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post #14 of Old 02-22-2010
Meat Popsicle
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-Refrigeration (have a built in ice box)
Don't need it. People have lived for millions of years without refrigeration. If you must have it, weigh your options. An AC fridge is cheap, very bulky and a liability under-way, apt to defrost and leak. A dc fridge is hilariously expensive and may require tearing out your counter, depending on how you're set up. I decided no refrigeration is the path of least resistance, your assessment may vary.

-Hot Water Heater
Don't need it. If the marina has showers, they're generally preferable to boat showers. Boat shower means a lot of stray moisture to take care of, likely cleaning up afterwards, all that gunk working through the bilge pump. Don't need it for dishwashing. I've gone a year without it, but that said, sometimes a hot boat shower is very nice. A classic cruiser solution is to heat up water on the stove and put it in a plant sprayer.

Depends on personality. I feel everyone should learn to cook, therefore a propane stove is necessary. Some people are more microwave people, but i feel they're useless on a boat, especially underway. I actually cook most of my meals with a rice cooker. It can be put on a timer to have breakfast ready. A little magma propane grill is good way to celebrate summer.

-Composting Toliet (I think the old head is in need of replacement soon, it stinks)
I'm reading about these as well, but let me suggest a thought experiment. Are you planning for your boat to never flip upside-down in fun weather? That's the question i'm asking of these heads.

-New Dodger (in bad shape)
I can't imagine you'd have money to do this for a while, as you'll be more concerned with liveaboard comforts and this is more for sailing. Would keep the rain out of an open hatch which is valuable, but not to me what a dodger costs.

-New Bimini (showing it's age)
That said, if you do get around to this, it'd be good to have by summer. Keeping the sun off your deck is a good way to keep maryland summer from becoming hell on earth.

-New Cushions in V-berth, Quarter Berth, Salon & Settee
I imagine this would be important. I'd say to get them recovered right away but it's so damn expensive i'd hesitate. Sleeping on cushions is difficult, a memory foam mattress topper makes it much easier. I figured out how to string up a hammock bliss hammock inside the cabin, which i find much more comfortable and very easy to get out of the way.

And now more must-haves
-Heat. Any time of the year where the temp goes sub-50 at night. Two space heaters will do the job, but are you sure your boat can handle two space heaters?
-Cooling. AC is hilariously expensive, you could put a huge ac window unit in your companionway hatch and save money, making it a nightmare to get in sailing condition. I used a tarp boom tent to keep the sun off and a lasko blower to blast air from the cockpit. This gets it barely acceptable. This like refrigeration is a big cost/comfort trade-off.
-Marina: Shower, WiFi, Pumpout, laundry. Real pain working around a lack of these.
-wind magic is right about mosquitos. I used my blower to keep them off; they hate wind.
-think about insulation and condensation. Condensation can magically appear under your cushions. Window heat shrink would help. Reflective tint would help in summer.

So if i were you my priorities would be
1. heat, if you're moving in before may, may need to run more wire
2. leaks, if there are any, windows chainplates toe rail anchor locker
3. a comfortable eating solution, pots pans flatware silverware
4. comfortable sleeping solution. cushions + foam, or hammock
5. toilet
6. internet
I'd have these done first, to keep me from going insane while looking after the other stuff.
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