Spending our first night onboard | Building our off-grid, electric narrowboat | Weekly Update 14

Spending our first night onboard | Building our off-grid, electric narrowboat | Weekly Update 14

We started the week with an empty bedframe, without bed slats nor a mattress, and no facilities for a morning cuppa or hot water. But we’re ending the week finally being able to say we have officially moved into our off-grid floating home, having spent our first night onboard!

The week began with another second hand collection mission. After yet more mornings of marketplace searches, we found our perfect mattress. It’s practically new, but secondhand nonetheless, and made using only natural and organic materials. We’d had our eye on this UK-based mattress producer for a while, they’re B corp and use solely organic materials – so finding a barely used but secondhand mattress online, half an hours drive away, exactly when we needed it, felt like an absolute godsend.

Now we had the mattress, it was time to build the slats. We were literally just about to begrudgingly hit order on some bed slats online, when Jack had a brainwave. We have so much of our reclaimed flooring left over, and it’s almost the perfect thickness to use as bed slats. So we cut them to size, and screwed them into our frame. Ta-da, the bed frame is ready! We unrolled our mattress onto the bed – and were ready for our first night onboard.

Having slept in a small double on our old narrowboat Flora for 4 years (you can see a tour of her here), our king size bed is an absolute dream. We slept SO well! Waking up on Arti feels so rewarding, all the hard work we’ve put in so far has got us to this stage. Now by waking up onboard each day, hopefully the rest of the build will go a bit quicker!

Our last of job of the week is installing our hob. As we’re a fully electric, solar-powered boat, we’re having an induction hob in the boat. The plan is to use our Esse woodburning stove in the winter for cooking, and our induction hob in the summer. Jack does amazingly well to cut a really neat, perfectly-sized induction hob hole in our gorgeous reclaimed kitchen sideboard, and installs it in no time. The first cup of tea is pure perfection.

And that’s it – we’re now full-time living in Arti and it feels so good. We just need to get this boat feeling less like a building site, and more like home!

You can catch up with this week’s boat build and our first night on board in our latest YouTube episode below!

Jack Miles
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