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  1. Thanks so much again everybody for your words of encouragement and advice.....we really are getting somewhere now!Stonehenge - Great advice about your little one. Sounds like yours is exactly how I think our one will turn out. He's already grabbing everything in sight (and all going into his mouth) and I foresee that he's going to be a rascal so your advice is invaluable. He loves watching us do things and the pushchair idea is great. At the moment he's not begun crawling but he's 7 months so I guess that's just around the corner. I'm glad you say you wouldn't change it.....really encouraging. We're pressing on! Hi Cris,Many thanks for your advice on this....it's really going to be an important part of us living aboard. Although I teach music, I also compose for TV and film so getting the right set-up is important. The idea about the car charger is great. I'll look into it. I've currently got an Omega Lexicon external audio/MIDI interface (sadly that, like yours, takes external power). But I'll do most of my composing using headphones and am looking at getting some decent (but small!) passive monitor speakers. I'm going to go down the laptop/USB keyboard route, as you say, as it'll take the load of the batteries. I'll beware of the hums and glitches. Hmmm, maybe I'll have to look at selling my external sound card and look for one that is powered by USB (as well as the keyboard).....I don't suppose you can recommend any can you?Thanks again.
  2. All, Thanks all so much for your help. I've been away for the weekend but have come back to all these replies and reading through them just now I already feel like I now know ten times as much. A real help. Thanks again. My wife and I have done a lot of talking about how we can live on the boat as comfortably as we can, giving our little baby (soon to be little boy!) as safe an upbringing as possible. David and Julie - You're absolutely right, what we may be able to deal with in terms of cold and damp and lack of washing in a machine, will not be suitable for the little one. So that's why we're thinking really hard as to what we need and what we don't. The washing machine, believe it or not, is a real issue as we've discussed launderettes, "Magic Washers" etc....and I know that these would probably be fine for us but not with our son as well. And of course (Twoputtyrats and Alastair) you're absolutely right about the drying aspect and we hadn't got to that bit yet! So, the first thing I'm going to do is show my wife the answers you've all kindly given so far and suggest that a washing machine - perhaps a Candy - would probably be very worthwhile with a little boy. I'm going to look at the 3.5kw genset you recommended (Twoputtyrats) as I think something like this will be the way to go, as well as looking at pure sinewave. I really get the feeling from everyone so far that the power subject is one of the most important (if not the most importaant) of them all and so I'll carry on slogging away and researching, but I feel like we're getting there thanks to the advice on this forum...any more thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.... There's light at the end of the tunnel!
  3. All - I hope you can help. I'm a new addition to the forum and I need to know/understand (if possible) a couple of things with regards to living on a narrowboat, with a small family. To explain - There's me, my wife, our little 6 month old boy and our cocker spaniel. We've been desperate to move onto a narrowboat for many years now but when we found out that we were going to have a baby, we put it on hold. Now he's 6 months, we've stepped up a gear and are now searching again for the right boat etc. We've talked so much about what an incredible life we could have on a boat and how it would be a much healthier life for our son....watching the wildlife, seeing and really experiencing the seasons come and go and not being cooped up playing on a Playstation all the time! We want him to have a real respect for nature and have an appreciation of things like energy etc. which is ever more important in this day and age. I can't think of a lovelier upbringing for a child. That said, being a responsible new Dad, I really want to make sure that we find the right boat and that I fully understand (as much as I can!) what I need in a boat to give us as comfortable and safe a life as possible. It's a little daunting! Any advice you could give me would be very greatly appreciated. Firstly, we have decided to go for a narrowboat. We thought about a widebeam at first (room-wise) but we really would like to do quite a bit of cruising and with the right fit out, it would be enough space for us I'm sure. We can't buy a new one as our budget won't stretch that far but we're looking at around the 57ft mark with a top price of £50,000. Obviously, as we won't be buying new I'm worrying a bit about the heating and power. So here goes: 1. Heating - We will definitely have a multi-fuel stove, but what heating would be best on the boat...as we have a little son, is diesel heating the right way to go? How would this work - would the engine need to be on the whole time to heat the boat? Sorry for being ignorant! 2. Power - This seems to be a real minefield. We will be occasionally running laptops and I have a small studio (as I'm a composer) so I have a keyboard and speakers. What system could you recommend that doesn't involve running the engine all day long (as I've heard this is bad for diesel engines) - I know it's all to do with alternators and inverters and batteries but I'm getting lost in it all! 3. Is anyone out there who has had a baby/children on the boat and would you say that it is vital to have a washing machine? My wife is adamant we can get away without one but I'd like to make sure by listening to people that have actually done it! Based on the above, we have looked a couple of times at a boat that is in the right price range and has a nice feel and this is the spec...do you think it would be ok for us? - 4 cylinder diesel engine - 240v ring main (allowing landline electricity) - Morso solid fuel stove - 1500w inverter - Eberspacher diesel fired heating (feeding 4 radiators) - 150 gallon water tank I'm not sure how many batteries it has. So that's it. Sorry to waffle on, but as I say, I'm getting a bit stuck on what would be sufficient for us. Thanks so much for reading this far. It's all a bit daunting but I think it'll be worth it once we're onboard and a little bit further away from the craziness of modern life!