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Old 12-09-2010, 06:28   #1
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Wintering in New York

Hi all,
i am considering purchasing a used catamaran - 50' - 55'.
And living aboard at a marina thru the winter. I realize how cold it gets here. And witnessed the rivers freeze over in 2004.
My questions/thoughts.
Is is it really feasible?
I would have a 5 year old daughter aboard at times.
I would install a diesel fired hydronic heater system - with baseboards from end to end in each hull. Or incorporate a fan coil into existing ductwork if there.The system from ITR looks good - International Thermal Research Home Page.
Put up a ridged cover - perhaps shrink wrapped to shed the snow?
Would need salt mix for deck and dock?
I've read of problems with moisture, ventilation. Is this just an issue if not adequately heated?
Would pump outs be operating?
And how to get out of there if it starts to freeze over??
I really want to get another boat, but at least temporarily must stay in NYC. If it is just too miserable, would not do it...(ok, maybe I will regardless)
Cheers
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:15   #2
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Covering with shink wrap I believe is a necessity! Your posts reads as if you know what our winter weather is like. Things around here (Massachusetts) are bearable up until December 1. But again, I know you understand.

Personally, there is no conceivable way I would live on my boat during the winter. Heck, I can just about keep it comfortable in the fall and early spring using heat pumps. An uninsulated boat is going to be very cold sitting in 35-40 degree water.

Good luck!

Foggy
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:50   #3
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jack.

Good luck with your new boat!

I think you might best source a marina, that would let you over-winter aboard. Should you be unable, the other details become moot.

There’s numerous liveaboards who survive winters in the Toronto region, so NYC will be doable. The details of how they do so include, ice-eaters/aereators, enclosure/shelters, heaters, and shore facilities (an operating marina).
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Old 12-09-2010, 15:11   #4
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We live aboard in Baltimore, and last winter if you can remember was "historic", meaning we got close to six feet of snow! All the boats looked like litttle igloos! The marina docks were icy, the water frozen.
But, it was the best winter I spent in Baltimore. It was my first winter aboard our Constellation, and inside we were warm and toasty. We didn't have ice-eaters, so every now and then we would take turns breaking up the ice around the boat. After that experience I am not afraid of winter. We will have ice eaters in the water to prevent the water from freezing around the boat this winter, but other then that we will hunker down and enjoy our warm floating nest.
I imagine NY would be similar to Baltimore and depending on your boat, a nice shrink wrap job should keep you warm and dry.
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Old 13-09-2010, 14:30   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
Covering with shink wrap I believe is a necessity! Your posts reads as if you know what our winter weather is like. Things around here (Massachusetts) are bearable up until December 1. But again, I know you understand.

Personally, there is no conceivable way I would live on my boat during the winter. Heck, I can just about keep it comfortable in the fall and early spring using heat pumps. An uninsulated boat is going to be very cold sitting in 35-40 degree water.

Good luck!

Foggy

thanks foggy. Do you think it possible if you had diesel heaters?


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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jack.

Good luck with your new boat!

I think you might best source a marina, that would let you over-winter aboard. Should you be unable, the other details become moot.

There’s numerous liveaboards who survive winters in the Toronto region, so NYC will be doable. The details of how they do so include, ice-eaters/aereators, enclosure/shelters, heaters, and shore facilities (an operating marina).
thanks gord, I am checking around. Would be good at Chelsea Piers($$$). will check the dock at 79th st and liberty in NJ.


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Originally Posted by DogOnBoat View Post
We live aboard in Baltimore, and last winter if you can remember was "historic", meaning we got close to six feet of snow! All the boats looked like litttle igloos! The marina docks were icy, the water frozen.
But, it was the best winter I spent in Baltimore. It was my first winter aboard our Constellation, and inside we were warm and toasty. We didn't have ice-eaters, so every now and then we would take turns breaking up the ice around the boat. After that experience I am not afraid of winter. We will have ice eaters in the water to prevent the water from freezing around the boat this winter, but other then that we will hunker down and enjoy our warm floating nest.
I imagine NY would be similar to Baltimore and depending on your boat, a nice shrink wrap job should keep you warm and dry.
Hi DogOnBoat,
yea last winter was long. And we just had a very hot summer. Shocking yesterday as it suddenly dropped to a chilly 65. What kind of heater do you have? And did you have issues with moisture/mold
thanks
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Old 30-09-2010, 13:51   #6
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I believe NYC's winter's are no shorter than Toronto's (seen -36C on 2008!!!), but since there're hundreds of boats around the world that dedicate themselves for arctic locations, that should be doable. Although I'm not experienced on the subject some solutions that come to my mind and which might work are as follows :

1. Since you'll be loosing most of the temperature from the bottom of the boat, you can try to insulate it by placing roof insulation blankets (I believe glass fiber) between the hull and floor boards
2. Carpets
3. If the boat is well insulated, a space heater should just work wonders

Hope you make it through the winter and when you do so, I'll be ready and waiting for your suggestions to use them myself!!!
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Old 30-09-2010, 14:13   #7
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Originally Posted by MehmetCan View Post
1. Since you'll be loosing most of the temperature from the bottom of the boat, you can try to insulate it by placing roof insulation blankets (I believe glass fiber) between the hull and floor boards

I might be wrong but the bottom of the boat here in an Ontario winter will probably be warmer than the outside temperature most of the time. I would think most heat loss would be through the topsides and cabin roof.

