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-   -   Winter liveaboards, what's it like ? (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/living-aboard/39515-winter-liveaboards-whats-like.html)

wind_magic 12-29-2007 01:07 AM

Winter liveaboards, what's it like ?
 
What is it like living on your boat in the winter ?

I am just curious what it's like if someone has the time to write a little about it. Is it cold, hot, do you get ice on your boat ? Is it tough being inside the boat all winter, do you find you have to get away sometimes ? Do you sweep the snow off of the boat ? Do you wrap your boat in plastic, and if so do you actually go out on deck during the winter, is it warmer ?

I'm just curious what it is like. I've never been on the boat for long periods of time during the winter.

Thanks.

MacGyverRI 12-29-2007 02:28 AM

>Is it cold, hot, do you get ice on your boat ?

The coldest night so far was 10F and inside was 65+ w/ only a 1500 watt elec. heater. A few small ice spots inside until I sealed the drafts.

>Is it tough being inside the boat all winter, do you find you have to get away sometimes ?

I'm within walking distance (<1/4 mi.)to a grocery store, 3 bars/clubs, 4 restaurants, a drug store and a few other specialty shops so it's easy to get out.


>Do you sweep the snow off of the boat ?

I didn't, until I turned on the bilge pump one day and it back fed into the boat when I shut it off (it wasn't pretty blowing into the hose to clear the line) because the outlet was below the waterline since there was 8"+ of heavy/wet snow on the decks.


>Do you wrap your boat in plastic, and if so do you actually go out on deck during the winter, is it warmer ?

No wrap, even though it was suggested. Weather here has been strange, from 10-55F all winter, today was 45

sailingdog 12-29-2007 08:55 AM

You really need to get the snow and ice off the boat as soon as possible. Lots of boats have sunk because of the additional weight of snow and ice put "above waterline" through-hulls, below the waterline...

Shrink wrapping or covering the boat can help the boat shed snow and ice. They also act to help insulate the boat a bit more and keep the wind from cooling the deck and cabintop as much as they would if the boat weren't covered.

SVAuspicious 12-29-2007 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wind_magic (Post 242971)
What is it like living on your boat in the winter ?

I have a diesel-fired forced-air heater that keeps the boat very warm and allows me to keep five ventilators open so that the air is fresh.

When we get ice and snow in the Chesapeake it doesn't last long -- a week at most and even that is rare. I keep my aft deck and side decks clear, with attention to the deck drains and don't worry about the deck forward. I might be more concerned if the snow was deeper.

Being in the boat is not much different in winter than in summer (perhaps quieter without A/C running).

I don't use plastic on my boat. When there is a warm day I mop the decks and do an inspection. It's much less work than the house I used to live in.

The biggest issues are getting water into the tanks, hauling laundry on and off the boat, and getting groceries aboard when the docks are slick.

GerryMH 12-30-2007 05:18 PM

Depends where you are!!
very hot here in Guatemala,85 degrees today with blue skies and sun....

www.gerryantics.blogspot.com

HoffaLives 12-30-2007 07:07 PM

cold water, not cold weather, really is the issue up here. the cold sucks the heat out of everything below the waterline. the temp in the salon can be 20 degrees (C), but the settee is cold and the sole is cold. so cold that even with slippers on, while standing cooking something for dinner you can feel the heat seep out of the bottom of your feet. the v berth is the same thing - even with 6" of foam underneath, the heat just drains away.

i started wearing shoes all day because of the cold sole and wound up with athlete's foot:rolleyes:

even if we had ice at these latitudes, there would be a ring of open water around my boat from all the heat loss :)

GerryMH 12-30-2007 09:22 PM

Have you tried closed cell foam under the berth and settee?
We put 'camping mats' under ours whilst in Portugal one cold winter and they made a HUGE difference. It was a cheap and simple solution.

www.gerryantics.blogspot.com

sailor1343 01-01-2008 11:09 PM

no wrap, and i run on propane and electric. i am always getting asked "isn't it cold?" it all depends on the person and how energy conscious you are. i can keep my floating home just as warm as any house. i will say that i keep it at a lower temperature to conserve electric and propane, but that is my decision. a fellow a few boats down from me keeps his vessel at a toasty 72 degrees.

the biggest pain is battling your way to the shower house. but once you are there you are fine.(until you have to go back to the boat. memo to self... dry hair completely).

labatt 01-02-2008 01:09 PM

Out of curiosity, how do you deal with pumpouts (or do you always use the shore head) and fresh water in very cold climes? I would think they would shut off dock water so the pipes wouldn't burst, and can you leave your slip to pump out?

xort 01-02-2008 05:46 PM

labatt
Some northern marinas with winter livaboards provide portable pumpout service. Water is supplied by running long hoses to the tank for refill from a warm building with running plumbing.


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