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Jack7 07-17-2003 03:54 AM

About To Do It Questions
Hello All. This is my first visit to this forum and I''m coming up on my time to live full time on a boat in (New England & New York). I have just bought a 1982 Dufour 35 and am both excited and concerned about what she offers. The boat will spend virtually ALL of the late fall and winter at a dock with fresh water and shore power...this makes things easier, but here are some questions that I''m pondering:

- I will continue to work at my consulting practice and will need a way to store business and ''other'' (casual) clothing. I am able to dedicate the V-berth to storage...anyone found a way to keep clothes dry, unwrinkled & odor-free?
- I am interested in seeing photos of what folks have done to create storage on their boats..items such as clothes, business files, computer printer, office supplies, food, etc. are screaming for a place to live.

Water - in and out ;>).

- The idea of filling the 70 gallon bladder (2 - 35''s) in the middle of an ice storm is not making me smile; has anyone found a way to continually replenish fresh water (mostly for showering) in cold climates. There will be a fresh water supply at the marina(s) I''ll be docked at...the obvious concern is one of the line freezing if exposed to the elements. Also,does anyone know of a fitting that transitions between a hose and the fitting on deck for water?
- Pump out. I have not been satisfied with the answers I''ve received from one of the marinas I''m planning to stay at re: how pumpouts are handled. If I had to guess, it sounds like their winter liveaboards are directly discharging and not using their holding tanks. This is unacceptable to me...any ideas about handling pump outs...are their chemical alternatives?

- I am looking at 20 cents per kwh, so electric heating is out of the question. I have found a ''diesel fireplace'' at Defender which I imagine is a faux fireplace looking thingy that is used to heat the cabin space. I will be away on business up to 2 weeks at a time and need something reliable and, if possible, inexpensive to install. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Finally, any suggestion you might have would be most appreciated!

Be well,


BigRed56 07-20-2003 05:41 AM

About To Do It Questions
Ahoy, typical New Yorker all brains , money and absolutley no idea what you are doing. You gonna retire? then move on board head south where its warm or buy a condo in Jersey. Why would any one live on a boat in your location considering climate and expense? Armani suits will mildew fast. Water freezes. Watching your pee freeze cause the head is iced over is silly. Everything on a boat is wet, its a boat!! Ask me yer bloomong head is is frozen. Pirate of Pine Island

msl 07-20-2003 07:37 AM

About To Do It Questions
The "pirate" knows (and writes colorfully...) of what he speaks. There are challenges to wintering over in the North. Consult marinas where they prepare boats for this...plastic covers over sturdy (make that complex and $$$) framework, boat prep against freezing (can lead to sinking), constant battles against humidity and location challenges; snow removal, parking lot access, storm protection .. well you get the idea.
I''ve seen winter "livaboards" in Toronto and also in Maine. It doesn''t seem practical for someone who travels a lot.
Anything can be done for $$$$$.
As for the pirates advice? I disagree about the condo in NJ ... wrong state, sir. Like the boat, the condo would have to be much further south of the frostline to suit me.
Fair winds to you all.
Mark L.

sadie14 07-21-2003 03:56 AM

About To Do It Questions
Even in central florida the condensation in the boat in winter is almost impossible to deal with. I can''t comprehend the horror of living that far north without spending extreme amounts of money to winterize.

You might consider 6 on 6 off - 6 on land and 6 on boat -- it might actually be cheaper than doing all the winter stuff that''s necessary to keep a boat in the water when it''s frozen.

Dpending on what type of consultant you are, you might move your business south.

jbanta 07-21-2003 04:59 PM

About To Do It Questions
I was able to winter 100% without major problem in Utah. Ok the waters of the Great Salt Lake don''t freeze but tell you what ...IT GETS COLD. Since I am such a wimp and I can do it here anyone can do it in Florida.

sadie14 07-22-2003 03:16 AM

About To Do It Questions

How low does the temp go in Utah?

What have you done to winterize and prevent condensation?

I live in Florida, but the original question is from New York.

eryka32 07-22-2003 04:29 AM

About To Do It Questions
I liveaboard year-round in Washington DC area. I would have said, not as cold as NY, until last winter. EEK!

A couple of thoughts for you: condensation is the #1 enemy. Line lockers with styrofoam or bubblewrap. Keep doors open to allow air to circulate if you don''t have louvered or caned doors. If your mast is keel-stepped, wrap it in rope or carpet; it''s quite a heat sink. Still, everything (*everything!*) is best stored in ziploc bags. We plastic over to shed snow, but the plastic is open at the bottom to allow some air circulation.

Clothing: most of the liveaboards I know keep their work clothes hanging in the car. Our 33-foot boat, at least, doesn''t provide enough storage for a complete wardrobe to remain unrumpled. Leather shoes, in particular, don''t fare well in lockers, they grow mold fast. Storing at least some of your wardrobe in the car would also allow you to use the V-berth for your ''office'' instead of your garage.