As an aside the way we sometimes break ice around our docks is by using a submersible sump pump with a two foot section of pvc pipe on the top and putting it down in the water a few feet. This brings the warmer water to the surface. The water a few feet down is warmer than the surface water.
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Old 30-09-2010, 14:23   #8
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I agree would be most heat-loss thru the top. The air can get colder than the water. However, the catamaran will have an extra issue with the bottom of the bridge-deck being exposed to the air.
I a have a great location in mind. But there will be no water, diesel, pump-out, so can possibly motor over to NJ to fill/empty tanks once per month. Else use the jerry cans if river is frozen. Hopefully the water pumps will work well enough to prevent ice forming.
cheers
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Old 30-09-2010, 14:32   #9
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No, Rick, you're right. the coldest water can get and remain water is 0C; the air in Toronto can easily get to 20 below.

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Old 30-09-2010, 14:53   #10
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Allez-cat,

Anything is possible. there was a live aboard in my marina in Nj a few years ago, who commuted to NY on the train. He had a good heater aboard.

One problem that I anticipate for you is finding a slip wide enough to accomodate you. I imagine the number Catamaran slips are limited.

Jersey City, Newport Marina has spots along the seawall with floating platforms..with electric and possibly water. I might check with them. They have clean indoor showers and a small clubhouse within easy walking distance. The path train to NY is right there.

Many marinas turn their water supplies off for the winter.

I know of a Catamaran slip in The Atlantic Highlands, that gets vacated about now, they head south......look up...Tracey Sailing School..he has a 41 foot maine cat.
The Highlands has a fast ferry to NYC.
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Old 30-09-2010, 17:12   #11
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Allez-cat,

Anything is possible. there was a live aboard in my marina in Nj a few years ago, who commuted to NY on the train. He had a good heater aboard.

One problem that I anticipate for you is finding a slip wide enough to accomodate you. I imagine the number Catamaran slips are limited.

Jersey City, Newport Marina has spots along the seawall with floating platforms..with electric and possibly water. I might check with them. They have clean indoor showers and a small clubhouse within easy walking distance. The path train to NY is right there.

Many marinas turn their water supplies off for the winter.

I know of a Catamaran slip in The Atlantic Highlands, that gets vacated about now, they head south......look up...Tracey Sailing School..he has a 41 foot maine cat.
The Highlands has a fast ferry to NYC.
thanks,
I'm still trying for Manhattan side - seems possible for the 6 month off-season. 1/4 off the summer price. But I think the NJ side certainly has more facilities(I just don't want to commute)
cheers
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:01   #12
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Concrete Blankets

I have successfully used the blankets they use in Maryland to cure concrete in winter. They have top and bottom layer of heavy poly and foam in between. 6'x25' cost about $60. My first one came off a job site. They last but are bulky to store. Heat rises cover top first. After couple years of trying to fasten them down I just laid them on and fastened blue tarp over the top. Put pink foam insulation under your mattress also. Doesn't matter how good the blankets are if cold coming up through mattress.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:16   #13
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I have successfully used the blankets they use in Maryland to cure concrete in winter. They have top and bottom layer of heavy poly and foam in between. 6'x25' cost about $60. My first one came off a job site. They last but are bulky to store. Heat rises cover top first. After couple years of trying to fasten them down I just laid them on and fastened blue tarp over the top. Put pink foam insulation under your mattress also. Doesn't matter how good the blankets are if cold coming up through mattress.
Sounds good. Chances are it will be summer by the time I buy a boat. In any case good ideas. Maybe use shrink-wrap to hold the thermal blankets down and use blue board or similar under the mattresses.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:30   #14
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Have you tried Liberty Landing in NJ ? It's only 12 mins by ferry from NY. Not sure about cat specific slips. Last winter there was plenty of space.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:41   #15
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You asked about moisture and whether this is a problem only if you don't have good heat.

It IS a problem even with good heat. The problem is from condensation. It will be a much bigger problem on a boat with solid GRP topsides, than one which is cored. I believe that nearly all large cats are cored everywhere. Our boat is balsa cored down to the turn of the bilge and is reasonably free of condensation inside. But we will still get a lot of condensation inside hatches and so forth. Keeping the air circulating will help evaporate this condensation but you might have to deal with drips into your bunk and other unpleasant phenomena, as we do.
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