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post #1 of 9 Old 10-17-2007 Thread Starter
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winter live aboard and covering

Hi guys, I'm writing to see if anyone can point me on the right direction as far as what to use when covering the boat for the winter. I see some boats on the marina already built a wood roof and covered with clear plastic and red tape can anyone tell me where I can get that material and what exactly is it called? Is the mast something I should considering taking down and can I live it up for the winter?

Thanks in advance


gabe
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-18-2007
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The semi clear shrink wrap can be installed by professional installers. Ask around the marina or check with other boating sources in your area. If you are in a northern boating area, there will be several contractors capable. You can have them build the frame or you can build it. I'd have them build it the first year, save the materials and then rebuild it yourself the next years.

The semi clear shrinkwrap acts as a greenhouse to trap solar heat. It can get to 70* on a sunny day in winter. It also is the best way to keep snow and ice from piling up.
Consider adding fiberglass insulation over the deck inside the tent if it's a really cold area you're in.
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-18-2007
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Also search the Internet for pictures of positive ventilation. Usually you figure out the prevailing winds (northwest in winter here) and put the "intake" in that direction. Then you put an outlet vent in the opposite end of the cover, and have some sort of fan going (a really spiffy install would have a means of sensing the humidity).

The reason for doing this is simple: a warm boat beneath a cold deck and a cold inner layer of air will condense like crazy and it will be miserable inside...a dripping, nasty mildewy mess you can't air out.

If you have adequate dock power and your boat can handle 50-60 amps, you can run those ceramic heaters, but liveaboard friends of mine ended up using the portable rad units that are filled with oil. They stay warmer longer, because the oil can get above boiling temperature...great for drying wet clothes!

Others get more elaborate and have a propane or diesel stove with a fireproof standoff for the chimney that goes right through the cover and frame. The heat going up draws the moist air right out the chimney, but of course you have to have an inlet or you can get sick or die in your sleep.

It's no picnic in the winter, but it CAN be done in relative comfort with forethought and planning. I recommend "The Warm, Dry Boat" for more ideas. It's not geared so much to winter liveaboards as it is to PNW/B.C./New England liveaboards, where the sea itself is unlikely to freeze. But the general principles are in there and it is those you must understand to have a positive, pneumonia-free experience.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
The reason for doing this is simple: a warm boat beneath a cold deck and a cold inner layer of air will condense like crazy and it will be miserable inside...a dripping, nasty mildewy mess you can't air out.

It's no picnic in the winter, but it CAN be done in relative comfort with forethought and planning. I recommend "The Warm, Dry Boat" for more ideas..
Val
Warm boat under cold deck... Will insulation on deck, under the wrap, take care of the condensation?

Warm, Dry Boat...is this a book or a thread on sailnet?
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-19-2007
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Val
Warm boat under cold deck... Will insulation on deck, under the wrap, take care of the condensation?

Warm, Dry Boat...is this a book or a thread on sailnet?
I think the main thing that takes care of condensation is ventilation. The "greenhouse effect" of the plastic covering itself tends to warm the air above the deck considerably, so the goal is not so much to warm that deck, but to either minimize the difference in temperature between the inside and the outside, and to draw in cool, dry winter air and to expel warm, damp air.

Certainly insulating the INSIDE of the boat can do wonders, because the boat is after all sitting in very cold water, if not ice.

"The Warm, Dry Boat" is a self-published book about ventilation in general and the various appliances (heaters, stoves) that are best suited to keeping the boat comfortable and dry. You can Google it.

If you have a big boat, and have easy access to the shore, the general consensus is that coal or hard woods are the best fuels, because they are inherently "dry" fuels, unlike, for instance, propane. If you've ever run a propane stove on a cold boat, you'll soon see condensation unless it's vented via a range or some other type of exhaust method.
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-19-2007
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Where do we go in winter? Whats the happin spot?/?

mexico....fla....any thoughts!!!
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-20-2007
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Thanks Val
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-23-2007
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Any heater that vents to the exterior will generally not add much moisture to the interior of the boat. The dry fuels, like wood, charcoal, and coal are generally drier than the more convenient fuels like diesel and propane.

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post #9 of 9 Old 10-28-2007
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I've seen all sorts of winter covers used. Some people pay to have their boat shrink wrapped. Other's buy a custom winter cover with plastic windows from a canvas worker.

We used to scavange used pine planks form the marina yard to build our frame. We'd frame from the bow to the stern, and make sure the frame had a good pitch to prevent snow buildup. We'd attach the frame to stantions and pulpit with plastic cable ties.

We'd buy regular clear polyethene plastic that comes by the foot/ meter at your local building yard. White or coloured plastic won't let in light and you will be living in a cave. And duck tape. LOTS of duck tape. And a good staple gun and staples.

We'd duct tape the plastic to the frame and staple over the duct tape. (If you don't use duct tape the plastic will tear in the wind.) You need to get a good stretch so that the cover won't flap and make a racket in the wind. Also a nice tight cover won't rip.

It was always a fair bit of work and inevitably we'd be putting up our winter cover as the first snow flew... but it was cheap and warm.

To prevent condensation (now there's a topic...) we'd cover our deck with insulation wrapped in garbage bags. That was more or less successful...

Oh now I'm so glad we went south! It's 31 degrees here today and we're just taking down our sun awning
Manny

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