Downside of living aboard - Page 13 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Re: Downside of living aboard

Originally Posted by gravy26 View Post
?..Also, for those LA's in the northeast, how do you manage the winters?

Is living onboard in the winter a real challenge?.
I've not done it, but know many who have. My slip neighbor did so last season for the first time.


Elements: you want to keep the snow and ice off your decks, so shrink wrapping or a custom cover are necessary, IMO. They definitely have a greenhouse affect and you'll be in shorts and t shirts in the cockpit on sunny days.

Heating: lots of options. None are really a good idea to leave on while you're away. So what keep things from freezing while you're not aboard? Some take their chances, some burn.

Sewage: some marinas provide no accommodation, so you'll always go ashore. A real PITA. Other bring a pump to you on a fixed schedule. This often requires that you route a hose from you pump out fitting to a place they can access,,whether you are there or not. My neighbor described how his slipped off once. Your imagination will suffice.

Fresh water: your probably going to hump it in jugs from shoreside, otherwise, go, without. The good news is, your storage tanks probably won't freeze, depending on water temps. At least they have enough mass to take a while and you'll likely be back with the heat in by then. It's your fresh water lines that may run near your hull that are in danger.

Finally, the biggie....... CONDENSATION: your boat will naturally be closed up with little air exchange. Everything from you exhaling, cooking, any flame, all produce enormous water vapor. That finds places to hide and mildew can be rampant.

If I were to live aboard in winter, I would absolutely, positively, mandatorily have a dehumidifier running 24/7. Hey, you could capture the condensate and use it to clean dishes.

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Jeanneau 54DS

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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Re: Downside of living aboard

This is a great thread. My wife and I moved aboard our 29 ft Columbia 8.7 back in the early spring. ABSOLUTELY has come with its share of challenges, pitfalls and moister laden mornings. However, the live-a-board plan came with what I think most people fail to do. Plan.
Our dream is not a 29 foot boat on Lake Lanier. Its coastal cruising the ICW and beyond in our 40 footer. But before sinking a ton of money into such a monster, we started slow, and everything we do is designed around our final plan. I won't bore you with the details, but it looks a little like this:
Buy a comfortable, affordable, home, that has the potential to sail.
Sell most everything, keep enough for a 1 bedroom if all else fails.
Storage unit so we can swap summer/winter clothes, store food in bulk, keep the boat clutter free of non-daily use items.
Work hard, live off 1 income so we can bank the other. Monsters are expensive.
Live simply, get debt free. Isn't the end goal freedom anyway?
Pay cash for big boat. Bring to the lake and get to know every rivet, hose, clamp, nook and cranny.
Re-outfit to be a comfortable home, and potential to sail
Move to coast and see how many things still go wrong.

Everything we do is a plan. From the type of dog we got last year, to when our cars will be paid off, to taking celestial training classes and small engine repair. Honestly its a long slow process that is tough. However, in January were living in a home with a dream and a few hundred bucks in the cookie jar, far from the reality of living on our dream boat. A few months later we are now a little over a year away from being able to pay cash for our "big" boat and continue on with the next steps. (and we are not made of money) There are a thousand things I left off the list above but my point is that a plan will take you a long way. As you sailors know, what you do on a boat is not hurried, and is deliberate. If you want to live an extraordinary lifestyle, you have to make extraordinary changes in your thought process',
and you have to plot your course.
Believe me, I know we have many hurdles to over come and many mistakes to make, but so far our plan is working keeping in mind life is always a few steps forward and occasionally a few back.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
Mike M. s/v Pharon P30
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Re: Downside of living aboard

Interesting article:
"Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; But right or wrong, our country!" - Commodore Stephen Decatur.
Smooth seas never made a skilled mariner!
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