltaniously)

The white goods like washing machine, fridge etx are only guestimates based on average applicance consumption measurers.  The lighting figure can be reduced by using LED as we plan.  I've also not included wireless routers etc as I doubt we would have these on unless we went online.  I've also not included TV freeview units as we are not sure what we are having just yet.

This is quite a basic list and yes it does not take into any account of cable sizes, distances run and so on.  I'm no electrician so am happy to rely on Ken's experience in these matters.

I was though, quite shocked to see just how much theses things take out of the system.  Clearly we wont be using them all at the same time but  I think Chris is going to have to look at a lower rated hairdryer and iron.  

It's becoming more an more apparent these days that electrical items are going to become more common on boats, Ipods, Laptops, the internet, Game stations, Ipads, MP3 players are all common household luxuries afforded by most people these days so electrical capacity is going to be more and more of an issue.  We are no differant and I confess to be a gadget man myself so I am hoping Ken's answer will be one we can live with

Tuesday 21 February 2012

In a bit of a spin

Hi all,
This is going to be just a quick post. 

 I'll will get some of AmyJos agreed info up soon  like I promised but, since getting back from Fernwoods and contracting Chris's cold mine has now developed into Labrinthitis.   Its an inner ear infection that whenever you transition from laying down to sitting to standing and back again that motion sets the room off in a spin causing nausea and drowsiness.  It was quite frightening when it first happened to me 3 days ago and since then its been like trying to walk on a ships deck pitching in storm.  Not very elegant I have to admit, like being drunk without the alcohol.  Only way to cope is to do little at a time and then lay down for a couple of hours.  Doctor assures me with medication it will cease soon.  I sure hope he is right, I would not wish this on my worst enemy!

Wednesday 15 February 2012

All signed up and the excitement mounts

We spent a wonderful weekend in Essex catching up with our parents as we had not seen them since before Christmas.  It was like Christmas all over again opening presents and so on.  It felt so good to see the folks again.  My father is to have an operation on his knee as the joint cartledge has failed so now he is walking bone on bone, it pains me to see him wince when he walks, he must be in so much pain so I'm glad the operation will help him.

On Monday we braved the cold at took the train to Southend-on-sea and walked along the sea front. Its been ages since we took the train and it was difficult not to behave like school kids :-).  But man was it cold!  The light wind was like a knife and cut you to the core despite wrapping up well.  We finished off with a hot lunch to warm ourselves before heading home. 

Tuesday was a big day for us and after a 6am start we headed over to Grantham and Fernwood's.  Both Chris and Julia have gone down with a cold and cough so it was tissues at the ready. Ken popped his head into the office but beat a hasty retreat as both girls were coughing.  He returned later to discuss electrics (more on this in another post).

After discussing the hull type and engine together with the basic layout of the boat for several hours we eventually signed the contract and accepted an outline spec.  We have more meetings planned to finalise details.  So that's it, 3 signatures later, our bank balance sagging a bit more, AmyJo will now become a reality.  We both are elated and we have to say feel a little trepidation too.    Fernwood boats are superbly built with beautiful styling and although we are sure AmyJo will be built to their usual high quality we hope our choices all go together to make a beautiful boat.  There are some excellent boats out there and we hope we can aspire to the same level with AmyJo.  The magnitude of the task ahead is just starting to become apparent.

So when will the build start?  Fernwoods cannot give us a start date just yet but we can confirm Jim Sparks at Alexander boats will be building AmyJo for us and hopes to start soon.  It all depends on when he can slot us in, Julia was confident that would not be to long so watch this space.

On the way home we picked up the Francis lamp and are chuffed to bits with it.  It is in superb condition with only one minor dent and a few hairline scratches at the back.  Can't wait to see it on the boat!

Anyway thats all for now.  I'll post again with what we have agreed and once we get final confirmation of the layout from Fernwoods I'll reveal all.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

All bright and shiney

Hi all,
We have been reading the blogs of some of the boaters and Jo (Coalwoman) commented on the problems some are having getting water on her blog (Click).  Like Del and Al on Derwent6 (click) having to walk a third of a mile with containers.  I have to say in all the time we have been planning AmyJo and when and where we would cruise it's something we had not really thought about that much.  Jo's advice is something we will take to heart as we have yet to experience these hardships in cold weather.  I'm ashamed to say we have only cruised the canals in summer and have always been blessed with good weather.   That said we did have to helm the boat in a torrential down pour whilst on the Leeds Liverpool last year and found it added to our experience.  "You've experienced nothing yet, that's only for a short time we suffer it all the time" I hear some of you say, and yes I agree but we are truly looking forward to all extremes on the boat all the same, I guess that is what makes our dream all the more exciting for us at the moment. Its getting the experiences that has the magic for us.  We had some sense of what its like when our boiler packed up and we had no heating for two days of the coldest weather this year.  It makes one realise just how lucky we are warm and cosy in our house. So Chris and I do hope you are all OK on the cut and are keeping warm and do please take care.  We do think about you guys out there in this weather, honest.  We know you are coping well but we do worry about you all as although we have met very few of you we do value your experiences and hope to learn from them.

As I mentioned last post we are off to see Ken and Julia at Fernwoods on Tuesday and now have a copy of the contract we'll be signing to read.  We are really looking forward to the meeting and we hope to post the layout thoughts when we get back.

Meantime the Francis lamp we told you about has had a make over, been polished and handle painted Grey to match our colour scheme and we hope to pick it up on the way home Tuesday.  The seller sent us these photos of it and I have to say it's looking absolutely fantastic.

Here it is working.  Looks Great

While on the home front, apart from a few missing bits and peices the kitchen is at last nearly finished.  We cooked our first roast dinner since we moved in 2 months ago!  Absolute heaven :-)

Thats all for now as I've got a scotch to drink and that contract to read through.  Be safe out there.