Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-09-2007, 19:22   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 3
Catamaran Liveaboards in Winter?

Does anyone liveaboard a catamaran during winter in the Northeast? I would imagine that the Bridgedeck, being above water (thus lacking the insulating properties of water), would make the inside much colder. Is this true? If so, how do you insulate/cope with it?

I plan on moving to the NY/CT area for the first of the year. I have been reading these forums extensively about the liveaboard lifestyle, and winter is the only thing that concerns me (I currently live in Louisiana...snow (and winter for that matter) are more of a fairytale than a reality.

I realize that many people who look for the easy answer just shoot off a question without reading the forums...But I have done my homework. I have read the need for dehumidifiers and the numerous heating options, as well as general winterizing of a boat.

I don't own a boat yet, but to make the cruising dream happen, I am thinking about livingaboard as soon as I get the funds together to get the boat. That way, I am putting money towards the cruising kitty that would normally be spent on apartment rent. I realize that marina fees will be cheaper (not cheap, by any means). In the mean time, I plan on crewing on weekends as much as possible. (How hard would it be to convince someone to let me crew on their daysail if I showed up with an icechest full of beer?)

Any and all help is greatly appreciated


adventureseeker3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2007, 01:17   #2
Registered User
Jeannius's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Worcester U.K.
Boat: Privilege 435 Now Sold
Posts: 848
I'm no scientist so I may be wrong but... Water removes heat from a person about 10 times faster than does air so, if the same holds true for inanimate objects, then the bridgedeck being surrounded by air should be better than having it surrounded by water.

Jeannius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2007, 04:21   #3
Registered User
sv_makai's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Currently, cruise is over and back in Solomons MD, USA
Boat: Voyage/Maxim 380 - Makai
Posts: 543
Images: 10
Send a message via Skype™ to sv_makai
We lived aboard Makai for 4 months befoe heading to the caribe in the middle of the winter in MD. The boat sitting in the water made it very cold. Moving water carries away heat much more effectively than air.

The upside over most mono is the the construction with the foam core is that is proabably added a r2 or 3 value of isulation LOL.

We only used electric heaters as we knew it was only for a couple of months. Our eletric bill with the ice eater going was 388 a month. ANd we lived in sweats and slept with the electirc blanket. And that was 4 years ago.

Long term liveaboard I would recommend a dedicated marine diesel heater or something.

Stay warm, Move south.
Captain Bil formerly of sv Makai -- KI4TMM
The hunt for the next boat begins.
sv_makai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2007, 11:09   #4
Registered User
philip van praag's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: uk brighton
Boat: privilege 37
Posts: 181
Images: 18
we livabord in the uk and i agree with the info already given we use a wet heating system and the pipes to the cabin heaters run under the floor plates so keeping them warm we are verry cosey the one thing we did was to put in some double glazing which helps with heat los but most of all stops condensation on windows/hatches etc also have fully enclosed cockpit whitch helps with heat loss.
philip van praag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2007, 02:46   #5
Moderator Emeritus
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 32,216
Images: 240
Has anyone used a skirt, from bridgedeck to water (think hovercraft), to create a captive & insulating air gap between deck & water?
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2007, 05:01   #6
Marine Service Provider
Factor's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia
Boat: Corsair Dash MKII
Posts: 4,214
See for stories about alaskan sailing in seawind 1000 cat.
Factor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2007, 07:46   #7
CF Adviser
Intentional Drifter's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pac NW
Boat: Boatless, for now, Cat enthusiast
Posts: 1,285
Check out one of member's site: S/V TabbyCat

They wintered over in their Maine Cat, having installed a Hurricane Heater system. Sounds like an excellent system.

Gord's idea sounds interesting, too. That may make a few degrees difference in the bridgedeck.

Intentional Drifter

Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Intentional Drifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2007, 07:48   #8
Senior Cruiser
schoonerdog's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2004
Location: annapolis
Boat: st francis 44 mk II catamaran
Posts: 1,180
Images: 4
we live in annapolis and for several years the mouth of the Severn froze over at about 10 degrees (f). A couple things we found, one is that everyone thinks that insulation is the way to go. Only partially correct. To stop heat loss only takes a little bit of insulation, and a cored hull does fairly well. The biggest issue is always condensation, and to catamarans with births sitting ontop of the bridgedeck will have the underside of the births very prone to condensation. So, two things to know and deal with this.

1) The most critical thing is keep air flow going. So a small hatch open in each hull and the top hatch cracked in the settee keeps great airflow and the boat ventilated. This does more than anything else to eliminate condensation.

2) under the births to prevent condensation I needed no less than 3 inches of insulation. The issue is to prevent condensation your trying to prevent then the temperature differential of the underneath of the bunk and the inner air of the cabin, that takes a LOT more insulation than simply trying to prevent heat loss. Also, put the insulation down in a way that seals out the air. We used three layers of insulation spraying adhesive between each and then finally a thick plastic cover also with spray adhesive holding it firmly in place to serve as a vapor barrier. Now three years later not a trace of moisture or mildew.

An oil filled electric radiator in each hull near where you sleep and the small cracked hatch and a third oil filled radiator in the settee area and your good to the low teens.
schoonerdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2007, 07:53   #9
Senior Cruiser
schoonerdog's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2004
Location: annapolis
Boat: st francis 44 mk II catamaran
Posts: 1,180
Images: 4
Regarding Gordon's idea, I personally don't think it would be too much of a difference because heat loss is through the top and cats have cored decks, our biggest problems are usually the large windows that act like cold plates. But being shrink wrapped and it would make all of the difference in the world. But, to shrink wrap a cat and your probably looking at a couple thousand easy.
schoonerdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2007, 08:35   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 3
Thank you all for your responses.

While having never done this, it seems to me that one way to seal in the heat would be a combination of things :

Put clear bubblewrap on the inside of the windows and hatches (lets light in...found somewhere in this forum)

Use a clear plastic type boat cover to trap heat (clear so the sunlight could get in....greenhouse)

Cover the decks with black plastic bags (to attract more sun...thus more heat????)

Great point Schoonerdog. I thought a de-humidifier would take care of this, but under bunks (where there isn't muck airflow) could be a problem.
adventureseeker3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2007, 10:54   #11
Marine Service Provider
TabbyCat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: cruising in the Pacific
Boat: MaineCat Catamaran 41'
Posts: 342
Images: 1
Send a message via Skype™ to TabbyCat
Bottom line - it can definitely be done.

We went with a quick method of sealing the hatches by using Press 'n' Seal. It made a huge difference in reducing the condesation. We also got to the point of going on 'patrol' with a chamois to wipe down any moisture and then a little spray bottle with some bleach dilute to remove the mold. We were really happy when spring came!

On our boat, the strataglass enclosure acts like a greenhouse, so whenever it was sunny the cockpit was great. Of course the reverse was true at night, there's just not a lot of 'R' value in strataglass.

Good luck in finding the right boat!

Please see profile page for my contact details
TabbyCat is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Air Quality for Liveaboards ssullivan Health, Safety & Related Gear 99 07-04-2013 12:56
Headroom on Liveaboards BlueWaterMD Liveaboard's Forum 50 28-12-2009 14:47
Catamaran Liveaboards in the Northeast adventureseeker3 Liveaboard's Forum 0 21-09-2007 05:20
NYC liveaboards on NPR sneuman Liveaboard's Forum 0 24-05-2007 04:02
potential liveaboards? sneuman Liveaboard's Forum 12 11-04-2007 21:19

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:33.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.