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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Har View Post
I am in the process of getting my boat ready for living aboard and I have to equip it for life afloat (love that blog by the way Eryka). So here's my wish list and again this for living aboard not necessarily long distance or off shore cruise. Some bacground info. It's a 33 ft Morgan OI, located Chesapeake Bay, berthed in a condo marina with full facilities. I have a steady income, but not a war chest to knock all these at once so I'm looking for a rating in order of necessity.

-Refrigeration (have a built in ice box)
-Hot Water Heater
-Stove/Oven
-Composting Toliet (I think the old head is in need of replacement soon, it stinks)
-New Dodger (in bad shape)
-New Bimini (showing it's age)
-New Cushions in V-berth, Quarter Berth, Salon & Settee

So what would you do first, second or without if you were me?
If I put them in order (for me), I'd go with ...

Sleep - whatever it takes to get a good night of sleep, if that is cushions for you then I'd go with the cushions first. More important for me would be warm quilts, comfortable pillows, a fan for sleeping in the summer, and whatever heat is needed for winter.

Eat - some kind of stove, pressure cooker, pressure canner, dehydrator, etc, and this also takes care of "hot water" for some because it is heated on the stove in the pressure canner. If you have wood heat with a surface area then that's your stove too.

Toilet - some kind of toilet, necessary.

After that it is whatever you want, I think, none of it really necessary. Maybe an oven might be next, refrigeration is last on my list since I don't use it. Before new dodger/bimini I would put "mosquito netting" because the bugs are more of a nuisance than the Sun for me.

I realize other people have different priorities, but you did say "if you were me".
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2010
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sailingdog which model engel do you have and also how many watts in your solar panel array? thanks in advance ..ray
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Old 02-22-2010
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In a full facility marina, I would put the water heater at the bottom of the priority list. If funds are limited, rebuild your existing head- new hoses, new joker valve, some enzymes flushed through the system. (BTW, when you buy the head parts, invest in a jar of vicks vap-o-rub. Rub some on your upper lip before you start working on the hoses. Trust me.)

Buy a barbecue before you buy a stove. Cheaper and more useful for bachelor cooking. Since you have shorepower, buy a microwave before you buy a stove, for the same reason.

If your war chest is limited, buy a GOOD sewing machine, and the Don Casey library. That will take care of the bimini, dodger, cushions, etc. and most of the other jobs you might be tempted to pay somebody else to do.
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2010
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-Refrigeration (have a built in ice box)
Don't need it. People have lived for millions of years without refrigeration. If you must have it, weigh your options. An AC fridge is cheap, very bulky and a liability under-way, apt to defrost and leak. A dc fridge is hilariously expensive and may require tearing out your counter, depending on how you're set up. I decided no refrigeration is the path of least resistance, your assessment may vary.

-Hot Water Heater
Don't need it. If the marina has showers, they're generally preferable to boat showers. Boat shower means a lot of stray moisture to take care of, likely cleaning up afterwards, all that gunk working through the bilge pump. Don't need it for dishwashing. I've gone a year without it, but that said, sometimes a hot boat shower is very nice. A classic cruiser solution is to heat up water on the stove and put it in a plant sprayer.

-Stove/Oven
Depends on personality. I feel everyone should learn to cook, therefore a propane stove is necessary. Some people are more microwave people, but i feel they're useless on a boat, especially underway. I actually cook most of my meals with a rice cooker. It can be put on a timer to have breakfast ready. A little magma propane grill is good way to celebrate summer.

-Composting Toliet (I think the old head is in need of replacement soon, it stinks)
I'm reading about these as well, but let me suggest a thought experiment. Are you planning for your boat to never flip upside-down in fun weather? That's the question i'm asking of these heads.

-New Dodger (in bad shape)
I can't imagine you'd have money to do this for a while, as you'll be more concerned with liveaboard comforts and this is more for sailing. Would keep the rain out of an open hatch which is valuable, but not to me what a dodger costs.

-New Bimini (showing it's age)
That said, if you do get around to this, it'd be good to have by summer. Keeping the sun off your deck is a good way to keep maryland summer from becoming hell on earth.

-New Cushions in V-berth, Quarter Berth, Salon & Settee
I imagine this would be important. I'd say to get them recovered right away but it's so damn expensive i'd hesitate. Sleeping on cushions is difficult, a memory foam mattress topper makes it much easier. I figured out how to string up a hammock bliss hammock inside the cabin, which i find much more comfortable and very easy to get out of the way.

And now more must-haves
-Heat. Any time of the year where the temp goes sub-50 at night. Two space heaters will do the job, but are you sure your boat can handle two space heaters?
-Cooling. AC is hilariously expensive, you could put a huge ac window unit in your companionway hatch and save money, making it a nightmare to get in sailing condition. I used a tarp boom tent to keep the sun off and a lasko blower to blast air from the cockpit. This gets it barely acceptable. This like refrigeration is a big cost/comfort trade-off.
-Marina: Shower, WiFi, Pumpout, laundry. Real pain working around a lack of these.
-wind magic is right about mosquitos. I used my blower to keep them off; they hate wind.
-think about insulation and condensation. Condensation can magically appear under your cushions. Window heat shrink would help. Reflective tint would help in summer.

