I am a new livaboard, only 2.5 months now, living in a marina on the Hudson
River in my good little ship "Moonda Dance" a somewhat insulated 1976 Westsail 32. The OP has asked for livaboard tips and it appears to become a thread just about heat, so I will give my 2 cents worth on this and that a little on something else. NY on the river can get very cold indeed, however by our standards it has been relatively warm, days in the 40's to 50's with evenings in the mid 30's to 20's. It has been my experience that that the water
definately insulates the boat. I have two sources of heat, a diesel
bulkhead mounted pot burner as well as a small electric
1400 watt oil
filled radiator. To date I have not winterized the motor
as during the coldest days the engine
space stays in the 40's, I start the motor
every weekend to keep oil
in the top end. When I go to work depending on what the forcasted temperatures are I leave the electric
on a very low setting, this has typically been more that enough to keep the chill off the boat for when I return at night. When it gets very cold and the wind
picks up like the last two days I will fire up the Dickinson
and run a 12 volt cabin
fan to circulate the warm air, this makes a huge diference. My dorades are open and I face the cowl into the wind
to keep an ample supply of fresh air into the boat and I am always warm and comfortable and never a bit of condensate. It was my theory to have way more BTU capability, overkill when I sized the diesel
heater, with the thought being on even the coldest days, I could have ample supply of fresh air coming into the boat and still be warm and not worry if every square inch of the vessel was insulated, or all the other things that some do to try and keep the heat in the boat. "Moon Dance" looks just the same on the outside as she does in the summer and is ready to sail, I am planning on sailing her on New Years day..
One of the things I didn't see mentioned is the issue of potable water
on the boat in the northern lattitides. Most marinas
shut down the water supply to the docks and livaboards have to carry their water in jugs periodicly to the boat. My solution to this issue has to become extremely frugal with my water usage, measuring my consumption
at about a half a gallon a day. So my big tip regarding water has been to use the same fork, spoon and knife over and over again. They reside in my coffe cup in the sink and get a perfunctory rinse off with some fresh water and a wipe down with exactly one sheet of paper towel. The eurika momment was when I decided to start using paper plates and bowls, this has vurtually eliminated any washing
and the little gallon jug with its built in spigot that nestles on the side of the sink usually lasts a whole week before I have to refill.
Peace to all my brothers and sisters from CF during the holidays, my wish is that everyone reflects on the things that really matter in life like love, kindness, family
, friends and good health!