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post #1 of 11 Old 01-19-2012 Thread Starter
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Needing a garage

How do those who live on boats deal with, what most people who live in houses call a garage. Not for parking the car, but for holding the tools and doing stuff you would do in a garage/workshop.

I have downsized enough to put all my tools and work out of a trailer, but I have the trailer in my backyard of my house, and have moved into a smaller house. When I go to work on certain projects I either setup sawhorses in the yard or in the house if it is going to rain (wife hates that part).

But what to do when there is no house and the trailer is parked in a storage yard or lot someplace.

Has anyone come up with a good working solution to having a place to work on projects that take up more room than the deck of a boat, or the dock around the boat.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-19-2012
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We rented a small storage unit near the marina where we lived. When we headed off cruising we just down-sized some more and fit everything on the boat.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-19-2012
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+1 for the storage unit.

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post #4 of 11 Old 01-20-2012
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I have an 8x14 stand-up height dual-axle trailer with all my big tools, workbench, and some storage. I can work on small projects inside. Larger ones I do in an adjacent parking spot. I put hooks along the roof line of the trailer and can tarp over the work space in inclement weather.

Power in the trailer goes to a marine power plug that I can hook up to from shore power or a small gas generator.

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post #5 of 11 Old 01-20-2012
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I'm wrestling with this questions myself.

It seems to me that if you have the trailer, then what you need is permission from your liveaboard-friendly marina to park your car and your trailer, and then whether or not they'll allow light DIY work in the parking lot.

If not, then the other option is a nearby storage unit as others have mentioned. However, most storage units only have a single light bulb run to the unit, on a very low amperage breaker, so you're not going to plug a lot of power tools in to do any real work. A circular saw or space heater would be enought to trip the breaker.

At this point, I think you'll need to add a small generator to your tool kit, so that you can have enough power for tools, air compressor, etc so that you can do any meaningful work in your storage unit.

My experience is that most storage unit companies don't mind if you work in your storage unit as long as you're not working with noxious chemicals like petroleum products (fuel, engine oil), and anti-freeze. They're pretty cool about dry mechanical work and carpentry as long as you clean up after yourself and don't burn the place down.

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post #6 of 11 Old 01-20-2012
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Check around for shipping containers for rent tonnes of space for work and storage for a reasonable cost too.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-20-2012
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Like many, All I own is on my boat. With that said, there can't be tools or such that don't fit on the boat. I do sometimes work a daytime project on the dock at a work friendly marina and store my debris on deck overnight. There are occasions when someone would require more space, such as lowering a mast for rewiring, but I would think these times would be rare and require a DIY marina. If you still have not "downsized" to the point where you are keeping all your possessions on the boat; then, you have the answer. It's that trailer and yard and house that you still have. Take care and joy Aythya crew
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-20-2012 Thread Starter
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CaptainForce - do you cruise or do you stay most of your time in a marina?

I understand the need to downsize completely to the point of just what will fit on a boat to go cruising, but I was thinking if I stayed in a marina for a longer period of time, there might be away to have my tools and some type of workshop arrangement so that I can still do my projects too. (I save lots of money by being able to build and repair most things instead of just buying new)

S/V Auspicious - I liked the idea of a tent type aranngement from the trailer. That way if I move to another marina I can move my trailer over and still have access to my tools.

Good idea thanks
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-20-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyewackette View Post
CaptainForce - do you cruise or do you stay most of your time in a marina?

I understand the need to downsize completely to the point of just what will fit on a boat to go cruising, but I was thinking if I stayed in a marina for a longer period of time, there might be away to have my tools and some type of workshop arrangement so that I can still do my projects too. (I save lots of money by being able to build and repair most things instead of just buying new)

S/V Auspicious - I liked the idea of a tent type aranngement from the trailer. That way if I move to another marina I can move my trailer over and still have access to my tools.

Good idea thanks
Since 2002 I've spent about four months of the year at a marina and the majority of the year underway, but for thirty years before that time I was working and spent most of each year at the same marina. Even then, I had no more ashore than would store in the back of my van or tuck. I also, over the years, built or repaired many things instead of buying new. I'm trying to think of what items are on my boat that are too big to build or repair on my boat. Little comes to mind. I did have new fuel tanks fabricated for my own installation. I suppose that that would be a DIY project that would have been cumbersome. I did remove a diesel generator and propulsion engine from my boat in the water, but those were for repowering and not shoreside repairs. The largest items that I've worked on or repaired on board have been things such as refrig/freezer, radar, davits, wind generator, etc. None of these required "off the boat" space. Maybe this is a boat size issue. I've never lived on a boat smaller than 30 feet and I've been on a 41 since 1985. I just don't see these space-workshop events occurring at a frequency that would require a permanent solution. There was a time about ten years ago that I did some welding in a friend's garage. DIY yards are always present for the big events. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-21-2012
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Quote:
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S/V Auspicious - I liked the idea of a tent type aranngement from the trailer. That way if I move to another marina I can move my trailer over and still have access to my tools.
Exactly my reasoning. Even when I have to rent a place to park it the costs are lower than a storage locker of similar size.

sail fast and eat well, dave
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