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Old 24-04-2015, 11:33   #16
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

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If you are running refrigeration, and not at the dock, you are going to need more for replenishing electricity.
You can choose to add solar, windgen etc and look like a Geo satellite or get a high amp alternator and or a portable gen set.
You need a plan for this. You will likely burn through 100 amp hours ++ a day with a simple small refrigerator.
The good news is, in the PNW, you will be motoring a lot, so get a high amp alternator and maybe another battery or two if there's room. You will always have warm water with your hot water tank (if it has the heat exchanger)
In the PNW 10 gal propane would last us maybe 4-5 weeks or more.
and yes, more chain the better, the PNW has some deep anchorages.
I have looked at the Honda and read a lot of threads, watch a lot of videos but that's where my math has failed me. At 2000 watts how efficient is it to keep the bank charged? If I have to pick should it be more batteries, a bigger alternator or a Honda 2000?

Yes, we have 100' of chain and another 250' of rope rode.

It's a 38' Hunter and the recommended anchor is a 20kg Rocna. The next size up is 25kg then 33kg. How big is too big? (a can of worms, I realize).


It looks like the PO is going to replace the water heater so I am going to spend the extra $$ to have them tie it into the Webasto if possible.

And I totally forgot about the diesel usage of the heater. Another number to plugin... Thanks!

A pressure cooker? Those things actually scare me more than the propane stove But if I have to...

And as for insulation, I keep getting conflicting advice but if we get the berth in Victoria I am aiming for I will walk the dock and try and benefit from some first hand knowledge.

Thanks all!
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Old 24-04-2015, 11:44   #17
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

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Yes, we have 100' of chain and another 250' of rope rode.
!
Get rid of the rope rode. The problem with rope when used for anchoring every day, is chafe. Eventually, there's a high probability your anchor line will get cut on a sharp rock or bottom debris someday when you least expect it. Nothing wrong with using rope for an occasional lunch stop or weekend outing... but not for use 24/7/365. That would be insane unless you plan to have an anchor watch system in place 24/7/365 and never go ashore.
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Old 24-04-2015, 11:49   #18
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

I would go with the high output alternator. No gen set running on the deck, pulling it in and out etc. As I said, in that area you will be motoring a lot… take advantage of that and get a big alternator and good regulator. Not over 100 amp for a single belt situation. Ditto for the Hot water heater with engine heat exchanger , after a couple hours run motoring, your water will stay hot enough for a shower for over night. .Do you have a windlass? If so… yes, get all chain rode.
The Webasto uses very little diesel.
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Old 24-04-2015, 12:08   #19
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

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Originally Posted by Macblaze View Post
I have looked at the Honda and read a lot of threads, watch a lot of videos but that's where my math has failed me. At 2000 watts how efficient is it to keep the bank charged? If I have to pick should it be more batteries, a bigger alternator or a Honda 2000?

Yes, we have 100' of chain and another 250' of rope rode.

It's a 38' Hunter and the recommended anchor is a 20kg Rocna. The next size up is 25kg then 33kg. How big is too big? (a can of worms, I realize).


It looks like the PO is going to replace the water heater so I am going to spend the extra $$ to have them tie it into the Webasto if possible.

And I totally forgot about the diesel usage of the heater. Another number to plugin... Thanks!

A pressure cooker? Those things actually scare me more than the propane stove But if I have to...

And as for insulation, I keep getting conflicting advice but if we get the berth in Victoria I am aiming for I will walk the dock and try and benefit from some first hand knowledge.

Thanks all!
Mike,

It sounds like you are pretty well set up with anchor rode... make sure to have a back-up...

RE: Anchor sizing: Since you are focusing on a Rocna, also look at their new Vulcan model [no rollbar...] It might be easier to upsize on notch without the rollbar.

RE: Water heater- since you are getting a new one, take the benefit of my recent research [and choice] and investigate the "Spa" models from IsoTherm. Very well insulated and a built-in mixing valve so the superheated water from your engine/hydronic heater will last longer and never scald... Also, they come with a lower wattage electric element (750watts vs. 1500). This is a compromise for recovery time on AC vs. shore power load. A 2k generator might also power it if necessary... [not your highest generator priority I realize...]

RE: Insulation: The confusion comes in because if you under insulate, the condensation still occurs. This is mainly a function of temperature differential on opposite sides of the insulation... [think dew point...]

