We have a LEAK | Building our off-grid, electric narrowboat | Weekly Update 2

We have a LEAK | Building our off-grid, electric narrowboat | Weekly Update 2

Having lived on the water for four years, we know that most boats do leak – it’s a boaty quirk – but we weren’t expecting to find a leak in our brand new boat! This week we face up to what is the first challenge of many to come in building our dream floating home, before setting to work lining the walls of our boat.

After a night of endless rain, we open up the doors of our new boat to get started on the next stage of our build, when we see a wet ring on the underfloor in the middle of the boat. Ah, heart-sinking moment. We’re used to a surprise leak here and there on our original boat Flora that we’re still living on – but she’s 20 years old – we did not expect water to find a way through to the inside on our new boat. And here we have, the first challenge to overcome on our boat build journey, to find and fix the leak.

It turns out our mushroom vent, the fitting on the roof to allow airflow inside the boat, hadn’t been adequately sealed which allowed water to seap through and drip inside. A relatively easy challenge to ease us into the boat build – we just needed to reseal the fitting.

Once resealed, we got to work on lining the narrowboat. To add character to the interior, we decided on vertical cladding above the gunwales, the top half of the walls, and ply sheets on the bottom half. The cladding is simple enough – cut each board to size and screw in place – but rather time-consuming. Nonetheless, it has totally transformed the interior of the boat, making our metal shell feel more like a home.

Next week, our electrician Phil is booked in for the first fix, the first stage in getting our electrics set-up, and so we work hard to get the boat to where he needs – having it fully lined!

You can watch our week’s boat build unfold in this week’s YouTube episode here:

Discovering problems with our new narrowboat & deadlines loom! | this tiny life

Jack Miles
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