We're living aboard
in Vancouver as well! However, we're at Mosquito Creek Marina, so we do have unlimited (i.e. unmetered!) power.
Some of the things that have helped us (apart from the luxury of running an electric
heater all the time, and two when it's really* bloody cold) at least when we're out on the hook, which we try to do a lot.
- Proper ventilation under the v-berth mattress. We installed the Neptune slat system in the summer, and we are so thankful. We had the hypervent underneath last winter, but it just didn't provide enough circulation (likely due to having a relatively small opening to the berth itself) and left the bunk damp and cold. When your bunk is ever so slightly damp, it's impossible to warm it up. We sleep so much better now, as the bed
actually warms up. There's probably about double the air gap between the lockers and the mattress now, and way more air flow. This has made the largest difference for us.
- memory foam mattress topper, somewhat surprisingly. We added this also in the summer when we redid the v-berth simply for comfort. It's the standard 2" thick that we bought from Jysk for ~$150 on sale
. We cut it to size and it's a dream to sleep on. You sink into it just enough and it really retains your body heat (without being too hot in summer) We've heard that it can also retain water
, but I check ours every time we wash the bedding and there haven't been any issues yet.
- Flannel sheets! I had no idea how much of a difference these make. Even with the heaters, climbing into the v-berth on our Douglas 32 can be freezing. Not anymore with the flannel. We also have a velourey fleecey blanket which is divine, but can be actually too hot after a bit, even with no heat. Our down duvet is also lovely.
- Kitten! Although we'd love a dog, we wouldn't be able to give it the care it needs right now. A kitten though, works a charm. He makes a great neck warmer.
heat. We have a Wallas stove which also provides heat. It's great at anchor
as it uses damp cabin
air for combustion and really helps to dry out the boat and damp gear
, even if the gear
is across the cabin
. Just make sure you have a source of fresh air. We can't wait 'til we can add a hydronic system, as hot water on the hook would just make me very very happy.
- When it's really cold, we stuff socks in the dorade vents as they create quite a breeze down below.
-We're pretty conscientious about dampness. We still haven't completely finished our shower
install (again, the marina access) but when we've used it it leaves a lot of dampness in the air and on surfaces. If we're boiling water, we make sure the hatch
is open and a fan blowing that wet air out so it doesn't collect on our hull
-Wet gear does not come inside. It's left to dry under the dodger
as much as possible. Wet sails
never never never come down below.
-I'm neurotic about airing lockers... back to the dampness issue. We had a few bouts with mildew in my shoe locker and in our hanging locker. Going through the lockers regularly and attacking any spots I see with Spray Nine keeps the mildew under control. Tedious but necessary. Along with that, my nice leather purses and some leather shoes have had to be banned from the boat. I'm not sure why, but certain items would grow mildew very quickly when others won't at all.
-Our settee cushions
are rectangular, so we flip them regularly, again, trying to eliminate that moisture. If one of us falls asleep on the settee after watching a movie
, the cushion will be damp in the morning. *gross*
- On the flip side, this cold weather
means our booze locker under the settee keeps beer
at the perfect temperature without taking up all the fridge/icebox space.
Would love to hear what other people are doing to cope! We still have some really cold nights!
*I'm originally from Northern Ontario
, but when I say really cold I'm just meaning sub-zero. I've become soft living on the West Coast