Our reclaimed furniture mission | Building our off-grid, electric narrowboat | Weekly Update 4

Our reclaimed furniture mission | Building our off-grid, electric narrowboat | Weekly Update 4

If you’re following our journey, you’ll know we’re building our off-grid floating home as sustainably as we can, and that means we’re using as many reclaimed materials as we can get our hands on. This week, we’re on a journey to pick up our first few second-hand bits for our new floating home.

First on our reclamation trip is picking up our second-hand bath. Now I know what you’re thinking, a bath, on a boat? The beauty with building our own boat from scratch is we can make it exactly how we like it. Living on the water means we don’t have endless water supply, nor endless hot water, but on the rare occasions we’re moored up next to a water point and can make it work, we’ll relish the opportunity to take a bath. We found roll top bath on Facebook marketplace for just £50 – we loaded it into our hired van and headed to stop number two.

The second pick-up of the day is going to be the heaviest item in the boat. It weighs 300kg and will be the absolute heart of the boat. It’s our woodburning stove which will double up as our cooker in the winter. Also found on an online marketplace, this is a 12 year old Esse Ironheart stove – worth a fortunate new, but we picked it up for a fraction of the price. It needs some TLC, but we are SO excited to get it into the boat.

At 300kilos, loading it into the van was one thing, I’m not sure how we’ll get it into the boat but that’s a challenge for another day!

The third and final collection of the day was our second-hand kitchen units! At just £20 for the lot, we’re saving a huge amount whilst also saving a lot of new wood that would have gone into building a bespoke kitchen onboard.

We had a manic 12hrs picking all these items up and loading them into the van. But the hardest part was yet to come. The next day, we had to unload the van, including the deadweight stove, and move it all down the towpath to where our boat is moored.

Fortunately, the boating community is one of the best things about this lifestyle. Everyone is always too willing to lend a helping hand, even when it comes to lifting something as heavy as our stove. Together, we managed to get the stove out of the van, onto a trolley, down the towpath, and unloaded next to our boat. We’re forever grateful to our boat neighbours for their help and assistance.

For now, the stove is staying put until we can work out how on earth to get it up and inside the boat!

To see the reclaimed items we picked up, and the ordeal of getting the stove into the boat, here’s our latest YouTube episode:

Picking up a ton of reclaimed materials for our narrowboat fitout | this tiny life

Jack Miles
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