Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 29-07-2011, 13:49   #61
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Condensation

Quote:
Originally Posted by SurferShane View Post
Everyone seems to think I am going to freeze to death, but the boat has been really comfortable and snug even without a heater.

The only issue I have had is with condensation. Even though it is cold outside you really need flow through ventilation otherwise it can start raining from the ceiling.
Your winter seems more like mine. I noticed that my "home port" on the St. Johns River south of Jacksonville, Florida has the same latitude distance from the equator as Sydney, Australia. We don't really suffer a harsh winter here, but even the people in the Keys whine and moan when it's in the fifties (about 13 for you celsius guys).
__________________

__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-07-2011, 14:14   #62
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,006
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

In Alameda, CA with winter temps into the high 40's though mostly in the 50s, a propane catalytic heater worked okay. No problems with condensation but the throw away propane bottle costs were significant. Went through at least two a day at over $3.00 apiece and usually didn't run the heater during the middle of the day.

Heat isn't the problem, it's the condensation in really cold weather. Years ago, spent a winter in Norfolk using a couple of electric heaters. Condensation was terrible when the temp dropped to near freezing. Boat was like a cold steam bath with water condensing on every surface and dripping onto the cushions and bedding. Never could get warm because of the high humidity and limited output of the heaters due to dock circuit breaker problems. Only good part was the low temps inside kept mold down. In short, it was miserable but I couldn't afford a proper vented heater. If you are serious about living aboard, get an exterior vented heater like the Dickenson Newport, a wood stove or a forced hot air or hydronic unit. If you are going to be cruising with the heater, stick with the Newport or wood stove as the forced air heaters are BIG electricity energy hogs.
__________________

__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-07-2011, 14:37   #63
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Boat: 1990 Irwin 43 CC
Posts: 50
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. lulz View Post
Simple noob question: What are the issues and considerations for living aboard in the winter?
We have about 100 boaters living aboard in Boston. I am the Moderator of the BostonLiveaboards yahoo group which is specifically addressing the issues of living aboard in the winter.
It really depends on where you are living aboard. Up in Boston we have to deal with the snow, and heating the boat. Shrinkwrap is almost a must, and depending on which marina you choose, you may need to be resourceful about fresh water.

Insulation is an issue, and humidity is a big issue. You need to have adequate ventilation, and / or insulation so that you don't get the unheated areas of your boat full of water.

If you need more specific information, you are welcome to address them to the BostonLiveaboards
__________________
Ahmet, S/V Waterdancer 1990 Irwin 43 CC
Winthrop Yacht Club
Moderator BostonLiveaboards Yahoo Group
waterdancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-07-2011, 20:50   #64
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Boat: Columbia 41
Posts: 522
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

I have lived through two winters here in Washington DC. The first was very cold and I learned the hard way. You will need an electric blanket to keep you warm. You will also need a small electric heater to keep your cabin above 40F. Lastly, you will need a dehumidifier to draw off the moisture in your own resparation. Otherwise it will condense on the hull and overhead and drip on you.

You will need to winterize the boat just like normal. This means you will need to shower ashore. I did that and also got a membership at a health club. I work out after work and shower at the gym.

Be very careful with any books you prize. Dampness and mold will get into them and you will not notice until too late.

I heat with propane and use up one bottle every two weeks. I turn off the heat when I go to bed. You will need to find a supplier nearby. I do not use oil lamps though there are many of them on my boat. I find they produce too much soot and water vapor.