I found 1" closed cell foam worked well in a boat heated to 70F in -20F ambient temps [when accompanied by good ventilation and reduced moisture release inside the cabin...] There are some specialized high density, sticky-back foams with infused mildew retardant [for inside HVAC ducts so it is safe... Sorry, couldn't find my reference quickly... can dig deeper if interested.]

RE: Pressure cooker: Don't let the stories passed down by our great grandparents be your guide. The modern versions are very safe indeed... (e.g., Rincon, etc.)

We also got into using a thermal cooker on the boat these last few years. [Think crock pot without the heat coils...] We bought a Saratoga Jacks model and use it to make yogurt [and more importantly, yoghurt cheese...] and cook great meals [soups, stews, roasts, etc.] This also saves fuel and reduces moisture release since cooking [boiling] time rarely exceeds 10 mins...

Keep having fun!
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Old 24-04-2015, 12:20   #20
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

[QUOTE=exMaggieDrum;1808941]Just a few quick thoughts to add to the others. Your 6-gal water heater is probably AC only, i.e. not engine hot water heated. As such you will not have any hot water on the boat unless you heat it on your propane stove. - something always at a premium. /QUOTE]


I don't know what your water heater set up is. Mine is AC and heat exchanger from the engine. However, it takes a while for the engine to heat up enough for the thermostat to open and then a while longer for the heat exchanger in the 6 gallon water heater to heat up the water. Works okay when you are motoring. Takes too long to be used effectively on the hook. The Honda generator gives you the AC power. That works fine unless you have close neighbors and don't want the noise.


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Old 24-04-2015, 12:22   #21
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

Two more thoughts:
Anchor: Remember you are in the PNW; rocks abound. If one new style anchor is better in rock then , then I would get that one. It's not always rock at all, but there are times..
Pressure Cooker: "fuggitaboudit". In the PNW your challenge is keeping warm, even in summer, so heat from the stove is not a problem. Just cook normal.


If you go with a generator, you need a good charger to go with it.


I disagree about the water heater. In 1.25 hours at anchor typical charging time, the water heater water was scalding. Any motoring/moving and it gets hot fast.
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Old 24-04-2015, 12:34   #22
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

rope rode is only good for kedging off a shoal.
save your boat-- use all chain to anchor.
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Old 24-04-2015, 12:39   #23
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

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If you go with a generator, you need a good charger to go with it.
Is this good?

Magnum MS2812

Continuous output at 25C: 125 ADC
Charger Efficiency: 85%
Input current at rated output (AC amps): 18

Seriously this stuff confuse the hell out of me :-) The math is going to be her responsibility!
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Old 24-04-2015, 13:08   #24
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

This is going to be a bit dependent on your exact situation in the summer. Are you really going to be at anchor for 5-6 days at a time? We usually move on after a couple nights in one place. There are so many new places to explore close by!

If you're moving every couple days, then a 100 Amp, externally regulated alternator is an excellent investment. There is very little wind here in the summers, so you'll do a lot of motoring anyways. The built-in internally regulated alternators are pretty useless.

The most important thing you can do for your power consumption is an LED anchor light. The second most important thing is LED every other light (except steaming light).

We use half rope rode and it works fine for us. With so little wind in the summers, you won't be chafing much. You wander more on rope rode, but that's usually more of an issue in shallow, crowded anchorages when we're only using the chain half. We do plan to upgrade, but it isn't on our priority list.

The cheapest winter marina in Victoria is in front of the Empress. The best is in front of another hotel (don't remember which one?). You get to use all their facilities, but there are many year round live-aboards there, so you might not be able to get in.
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Old 24-04-2015, 13:15   #25
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

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This is going to be a bit dependent on your exact situation in the summer. Are you really going to be at anchor for 5-6 days at a time? We usually move on after a couple nights in one place. There are so many new places to explore close by!

If you're moving every couple days, then a 100 Amp, externally regulated alternator is an excellent investment. There is very little wind here in the summers, so you'll do a lot of motoring anyways. The built-in internally regulated alternators are pretty useless.

The most important thing you can do for your power consumption is an LED anchor light. The second most important thing is LED every other light (except steaming light).

We use half rope rode and it works fine for us. With so little wind in the summers, you won't be chafing much. You wander more on rope rode, but that's usually more of an issue in shallow, crowded anchorages when we're only using the chain half. We do plan to upgrade, but it isn't on our priority list.

The cheapest winter marina in Victoria is in front of the Empress. The best is in front of another hotel (don't remember which one?). You get to use all their facilities, but there are many year round live-aboards there, so you might not be able to get in.
Thanks. I figure we will likely move every couple of days but as with all of this its pure speculation until I can finally get out there.

