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Old 19-10-2019, 15:37   #16
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

Everyone has different needs, wants and desires. It is all about the trade offs from one boat to the other.

If I was going to live aboard in the PNW, be single handing or short handing, and was going to be doing some cruising not just sitting in the marina I would be looking for some thing like at the link below built for the Baltic. Admittedly she is more of a motor sailor. With Aluminium hull, twin keels, two engines, and lots of tankage she is a go almost anywhere vessel.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/201...-16-m-3206010/

For live aboard somewhere warm it would be cat all the way.
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Old 19-10-2019, 16:15   #17
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

People live aboard in the PNW for sure. The trouble with a cat is that you have 3 very separate spaces to heat. I would put dual 30 amp shore power in and run a heater in the main salon and the "bedroom" you use. Maybe visqueen off the other hull.... ?
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Old 19-10-2019, 17:55   #18
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

Hmm… That there Reinke seems to me to be overkill. Large-ish perfectly fine mono's with PLENTY of space for a chap or a couple to live aboard, and probably a better layout, abound in the PNW for less than a quarter of the asking price for this 'un.

Since she is a twin keeler with two 65 horse engines driving three-bladers, her weatherliness must be suspect. A biggish Garden designs like the "Formosa" would probably offer more satisfaction taken overall. In the Straits of Georgia you are on the wind as often as off it, so weatherliness does count, if it is sailing you would do. In the summer there often isn't as much as a cats-paw in the middle of the Strait,s and in the winter it can blow like the dickens. At this very moment it's blowing a solid twenty off Bowen Island. If I'm not mistaken there were times last night when it was touching 40. So the nature of rigging has to be a concern in the choice of vessel. For monos (I don't know about cats), an S/D on the high side of 25 would be the cat's pajamas (so to speak) in the summer, but must be reefable to an EFFECTIVE S/D of something like 10 when the stormy winds do blow.

Here is the arrangements for the Formosa 41:

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/formosa-41

Having sailed one, I can aver that they handle well. Easily handled by one man, and quite weatherly, though they are not fast. Darn good live-aboards though, and you might even find one with a Dickinson stove already in it. The one I sailed had one.

Garden made a special accommodation - having worked years and years outta Seattle - and let it be marketed under the name "Yankee Clipper 41".

I would expect to be able to pick one up right in the Salish Sea in excellent condition for a hunnert'n'ahalf, a "fixer-upper" for as little as $30K

Some of them had pilot houses fitted. That's a distinct boon in these waters.

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Old 19-10-2019, 17:59   #19
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

The PNW doesn't get THAT cold, it's the wet that will get you. Find a copy of The Warm Dry Boat by Roger McAfee, that will give you lots of insight into how to keep your boat warm (reasonably straightforward) and dry (harder). It's all about the ventilation, you need to keep lots of air moving through everything, that's how you stay dry. He has calculations in there for how much moisture each human generates etc and how much air movement you need to have to replace the air in the boat X times per day to offset that.

So to stay dry, you need fresh air moving through everything, which means you don't want everything closed up, which means your heat generation needs to be ample so you can heat while still moving cool fresh air into the boat. When we're feeling a little clammy we open the hatch, turn the heaters up high and let the warm wet air rise out of the boat, dries everything out.

Others have pointed out that heating that large area is hard, that's why you don't see as many cats up in the PNW as other places. But the plus side is you have more open space to (temporarily) absorb increases in humidity, so for example as long as you're keeping good air flow through the kitchen I bet making a pot of pasta doesn't steam up your whole boat as badly as it does my 32' monohull.

A single space heater draws 15a, two will max out your 30a service with nothing left over for battery charger, coffee maker etc. They are also somewhat dangerous and they don't provide very dry or even heat. I spent one week in November and one in March on our 32' monohull with two space heaters and won't ever do that again. Even with double 30a service you could only run 3 space heaters if you wanted to run anything else at all, or 4 space heaters with nothing else running, and you'll still be cold and wet IMO.

As soon as we installed diesel forced air all was right in the world. We have fans in two pilothouse windows constantly (like 24/7/365) blowing fresh air into the pilothouse, this keeps us dry and the diesel heater keeps us warm, and the forced air avoids cold spots. Our Wallas runs fine on battery power, but even when we're on shore power we use it not space heaters as that allows us to run other appliances and it gives a much better even heat. Only time we might switch to the space heaters is the rare time we get wind from the stern (we berth bow to prevailing winds) and then you can smell the exhaust from the diesel forced air.

