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Old 06-10-2016, 07:11   #16
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

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Originally Posted by Crazy Talk View Post
Thank you. That is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. I won't be anywhere near 83' but at least those numbers look promising.
On my steel 33'er with a diesel refleks the consumption would leap up as the temps got down towards zero deg C. Averaged about 20 per week for an average UK winter onboard all the time. You can tell the liveaboard boats as if it when it does snow their decks start melting first you know there are more hard-core sailors than yourself when there are bare foot prints in the snow on the way to the shower block
The refleks is great onboard, howling storm outside but toasty down below with a nice pot of stew bubbling on top of the heater :cool)
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:35   #17
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

Yep. Doable. Insulation and ventilation. Heating too, sure.

A very big tent over the whole boat helps. A boat on dry is easier too.

Place heaps of insulation under your bed. Otherwise the mattress gets very wet underneath.

Have fun,
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:01   #18
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

It all depends on what your expectations are for comfort. Here is a book about an amazing family's adventure living aboard in Norway for a winter - Into the Light.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Light-Fa.../dp/1930086040
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:08   #19
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

I done it for three winters in Toronto.
had a baseboard heater I had on at low all the time, and a little ceramic electric heater
when required, it was like an oven, 27ft sloop.


tony.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:12   #20
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

Archives - Dickinson Marine | Dickinson Marine

This is what I put in my boat of 38 feet fibreglass. I have not put insulation as yet. This is for sailing around Gulf of St Lawrence and Atlantic. Not sure I will winter in boat however summer up there seems like winter. The other problem to consider when in cold water is condensation inside the boat. This solved that problem. I have 40 gallon diesel tank for the boat so I hooked into that supply. When you read the details you will see that diesel consumption is small for the amount of heat. I am thinking of insulating the forward berth because it is up against the fibreglass exposed to outside and water. Read cold! I am thinking of Styrofoam as opposed to blown insulation for obvious reasons. Replies here are talking of people who winter on their boats on Lake Ontario. They usually put bubble machines under the hull in that case. I know of one who built a temporary frame with plastic over the companionway to keep snow away.

If you are at a dock obviously this can be boosted with electric heaters.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:13   #21
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

I lived two Winters on a Pearson 36-II on the Potomac River in the shade of the Washington Monument. The second Winter, the Potomac froze - shore to shore. The Pearson is a well built but uninsulated monohull.

I had 2 electric cube heaters - fine for the first Winter. The frozen river Winter I added a bunk heater to warm the bed and an electric blanket to warm me. It seldom rose above 45 degrees inside unless I also ran the oven and engine heater. I used antifreeze to flush the head - it froze almost solid before I added antifreeze.

I moved to Palm Beach in the Spring when the river thawed.

Two bodies floated to the surface near the docks - they came from upstream and were not known to us on the docks.

Drinking water is a serious problem - The marina provided winter water 2 days/week - and I pumped water from the sink back into the tank during colder nights to keep it from freezing.

The docks were icy enough that we rigged safety lines. I clipped in with my safety harness several times when the ice was bad.

In an insulated boat, it should be fun. In my boat it was not.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:33   #22
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

Hi Crazy Talk:

I lived on board full time in Port Credit Ontario for almost 9 years without a problem at all. Quite simply, I shrink-wrapped my boat with clear plastic (good for the warmth on sunny days) and hung a bubbler underneath to keep the ice down. The plastic worked so well that I was able to do all of my spring woodwork (cetol mostly) in late February and early March. Once the winter cover came off, all I really had to do was "hang some rags" and go sailing.

The trick with heaters is to use the oil filled or baseboard style of heaters to get the most efficient use of power out of them... boat was always toasty warm. The other simple trick is to use an electric blanket, set on low, UNDERNEATH the bed sheets. I guarantee you, that a team of horses will have a hard time dragging you out of bed in the morning.

You will still have to do the usual winter lay up stuff to your boat, plumbers antifreeze thing for the head, antifreeze for your engine, if it's raw water cooled and close all through hulls.

Other than that, just keep your dock clear of snow. If your marina does freeze over, have a 2x4 handy to break up any ice that the bubbler may not get at.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:42   #23
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

I won't bother with diesel heaters because there are plenty of other threads about that. You will certainly need one if you plan on being anchored or moored through winter.

