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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard > Got a winter living question:
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Thread: Got a winter living question: Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-16-2010 09:06 PM
AlanWelch That's a terrific system.
02-16-2010 08:56 PM
Chardonnay
Winter Liveaboard

I'm a part-time liveaboard, using my 38' Beneteau as a mid-week hotel room, currently in Baltimore harbor. I use a couple of electric space heaters, turn one off when not on the boat, never had a problem with freezing even on sub-20 degree nights. I have these Vornado heaters that have variable speed fans, they run slower and faster depending of whether they are heating or not but never go off completely. That gives some constant air circulation. Also the heating elements are lower temp, they don't give that hot blast so you don't get that hot one minute, cold the next, feeling.

I have two freshwater tanks, one under the forward v-berth one under the aft cabin. I don't try to heat the aft cabin and the water hoses for the swim shower run through the transom area so to prevent freezing, I drain the aft tank, dump in a couple gallons of cheap vodka and "purge" the hoses from that tank out to the swim shower. In the spring I flush out the tank and lines with fresh water. The previous owner had winterized both tanks with potable anti-freeze and it took weeks to get rid of the smell. One flush does it with the vodka and there's no smell. This is my second winter aboard and I'm very comfortable.
01-24-2010 01:01 PM
AlanWelch I am really interested in the idea of insulating the cabin. What kind of adhesive would be best for attaching to a bare fiberglass hull interior?
05-13-2006 11:39 AM
Hawkeye25
Winter aboard

I lived aboard in Boston Harbor for years. It can get cold, as you all know, and there are hardships, not the least of which is dealing with the head. I hate it, and for the most part simply used the onshore facilities for all solid waste and only used the holding tank for nighttime liquid.

Since I built my boat, and lived aboard while doing so, I insulated it well, using injected foam as well as the pink and blue sheet foam insulation in the cabin roof and decks. I am also putting this sheeting against the hull all the way to the cabin sole.

Right now, I am in Florida and the insulation helps keep it cool as well as save heat in the winter. I will be going north again soon, as winter is an easier thing to bear than hurricanes stampeding over you.

I NEVER use heat of any kind at night. An accident of any kind will kill you before you can escape, in my humble opinion, and is not worth the risk. I also don't use air conditioning because mold buildup in the unit itself results in headaches.

It might sound like I'm making complaints, but not so: I love this life and cannot imagine going back to land. I have now been living aboard since 1985. It keeps geting better.
04-16-2006 06:44 AM
eryka So, is FL in summer worse than the north in winter? April and May, we can all be smug. How did you fare during the hurricanes?
03-22-2006 10:12 AM
duffer1960 I didn't know that about the stuff being dangerous, only that it itches like crazy! The guy next to us used the sealed type; just like the regular pink fiberglass insulation except that it is sealed in plastic (looks like a giant pink snake that has been run over). I stayed with the unsealed type because, if I recall correctly, the sealed type was about twice the cost.
03-22-2006 09:11 AM
Kenshu Actually, the picture is in Wickford Marina, Wickford, RI. I only had to break the ice up a couple times that winter. This winter, no ice at all. Here's another picture reflecting the balmy climate of Narragansett Bay in winter.
03-22-2006 08:23 AM
eryka Notice Kenshu is standing on salt (or at least brackish) water ice - freezes at a lower temp than the "Sweetwater Sea" a.k.a Great Lakes. Brrrr - I was chilly evenings in Newport last year, and that was in June!!
03-21-2006 03:17 PM
TrueBlue Kenshu,
Where in Newport do you slip your boat? Looks like a beauty .

Russ,
I'm curious to know if you've sealed all surfaces of the pink stuff"? If so, you're aware of the health hazards. Fiberglass fibers become airborne and enter the tightest spaces via convective air movement - naturally occurring between the cold air beneath the shrink wrap, and the interior cabin spaces.

The stuff is pretty nasty, a known carcinogenic and (according to the International Residential Code) is ilegal to remain exposed in living areas.

I suppose, the code only pertains to land residences, but unless completely sealed, it is still dangerous.
03-21-2006 02:54 PM
duffer1960 I wasn't planning on heating the above deck area under the shrink wrap with the furnace; only using that area as the "furnace room" with insulated flexible ducts running to the hatches. This way I wouldn't have to find somewhere to install a heater inside the boat.
Also, the insulation rolled out on the deck does a great job holding in the heat. Again, when spring hits, I can just roll it up and toss it away with the shrink wrap.
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