living on an electric narrowboat

living on an electric narrowboat

the all electric 'mister blue sky'

We get asked a lot, “Is it really all electric?”

YES! We have a fully electric driven (by 2x 8kw Lynch motors) narrowboat built by Braidbar Boats in 2018.

On the technical side we have: 6x 5kw @ 48v lithium batteries. 1.5kw of solar panels with an 8kw inverter. All the electronics are Victron brand.

This gives us more than enough power for propulsion and to run all the domestics such as the 240v fridge freezer, washer/dryer etc.

electric motors

Kohler marine generator

Obviously we rely on the British weather so for winter months, say Nov till March, if we get little or no solar, we have a 7kw diesel generator which we use to charge the batteries. 2.5 hours of generator use recharges the batteries to full and this will give us approximately 2 weeks of domestic use and a couple of short cruises. We still cruise in the winter but, like most CCers, at a slower pace.

Since early April this year we have cruised from the River Weaver to Kinver and not used the generator at all, so all our power has been FREE! Our plan is to get to Stourport then head back up north to the Leeds Liverpool canal for winter cruising.

As far as the motors are concerned, in 4.5 years we have not needed to do any maintenance on them. If either becomes faulty or breaks down it is simply a case of removing by a couple of bolts and an electronic plug and sending by parcel courier. Each motor measures approximately 12”x8”. We can still cruise with one motor.

solar panels raised

solar panels lowered

Another question or statement really is “Isn’t it quiet!” Listening to the birds and our surroundings while cruising is great, a real bonus, but sometimes the anglers get a shock when they don’t hear us approaching!

We love our life on the waterways and we feel we are doing a little bit to help the environment by living off grid, and more so by having an electric boat.