If you are going to be at a dock then just get a little ceramic heater. The boat's salon is 14ft wide and mine works a treat down to 20f ( which isn't too often ) and below that I just sleep in long johns. A cheap way to add insulation is to tape some bubble wrap to the underside of the hatches. Putting one of the insulation products under your mattress will be a big help.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:59   #24
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

A couple of things which need serious consideration & planning are, what are you going to do in terms of the head. As flushing will be problematic, from the perspective of a water supply. And there's the issue of things freezing in it or the discharge lines at times. Ditto on any sort of holding tank.

Also, are you up for hauling water in the winter time? And where will you get it, & how will you keep it from freezing enroute, & when on the boat? As bottom line, there will just be some areas in the boat which will be cold. And some of them may be where you need to store things.

To help with this project, check out wrwakefield's (SV Denali Rose) blog. They live in SE Alaska, & have lots of tips, info, & gear reviews, for living onboard comfortably in colder climates.


PS: Keep in mind that diesel turns into jello at a certain temp.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:30   #25
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

I think if you decide on a diesel heater your question will be more about too much heat than too little. This will be our second winter aboard and quite often the cabin would reach 80F. The good news is no condensation.

We have the Dickenson Atlantic , which is too big for your boat but on its lowest setting it uses 1.4 gals a day (based on 24 hour usages). We love it but it's not for everyone.

The bigger issue for us was hauling fresh water and we used salt to melt the ice (no snow here) on our boarding steps and crampons to get to the top of the dock.

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Old 06-10-2016, 11:19   #26
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

I've lived aboard in Annapolis MD for several years, including a couple where I was iced in. Used one of those oil-filled radiator style heaters in the salon and a little 1500w ceramic heaters for the v-berth. Outside temps got down to 5-10 degrees and I was comfortable (relatively speaking). The real bitch was running to the marina shower...
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Old 06-10-2016, 11:41   #27
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

I cruised and lived aboard my 32 ft boat for several years in various anchorages and marinas in Alaska.
A well insulated hull is key the hull is sitting in icy cold water. while at marinas I heated with a small electric oil bath heater. they are pretty efficient.
For on the hook the wabasto system worked great. I like the cold so kept temps around 65-68 deg max. depends on your tolerance.
I lived in the artic for several years so am more used to real cold.
have had up to 2 ft of snow on deck and snow acts as insulation. much more than that and you start raising your waterline !!
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:17   #28
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

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Mini crampons, Steady, for the ice. No, just kidding. Yes, falling and breaking part of you is a real problem in icy areas.

A
Good point. Also check with the marina to see what routine they have for the winter. I have been in a marina where they did not totally plow snow everywhere. Figure out what your requirements are for the marina and ask about their routine.
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:19   #29
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

I've wintered over in my 35' sailboat for three or four years now here in Portland Oregon. In another thread folk talked about condensation problems on the East Coast that I don't experience (and we do get a lot of cold rain and snow here). My electric heating bill maxes out about $25/mo, throughout the other seasons it is usually $10/mo. I have an electric space heater and electric blanket. Also have a tiny wood burning stove that warms the whole place up in minutes for hours... white boom tents and full cockpit enclosure canvas make a huge difference in light comfortable space.

My neighbor only lasted one winter. He didn't have an enclosed cockpit (sunlight) and did have a diesel heater (that he said smelled bad).
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Old 06-10-2016, 14:25   #30
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

i have friends who lived two winters onboard in southern Connecticut. we do not have frigid winters, but can get some snow and ice. temps might drop to 0F or below for a day or two at a time.

The couple were completely warm onboard as they had a Fairclough cover and small diesel heater. the problem that eventually drove them on land was
#1 dangerous walk from the boat to the car
#2 dangerous walk to the marina bathroom and the laundromat
Wife threatened mutiny.

so they left the boat uncovered but still had to travel a ways to find a fuel and pump out dock open for fishermen. it wasn't a great time to motor a 38' sailboat in the Sound.

they bought a house after that.

If you stay in a marina with heated pump out, good electrical supply at the dock, and well maintained (ice-free) fingers then it's easy to winter anywhere in a marina.
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