Join Date: Jan 2003
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We built a frame over the boat out of PVC pipe from hardware store, covered with a loose tent of clear plastic 6-mil dropcloth,bottom weighted down with antifreeze jugs partly full of water. This allowed some ventilation, kept the snow off, and on sunny days, we got solar gain.
If you don''t have a headliner, get the silver-sided bubble wrap and tape it to every surface above the waterline. Especially the insides of lockers (you may have to keep doors open anyway for ventilation.) The stuff is easy to work with, not messy, and easy to take down in the spring (use 60-day release masking tape).
For best results, BTUs should be provided "betweeen the sheets!" (sorry, I couldn''t resist) Seriously, if you can afford the electric, the cheaper the heater, the better. Those fan-driven ones help dry out your air. Still, keep a watch on lockers for condensation, and store any paper products in plastic bags. We lost a year''s supply of cards when the envelopes glued themselves together.
This will be our 3rd winter living aboard in the Chesapeake using this system (northern Michigan before that, but we couldn''t live on the boat during the worst of winter; lake froze solid!)