First things first. Was that photo
posted by Stratosailor taken at Port Credit Marina, on the north shore of Lake Ontario
? IE 20km sw of Toronto?
Second thing. I spend the winter of 79/80 living on my Grampian
26. Gramps are single
boats, with balsa coring in the deck
and overhead. The only other thing you could laughingly call insulation would be a layer of heavy cloth that they glued to the sides of the hull.
Normal procedure would be to build a greenhouse over the deck
, photos have been shown of this. This keeps snow off the deck, allows warm air to accumulate over the day, and adds storage
space for things like winter clothing
and boots so you don't schlep them below. It also allows you to keep perishables in a cooler on deck as it shouldn't get too cold overnight nor too hot during the day.
I did not do this, I left the boat operational all winter. I froze my buns off a few times but had the fun of crashing the PCYC New years party under full sail with 7 scurvy dogs
along for the ride. Plus a few moonlight sails
at -10C. Also great fun.
The down side was that with one aboard the condensation was rough. With two it was biblical. Noah would have felt right at home with the 40 days n 40 nights of rain. With just myself and two electric heaters, and a couple of fans, I would wipe down the overhead before I climbed into my bunk and keep a roll of paper towels there. I placed one vee berth cushion up on a lattice work of 2x2s with 1x2 cross pieces, and then took the opposite cushion and placed it on top of the first one. Moisture wasn't too bad but I did take my bed
cloths out to the laundry
room every couple of days and dry them in a machine.
got moldy. Carpeting got moldy. When my girlfriend came down for the night, we'd cook on an alcohol stove and go through a roll between starting the stove and finishing up dinner. We used to watch the condensate stream down the turn of the bilge
and I had to pump out every week. (bilge was only 4 inches deep)
I turned 7 different electric heaters into slag. Over the worst week of the winter, Terri's parents took pity on me and let me crash in their guest room. It was an experience I'll never forget.
Now, what were the lessons?
Insulation: Gotta have it. If I had to do it again on a single
skin boat, i'd have bought a bunch of fiberglass
bats. Take a sheet of plastic about 8 feet wide, and about 1.2 times the length of the boat, put bats in it, fold it and heat seal it. Then rope
it to the OUTSIDE Of the hull. Build a green house over the deck and lay bats on deck. Make sure to put a couple of closing vents into the greenhouse.
So, insulation. I have a steel
boat now and it is well insulated. IF you don't have insulation, guidance has been given in the how to dept by others.
. I used two 1500 watt heaters and was cold all the time. Plus damp. You need to get a vented solid or liquid fuel
heater, all of which has been mentioned. Buy some extra flue piping which will take the flue up and out of the green house. Make sure the installation
is fire proof where it goes through the plastic. Use the fuel
heater when on board, and if you need to leave an electric running while you are away at work or the pub or what ever.
Take some black PVC tubing of a size to fit a muffin fan (120V or DC PC FAN) and mount a couple on the bulkheads. Put the fan in on the top, so it draws warm air from the overhead and exhausts it at deck level. Build Muffin fans into your hanging locker and into the under berth lockers. If you have dorade vents, try removing the funnel and replacing it temporarily with a muffin fan set to draw air out. If you have solar
vents, make sure they get as much sunlight as possible. Air flow must be constant to defeat the moisture. A dehumidifier is a good idea too. The dry exhaust
air is warmed up a bit too, so it adds to the heat input. Wish I'd had one in 79.
: Honestly? The next time, I'm shutting down my fuel stove and going to use a hot plate. $35 bucks at Canadian Tire, and I'm good to go. If you really need to do something fancy, you can still BBQ if you open the vents in the greenhouse, and you can even bake on one if you use a dutch oven
. Heck I just found out I can use my wok on the Magna that came with the boat. Stir Fry!!! WoooHooo!
: In these modern days, LED lighting
is super efficient. Very low power
draw. Marvelous. I'm staying with kerosene lamps for ambiance and warmth. I can read quite happily by kero, but if you can't then put a goose neck lamp by your favorite reading spot.
system: Most people shut it down and winterize it. I'm in agreement there, I carry water
down in a small Coleman drink cooler and that works fine for cooking
, dishes, and a light wash and tooth brushing before bed
. Since most sink drains go straight down, and the impellors are bringing warm water up from the bottom, I don't have a problem with using the sink. Keep a lamp going under the counter and it won't freeze.
That's about all I can tell you, based on what I learned. I haven't lived aboard since that year but I am in the process of getting Sabre
Dance ready for me to retire aboard. I will be living aboard
in my normal stomping grounds for the first winter so I will be prepared this time.