As a spin off from Power Conversion Technology some of you are aware of our history. We are not yet another "theorist" company with no clue about the realities of life "on board" or another electronics company who happen to manufacture equipment related to the marine and Automotive world.
The Proprietor, Chris Gibson, lives almost exclusively onboard his Narrowboat, Lionheart No 2, and therefore knows full well the difficulties that can arise with regards to electrical power if the system is not specified, installed and set up correctly.
Lionheart has become our most important test bed for our products and developments. It's all very well testing ideas in a laboratory. Nothing compares to the real world for really sorting the good products from the bad.
As it's Chris' home we'll let him take over from here !
This is my latest boat, purchased at the beginning of 2003 via Andy Burnett Narrowboats (abnb.co.uk). I really cannot recommend them highly enough. After I bought Lionheart No 2 they let me keep her in their marina for several weeks, free of charge (didn't even charge me for the shorepower facilities) whilst I rewired her and made her ready for full liveaboard life with no shorepower facilities. Paul Mudie was incredibly helpful and also turned out to be extremely knowledgable. If you're looking for a boat then ABNB is certainly worth a visit or call.
As you can probably see she's big, 70 foot, and trad style.
We have the "modern" end for all the comforts of home............
The usual gas burners and oven (electric cooking really still isn't practical on a boat with a "normal" engine), a microwave oven has now been added, 2 TVs, 2 DVD players, video, hi fi etc.
With all the new added electronics and the uprated system in general we really don't need to worry about electrical power, even having no access to shore power and/or mains powered battery chargers.
Too many nay-sayers are convinced it can't be done without some huge compromises. Its simply not true and this boat is my way of saying "see it IS possible"
How many times have we all seen a boat moor up after cruising for several hours, then literally within 5 or 6 hours the occupants are struggling with dim orange lights, a bleeping fridge, and a struggling water pump?
There really is no need for it.
At the stern we have the traditional part including a real engine room incorporating the huge Gardner 4LW engine and now all the added electrical and electronic systems.
And behind this a very traditional boatman's cabin.
Whilst we were very intent on making the power system allow us to live as comfortably as possible we also did not want to ruin the traditional character of the back end of the boat.
The engine room no longer really looks very much like this having had added to it twin inverters, a new master switch panel, a mains battery charger (for emergencies), alternator controller, battery monitor,
SmartBank split charge system and of course the SmartGauge battery monitor.
The washer and dryer have been built into a wooden surround that has been painted to (almost) match the rest of the engine room (Ok it's not brilliant but I'm an electronics engineer not a boat painter !). The idea of 2 great white metal boxes at this end of the boat quite scared me however we've managed to get them blended in sufficiently !
Batteries and Charging System
More to come at a later date........
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Page last updated 02/04/2008.
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