In short, Winter is a bitch. It is something to be endured for a few months. But you will be able to see it through.
__________________
Sam Plan B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2011, 00:44   #65
Registered User
 
webejammin's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pacific NW, sailing the Columbia River, USA
Boat: Gemini 105MC 34 ft hull#753
Posts: 951
Images: 3
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

We bought our catamaran last fall in San Diego and after getting her up to the Columbia River and up stream 4 locks, 300 ft elev and 300 miles inland to south east WA state near the confluence of the Snake river and her new home. We were here 7 days when we got hit by a 5 deg F and 35 mph breeze for about 10 days our lines were hanging with icecycles and about 3 inches of ice on the deck, the river was too warm to freeze so we got freezing fog by the water and on the boat. We quickly bought an extra 30 amp power cable and made up a heavy multi-plug for 3 elect heaters along with 2 elect heaters on our std 30 amp shore power plugs, and a 50 amp plug so we could use our extra dock breaker. One far each corner of our catamaran and one in our inclosed cockpit to keep our disel engine from freezing. We had purchased a propane heater and std 5 gal connector hose so no small bottles in the boat, we used it to heat the cockpit when we were in the Christmas lighted boat paraid a couple of weeks later when it warmed up in the low 30's. We just got our winter power bill $592.00 but our 40 ft slip is only $151.31 a month so it's not too bad about what a 600sq ft apt would be for power usage. Usually we only get a week or so of weather when the nights get below 25 Deg F and days about 30 F normally we have 28 deg F nights and sunshine and 40 deg days and dry here in the high desert with great winter sailing. This year I have a new 28,000 btu hot water heater for sailing and on the hook it should make life better.
__________________
Wind in my hair and a nice catamaran
Phil & Elaine
webejammin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2011, 16:12   #66
Registered User
 
Auspicious's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: HR 40
Posts: 1,793
Send a message via Skype™ to Auspicious
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

I've been living aboard on the mid-Chesapeake for five years. There are three principal issues, each with subordinate problems.

1. Heat. You have to keep the boat warm to be comfortable or at least only mildly miserable. If your boat is reasonably well insulated and you have a high output heater then the metal around hatches and portlights will stay above the interior dewpoint and condensation issues will be abated. I keep a 1500 W oil-filled radiator running all the time and crank up diesel-fired air heat when aboard. Air temperature is generally in the mid to high 70s.

1a. Cooking adds a lot of water to the air which means condensation management. Open hatches, lights, and/or companionways while you are cooking to vent the moisture. Similarly breathing creates moisture; keep something cracked for ventilation whenever you are aboard. I have three mushroom vents and two dorades I keep open and am not shy about cracking a hatch or the companionway if the humidity starts to creep up. Finally, don't make the bed too early in the morning -- let the linens air out first. I think well of Roger McAfee's book "The Warm Dry Boat."

2. Water. Unless your marina has winter water you will have to jug water or participate in water parties with your neighbors. It's better to drag a jug or two every day than to get behind.

3. Ice on the docks. Most importantly don't let pride keep you from crawling. Not kidding. Ice is much worse than snow. It helps to keep a 5 gallon bucket of sand near the boat and near the dock head. Polite coordination with your marina management will make this easy.

Anything else I can think of is second order compared to the big three above.

Keep the boat really warm, keep water on the boat, and don't slip on the ice. I learned this stuff living through a winter in Sweden. The US East Coast is a cake walk.
__________________
S/V Auspicious
AuspiciousWorks
Beware cut and paste sailors
Auspicious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2011, 19:01   #67
Registered User
 
stratosailor's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Blue Planet
Boat: 1963 Pearson Ariel, 25.5'
Posts: 49
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

Great post, Auspicious. Posts like that one are the reason I love this forum. We can learn a lot from our fellow sailors, and I certainly found your post helpful. By the way, I looked for The Warm Dry Boat on Amazon.com. There's one copy available in paperback for $99.41! I guess I'll have to wait until I can find a used copy at a good price!
__________________
"We save the world by being alive ourselves." Joseph Campbell

stratosailor
stratosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2011, 07:57   #68
Registered User
 
Auspicious's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: HR 40
Posts: 1,793
Send a message via Skype™ to Auspicious
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

