Originally Posted by drzasa
Live in Washington
State USA: 42' Trawler
Wife and I are going to start living aboard and have a few questions.
-Heat, should we go with propane
, electric, solid fuel
or diesel and bulkhead type, heat pump mini split, oven/heater or ??? and why pros and cons etc.
-Should we have a second 30amp shore power inlet and box etc installed or ?
-Is there any items people would consider must/nice haves for living aboard?
I think your climate is relatively mild when it comes to low temps? Reverse cycle AC would likely work easily enough, no muss, no fuss from shorepower at the dock
. You don't mention whether you have a genset, but if so, electric heat underway is easy, too. Service
is mostly about occasionally cleaning
the condenser coils and the fins, and keeping your sea strainer clear, and maybe very occasionally running something like Rydlyme or Barnacle Buster through the system.
For lower temps, you could also add a resistive heat unit into the ducting system, to work in concert with the reverse cycle blower. That could work no matter whether your sea cocks are open or not (i.e., without regard to water
being pumped through the reverse cycle system).
Some of the newer residential heat pump systems seem promising, and that would eliminate the seawater-related service
issues, but reading suggests the outside unit might be susceptible to salt water
damage. Probably not impossible to mitigate, but maybe depends on where you might have available to locate and protect that outside unit. Worth some research
, especially if you don't already have a reverse cycle system and related seacock/water pump.
You might also do a comparison between the cost of electricity in your situation versus the cost of something else (e.g., diesel) and then if there's a difference, perhaps you can decide if the $$delta is worth the "no muss" factor. (Would be, in our case.)
The same debate would likely apply to cooking
; propane, diesel, electric, etc. We would choose the latter (combo microwave/convection over, and induction stovetop) for much the same reasons. Your situation may argue for a different choice.
As to another 30-amp shore power inlet; yes. You'll want to spread your electrical
loads, and that's an easy way to underpin the process.
FWIW, I think your last question is good for another separate thread, perhaps after you read through all the existing "liveaboard" threads that speak to questions like that.