If you can afford it I would install a Wallas (my preferred brand as it's quieter outside) heater in each hull, and either run a second vent into the main salon from each heater or use fans to move air into the salon. Either way lots of fans on low to move the air around, and you need a reliable way (even when it's bucketing) to get FRESH air in from the outside and stale, humid air to the outside, preferably something more forceful than just letting ambient air movement do it.
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Old 19-10-2019, 18:44   #20
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

I lived on board year round in Chicago for several years on a monohull sailboat. During the winter, the marina would blow air through PVC pipes under the slip to keep the water moving and prevent a solid freeze up outside the boat. I had three ceramic heaters (with tip-over shut off switches) for heat. I also used one incandescent bulb under the engine since the engine room was sealed and did not receive air from the warm cabin. I bought reflective mylar lined bubble wrap insulation for the cabinets and lazerettes. Admittedly not much hull insulation but between the moving warm air from the heaters and this little bit of insulation, I never had a problem with condensation, mold or mildew. The few who overwintered all became very close. Who knew a Saturday morning pumpout would become a community activity and the genesis for the next week's social activities... My advice is that you shouldn't be afraid of it. Try it. Adjust as you go. You will be fine.
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Old 19-10-2019, 19:43   #21
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

A 450 catamaran is a big boat. You'll need a lot of heat. I'd guess, after having lived in Seattle 10 winters on board, you'll need about 20,000BTU. Plus a full cover (allowing for smoke stack exit).

BTW, 20,000BTU is four electric space heaters, and they are NOT dry heat, and that is 60amps of shore power, AND that leaves nothing for heating your coffee or running your Internet. You need diesel heat.

If you can pay for that much Webasto or Espar, plus spares, and can fix it yourself, go for it.

Of course, some days are balmy. Then you can go outside and clean off the soot.

Make sure you have enough power (and I don't mean shore power) to run the things when you are away from the dock, then you can enjoy some marvelous cruising in the winter. Quiet, cold, hot buttered rum, and the boat is warm. Nothing better.

But it is no piece of cake. Just one mistake getting off the boat in the icy winter can result in a broken leg, or worse, a dunk in the ocean.

Be prepared for soot like a black blizzard when the heaters malfunction, and the neighbors will complain to the marina. Been there done that.

It's easier for the monohulls to hunker down. You are exposed. The full canvas will cost you $5000. The diesel, 2 gal per day, and you either have to lug it or go to the fuel dock.

But, but... that new Year's weekend trip to Port Madison, it will make it all worth while.

I'd guess the folks I know who do it in Alaska have a similar tale.
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Old 19-10-2019, 20:16   #22
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How cold does it get?

Just thought I'd give some stats for Seattle. All temps in Fahrenheit.
The lowest low was 0 70 years ago. Last winter it got down to 24 although 9 years earlier it hit 14. We haven't seen single digit lows since the 80s.
The average low for Dec. and Jan, is 34 and the average high is 45. As you would guess there are several days above 50 in those months.
It's not that cold here and it doesn't snow much except we got a shellacking this past Feb. which was real rare. We do get rain but actually only about 70% of most places on the east and gulf coasts. It just seems like a lot because it may rain all day (some days) but it is just drizzle. I think it will be the humidity/condensation which will be a bigger issue.
And the reason you don't see cats much is most are going to the Med or the Carib and it's an expensive haul to get them or any boat over here. But I can count over a dozen in my little corner of the Sound and the Sound is a really big place. There's Lagoons, FP, Voyage, Maine Cats, Catanas, Atlantics, Seawind, Nautitech and some customs. And more I'm sure. And tris of course.
The biggest issue for the OP will be finding a liveaboard slip. They are limited and get snatched up instantly. I've heard of years long waiting lists. But good luck with your endeavor.
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Old 19-10-2019, 20:30   #23
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

I only lived aboard for 4 years in the PNW. Often people who come to the PNW start thinking that 35 degrees F is nothing - They had -5 in Colorado or Toronto or ... However the humidity at below freezing temps tends to be lower than when at temps above freezing. There is really not much colder than 33 degrees and 100% humidity short of -20 F.

It is all about the transfer of heat from you to the air.

As has been noted ample air flow to keep the humidity down is one of the keys to staying warm on a boat here in the PNW.
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Old 19-10-2019, 21:21   #24
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

