04 June 2017

Boat Life - Things I Hadn't Really Thought Much About Before Living on a Boat


We're living on the boat now, at the side of the Canal du Midi in France. 
We haven't gone anywhere yet, just enjoying being here in this village and getting used to boat life. It's different.


There are two things the boat needs on a regular basis: 
Power and water - even if we aren't cruising anywhere. 
Power to run the water pump, lights, toilets, shower pump, and the fridge. 

Maggie May in her canal mooring.
All are 12v. The fridge takes the most power.  
We found that running the generator for an hour in the morning will recharge the batteries enough to run the fridge - and everything else - for the rest of the day.


There are power outlets on the boat, but they don't work - unless the generator is running. 
Or - if you're plugged in. You CAN plug in a boat, kind of like a camping van or an RV. 
-IF you can find a mooring with power - which is rare.


Usually, the only thing I NEED to plug in is my phone. 
Sometimes I just plug it in when we're in the car. 

There's a power and water box on the right, just below the stone steps.
Eventually, we'll get a few solar panels. 
That should help keep the house batteries charged.  
Most of the live aboard boats have solar panels.

An English couple live permanently on this boat - with solar panels - just down the canal from us.
It's made me very aware of all the energy - electricity - we use in our houses without ever thinking about it. -An endless supply of unlimited power all day long! From the point of view of living on a boat, that's pretty special. When we start cruising, the engine will recharge the batteries, too.


For water, we have a LONG hose. 
There's a metered box not too far away, and for 2 euro, we can get about 300 liters of water. 
Our tanks hold about 1100 liters, (about 300 gallons), which lasts us about 2-4 weeks, if we use it sparingly. That's with 2 of us aboard. Some boats have water makers, where they filter canal water for use on the boat - for everything but drinking water.


Of course, the metered water box stopped working a few days before our first visitor, Stan's sister, Charlene - and we wound up taking showers at the public port facilities.

The Port Office. Showers thru the door on the far right.
The village we're in is VERY small - it doesn't even have its own bakery. 
And in France, that's saying something.

But there's a bread van that comes by each morning. 
There's a shop where she'll keep a baguette for you if you ask her the day before. 

This shop - is actually ON a boat. In a nearby town. "Pain" is bread.
During the days, there are ducks and doves, cars and kids going to the school across the canal from us. Fishermen. Tractors heading to the vineyards. At night, it's so unbelievably quiet!
No cars, no one out. Last night I heard an owl - loud and clear. 

A commercial barge - about to pass us.

Boats come and go on the canal, passing us. Some of them are HUGE, commercial barges - or luxury hotel barges, with a full crew and lots of flowers. It's impressive to see them squeeze through the narrow bridges, many of which were built in the 1600's.

That's Maggie May on the left - dwarfed by the large hotel barge.
The galley - kitchen - on our boat is very comfortable. 
But there are so many fine local restaurants - and of course, a glass of local wine...

This restaurant is just steps from our boat.


1 comment:

  1. Great post! You should get some nice solar panels and some decent lithium batteries instead of those massive acid ones.
    Can't wait to see it for myself!

    ReplyDelete