I've talked to both the GVHA and the Coast Harbourside Hotel and Marina. The GVHA dens't open their new bookings until the end of May and The Coast has a waiting list. So its just another of those things I don't know yet. Way too many of those right about now.

What's the Sail Mentor thing all about?
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Old 24-04-2015, 15:34   #26
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

When you ask such a general question of course you will get a wide range of answers. Keep in mind that everyone has their own style of living aboard/cruising, and what seems inadequate for some is luxurious for others. You really have to decide for yourself, and that means getting experience first. Don't spend a fortune loading up the boat with "must haves" before you start - you will be wasting a lot of money and time.

My recommendation: you have a nice, well-equipped boat, so spend this summer cruising her and learning what isn't working for you and then you have next winter to make changes. Don't throw a bunch of money down a hole in the water until you know you need to.

That said, particularly for the PNW you should have 300ft of chain (5/16HT should do) and you will really appreciate an electric anchor windlass. You can add the chain now but I wouldn't deal with the windlass until next year, and then only if you don't like your current system after a summer of use.

You have a great heater - nothing to change there but do ventilate!

Don't buy the generator yet - most long-term cruisers don't carry them. They are a PITA, and do corrode in the marine environment. Your engine can recharge the batteries this summer, then decide for yourself. Solar helps, and is valuable for tropical cruising, but is marginal in the PNW. Your first priority for using electricity on the hook is to convert to energy-saving devices (e.g. LEDs). If you need 120VAC then you can buy an inverter - they are quite inexpensive these days.

But first get some experience under your belt so you know the specific questions for your lifestyle. We'll still be here...

Greg
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Old 24-04-2015, 15:49   #27
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

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When you ask such a general question of course you will get a wide range of answers. Keep in mind that everyone has their own style of living aboard/cruising, and what seems inadequate for some is luxurious for others. You really have to decide for yourself, and that means getting experience first. Don't spend a fortune loading up the boat with "must haves" before you start - you will be wasting a lot of money and time.

My recommendation: you have a nice, well-equipped boat, so spend this summer cruising her and learning what isn't working for you and then you have next winter to make changes. Don't throw a bunch of money down a hole in the water until you know you need to.

That said, particularly for the PNW you should have 300ft of chain (5/16HT should do) and you will really appreciate an electric anchor windlass. You can add the chain now but I wouldn't deal with the windlass until next year, and then only if you don't like your current system after a summer of use.

You have a great heater - nothing to change there but do ventilate!

Don't buy the generator yet - most long-term cruisers don't carry them. They are a PITA, and do corrode in the marine environment. Your engine can recharge the batteries this summer, then decide for yourself. Solar helps, and is valuable for tropical cruising, but is marginal in the PNW. Your first priority for using electricity on the hook is to convert to energy-saving devices (e.g. LEDs). If you need 120VAC then you can buy an inverter - they are quite inexpensive these days.

But first get some experience under your belt so you know the specific questions for your lifestyle. We'll still be here...

Greg


THis is really good advice.

The only things I would do right now is get the chain and you will need a diesel heater. I got the Wallas and like a quiet forced air system, as it keeps the boat drier.

ALL else, wait and see what you really need.

Buying a gasoline generator simply does not make sense to me.
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Old 24-04-2015, 15:52   #28
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

I don't know why lots of people think you need 300 ft of chain. The anchorage's are deep, but there is zero coral. Plus you tend to change anchorages often, allowing a good inspection of any line. We did SE Alaska and the Queen Charlotte's with 100 ft of chain backed by 200 ft of line. I never had a concern about the rode.
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Old 24-04-2015, 16:00   #29
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

If you don't have a windless... don't add chain...get rid of some unless you are a weight lifter... you'll be hard pressed to pull up 100 ft as it is. I have cruised small boats up here a lot with just 20 ft of chain. But bigger boats all had electric windlasses. I would get one if you don't have one... pulling anchor in the currents that often prevail up here you'll be VERY glad you have one.


Anyway, using your boat for a while is good advice, but if you are running refrigeration you will need to be careful you dont deplete your batteries in the middle of nowhere, if you have two banks you can do it... but sooner or later you will forget and leave them both connected, if you don't have it setup idiot proof.
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Old 24-04-2015, 16:28   #30
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Re: What's Necessary to Liveaboard in the PNW in Comfort?

My backs too old and too abused to think of pulling chain without a windlass :-) like I mentioned, it's a pretty well-equipped cruiser but I don't think it was ever set up for multi days in the hook.
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