Basic Approach

Although tempting to cram a barge with gizmos and features, we won't be doing that to start with.  We'll get good electrical and plumbing systems installed, but we also need to live on Misterton for a while to see what enhancements might be best. One thing I'm keen on is that she functions the same whether moored up (and connected to shorepower) or underway. On Iris we can't really use mains powered equipment away from the mooring, so no stereo or hair straighteners ;-)

We're planning to take the same approach that we have with the structure of the boat, in that we'll do what needs doing, but do it right (or at least do it wrong with quality products).

This will hopefully help our budget (which isn't endless) get spent on the right areas.




On the electrical side of things, Misterton had mains powered lights and wall sockets, but no inverter, so these only worked when moored up. There were also 12v lights for use when away from the mooring. Most of the mains wiring was done with solid cables (twin and earth) and the 12v wiring was done using old mains flex (voltage drop anyone?).

Back when we first got her, I was thinking about continuing with mains powered lights, re-using the existing wiring. But now its all ripped out, 12v is back on the cards. The reason for this is that is can run directly from the batteries, without using an inverter, which means we can use a smaller inverter for whats left etc. I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.

We will use normal light fittings, mainly because we've found some very groovy cast brass ones, but with a low energy 12v bulb. Having said that, I'll need to see how bright it is, but it seems good in theory.

On the mains side the plan is to use a combi battery charger/inverter with a single bank of batteries.

Wiring will be run in round conduit (black of course) and this will be visible rather than hidden - well, it is an old working boat. I've sold Mary on this semi-industrial look, mainly by pointing at conduit on the ceilings of bars after she's had a few G&Ts. (I find I get more eloquent after a few too...)


Future enchancements for the electrical side of things will be solar panels and a better generator that the old petrol one currently on board.

As part of the initial planning of the electrical system, I created a diagram showing all the switches and lights that I could think of. It turned out to be more than I thought....(click on the picture for a bigger image)