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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard > Winter liveaboards, what's it like ?
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Thread: Winter liveaboards, what's it like ? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-16-2008 12:37 AM
SteveRobison Living aboard is great here, Florida, in the winter, in the 70's this week.
12-15-2008 11:54 PM
boatpoker
frozen north

We have lived aboard in Mississauga, Ontario for eleven years, when it gets cold we turn up the heat

We shrink wrap the boat and that makes a big difference, we run hoses under water and to fill our tank we haul the hose up to the club house and feed water from there. Keeping the hose under water keeps it from freezing. We also have portable pumpout dolly.

the only time we get claustrophobic is when we stay ashore at one of our kids places for a weekend.

Dirt people scare me.
12-15-2008 11:06 PM
CaptainForce We tend to do best in the winter by adjusting our latitude down to at least 30 degrees or less. 23 degrees of latitude puts us in the Exumas at George Town which is a little warmer than Maine in the summer. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
12-14-2008 10:18 PM
Hillster Some condensation,but other than that it is not a problem. I use a ceramic space heater most of the time, when it gets real cold I go to my reverse cycle AC heater.
10-30-2008 07:29 PM
J36ZT
Winter Liveaboard

What is it like living on your boat in the winter ? Not really that much different than summer except a bit colder. The fans are put up and replaced by a space heater and dehumidifier.

Is it cold, hot, do you get ice on your boat ? I've never had ice form on the boat...dock does get frost sometimes but it's gone as soon as the sun comes out. I once had the heater set too high and woke up at 2:00 AM to an 80 degree cabin.

Is it tough being inside the boat all winter, do you find you have to get away sometimes ? I don't work anymore but spend much of my time preparing my boat for cruising and making my way from SF Bay to Florida. Even during the summer, I have to get away sometimes.

Do you sweep the snow off of the boat ? Snow?...what's snow? Oh, that white stuff skiers enjoy. It doesn't snow here.

Do you wrap your boat in plastic, and if so do you actually go out on deck during the winter, is it warmer ? I don't do plastic-wrap. Many of the liveaboards in my marina drape a tarp over their boom (ie creating a tent). I think this is so ghetto. It makes the marina look like a gypsy camp. Why not fix the leaks and wash the decks occasionally?

What are you pretending not to know ? Now how can I pretend not to know something if I tell you about it?

Like MattGardner, I live aboard in San Francisco Bay (see Vallejo). I've listed the major winter specific problems encountered and my solutions:

1) Heat... Last winter, I started off using an oil-filled heater. The time to initially heat the boat was several hours and recovery time after mainhatch opened (even briefly) was an hour. I switched to a cheap ($25) 1500watt space heater and it crapped out before the two month mark. The second ($65) 1500watt heater has been working great so far.

2) Condensation... This is linked to humidity levels. Any combustion, unless vented outside, will increase humidity. Cooking (ie boiling water) produces water vapor. Showering (unless you like cold ones) is a real problem. Heck, even breathing will produce humidity. Since I like to breath, eat, take warm showers, and have an unvented instant propane water heater; I started to have some condensation issues. So, I open the hatch when cooking or using hot water and leave the head hatch open. I also bought a small dehumidifier (pelter style that uses 25watts of power). With these measures I no longer have any condensation problems.

3) Insulation... I found my greatest heat loss was from hatches. After some quick work on some styrofoam with a utility knife, the problem was solved. I covered the foam in plastic (white trash bag) and placed them between the hatches and screens for overhead hatches. The screens did a nice job of holding the foam. This seemed to make a world of difference and had the side benefit of quieting the boat from the neighborhood party boats.

4) Leaks... Prior owners had moved some of the winches and clutches around on the cabin top. Whatever was used to seal the old holes didn't. Over the summer, I drilled out the old holes and filled them with epoxy. I can only hope I got them all. I also pulled out the windows (non-opening) and re-bedded them using silicone glue specifically for lexan. Still the windows leaked some. Since I've sealed them with aquarium glue, I've had no problems.

5) Pumping out... I move the boat every week to week-and-a-half to pump out. Sometimes, it rains here for almost two weeks straight. I've had to bite the bullet quite a few times and move the boat over to the pumpout and back in the middle of a rainstorm.

I will say last January was a bit scary when the winds were blowing almost 50 knots and the boat was heeling 10 degrees...and I hadn't even left the slip (and wasn't about to). But, just like sailing, the boat seemed to have less issues with the weather than the skipper.

Skipper, J/36 "Zero Tolerance"
10-30-2008 04:21 PM
Fullofcoffee
winter liveaboard boat safety

Just curious, thinking about living aboard near vancouver canada. what do you suggest or is it a given that the engine be decommissioned and all the fresh water be cleared out of hoses etc, etc, if you would be planning on keeping the internal temperature warm enough for liveaboard conditions. I lived in a log cabin in southern ontario, canada for a winter with only wood burning stove for heat. When i would go away for a week and come back all the pipes would be frozen and i would have to start a fire and get the heat back up before using water. No big deal. Now back to a sailboat, if the tempurature is kept above freezing, would this be an issue for water/plumbing/tanks/engine/whatever else you can think of? Thinking more along the lines of not damaging anything on the boat. eg: water line break etc.
Thanks for your help.
09-14-2008 09:35 PM
KasbeKZ yes sir/mam. my appologies
09-14-2008 07:58 PM
sailingdog You should probably start a new thread on this rather than hijacking this one. Would also highly recommend you read the post in my signature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KasbeKZ View Post
here's a noob question. i hear a lot of talk about diesel heaters and such being used on these boats. what size diesel heater may be appropriate for a 27-30 ft boat in the Chesapeake area? also, what about the positioning of the heater and protecting the surroundings from getting too hot? i wouldn't want to catch it on fire... would this heater just be sat right in the middle of the salon, or would it hang?
09-14-2008 06:54 PM
KasbeKZ here's a noob question. i hear a lot of talk about diesel heaters and such being used on these boats. what size diesel heater may be appropriate for a 27-30 ft boat in the Chesapeake area? also, what about the positioning of the heater and protecting the surroundings from getting too hot? i wouldn't want to catch it on fire... would this heater just be sat right in the middle of the salon, or would it hang?
08-19-2008 12:10 AM
NYRUSSELL We live aboard in NYC and have a Hydronic heater and i just went ahead and installed a radiant floor which will see it's first winter coming up. The 2 year old knows no better and we shower and use the galley in the "clubhouse" a lot but otherwise we are pretty warm. We to use a dehumidifier, but hopefully the floor will put an end to most of the moisture.

Noel
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