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Life Afloat

bumblebeeThis is our home – the Narrow Boat Bumblebee – a former ‘Black Prince’ holiday cruiser built in 1999 and converted for ‘liveaboard’ use.  Bumblebee is 66 feet long and 6 feet 10 inches wide (so is a true narrowboat rather than a ‘widebeam’) and is powered by a 38hp Beta Engine.  She weighs about 20 tons empty and 23 tons when fully loaded with water, fuel, people and cats.  We have a top speed of about 6mph on still water, so we move slowly, but with certain amount of authority.

These pages are a record of some aspects of life aboard Bumblebee.  There are plenty of other websites and blogs about narrowboats, but relatively few deal with living aboard all year round and specifically about our priority which is to try and live in a way that is as autonomous and low-impact as possible. So there is an emphasis here on doing things yourself in accordance with the ‘Fixit Manifesto’ (http://www.ifixit.com/Manifesto).   This isn’t intended to be a complete guide, but rather a record of our own experiences – so what’s here is specific to our own circumstances.

  • Tools and Gadgets – Useful things to have on board
  • Power Systems – Engines, alternators, batteries and stuff
  • Heating and Lighting  – Diesel heaters, woodburning, lamps and LEDs
  • 12 Volt Projects – Some things we’ve found and made to make low-voltage life easier
  • Communications – Post, wifi, TVs, radio and so on
  • Recycling and Waste Disposal – Minimising impact
  • Fun with Paracord  – the fabulous material without which no boater can do
  • Sources of Information – Other, more authoritative and less partial sources