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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #11  
Old 09-28-2009
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Living aboard

I live on a 24'. I would rank a boom tent/dodger/bimini as a top need. A toaster oven is a great thing, and so is storage space. Consider changing one of the berths into storage on smaller boats. Does your 24' really need to sleep 5? Space heaters are awesome. Mr. Clean magic erasers clean gelcoat REALLY WELL, and... a nice dock and nice neighbors, you will see them a lot.
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  #12  
Old 10-01-2009
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I'll try to stay practical and save the sappy crap for the end. This is stuff that I actually had to find out by living aboard in 6 months so far in Maryland with no AC or fridge.
- Ants. They get in normal syrup caps, honey caps, bags of sugar, bags of splenda! Screw-top containers for all sweets are a must. Its an excuse to buy maple syrup.
- Mosquitos. They come in the evening when there is no breeze. Either make a breeze or close the window.
- Buy the smallest one. Whatever it is.
- Marine ACs and fridges are effing expensive.
- A blower is a heckuva good buy. Something like this lasko high velocity utility fan Lasko at Lowe's: 12" High Velocity Utility Fan Basically something squat and compact that moves A LOT of air without getting in the way. If you can rig a window fan in a companionway hatch so you can get around it without it taking a spill, you're smarter than me. This utility fan can put out a match all the way across the boat, keeps mosquitos out, and it's easy for me to leave it in the cockpit and step over it.
- Boom tent. This had been mentioned. In the summer, the deck gets hot from the sun. Some radiates in, making the boat unbearable. Boom tent plus my utility fan, i'm comfortable in a maryland july. No joke.
- Cetol comes off easily with a heat gun and a scraper.
- Get comprehensive towing insurance if you sail. If you don't sail, shame on you.
- I can fill a 12 gallon holding tank in three weeks if I try hard. A beer drinking night will really tax it. It is a real pita when the tank's full, it's the middle of the night and... Anyway, if you gotta go to a pumpout dock it's good incentive to learn to single-hand!
- Boat iceboxes tend to have crap for insulation. I dropped a cooler in mine, it'll keep ice for 3 days if i'm lucky. In the end i gave up and get ice about once a month when i'm feeling beer-y.
- Put beer in clean sock, soak sock in water, place in front of blower. Evaporative cooling will get the beer below ambient. Not much but enough for me.
- Propane kicks ass, but my rice cooker/steamer is most used. It does steel cut oatmeal, grits, spaghetti, macaroni, beans, chili, steamed veg, steamed shrimp. The best thing is I can plug it into a timer and have oatmeal ready when i wake up.
- Non-perishable foods: oatmeal, rice, grits, dry beans, pasta, canned sauce, powdered milk, pancake mix, flour, yeast. Individually wrapped cheese does ok, but not american-style slice packaging, they melt out. Tortillas. Regular farmers market trips. I can really friggin believe it's not butter, I need a better fix there.
- They got camping spice shakers that hold multiple compartments, great stuff.
- Vee berth is not for sleeping. Too cramped, too cold, condensation is nuts.
- Where you gonna put your fancy road bike? I got a folding bike, keep it in my car. Brand's called downtube, like dahon but way cheaper. Recommended.
- Manual head rebuild is surprisingly easy.
- Soap won't clean the brown crap off the water line. Not even bleach. Just get the stupid hull cleaner.
- Do the varnish when you can still sleep with the companionway open and the fan blowing.
- Tank water can get nasty. Use the water tank purifier stuff. I also got a rv water purifier that screws in the hose, at the "Market of Wal".
- Marina wanted my year's fee in advance. They didn't get it but they tell me thats how they do business.
- Buying a boat costs a LOT OF MONEY. Survey, captain for sea trial, survey haul, I PAID ALMOST $1000 TO GET A BOAT LOOKED AT.
- Man, a boat sure gets cold fast. It's my first winter so I'm learning as I go. I'm thinking cork floors and polystyrene insulation on the bulkheads, gonna get some sunbrella+thinsulate curtains made. Still wondering at an elegant foam+drop board setup. Not much info on the internet about insulating boats!