Warm Dry Boat is available new for $30 here: The Warm Dry Boat by Roger McAfee .
__________________
S/V Auspicious
AuspiciousWorks
Beware cut and paste sailors
Auspicious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2011, 08:07   #69
Registered User
 
stratosailor's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Blue Planet
Boat: 1963 Pearson Ariel, 25.5'
Posts: 49
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

Thanks Auspicious!
__________________
"We save the world by being alive ourselves." Joseph Campbell

stratosailor
stratosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2011, 08:12   #70
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Wandering around North America
Boat: Defever 43 - Gray Hawk
Posts: 602
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

I have a total of one winter's experience as a liveaboard in the PNW but last winter was apparently a particularly bad one for Washington & BC. It was really a piece of cake. We've lived several years in a converted bus during which time we have tried to avoid winter but we have nonetheless experienced it often enough. I have pictures of the bus with 2 feet of snow covering the roof and I've dug it out of frozen campgrounds. Our limit with the bus is -30 and we have seen that a couple of times. The boat is MUCH easier.

Couple of points: Espar or Webasto forced air heat is a huge advantage. There are some issues with forced air heat but the big advantage is that you get enforced circulation and you can use cold air as makeup air so that the boat stays dry. Our bus has a ProHeat hydronic system which is a wonderful system but it simply reheats the (wet) air that is already in the bus and it creates very little circulation. This has caused us a lot of problems (mold and mildew in particular) over the years.

I see other posters talking about winterizing the boat and using shore showers but I don't understand why. The water you will be floating in will be 31 or 32 degrees and presuming you keep some heat in the boat you simply should not have freezing problems. I suppose in rare situations with poorly routed waterlines that are exposed to the outside air during extreme cold air temps you might have some freezing problems but we have used the bus water systems down to -25F and I find it hard to imagine those conditions existing for any extended time in a marina. What we found in the PNW last winter was that during extreme cold snaps the marinas would shut the water off to the docks for the duration of the cold snap. They would typically give us some warning though so that we could start with full tanks.

I think the important issue with heat is to have redundancy. For us that means diesel forced air heat plus electric for backup. On a 30 amp service the backup is marginal but with careful management we can keep the boat from freezing down to probably -10 or 15 on electric heat. As others have suggested an electric blanket is a wonderful thing. We use an electric mattress pad in the bus which is even better than a blanket - it draws less power and the heat comes up from below you which feels glorious on a cold night.
__________________
bobofthenorth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2011, 10:36   #71
Registered User
 
webejammin's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pacific NW, sailing the Columbia River, USA
Boat: Gemini 105MC 34 ft hull#753
Posts: 951
Images: 3
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

I guess I forgot we used rock salt to get traction on the dock and melted the 2 to 3 inches of ice on our dock. When the ice got thick on deck we salted it too and eventually it melted. Because our boat's master stateroom's bed is over the bridge deck on our catamaran it caused moisture under the mattress so we used insulated material that folks use in there car windows ( plastic foil stuff ) it worked along with using Hyper-vent to give vent space for any moisture to escape. Using forced air heaters kept most condensation at a min unless we were cooking noodles.
__________________
Wind in my hair and a nice catamaran
Phil & Elaine
webejammin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2011, 11:29   #72
Registered User
 
stratosailor's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Blue Planet
Boat: 1963 Pearson Ariel, 25.5'
Posts: 49
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

bobofthenorth, the OP wants to live on a small sailboat in Winter in Philadelphia. I don't know whether or not his boat will have an inboard diesel, but the fact is many sail-boaters rely on outboard engines. Many of the old sailboats that have inboards have the old Atomic 4 gasoline engines. So the type heater you are describing might not be practical for them.