So if i were you my priorities would be
1. heat, if you're moving in before may, may need to run more wire
2. leaks, if there are any, windows chainplates toe rail anchor locker
3. a comfortable eating solution, pots pans flatware silverware
4. comfortable sleeping solution. cushions + foam, or hammock
5. toilet
6. internet
I'd have these done first, to keep me from going insane while looking after the other stuff.
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2010
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I've been living aboard nearly four years. At the risk of a "me too" post I think nailbunny has it spot on.

From my perspective you live how you live regardless of whether you are on shore or afloat, so priorities are quite personal.

I'm a foodie, so cooking (refrigerator and cooker) are important to me. If you eat out or do take-away it will be less important to you. Interestingly, I find a freezer more important than a refrigerator offshore, but for day-to-day living a refrigerator is very important. I put on a microwave three years ago and took it off last year, but that reflects my cooking.

I agree that Internet and (for me) to a lesser extent TV is important.

Decent sleeping arrangements are critical.

I don't have leaks, but if I did I think they would be at the absolute top of my list.

Unless you have a very short walk from car to boat you'll want some kind of cart to move things back and forth.
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  #16  
Old 02-22-2010
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Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I see the point of getting a good night sleep. I feel I need some of my choices at some point but have definitely reprioritized my list. FYI, my boat has already Heat & AC built in, tossed the alcohol stove a while ago, and I don't ever plan on showing below deck at least and I have fought and currently am winning the leaking battle.

I have to say this is a great forum, my hat is off to the sailing power that be, who has brought this to me!
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  #17  
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Nail, what do you cook in your rice cooker besides, I assume, rice ?
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  #18  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
Nail, what do you cook in your rice cooker besides, I assume, rice ?
Think of it as a pot that heats itself to boiling and then cuts off to super-low to keep warm. I've done steel cut oatmeal, macaroni, spaghetti, quinoa, grits, got a steam tray so shrimp and veggies, one-pot meals w/ chicken and steam veg, passable chili.

I use dry beans in what i call chili, it's so far divorced from what chili should be i know, but i feel i need more horsepower to do dry beans, looking at a pressure cooker.

I use it as a heated mixing bowl for making pizza or bread dough w/ no water heater.

Lil black and decker 3 cup dealie, might get one at wal mart for next to nothing. Eats like 45 watts on warm, 400ish watts on cook.

I did get a lot of rice, but i gotta be honest with myself, i can't eat that shite anymore.

they got various combinations of steamer rice cooker and pressure cooker, that kinda stuff interests me.

I'd just like to get it out there, incidentally, i don't care how poisonous it is, if i had it to do over i'd order EVERYTHING with teflon. Thank god my rice cooker's got it, i empty out my water tank washing my stainless pans.

Last edited by nailbunnySPU; 02-22-2010 at 04:55 PM.
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Har, My wife and I lived aboard our 1973 33' Morgan OI from 1973 to 1985 and on our 41' OI since that time. I agree with most all above, but I am compelled to share a few specific cautions. I would do better knowing the year of production for your boat, but I suspect that any icebox conversion to refrigeration would be best with a great increase in insulation. I believe your best choice would be one of the 12V DC air heat exchanged units with a Danfloss compressor, but the Morgan iceboxes were not well insulated,- do the insullation! Before I continue, send me a PM with the year of your Morgan, rudder delamination, mast step corrosion, balsa deck water intrusion, port leaks, chain plate maintenace and more have some specific characteristics on the Morgan OI's. I would also suggest a design of a bimini top that incorporates the designed cockpit coaming without the added dodger. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Har, if you mentioned whether you're mostly cruising, or mostly living at dockside and going to a job, I missed it, so my answer may not be relevant. Not that it matters what "my" priorities would be, what matters is what makes YOU feel like you're camping out. So rather than a prioritized list, just a few random thoughts.

I totally support the good night's sleep as #1 priority. If your budget is very tight, as a stopgap you can get a 1-inch thick memory foam mattress topper $59.99 at Walmart, and cut it to fit. Big impact for small cost. Get some good ventilation material to put under the cushions when you redo them, makes the upholstery last longer and puts an end to mold. Ours is about an inch thick made of plastic that looks like a tangle of spagetti, from Defender.

If you're mostly at the dock you can use small inexpensive electric appliances like a coffeepot, microwave, or hotplate instead of a new stove right away; and a dorm-size refrigerator until you're ready to cut the docklines. If you're going to be away from the dock a lot, Coleman camp stove with propane bottles might be more practical. Block ice in the icebox works well enough unless you're a serious foodie, you can probably put the fridge lower on the priority list.

What makes ME feel like I'm camping out is walking back from a shower with wet hair, so very high on my list is a hot-water heater and good handheld sprayer for the head. We've never had the condensation problems Sailingdog warns about, after 8 years of showering aboard. I think it must be a function of the way the head is designed on our boat; its very well ventilated. I'd look at replacing the head hoses and dosing the holding tank with bioactive deodorizer to lower the urgency of that project as well.

Hope this helps - and, enjoy the process of moving/living aboard. Keep us posted, and hope to see you at the Sailnet Chesapeake 2010 raftup (when we figure out when & where it is) Thanx for reading the blog!!
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