Sappy crap:
No more gunfire, dogs barking, roommates, ghetto blasters, lawn mowing, lawn edging, sweeping up grass clippings, nazi neighbors calling your landlord when you dont sweep up the grass clippings... I'm real happy I moved. I like birds OK and especially herons, just my luck there's a night heron that stands on a nearby piling some mornings and is staring in my window when i wake.

My primary advice to prospective liveaboards is, if you're a real minimalist, if you really have no problem with tight spaces, lord knows i am and i don't, then grow a friggin pair and do it.
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  #13  
Old 10-02-2009
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We watched our two children move into houses after living aboard from infants to adults. I learned to adapt to more space after they left. As we approach four decades of living aboard I can't imagine any other type of home. I haven't mowed a lawn since the spring of 1965, but I've scraped a lot of barnacles. If you've never lived in a house since you moved away from your parents, this is a tough question. Maybe we haven't learned anything! 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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  #14  
Old 10-03-2009
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Laundry living aboard

We live aboard a Raven 38 which we purpose built its very comfortable for two but can handle 6 we have 9 berths but use the back quarter berth for storage more than anything we shop about every 6 to 8 weeks and if possible buy in bulk. The only hassle I have found is doing the laundry things like sheets and towels they are very hard to wring out drying is easy we have a clothesline around the entire cockpit but washing clothes is like going back to the 1800's , Fresh food storage can also be a bummer we seem to waste a lot can't find away to get things to last longer than 3 weeks. Any ideas appreciated.
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  #15  
Old 10-04-2009
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What I have learned about the living part of living aboard:
*My wife has too many clothes and it will stay that way. I have less clothes, and am OK with that.
*Insulation is a pain in the neck.
*One pot meals can be tasty.
*It is easy (and cleaner) to have a vegan diet on a boat.
*Composting toilets are cool in a urine/feces separating way.
*Dr. Bronners cleans everything and smells nice.
*Vinegar and baking soda work too, but smells funny.
*Hydrogen Peroxide is better than bleach for shocking the fresh water tank.
*Baking rocks in the winter.
*Over the rail boom tent rocks in the winter, especially when baking.
*We wanna fireplace!
*Screens are easy and cheap to make for any opening.
*Mosquitos suck. Literally.
*It is hard to teach ants neat tricks. The best I have done is the "run away from my finger" trick.
*We are happier without the hot water heater and pressure water.
*A modified garden sprayer makes for one helluva nice pressure shower. It's easy to clean those hard to reach places! whee.
*My wife has a lot of hair. And we aren't sure how it gets in the vast amount of places that it does.
*Sharp cooking knives can be both good and bad. Good for carrots. Bad for toes.
*While bald is beautiful it requires a multitude of hats.
*Some old timers really know what they are talking about. Others, not so much.
*It is hard to live on a boat and restore it at the same time, especially when trying to pursue and acting/playwriting/music career.
*Casting Directors find it interesting when one lives on a boat.
*Marina friends are the best friends you can have.

I could go on. But, I am still learning. Just do it. If you hate it stop. If you like it, keep doing it.
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  #16  
Old 10-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nailbunnySPU View Post
- A blower is a heckuva good buy. Something like this lasko high velocity utility fan Lasko at Lowe's: 12" High Velocity Utility Fan Basically something squat and compact that moves A LOT of air without getting in the way. If you can rig a window fan in a companionway hatch so you can get around it without it taking a spill, you're smarter than me. This utility fan can put out a match all the way across the boat, keeps mosquitos out, and it's easy for me to leave it in the cockpit and step over it.
During my various travels and living in a very hot place without air conditioning this summer I have discovered that all I need is a small 12vdc fan blowing directly on me. That's it. If I have that I can sleep like a baby even when temperatures soar well above 100 degrees F. As long as I can get a good sleep I do okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nailbunnySPU View Post
- Non-perishable foods: oatmeal, rice, grits, dry beans, pasta, canned sauce, powdered milk, pancake mix, flour, yeast. Individually wrapped cheese does ok, but not american-style slice packaging, they melt out. Tortillas. Regular farmers market trips. I can really friggin believe it's not butter, I need a better fix there.
Nail, do you have a manual grain mill ? Love mine!

