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Old 10-01-2017, 10:09   #1
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Newbie... getting close to living on board

Hey all,
I've been lurking for a while now and reading up, and finally decided to register.
Have recently bought a 25 foot yacht with the aim of doing as much local area cruising as possible while unfortunately still having the need to work Mon - Fri, but also will be moving aboard once said boat is launched (hopefully early March). Will just be myself living on board.

Most folk that I have told that I will be moving on board the boat to live think that I am nuts, but I am not phased by the idea, as I lived in a Motorhome (an RV to US cousins) for the best part of a year about 8 years ago, so well used to small space living, though I have slipped in to full size living a bit since then! I realise I will be visiting the laundry once a week...

So at the moment I am faced (again!) with the inevitable down-sizing of possessions (3 bass guitars spring to mind for a start!) plus getting my flat ready to rent out in the next month or so... The boat is pretty much up to scratch internally at this stage, although that 'to-do' list seems to forever get longer rather than shorter! Main jobs left to do are now outside ones that need daylight (small epoxy repairs / filling here and there plus anti fouling). So, hopefully a few weekends of decent weather would see that achieved, then get a slot for launching in.

I will be on a berth in a marina, who are fine with liveaboards (1st question asked at time of buying the boat), power and water on the dock, toilets and showers at the main building. Boat has 2 burner alcohol stove, cool box, sink (cold water only), separate heads (no holding tank, so marina toilets while berthed). I will have an aft cabin for sleeping and main cabin for general living / lounging, small TV, ipod sound system, laptop with 4G dongle. I think that about covers my main 'needs'. I'm not a cordon bleu cook, but can rustle up a decent meal in a couple of pans.

Questions:
Will I manage with just a cool box? Really my fridge needs amount to a pint of milk for breakfast cereal and somewhere to put some butter and cheese! I'm thinking a big bag of ice from the supermarket every few days in the bottom of the cool box?

Heating: shore power... I have a small 2000 watt fan heater that heats the boat up very quickly while I have been in the boat yard working on her. Should I get a small oil filled heater for general use? I plan on adding blown air diesel heating for times away from the marina (possibly)

Storage: mainly for clothing items really... do folks put them in sealed plastic boxes? I was thinking of using 4 kind of canvas small boxes, about a foot cubed, on a shelf in the main cabin, shock corded in place so they don't move around when sailing. I only need hanging space for about 6 items really, and there is a small locker that will take that...

Absolute essential items that you would not live without? Bear in mind my needs are fairly simple (i.e. heat, light, music, laptop / internet, food, drink, washing, laundry) I'm thinking some form of boom tent would be a nice to have to use the cockpit area on not so nice days?

Any tips for keeping things as simple as possible? I'd like for it to be a boat that's ready to go sailing at 15 minutes notice, and I tend to try and adhere to the K.I.S.S. way... Less fancy stuff = less to go wrong...

Thanking you all in advance for any pointers / nuggets of wisdom.

Steve
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:13   #2
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Welcome to CF Steve , where are you located (roughly) . What boat do you have ? Ms. westi and I semi live aboard in the summer time , our boat has a large well insulated ice box . In the summer time we require at least 20 lbs. of ice per day . We are not thinking about a built in on board refrigeration system , we are thinking about a self contained plug in type like this https://www.westmarine.com/buy/norco...4?recordNum=47 . In our area we do not require a heater in the summer time but we do have a electric heater because we do sometimes stay on board when it's cold , I don't think I would go to the trouble of a permanently fixed diesel heater but on the other hand if you are going to be swinging on the hook on a cold night it's little flame would be comforting . For storing clothing we have a large hanging locker and we just hang shirts on a hook in the vee berth we have never tried to seal clothing in a box I think I heard that you want air circulate around them as much as possible .
You sound like you have the essentials covered . IMO a boom tent is a must also a dodger and weather cloth . Like this
The one tip I do have is do not have a pet of any kind . I have been called a animal hater , I'm not . Reason for no pets is simple you work and it is not nice to the animal to lock it up while you are at work . Not only that you do not want your boat to smell like a pet shop . Good luck and keep us posted .
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:24   #3
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Welcome, Steve! Where are you located? A 25-footer is not going to allow you much storage so be judicious about what you think you might need. I would not buy anything before you are fully liveaboard except perhaps for a small heater but that's only because I'm a weanie about the cold. Everything else you should put on the boat little by little as you really need it and after you make sure you don't have any leaks in ports or hatches or other issues to deal with. For example, unloading the cockpit locker every time you need to do something in there is a real PITA.

Good luck and have fun
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:03   #4
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Hi, I am based on the West coast of Scotland, so average temperature range is around 0 deg Celcius night time in winter to around 21/ 22 deg Celcius daytime temp in summer. I don't think I will need much in the way of heating from say April through September, apart from a short blast to take the chill off.

The boat is an MG Spring 25; Tony Castro designed cruiser / racer... aft cabin plus 2 settee berths, small galley, heads, chart table & seat. Inboard diesel engine.

Yes, dodgers are on my list! Those plus a boom tent should make for a useable cockpit on drizzly days, which we get plenty of here

No pets... would like a dog but it would be unfair working full time. Maybe once I retire...

I have a couple of very minor leaks on 2 portlights, but new seals should take care of those. I plan on replacing the main cabin windows in the summertime, but more due to scratching than leaks.