You can do it. Go speak to some of the houseboaters in lake Union Seattle . You are sitting in water which is 32Plus deg f just do not try and live in an atmosphere of 70 deg settle for 50 f plus or minus Put a big Canvas cover to protect as much of the boat and cockpit as possible to keep the sun OFF. Buy Harris wool Fisherman' s trousers Canadian Cowichan Indian Sweaters and Tooks and Stanfields long Johns. If you want to do heavy breathing go get a hotel room for the lady. The Stanfields will probably turn her burners down anyway!! Wallas Marine Make a Kerosene heater with ducts and fans and a guy down by lake union close to Gas Plant Park used to sell them , Check with Fisheries Supply. Make a new base for the bunk No continuous plywood. Red Cedar Strakes 3/4" X 1.5" bullnose all edges at 1/4" radius and run them fore and aft at 3" spacing support beams (narrow ) at every 18"well varnished and a blower in the empty space from one end to the other . Turn the foam mattress up on edge when you are not using it. Vist the Neighbourhood Swimming pool for exercise and showers. And meet healthy ladies "What you see is what you get!" Find a good Lakeside bar to eat supper every few nights. Pick one bar they will get used to your odor of wet sheep ( the sweaters) Tip heavily! If you can spare the room and diesel smell Buy a Dickinson stove from Vancouver B.C. The chimney does spread a lot of black soot on occasion sure good for ventilation and a big black radiating body ( It is the stove I am talking about) ! It is not that bad The boat will be virtually mold free if it is freezing it is the spring and fall when it is wet and 60 degrees in the shade what you become the green or black man Ugh! and nothing you want to touch kills the mold. Good Luck I know of a couple of very successful marriages that have been spawned in small boats in the N.W. If a couple still like each other in those conditions It was Made by God.
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Old 19-10-2019, 21:42   #25
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

So I see a lot of general statements here. So for a few facts, here we go. We have lived aboard in Bellingham for 6 years, 2 of them on our 52' Pachoud Powercat. And we love it, And winters are fine, even crazy cold ones. We have a propane cooktop and oven, 2 adults and a large dog. Zero humidity/mold issues. And we both have long showers every morning.

We do have a 30 pint 110 volt portable dehumidifier which we leave running during the day (winters only) and it fills up and shuts off some times by evening, sometimes not.

We have a diesel hydronic heating system with 7 radiators. If it is cold, we run it for 30 minutes as we get up and the boat becomes nice and toasty. After that, we have a small electric radiant heater in the galley that we can leave on set at about 68 degrees but the boat usually warms up just with radiant heat (even if cloudy) on its own. On the super cold windy days, it's a different story. We use the hydronic on and off during the day.

An electric mattress pad makes all night no issues at all. On the hook the hydronic also heats our water tanks. As do the engines.

Water tanks are below the waterline so never get cold. Genset ti the rescue if there is a dockside power failure.

I know nothing of the Lagoons but our girl is foam cored. But honestly, with all our windows you would think that would be an issue. But it just helps with heating from the sun. Of course it is a big area for heat loss at night. If you want to check it out, feel free to let us know and you are welcome to come visit!
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Old 25-10-2019, 08:19   #26
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

The espar diesel furnaces work very well re heating the Interior air removing excess moisture.
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Old 25-10-2019, 08:50   #27
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

I can't answer to living on a catamaran, but I'm entering my second New England winter aboard my 33' Egg Harbor powerboat. I heat with electric plug-in radiators. It was not what I would call toasty last winter, but I was comfy wearing -30 long-johns, fingerless gloves, a hat and scarf, and heavy sweaters.

This year I wrapped the bow and the two-thirds of the boat that face north, and I'm hoping for greater comfort and less nor'easter leakage in my 1975 teak housing. The bow and back deck have big windows that face south and give me a lot of solar heating in the afternoon. No condensation last year, but I'm noticing some this year as the nights are now getting colder and I'm better insulated.
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Old 25-10-2019, 09:46   #28
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

Here's what I know about living aboard in SE Alaska. Not specific to boat type. You will have to decide if you can pull it off. You need to provide a windbreak and a dead airspace. Point the bow into the prevailing wetness and provide some kind of tarp or cover to windward. It doesn't have to cover the entire boat and it doesn't have to be fancy. But creating some dead air space to windward is key.
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Old 25-10-2019, 10:23   #29
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 566158 View Post
The espar diesel furnaces work very well re heating the Interior air removing excess moisture.
We found that humidity was a bigger problem than lack of heat; our Espar provided plenty of heat (as did the later heater we used, a High Seas) but humidity and mold was ever present.

By bringing in cold, dry, air from outside to replace the air used by combustion, instead of reheating the inside air, the boat got a lot dryer.
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Old 25-10-2019, 10:56   #30
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post

By bringing in cold, dry, air from outside to replace the air used by combustion, instead of reheating the inside air, the boat got a lot dryer.
Just like in a car where running "recirculate" will quickly fog the windows, these heaters need to pull that dry air from the outside to keep the dampness down.

Early this week we were on shorepower and running an electric heater for three days. While it was nice and warm (and free), the interior humidity was in the upper 70s which is just below ambient in Scotland. Now that we're back at anchor and running the diesel, humidity is back down to a much more comfortable 44%.

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