Reading the previous post reveals just how long it's been since we updated this last!
To bring things up to speed; we are currently suffering from both a lack of electricity and running water onboard. The domestic alternator (which we soon learned was 24v, a fact that had admittedly been lost on us amongst the myriad of technical details we received when we bought the boat) was recently broken, and not by us - long story. Our visiting mechanic unwittingly replaced it with a 12v model, and since then we've been almost completely on candles and my tiny portable solar charger, not to mention internet-less. The thought that has been going through my mind is that, if 24v is such a superior system for a boating environment (apparently due to its lack of voltage drop compared with 12v), then why has 12v become the ubiquitous standard? We are faced with two options therefore; change a (growing) number of the appliances onboard from 24v to 12v, including all of the light bulbs, the two water pumps, the inverter and possibly even the starter motor - or find a 24v alternator.
The latter would seem the easiest to do, but for the fact that 24v alternators seem to be very hard to come by.
On the subject of the running water, we are investigating the possibility of having a flexible tank installed inside the current tank, after we de-rust and repaint it with regular anti-rust. If that turns out to be prohibitively expensive, there's the option of having a stainless steel tank welded inside the existing one, or simply repainting with the right kind of potable anti-rust paint...
More significantly than all of this however, is the fact that, on our return from a fantastic Sunrise Celebration festival down in Somerset nearly two weeks ago, Jem became very unwell very quickly, and is currently recuperating with her parents on the south coast. She is getting better every day and hopefully the boat can be improved to a far more comfortable standard for her return. At present I am doing what I can to move between Jem and the boat to move it, to keep the veg alive, to sponge the bilge (no electrics means no bilge pump! So the bilge pump is 24v too... Add it to the list of things to replace if we go down that route, which is looking less and less favourable), etc. We're moored a fair distance from the south coast of course, and without a car this is proving "interesting"... Time for me to get back onto Liftshare, not to mention stretching the muscles in my hitchin' thumb...
On the plus side the second batch of ale has turned out well, though it seems that bottling is definitely a two-person operation if you don't want to get sticky, sticky beer all over the galley.
We have started to look for a mooring, and we hope that having that extra bit of stability will be good for both of us for the time being, though how long it takes us to find something suitable remains to be seen.