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gconley 08-30-2006 02:17 PM

Winter Liveaboard New England
Greetings all,

I am contemplating moving aboard a boat and doing so through the cold winter months here in boston. I am currently looking at Constitution Marina which I understand is a great liveaboard community. I would welcome any advice and suggestions. I haven't actually purchased a boat yet though the hunt continues in earnest. My last boat, at Tayana 37 Ketch/Cutter was always on the hard for the winter.


sailingdog 08-30-2006 02:42 PM

Constitution marina is a great marina to liveaboard at. One of my friends and his wife lived there for several years. Have you called them yet? They may have a significant wait list for marina slips. It would probably be wise to give them a call if you're serious about living aboard there.

eryka 08-30-2006 02:43 PM

Do you mean, advice & suggestions about Boston, or living aboard in winter in general? There's some great threads in the archives of this subforum about winter living issueslike water supply, pumpouts, prepping your boat, condensation, heating, insulation. Check them out - and if you still have questions I'm sure those of us crazy enough to live aboard where the snow flies could answer them - no extra charge for the cheap wisecracks.

We've completed 4 winters aboard in the Chesapeake - absolutely love living on the boat. You're right, the liveaboard community can be awesome, and there's a tight cameraderie among those who survive the desolate snowy months together.

gconley 08-30-2006 02:51 PM

Getting a slip for the winter doesn't appear to be a problem at Constitution. The difficulty comes later during the summer season. It gets tight then. I am told that there is a few other marinas thereabouts that may have space. I figured I would worry about it then.

gconley 08-30-2006 02:53 PM

Hi Eryka,

Thanks for the reply - I will definately go check out the archives. The questions are really concerning winter considerations such as water, freezing, condensation, heat, etc. I have a big house in the country just up the road in New Hampshire but I have some new work in Cambridge and I don't want to commute. (great excuse to get another boat. shhhhh...)

sailingdog 08-30-2006 03:04 PM

Traffic is bad in Boston, especially with the Big Dig fiasco going on currently. Living aboard in Charlestown would definitely make your commute a bit less painful, and be a pretty good excuse for another boat. Fortunately, most of Boston Harbor is at least 8' deep MLLW. What kind of boats are you looking at??

eryka 08-30-2006 03:18 PM

I'd MUCH rather put up with insulation and condensation than with driving in snow!!!

Water: most marinas turn off the dock water in winter. Get together with the other liveaboards, daisy-chain your hoses together, and fill all your tanks once a month or so from the bathhouse. See what others in your marina do, there are many variations on this theme.

Heat: You may tarp over your boat. If you use clear plastic dropcloth material (Home Depot) you may get some solar gain advantages too. This year we built a cockpit enclosure and on sunny days you can sit in it in t-shirt (tho we're a bit farther south than you.) If you have heat pump air conditioning/heating system, you cannot use this on the 'heat' cycle below about 40 degrees water temp or you will freeze and crack your unit. A couple of electric space heaters do the job for us. Look for the oil-filled ones that look like old fashioned radiators. If possible, run them thru an extension cord direct to you power post rather than running the electricity thru your boats wiring (greater chance of popping circuit breakers, etc)

Sanitation: pumpout facilities are closed in winter (and how are you going to get your boat there thru the ice anyway?) There are services that bring the pumpout to you for the low low (???) price of $35-$40/pump. Or use the marina bathhouse plus a jug onboard, or a porta-pottie. Being frugal, we opt for the 'bag-and-bucket' method.

Not sure what the word count limit is, continued in next post. . .

gconley 08-30-2006 03:25 PM

I am currently favoring a Gulfstar Sailmaster 47 (yeah I know a condo). I also like the Gulfstar 43 and 44. I like the Morgan 41 (not OI). I am going to Key West tomorrow (was supposed to go today but Ernesto took care of that) to look at a CSY 44 Walkthrough. Basically, my criteria is a center cockpit, around 42-47 ft, coastal - island crusing.

gconley 08-30-2006 03:26 PM

I dont have a boat yet, but am favoring those with minimum 150 gallon water capacity. Hopefully that will keep the trips to the hose minimal. There are several others who winter over in the Constitution Marina. I will be anxious to make friends and get advice. I appreciate all the advice found here as well.

sailingdog 08-30-2006 03:32 PM

BTW, if you're really trying for passive solar, the way to go is to get the black plastic landscaping material, and put that down on the cabin top, and then tent the boat in the clear dropcloth material. The black plastic converts more of the visible light to heat, and helps transfer the heat to the boat. :D

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