I keep a laptop on the boat, but my printer and fullsize PC is at my office. On days I work at home I email stuff to myself to print out. We store files in plastic lidded fileboxes (about $10 at office max), and all but the most current are offsite in a storage locker (or the trunk of your car).

Water -- I don''t understand your concern; you probably only have to fill the tank about once a month. In my experience, with moderate conservation you use 2-3 gallons per person, per day, for cooking, showering, doing dishes, drinking. 5 gal/day is luxury. I''d keep it simple and check the water level every week or two so you can schedule your fill-up when the weather is realtively good.

Heat: West Marine (and probably others) sells a small ceramic heater with a freeze-safe setting for <$50; it comes on full blast automatically when the temp gets down to about 35 degrees indoors. This might serve you well as a backup when you''re traveling, unless you have a good neighbor you can trust to check up on your boat while you''re gone. Check your insurance too; some don''t cover freezing/ice damage.

Winter sanitation if you want to be environmentally sensitive (not for the squeamish) involves a bucket and a plastic bag. Liquids go in the bucket, sterilize with Simple Green, Clorox, Basic G or equivalent before pitching overboard. Solids go in the bag, de-stink and sterilizse them with a sprinkle of powdered bleach before disposing in a dumpster. At least, that''s how we''ve done it.

Welcome aboard, and good luck

namaste04 07-22-2003 04:24 PM

About To Do It Questions
How about a Lectra San for the head? it''s a legal and ethical substitute for holding tank that treats and mascertates waste before puming overboard. They are about $400 on eBay, new around $700 or so????? Check Raritan''s web site or West marine.


PS We''ll probably be living aboard atleast part of this winter in Maine... Propane heater hooked up to BIG cylinders from Uhaul, supplemented w/electric space heater in the aft cabin. Marina has showers.

Jack7 07-23-2003 04:17 PM

About To Do It Questions
Well once I got past the first couple of ''opinions'' from people with much too much time on their hands, I found some great suggestions...thanks. In particular, the Lectra/San waste treatment approach looks very promising and I''ve checked the harbor I''ll be staying at and it is NOT a No Discharge Zone. Also, lining the interior with insulated bubble-pack is a suggestion that I''d heard''s nice to have it reinforced by someone else.

I''m testing clothing storage bags from which one vacuums the air...they seem to be air that solves the mildew problem...wrinkling (mine and the clothes) might be a minor annoyance requiring some clever use of steam.

If any of you have created clever storage solutions...send them along. I''m considering having removable shelving built that will reside in the V-berth during the winter''ll the primary storage area for clothing.

In any event, to most of you ;>) thanks for taking the time to help; I was concerned after the first few replies that someone had left a computer in Darwin''s waiting room.


JohnDrake 07-24-2003 07:12 AM

About To Do It Questions
I am sure the earler posters meant well and were trying to give you some idea of the issues that might arise really should have no problem. 35ft is large enough to have adequate ventilation and small enough to be serviced by a couple small cheap space heaters. The West Marine space heaters at $50 are no better than the $15 ones you can find at hardware stores. Best to get the better ceramic ones though for safety.

Condensation....a problem in FLA, but not in the Northeast. I kept my boat in the water through DEC into JAN, did nothing special and stayed aboard every weekend (got down to the 20''s here in MD). Never a and large because colder air IS much drier. Humidity is much much lower in the colder months in NE. Don''t sweat it. But....DO have good ventilation (my boat has two dorades and two mushroom vents ...and yes, I do need to close these when I want it warmer) could also keep the boat a relatively uniform temp and had no problems with humidity. electric space heater helps here as it produces no water vapor the way other fuel heaters can. And no CO to worry about.

As for boats being wet....there really is no reason why a boat should be wet, at the dock especially. I have had quite a few boats and the wet ones were the old cheap tired ones. A newer boat kept in GOOD condition (and that takes work....replacing old plumbing, making sure the keel bolts are secure and not leaking, installing a dripless shaft seal etc) should not have any water in it at all, not in the bilge not anywhere. It can be done.

SO, easy....keep a fan on low, just to move air around. Get two or three (if you want one for the head) cheap electric space heaters (but suggest you only use ONE specially protected ceramic one to keep on during the day). To be completely on the safe side...probably best to have all the space heaters be ceramic.

I also don''t think you should have a problem with the Dufour and insulation. Don''t bother unless you do. Your inner cabin must be lined with something on that is not just naked glass is it? I would not think so on that boat. Also...I am not sure...but Dufours of that vintage may be balsa cored...that will help also. Jeff H will know more about this.

And yes, keep your dress clothes in your car.

Don''t worry, lots of people are doing this with no problems. Its not a big deal.

Hope this helps

s/v Invictus
Hood 38

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