I realise that a 25 footer is tight for space, but as long as I can find space for storage of essential items, it should be fine. My entire world was fitted into a 26 foot motorhome at one stage, though there would have been more cubic footage in that... I found the getting rid of 'stuff' last time round strangely cathartic.

Thanks for your replies and encouragement
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:57   #5
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

When you say "So at the moment I am faced (again!) with the inevitable down-sizing of possessions (3 bass guitars spring to mind for a start!)" it doesn't sound like you really want to part with those.

Mount them on the ceiling or on the wall in place of art. No need to get rid of the good stuff! Unless you hate them of course...

This is great for hanging clothes (click me). It's been around forever, I think I've had a plastic one for 25+ years.

Toss a few charcoal briquettes in a container or loosely drawn cotton drawstring bag and it will absorb any musty odors in the closet/cabinet. Works just like the overpriced carbon filters you can stick on the underside of your trash can lid.
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Old 10-01-2017, 13:03   #6
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

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When you say "So at the moment I am faced (again!) with the inevitable down-sizing of possessions (3 bass guitars spring to mind for a start!)" it doesn't sound like you really want to part with those.

Mount them on the ceiling or on the wall in place of art. No need to get rid of the good stuff! Unless you hate them of course...

This is great for hanging clothes (click me). It's been around forever, I think I've had a plastic one for 25+ years.

Toss a few charcoal briquettes in a container or loosely drawn cotton drawstring bag and it will absorb any musty odors in the closet/cabinet. Works just like the overpriced carbon filters you can stick on the underside of your trash can lid.
Neat hanger system! I'd only need one though. I only own 3 shirts

Regards guitars... ultimately, they're all just 'things'. Things that are too big for boats... A ukelele might be better lol
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Old 10-01-2017, 13:24   #7
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Hey Steve , for inspiration check my o'l buddy's blog . Art of Hookie | Totally unprepared
He loves his ukulele among other stuff . He is a wild and crazy guy lives on his Falmouth Cutter (20') Sookie .
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:57   #8
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

I looked up your sailboat online. Nicely designed sailboat! Seems roomy enough for its length. You will like the sinplicity of the Orego alcohol stove. We use ours on the boat and at home. It is one of the best for marine use. Dont believe the myths about them on-line. They are all false. Smooth sailing!
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:45   #9
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

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Originally Posted by spukistiles View Post
I looked up your sailboat online. Nicely designed sailboat! Seems roomy enough for its length. You will like the sinplicity of the Orego alcohol stove. We use ours on the boat and at home. It is one of the best for marine use. Dont believe the myths about them on-line. They are all false. Smooth sailing!
Thanks
It's not a boat that's likely well known in North America, but mine was moulded by Northshore who build the Southerly range, so the hull appears well made. And it's reasonably roomy and well laid out for a small boat. The best bit is I have standing headroom in at least half of the cabin.

I took the Origo stove home in order to clean it up and work out how it all worked. Gave it a try at home and was impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of it... I have a gimbal kit for it and a pan holder too.

Just looking forward to getting the boat in the water and actually getting some sailing... some great places to sail nearby!
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:47   #10
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

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Originally Posted by markwesti View Post
Hey Steve , for inspiration check my o'l buddy's blog . Art of Hookie | Totally unprepared
He loves his ukulele among other stuff . He is a wild and crazy guy lives on his Falmouth Cutter (20') Sookie .
What a great looking boat! I'll give his blog a read when I get a chance; always enjoy reading about other folks advenures
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Old 11-01-2017, 07:16   #11
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pirate Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

The Spring 25's a nice little boat.. Congrats..
Which version is yours.. standard rudder or the twin rudder spec.. ??
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:20   #12
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Thanks

Twin rudders / wing keel, draught is around 3 feet.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:52   #13
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

My wife and I have lived aboard since 2004. Our winters here can also go to or below freezing and summers can get quite hot. We rent a small climate controlled storage unit which enables us to swap out seasonal clothes and equipment (I store two of my guitars there). PLEASE, if using any type of combustible heater on board, install a CO monitor. We play it safe and only use oil-filled electric heaters over the winter months (fortunately, our slip fee covers all our electricity usage). We also bring a small dehumidifier on board over the winter. The body puts a lot of moisture into the air as does a combustible stove (ours is LPG). This minimizes condensation and mold that can develop. We sail at every available opportunity so I would say keep things as simple as possible... keep things organized and stowed so you don't spend a lot of time preparing to go out. And finally.... welcome aboard
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Old 11-01-2017, 13:23   #14
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Thanks for the welcome

I have already bought a dessicant type dehumidifier that has worked wonders while the boat is out on the hard. I have it draining out through the galley sink outlet. I have noticed that on the high setting it raises the cabin temperature a fair bit. I think once on board that heating will be by a small oil filled electric radiator, possibly may fit an Eberspacher or Webasto further on once sailing and anchoring places but only if I feel a real need to have that heating option.
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Old 11-01-2017, 19:00   #15
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

In the US you can buy a 12 V DC thermoelectric cooler (also reverses polarity and becomes a warmer) For under $100. Would be a lot easier than schlepping ice every day. Most come with accessory (cigarette lighter type) plug. When we traveled on our 25' Tanzer, I set it on the settee and secured with bungee cords. Stayed put beautifully while sailing. If away from shore power for extended time, you can then throw in a block of ice.
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