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Old 17-10-2016, 05:43   #61
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

There is a lively and thriving community of liveaboards in Norway. If they can do it here, you can do it anywhere.
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Old 17-10-2016, 06:11   #62
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

I spent a couple of winters living aboard in Annapolis MD, two of which experienced some pretty cold temps. Primary heat was two electric radiators run off the shore power as I paid a flat rate for utilities. Secondary was the boat's Espar heater which kicked in when the radiators could not keep up. An Espar will toast up your boat in short order and is pretty parsimonious in terms of fuel. Lastly, shrink-wrapping your boat, particularly with clear plastic, will help tremendously in insulating your boat and also protecting the deck from snow and ice, but it's expensive and makes getting on and off the boat a bit more difficult.

The two more challenging aspects of living aboard in winter are safety and logistics.

In terms of safety, it does not take much more than a hard frost to make docks treacherous. I had a few days, after ice storms, where I could not get off the boat at all. I had those strap on studs for your boots which I used A LOT, but even so there were days where trying to safely get from the boat to the finger pier was just not worth the risk. If you fall in, there is no one around to help and the water is in the thirties. Annapolis has a ton of live-aboard, and it seems like every winter there is a story of someone falling in and if not expiring outright having a harrowing experience.

Logistics. Everything becomes a bit more complicated. Running to the showers in summer is great. In the winter it can be a slog and not so fun. Grocery shopping becomes a bit more complicated.

Lastly, it can be lonely and a bit isolated. The marina is a wasteland in winter, all the other liveaboards are holed up like hibernating bears.

It's definitely doable. You just have to be prepared and be willing to endure some inconvenience and challenges.
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Old 17-10-2016, 06:47   #63
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

I also lived aboard in Annapolis. I saw 3 winters there. A couple of times we had to call for help to get off the boat, since either we were iced in, or we could not get onto the dock, since the wind had blown all the water out of the bay and we were sitting in the mud.

Great days!
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Old 17-10-2016, 08:28   #64
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

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There is a lively and thriving community of liveaboards in Norway. If they can do it here, you can do it anywhere.
Isn't that where people are born with skis already on their feet?


After reading the different accounts and seeing the pictures here, I feel like a weenie for living in my house. I can take some cold but where I'm starting to wither you guys are still in t-shirts.

There is no doubt in my mind it is not only doable but can be enjoyable. Now to get the wife to see it that way!
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Old 17-10-2016, 08:37   #65
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

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It's definitely doable. You just have to be prepared and be willing to endure some inconvenience and challenges.
When I originally started this thread, my thinking was that the challenge would be heating the boat to an agreeable temp without heroic measures What I've discovered is that might be the easiest thing to do.

It has really opened my eyes to all the other considerations that go onto it.
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Old 17-10-2016, 10:18   #66
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Re: How realistic is living aboard through winter in a colder climate?

We're beginning our second winter aboard. We have two diesel stoves. One forward also is our stove and hot water heater. The one aft is heat only. The gentlest heat I've ever felt (and we had a wood stove back East). Wood stoves dry the place out to the point my skin was cracking. Not so with diesel, (or upon thinking, perhaps it's because we're now surrounded with water).

I'm not what one would call a "nester" like a lot of women, but you can tell your wife that when it's nasty outside and warm and dry below I feel compelled to bake bread and watch Cary Grant movies and think about quilt patterns. I'll be damned if I know why but it's so. The worst part is if a storm lasts more than 2 days it gets old fast. Traction on the concrete dock is worst of it. Snow melt or sand, crampons, walking like Tim Conway.... but up here in the Pacific Northwest it never lasts (knock wood).

There's a quality to this life that rises above the day to day irritations. I used to feel smothered back on land. I've never once felt that out here.
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