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post #31 of 59 Old 08-31-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Converting a overnighter to a live aboard.

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I'm guessing that air conditioning would be a necessity for most in their year round living quarters there. At a slip, you may not be faced into the breeze for open hatches to help much. I assume greenhouse effect can roast the inside of a boat there. Shades, curtains, etc a must.

You're going to want a head of some kind aboard, for at least occasional use. Getting to the shore facilities can be a real duck walk, if you leave too late.

Water and refrigeration are also mins. Cooking facilities are dependent on your cooking desire. The 1lb propane bottles are not a great idea down below, if you consider portable.

Get a 4" (no less) memory foam topper for your bunk. Makes a huge difference. They are cheap, can be ordered online and cut to size with a bread knife or meat slicer.

Good fenders, dock lines and chafe protection. I understand you get some serious storms down there.
I plan on building a ventilation system that will pull air from one end, through a filter, and suck it out the other. I also want to build a sunshade that will help keep the temps down.

I meal prep most of the time so cooking will all be done once a week on a grill and in a microwave.
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Re: Converting a overnighter to a live aboard.

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I would start with electronics - batteries, solar charger, inverter, some small fans to move air in the cabin

Guess you have a chem toilet - will you use marina for shower, etc.?
The previous owner removed the toilet so I have some wiggle room on what I install. But yeah I plan to use either the marina or the gym at my work to shower.
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Re: Converting a overnighter to a live aboard.

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So how much of the stuff in Smacky's pictures do you see in your boat ? If you got that much it doesn't look like a lot of room left for a frig. etc.
Mine doesn't have that burner but it does have the sink and the cooler where the burner is. I was thinking about removing the cooler and building a cabinet and counter top in its place to hold a small fridge and a electric burner. The water tanks were originally under the settee on the starboard side.

My plan is to reinstall at least one water tank for the times I overnight away from the marina. But the marinas I've looked at all have water and electric at the dock.
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Re: Converting a overnighter to a live aboard.

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Just be smart and creative about about organizing your stuff.
If you need clothes that are w/o creases (looking clean-cut/pro), plan a space for that....a purposed space.
Anything that is stored and kept high...is not taking up floor space.
Yeah, I only have a few items that are like that. I would like to build a cabinet that will seal up to keep moisture out and is large enough I can hang a few shirts in.
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Re: Converting a overnighter to a live aboard.

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One think I would add, is some shade, and rain protection, for the cockpit, like at least a good tarp over the boom. If it's hot, cooking is overrated, so plan on ready to eat grocery shopping list. I lived for weeks at a time on my 20' Mirage and I never cooked. Too much hassle and fire risk too. And you will need a pee jar, even as it is not an expensive item. Just don't use Gatorade bottles. Mix-ups are all too easy...
You know I almost got a Mirage, it was the Helms or the Mirage and the Helms had more room so it won in the end. But yeah I plan on building a sunshade for the cockpit. And I meal plan so I'll only cook once a week. I will also reinstall the head to have a place to pee if need be.
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Re: Converting a overnighter to a live aboard.

I used this a lot when I spent time on my 22 foot boat. It gives you a grill and burner in one small package. It can be used down below with hatches open or in the cockpit.

https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Camp-...n+burner+grill

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Re: Converting a overnighter to a live aboard.

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I'm just going to throw this out there as an idea, I'm not promoting any kind of radical life style, but just presenting this as an idea to consider. You could probably manage without shore power, refrigeration or running water, at least at first to give it a try.

My little bro and his wife hasve lived without electricity at home for, probably a couple of years now. He has a little cabin in the woods in the Cape Breton Highlands. He and his wife both work, so they have internet access at work. They heat water for showering on the stove, a lantern for light and an outhouse, obviously they need a reliable heat source, so they cut their own firewood, but I think that would be less of a concern in Texas. They really enjoy it.

Here are some build ideas.

-Refrigeration. This all comes down to shopping. You can stock foods that don't require it, canned and preserved foods, peanuts, dried beans like lentils, beef jerky, onions, rice, garlic, cucumber, apples, bananas, shelf stable salami, etc. You get the idea. If you are a big meat eater, no big deal, just stop on the way home from work (or whatever your daily activities are) for fresh meat and produce.
-Running water. This one is easy, a couple of reusable 5 gallon jugs and you are off to the races.
-Electricity. You might want something, but it doesn't have to be full on 30 amp shore power. A 12 volt battery and a small solar panel should be adequate to charge your cell phone, stereo and a couple of LED lights. I love kerosene lighting, but I know Texas is hot.
-Cooking is easy. Modern propane systems really should have some electricity assist at least for the solenoid, but propane is not the only fuel source. I find non pressurised alcohol fantastic to cook on. A propane bbq on the rail could work well. There are other options too.

Again, I'm not saying you should do it this way, I'm just brain storming some ideas you could consider trying.
My issue is I make all my meals for a week at once so I'll need a fridge to keep them in. I also work from home sometimes so I will need internet and power for my laptop. I'll try and find a grill for for the rail, I forgot about those.

There will be water at the dock but I do want at least one tank for drinking water. But yeah, I will probable be using 1 gallon jugs for most of my drinking water.
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Re: Converting a overnighter to a live aboard.

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I used this a lot when I spent time on my 22 foot boat. It gives you a grill and burner in one small package. It can be used down below with hatches open or in the cockpit.

https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Camp-...n+burner+grill
Thank you! I like that and I know I can build a rack to attach it to the rail to cook with.
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Re: Converting a overnighter to a live aboard.

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Anything that is stored and kept high...is not taking up floor space.
It will probably also help if the occupant is stoned and kept high.

All kidding aside, it sounds doable. A bit tight, but doable. Especially if you're in a slip with shore power and a shore shower, sounds good.
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Re: Converting a overnighter to a live aboard.

Some live aboards that need only one or two pairs of clean, pressed, non-boat smelling clothes, for occasional use, keep them in their car.

Some declare the portable camp stoves that use the 1lb propane bottles to be evil on a boat. Propane is heavier than air and any leak will collect in your bilge. Used bottles can leak, although, I've infrequently found that to be the case. Nevertheless, I would not leaving one down below permanently. Your marina may prohibit it too, as well as your insurance company.

The BBQs on the rail are great, but again, every marina I know prohibits their use at the dock. Some marinas have shoreside BBQ grills for use by slipholders.

Your fan/filter idea is better than nothing, but it's still going to get above outside temps, when down below.

You're still going to want a water tank, even at the slip. Even if your boat has a city water connection, which allows you to charge the water supply with a permanent connection to the dock water hose, you have a risk of filling the boat with water, if anything internal splits open. Split fresh water hoses and connections must be the most common sources of leaks on boats. At the very least, you would want to shut off the dock water when you leave. Most forget.
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Last edited by Minnewaska; 09-01-2017 at 08:36 AM.
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