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Old 25-10-2019, 13:39   #31
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle
Boat: 1973 Spencer 53
Posts: 37
Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

Family of 5 living aboard in Seattle at Shilshole. There are plenty of catamarans around, even a few as liveaboards. The cold isn't the issue as others have stated, just the humidity when everyone wakes up and starts to do stuff.

We may be outliers, but we don't have any diesel heating/forced air system and we're on an old (1973) 53-footer with practically no insulation. We run a single propane floor stove when moored (it shuts off if it detects motion, so we'd have to look at forced air if we wanted to be active winter sailors) and two Eva-Dry 4000 units (one in the salon and one aft where there is otherwise poor circulation). When cooking, we just crack the companionway hatch a bit to vent off the worst of the humidity.

The propane stove only draws ~1 amp and the EDVs draw ~5 amps each. Occasionally we shut the rear cabin one off and turn on both aft bunk 12v fans instead if it's not raining out just to keep the circulation up without as much draw on the system.

Nevertheless, we sweep for mold every month or so, year-round.
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Old 25-10-2019, 14:09   #32
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: KH 49x, Custom
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

That's one of the nicest looking power cats I've seen yet.
Congrats, she's a beauty.

Very skookum Cat.

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Old 25-10-2019, 14:22   #33
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

unlimited options are available to you... a good oil stove will keep you warm, toasty and pretty well damp free.... other options small wood stove(ya I know) smoke, wood storage, yada yada... but they sure are cosy... cabellas has a few good stoves... nice for north west.... good luck... the winters here are great
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Old 25-10-2019, 16:53   #34
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Location: St.Paul,MN
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Posts: 138
Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

Iím in Minn and getting ready for my first winter on the water. I have a 34 foot express cruise which is not taken as a good choice especially a green horn. So far I installed a new AC with reverse flow so I have good heat so far but itís only been down to 26 deg F. I monitor the river water temp daily. Iím told it doesnít go below 40 deg until mid Dec. I sure hope so as Iím really having a tough time installing my winter heater. I just canít bend enough to work on it down in the engine room. Itís diesel like whatís used in semi truck sleepers just bigger..
Diesel is available only a mile away so Iím not worried about that part. Itís just difficult to work in confined space at my age. Bubblers are used to draw the warmer water up from the bottom of the slips so thatís not a concern either. It got down to -30 deg for a bout a week then about 3 weeks of the winter was -20 about normal.
The boats get shrink wrapped in an opaque clear. This acts like solar heat during sunny days. Often you can be out in the cockpit in light sweat shirt. The group gas barbecues and other functions throughout the winter. We can tell ďiceĒ and ďcold storiesĒ.
We have a new laundry and bath house that is supposed to be open for us in the winter. Itís still a cold hundred yard walk at -20 however. Water is available by hose underwater. Basically pull the chain up up with the hose on it and fill your tank. Pump outs are by community needs just share costs. We have electric but it expensive to heat with electric.
I grew up in norther minn so the snow and cold are not new but as you get older itís more difficult.
We have a pub at the marina so itís a gathering place for the live aboards as well as the summer boaters.
I wear my PFD when going outside even though Iím vert close to the shore. 40 deg water is not fun. My dog has fallen in 5 times this year already. She is Australian Shepherd so has delicate feet and not a good swimmer. She has an excellent recall so I can direct her to optimum pull out space.

More as winter rolls in
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Old 27-10-2019, 20:52   #35
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Victoria, BC
Boat: Lagoon 42
Posts: 9
Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

We live Fulltime in Victoria BC, Canada on a Lagoon 42. Oct 31 will be 1 year.
There are 2 of us and a dog on board. No canvass around the cockpit last winter ( installed this summer ). We Installed a Hurricane heater ( 5 zones ), which also heats our hot water and engines.
Zone 1, Aft cockpit - 2 fans and 4 vents
Zone 2, Owners Hull - 2 fans and 4 vents, 1 Dehumid
Zone 3, Salon - 1 fan and 3 vents, 1 Dehumid
Zone 4, Port forward cabin and companion way - 1 fan and 3 vents, 1 Dehumid
Zone 5, Port Aft cabin - 1 fan and 2 vents

At the marina all 3 Dehumids run 24/7 and capture approx 1.5 qts each/week. Our hulls are inspected every month ( bone dry ) except I've seen 1/2" of water twice in the keels. ( When we cook or make coffee/boil water we will turn 1 or 2 of the salon fans on and or crack or open the salon door all the way.