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Originally Posted by nailbunnySPU View Post
- Tank water can get nasty. Use the water tank purifier stuff. I also got a rv water purifier that screws in the hose, at the "Market of Wal".
I highly recommend a product called "True Lime", there is also a "True Lemon", both available at some grocery stores but I have not found it at Walmart. It is basically crystallized lime, a natural product, just a powder in packets that you can add to drinks and other foods to give it some pep, and it also masks undesirable flavors such as the plastic flavor water storage containers leave in the water after it sits a while.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven38 View Post
The only hassle I have found is doing the laundry things like sheets and towels they are very hard to wring out drying is easy we have a clothesline around the entire cockpit but washing clothes is like going back to the 1800's
You can tie one end of a sheet to something on the boat then tie the other end of the sheet to a stick and give it a really good twist, that'll get rid of the water for sure, believe it! Piece of a mop handle works well. That said, I only hand wash clothing and such, I save the bedding for the eventual trip to a laundromat.
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  #17  
Old 10-04-2009
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Get a small pressure cooker and learn how to cook with it. Saves gas and may save you from a bad burn at sea. Several offshore sailors have been seriously injured by a pot jumping off the stove and spilling over them.

You can even bake a loaf in one. I prefer stainless but ali ones are easier to find.
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Old 10-04-2009
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You can even bake a loaf in one. I prefer stainless but ali ones are easier to find.
I have made various kinds of breads, muffins, cakes, etc, in a pressure cooker and like the result, but for people who are unfamiliar with this you are going to have to get used to eating your cakes and bread with a bagel like exterior. The water/steam in the pressure cookers acts on the batter and dough in the same way that a bagel gets boiled in water, and it leaves a rubbery tough outside, which is actually pretty good once you get used to it.
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  #19  
Old 10-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
During my various travels and living in a very hot place without air conditioning this summer I have discovered that all I need is a small 12vdc fan blowing directly on me. That's it. If I have that I can sleep like a baby even when temperatures soar well above 100 degrees F. As long as I can get a good sleep I do okay.
You'll be more than OK converting your boat into a 110v wind tunnel!

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Nail, do you have a manual grain mill ? Love mine!
What can you do with it? How much space does it take up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
I highly recommend a product called "True Lime", there is also a "True Lemon", both available at some grocery stores but I have not found it at Walmart. It is basically crystallized lime, a natural product, just a powder in packets that you can add to drinks and other foods to give it some pep, and it also masks undesirable flavors such as the plastic flavor water storage containers leave in the water after it sits a while.
I will definitely follow this up. My life revolves around powders now. I have been doing kool aid and splenda in a blender bottle and I'm ready for a change that doesn't stain my teeth.

Sundesa Blender Bottle Orange - 28 oz. - LuckyVitamin.com

BTW, blender bottle, good stuff. Good for mixing pancake batter.
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Old 10-05-2009
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What can you do with it? How much space does it take up?
It takes up about as much space as a small vise, here is a picture of a random one online, most of them work about the same, you just mount it to a counter or something - seeds go in the hopper at the top. You can get the mills at most health food stores for under 50$us.



You can use it to grind up wheat, split peas, beans, and pretty much any kind of seeds to make flour. I usually keep a few cups of wheat flour around and refill as needed, giving the mill a few turns whenever I think about it. If you think powders store well, wait until you store dry seeds!

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BTW, blender bottle, good stuff. Good for mixing pancake batter.
I'll check into that!
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Last edited by wind_magic; 10-05-2009 at 10:15 AM. Reason: vise, not vice! (though both are actually correct sp)
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