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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2008
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Before I moved to LA, I enjoyed the Boston liveaboard experience. For the winter liveaboards there was a tremendous amount of time preparing for winter. Practically every liveaboard would shrinkwrap, insulate and sure up the boat.

It is important to get fresh water out of areas where it might freeze and try to keep all possible seacocks closed since hoses connected to seacocks could easily sink the boat if the hose freezes and breaks. We'd winterize the engines and I would pump anti-freeze throughout my freshwater system, switching to bottled water and marina showers.

IF the water around the boat can freeze, you'll need to take extra precautions there too to be certain that your hull is not crushed.

But man did I love it. Toasty warm, a nice TV, gentle rocking and cozy. Others found it confining - but it can certainly be done.
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Old 01-12-2008
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Well, seeing how's it's 80 degrees outside, I was thinking of getting an air conditioner. But so far the north wind has filled in and brought the temperature down to about 70 degrees at night, so it's quite comfortable for sleeping. So living aboard during winter doesn't seem to be a problem here. Summer gets a bit warm.

What's with this shrink wrap, don't tell me they wrap boats up in plastic? Why would anyone want to live like that?
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Old 01-12-2008
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This is the 2nd winter my wife and I have been living aboard our Pearson 424 Ketch in the Toronto area. We shrink wrap the boat to keep snow off,keep drafts to a minimum and it helps insulate the boat. We keep a bubbler going in the water when the temperatures drop below freezing. The bubbler aggitates the water and brings warmer water up from the bottom and forces it along the length of the hull. We haven't had any ice to speak of this year so far, but February can be a bear.
For fresh water our club has hoses that we put out under water with caps on the ends, we just pull them up and top up our tanks, this is ussually done on warmer days. As far as pump outs go, the club has a portable pump-out cart and we use the club house when convient. We also shower in the club house.
We have 60 amps of power that lets us use 2 or 3 electric heaters that keep the boat quite warm, 68 to 72 degrees. We sit around in jeans and T shirts. An electric blanket helps at night, and we have a small bulkhead mounted heater for back-up. Cooking on board warms things up also, at times we have to open hatches to cool the place down.
During the day when we are at work my wife turns a small occillating fan on and pulls the backs of the settee cushions ajar to let the air flow in the lockers, good air circulation is important.
All things concidered, it's great. You can work on some of those projects all winter and you get more time on your boat.
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Old 01-13-2008
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The shrink wrap certainly does close things i a bit. But it is placed over a frame and for liveaboards is typically fairly transparent. During the day it works like a big greenhouse and I have sat on deck during a sunny day quite comfortably with the temperature well below freezing outside. If you can handle the winter, it really isn't that bad.
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Old 01-17-2008
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Anyone living aboard this winter in Newport?
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Old 01-19-2008
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The way I see it... if you don't expect to replicate living conditions of a suburban house in your boat, it is quite simple and livable.
It will present challenges, but whoever is considering liveaboard lifestyle has to be somewhat adaptable, anyway.
I personally, love it! Imagine, my only maintenance chores include cleanup and occasional peaking in the bilge...
Boat rocks me to sleep, I feel like I am surrounded by the natural world so intimately, and affected by it directly... I am a lot more aware of things around me...
Winter doesn't bother me, it is just another way to experience mother nature.


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Old 01-22-2008
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Thumbs up lining aboad

I have lived aboard for 3 winters now on Puget Sound. Because of the large amount of rain the most important item I have is a dehumidifier and I don't mean the crystal type. You need the ones that use freon. This also keeps the mold and mildew to almost nil. MY heat comes from the onboard Wallace furnace and an electric space heater. Life is good.


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Old 02-02-2008
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Greetings folks.

I've been living aboard my '80 Hunter 33' for almost 2 years now in the SF bay area. We don't get the kind of cold some of you are experiencing...rain is our issue not snow, but our damp cold is still cold. I have a bulkhead mounted Balmar (Sig) diesel heater and an oil filled radiator style AC heater. I use the AC heater mostly since the diesel heater requires cleaning every 12 hours or so (not sure why, but it peters out and dies if I don't)...which is a bummer since the diesel heater puts out more heat than the AC heater when it is working well. I save the Balmar for the coldest day/nights.
I use thick throw rugs on the sole to help keep my footsies from freezing, and wool lined slippers are standard indoor wear. My biggest winter problem is leaks. I need to rebed some deck hardware (on my summer task list) and am dealing with the leaks right now by stuffing cheap towels up into the deck/hull join where the leaks are. I toss the towels in the washer/drier occasionally and the leaks stay off of the cushions and the carpeting on the hull sides...works well and is only a minor pita to deal with.
I love living aboard...but then I've never been claustrophobic which would be a prob for some in my narrow beam boat (10.5'). Storms are kinda fun as I sleep VERY well in a rocking wind tossed boat...kinda lulling actually. I've had to spend money on bungee cords to secure my neighbor's halyards from slapping around which definitely will keep me awake, but now we have a nice quite dock.

Life IS good
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Old 02-04-2008
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About the best 2 years of my life ...

I spent two winters on a 30 foot sailboat in Southeast Alaska. I loved it, plan on doing it again. The inside hull was insulated with one inch closed cell and then covered with rug material. You could lay up against this in a T-shirt and it felt warm. This insulation was already in when I bought it. Being in a harbor with commercial fisherman insured a great water supply as well as fresh fish almost on a daily basis. Heat from the smallest sized diesel heater keep it plenty warm. With a little snow on the deck that acted as insulation, I usually had to open the hatch to keep from over heating. Since the heat was dry, no moisture collected except when I occasional boiled water cooking. I had no problem having a ‘dirty heater’ that required cleaning. We had winds gusting to 100 mph once in a while in our floating harbor. Like MattGardner said above, it was great. Being in salt water, it didn’t require extra circulation. Could hear the whales singing occasionally through the hull.
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Old 02-06-2008
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I live off the Chessie in Maryland and have been quite comfortable this (my first) liveaboard winter. I have three 1500 watt heaters set up on timers. They come on about 1.5 hours before I return from work and shut off a few minutes after I leave in the morning. I also have an electric blanket.

For the one real snow, I shoveled the side deck and the dock and put salt on the latter.

That does nicely for now.
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