Last winter we had a freak cold snap for 10 days which also left us with 2ft of snow. Dock water was shut off so we filled our water tanks ( never froze ). We were toasty warm the entire time, no problem for our heater other than burning some extra fuel.

We sail all winter, so we installed solar, hoping we can last up to 4 days without going to a marina instead of every 2nd day.

Is there a perfect boat for the PNW to live aboard during the winter ( I don't know ). Ours has been fantastic and no issues with being cold or moisture.
We both highly recommend it and would purchase another L42 again.

If you would like to contact us with any questions, send us a message on our Instagram account
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Old 30-10-2019, 09:48   #36
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Location: Huntsville, AL
Boat: Catalina 25
Posts: 90
Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

i could not think of a worse design of boat for a cold climate than a lagoon,these boats have zero insulation built in to the hulls and decks.
the water tanks on the bridge deck would also freeze in cold weather,being external to the accomodation,couple that with the large area of windows in the deck house that are not in any way thermally insulated,would ensure a green house effect during the daylight hours inside causing severe condensation problems.
While you are right about the lack of insulation, and the water tanks outside the habitation, you are wrong about them freezing up if you have a decent heater system. You pull the interior curtains and/or add reflective bubble wrap insulation next to the window.

We survived 0.6F and the boat was 68F inside. We also survived 24 inches of snow with much warmer indoor temperatures because the outside temp was only 28F.

We used a heated water Webasto system (which is for sale if you want it) which I pulled out when I moved into the Carribean.

It's doable, a dehumidifier adds heat, so if you are the dock, you will have no problems, because you have power for that. And if the water temp never gets below 50F, you can just use the reverse on the Cruisair system for heating.
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Old 03-01-2020, 17:09   #37
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Location: NY
Boat: Lagoon 450F
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

My wife and I live in the NYC area on our Lagoon 450 and this is our first winter aboard. We have cheap electric at our marina so we have opted to use electric space heaters and added a secondary electric water heater plumbed into our factory diesel hydronic heating system. We only run the electric heaters and have had plenty of heat. As far as humidity, we have monitored it and in the hulls we are consistently in the 45% or less range. There is no main moisture areas other than in our starboard engine compartment (hovers around 75% due to leak from caulking leak) and the generator cabinet (also at 70%). I monitor these areas with a cheap temp and humidity system.

We would enjoy interacting with those that have similar situations and get ideas on what others have done creatively.
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Old 04-01-2020, 08:17   #38
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

We are in Halifax, NS. Our 15m cat was heated with an espar d4 in each hull. That works great down to minus 10C. No condensate yet, but the boat is unfinished, and most storage lack doors. Airflow from heaters such as these, seem to help hinder the formation of condensate. We're very happy with the performance of our system.

Unfortunately, there has been a distinct lack of sun, these ladt two months. Due to this issue, we installed shore power on the boat, for battery charging. We found that baseboard heaters were cheaper than a proper charger (we burnt out two smart chargers),so we bought the baseboard heaters, and the espars now run at lower speeds, allowing the solar to keep the batteries happy.

Still no condensate, but we do keep the heat fairly high; which I think helps to keep the plexiglass warm enough to stay dry. We have very large windows, and they still stay dry.

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Old 04-01-2020, 12:28   #39
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Location: Halifax, NS, Canada
Boat: 47' Steel Roberts Cutter
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

Hey Paul- I drive by you every day... I live about 700m from the rnsys. Was wondering if anyone was living aboard. Where are ya headed in the spring?
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Old 04-01-2020, 12:56   #40
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

Hi NS boatman. We're back to PEI in the spring. We are renting our house, and would like to put in a second bath, and a new fence. We'll be supervising the tradesmen who will do the actual work. I don't do houses.

Stop by to say hello one day you have the time.

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Old 13-01-2020, 12:11   #41
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Re: Anyone living on board in cold weather climate?

We lived on a 40í FP Lavezzi in Tacoma for a year (2 adults, a teenage girl and a dog) before cruising south to Panama and then back up to Florida. We are now on a Lagoon 450.

We had a Kubala diesel heater on board with piping to each cabin (and the owners side head).

Each room had its own fan-backed radiator.

This system would boil the ocean while sipping diesel.

To keep humidity down we would put a house-sized R2D2 dehumidifier in the front bedroom and empty the water daily.

During and immediately after hit showers we would open the hatch above the shower to let the steam escape.

We had zero mold issues.
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cold weather, condensation, PNW, weather, winter cruising

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