You can give me your opinion on this but it is my feeling that sailboats and trawlers have very different design dynamics and that what may be true for a trawler may not necessarily be true for a sailboat. Again, I plead ignorance because I'm not a naval architect or an engineer, nor have I ever owned or lived aboard a trawler (by the way, the DeFever 43 is a very nice looking boat), but aren't trawlers more open and better ventilated than your typical sailboat? And on a trawler there is a very large above-deck cabin whereas 100% of a sailboat's interior is encapsulated in what amounts to a fiberglass tube with only a couple of very small hatches and a smattering of small glass ports. Is your boat insulated? My sailboat came from the factory with a solid fiberglass hull and a partially balsa-cored deck, but no insulation, and any water vapor introduced into the cabin becomes a problem.

Anybody else out there have an opinion on heating and condensation problems on sailboats vs. trawlers/power boats? Am I mistaken in my perception that their are slightly different dynamics at play here? Or would a diesel inboard and forced air system like an Espar or Webasto work as well as bobofthenorth says it works on his trawler even in the absence of insulation?

Please give your opinion. DeepFrz? Anybody? What do you thing bobofthenorth? Is a boat is a boat is a boat when it comes to tackling these problems?

Why do I always feel like I'm asking stupid questions? Enlighten me folks.
__________________
"We save the world by being alive ourselves." Joseph Campbell

stratosailor
stratosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2011, 23:41   #73
Registered User
 
lookoutnw's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Currently on the HARD in Guaymas Mexico and staying in Phoenix, AZ
Boat: Columbia 45
Posts: 302
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

I have the Hurricane II Hydronic system. I like it better than teh Webasto because of teh design technology. The Webast units are OK, but too complex for what they do. Check them ou. Using 3/4 PEX and CASH-ACME SHarkbites for my Hydronic plumbing. Run the lines along the outer side and it should help with condensation. 3 zones and nice fans. 2 fan/heat boxes are in hanging lockers so they kepp them dry and smelling good. I have a bunch of small 'computer' fans around teh boat to keep airflow and teh dry air of the dehumidifier working to max potential. Dry Bilge, Dry Boat, NICE!!!! Good Luck
__________________
lookoutnw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2011, 06:03   #74
Registered User
 
SurferShane's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NSW AUSTRALIA
Boat: L. Francis Herreshoff Ketch
Posts: 1,129
Images: 45
Re: Condensation

Quote:
Originally Posted by lookoutnw View Post
hat is why I and some others suggest a dehumidifier. They work wonders and depending on teh size of the boat cost $50 - $200. small tank are ok but I like the larger one as it can hold more and I don't have to empty it during the night. Up here is really wet. Habit dump in morning and dump before bed. Or you can plumb for constant drain, but this has it's own issues...
Thanks - condensation is a real winter problem that can damage the boat and its contents. I was thinking a few more mushroom ventilators, but this might be another good option to explore.
__________________
Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. - Voltaire
SurferShane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2011, 07:20   #75
Registered User
 
veprjack's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Salem, MA
Boat: Pearson 303
Posts: 28
Re: Living Aboard in the Winter

I'm a newbie about to purchase a boat to live aboard year round north of Boston, so this thread is amazingly helpfu. Maybe I missed it here, but I think it was another forum, but someone said that it really helps to wrap insulation around the mast (the part in the cabin - DOH). They even string Christmas lights around it to offset the cosmetics - lol.

Anyway, THANK YOU all from a newbie for all you do! Oh, your PATIENCE with me and others too as we crawl the learning curve!
__________________

__________________
veprjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
living aboard

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
Impossible for Military? SeaAir Liveaboard's Forum 42 24-07-2013 05:20
Living Aboard and Wishing Otherwise . . . Is it Just Me ? S/V Blondie-Dog Liveaboard's Forum 73 26-05-2012 08:57
Winter - Greece / Turkey Bananatoe Europe & Mediterranean 3 06-08-2011 06:31
Vancouver Winter Sailing (Harbour) LonelyPlanet General Sailing Forum 1 27-07-2011 17:03
Want To Buy: Anyone Selling a Tent-Type Structure for Winter Sailboat Storage ? YOG Classifieds Archive 1 13-07-2011 11:46



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:01.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.