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Old 01-10-2005, 17:55   #1
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cold weather

My thoughts are to retire in 6 years when I will be able to draw from a 401K. I could wait until then to purchase or I could buy sooner and live aboard. However, if I were to buy sooner, I would need to live onboard in the upper Chesapeake bay to be close enough to commute to work. Is it practical to live aboard in that area during the winter monthes?

Scott
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Old 01-10-2005, 18:03   #2
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Depends...

As someone living aboard right now, I'd say it depends on how dressed up you need to be for work. Maintaining suits and other hanging clothing would be somewhat difficult unless you really plan for how they will be stored. Most lockers on boats aren't huge, or set up to really hang a large collection of clothing well, owing to the fact that they were always designed for summer use - smaller clothing!

Other main issues are:

Parking your car / snow removal for it
Filling your water tanks
Keeping your boat above freezing all day
Finding a heating system you like

Conversely, in the summer, suits are a real hassle since by the time you get into it you are drenched with sweat.

All doable, but those are some of the things that are different about it.
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Old 01-10-2005, 18:21   #3
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To expand on Sean's perspective, also consider if a live aboard slip is available within a reasonable commute. Are you the type that likes to work on your car, and do your own maintenance? No garage, and most harbors will not allow work in the parking lot. Six years to live aboard before taking off can be a long time if you are used to living in a house. Especially if you have a significant other, living in a slip for that long can be a real strain on a relationship. Trying to go for day sails while living aboard your boat is a real hassle. By the time you put away all the stuff that you displace as a part of every day life, it is hardly worth the effort to go out for a couple of hours. And the real kicker, I may be remembering wrong, but I believe the Chesapeak is a zero discharge area. If so, you will have to tank even your gray water, meaning LOTS of trips to the pumpout, and most likely using the harbor facilities for showers and such. Walking up to the showers, half awake at 5 or 6 in the morning in January can take allot of the fun out of being on a boat.
We have lived aboard for close to 7 years. We can discharge gray water here, so we only have to tank the head, and we can shower on board. Still, I have to pay to have my cars worked on, and I hav resorted to buying another boat just for daysails.
On the other hand, I would not trade the lifestyle for anything. We have a great community in this harbor, and I always sleep better on the water. I like the motion. I also enjoy the organization of living on a boat. No room for clutter.
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Old 01-10-2005, 21:50   #4
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A lot of food for thought.....thanks guys!

Scott
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Old 01-10-2005, 22:16   #5
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A thought on the suits, I had a van I parked in the harbor parking for sometime, that I used for a workshop and storage. No reason you could not buy an old van and turn it into a dressing room.
Of course this does not do much to help the early morning jaunts to the shower in the 10 degree temps. If I remember correctly, the Chesapeak gets ice. This might be another issue if you are living aboard. I will admit it has been 25 years since I have been there, so check my info.
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Old 26-11-2005, 05:22   #6
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It certainly can be manageable in that climate. Having said that, remember it does take planning.
I now have less variety of clothing to wear to the office. None of it requires ironing. My non work clothing does not require hanging, I save that for office wear, that can be spruced up ( when needs arises for social occaisions).
We of course , use our car for extra storage at certain times. For example winter things that are not required in the summer, or visa versa. Although in reality, there is a relitively small bag of this sort of thing.
We winter aboard in Canada, hence we add extra insulation to the decks and cabin top, tarp over those forward. We build a frame over the cockpit, staple 6mm clear plastic to that frame, add a blue tarp to the roof portion. This gives us a dry usable cockpit, that gets warmed by the sun, due to the clear sides. The other day I was drinking coffee out there. Unheard of in Nov round these parts.
My long winded point is, this can be done. I am fortunate, I can walk to work.
I would not trade full time living aboard.
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Old 26-11-2005, 07:54   #7
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Quote:
Kai Nui once whispered in the wind:
A thought on the suits, I had a van I parked in the harbor parking for sometime, that I used for a workshop and storage. No reason you could not buy an old van and turn it into a dressing room.
Of course this does not do much to help the early morning jaunts to the shower in the 10 degree temps. If I remember correctly, the Chesapeak gets ice. This might be another issue if you are living aboard. I will admit it has been 25 years since I have been there, so check my info.
On the subject of vans... if you can afford one, in addition to the boat, I would suggest living out of a "Roadtrek" van. I had one for about 6 months I lived out of during the week while working a couple hundred miles from home on a contract position. I did this in the dead of winter, and relied on the LPG heater, fridge and cook stove. These vans are made in Canada. One great thing about them is that they have the features of a class A RV, but can be parked anywhere since they look like a van from the outside. I used to stay at hotel parking lots for the WiFi connection.

Here's a link to the Road Trek site. Click on the "Product Demo Video" to the right. I have to say... I felt like I was in a "land boat" when I was using this thing.

http://www.roadtrek.com/submit.asp
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Old 26-11-2005, 09:31   #8
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Popular around here are VW vans. (of course this is Ca.) THey are faily inexpensive, an have all the comforts of home. Of course, we are making the assumption that Scott needs the extra space.
Bottom line is, all inconveniences have simple solutions, and there is no better lifestyle.
(Sean, check your PM)
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Old 17-02-2006, 23:25   #9
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Quote:
Kai Nui once whispered in the wind:
And the real kicker, I may be remembering wrong, but I believe the Chesapeak is a zero discharge area. If so, you will have to tank even your gray water, meaning LOTS of trips to the pumpout, and most likely using the harbor facilities for showers and such.
I've never heard of any such thing. I and several of my neighbors live aboard in the northern part of the Chesapeak.

There is a no-discharge zone in Herring Bay (basically the two Herrington Harbor marinas), but that applies to treated sewage from a Type I or Type II MSD, not gray water.

Perhaps you are thinking of some other place?
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Old 17-02-2006, 23:31   #10
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I certainly could be. It's hard to keep track. Of course, the way tings are going, it is probably just a matter of time.
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Old 06-03-2006, 16:08   #11
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The previous to the last PO of my boat live in Annapolis aboard the boat. I know two others that do it in Annpolis as well. Seems crazy to me. It's about as far north as it gets as far as being without huge difficulty. The marina shuts the water off so you have to haul it to the boat. It still gets quite cold too.

I'm on the far Lower Bay and I don't think it would be really bad as the bay does not freeze solid here and we don't use bubblers. As dock master I shut off the water s you can't count on water connections. A reverse cycle AC / Heat will work but the power gets high with reverse cycle in 45 degree water.

The discharge issue is moot as there is only one area, but the practical side is the real issue. It's still cold and you deal with a lot of hassles.

Given the cost a cheap appartment it would be cheaper and easier. Quit your job and try to get at least to SC.
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