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Old 02-01-2020, 17:33   #1
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Liveaboard advice requested

Hello - We are in the process of planning our retirement, set for 2022. Our dream is to live aboard in the Carolina's with our Boxer and Jack Russell. Our first year as full time live aboards will also be our last year of full time work which happens to be up North on the Chesapeake Bay (in Maryland). After retirement is official we plan on moving the boat south to milder temperatures. We are trying to connect with folks who have experienced full time life aboard during the winter, where snow, ice and below freezing temperatures are common. We've heard some scary stories about mildew/mold buildup during the winter inside of a boat that is in use. Has anyone experienced this? Were you able to remedy it? Any pointers for living aboard in colder temps would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2020, 17:52   #2
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

Personally I would not live where water froze, it does occasionally for us and in my opinion it’s miserable, but then I don’t like cold.
Condensation is a PIA, and you can run dehumidifiers etc but with the hull being cold and the window frames being cold etc. it’s going to happen, and yes there will be an ongoing battle with mold.
Wait until you can be where it’s not below freezing to live on a boat is my advice.

We have to leave a hatch open for ventilation and yes that drives up the heating bill big time. Go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and buy what is called Concorbian.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/32-oz-Liqui...emover/3623280
Spray the inside of every crevice that can mold, every locker, every nook and cranny. This is not a chemical, it won’t stain and has no smell, but it’s the only thing I have found that will honestly, really prevent and treat mold, and it’s not unhealthy either. I mean soak everything. I know sounds too good to be true but it works, Clorox and white vinegar etc does not work, or may help for a very short while.

Winter on a boat sux, it’s not fun at all, and this is supposed to be fun, and if it’s not, then why are you doing it?
So don’t ruin living on a boat right away
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Old 02-01-2020, 17:55   #3
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

A quick search for threads about heaters and about canopies will result in a lot of threads where this has been thoroughly hashed out. Short answer: it's easily doable; pick the driest heat source you can. My favorite is wood.
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Old 02-01-2020, 18:08   #4
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

Dont let a fear of mold stop you. Its easy to kill and control. There isn't really a 1 step mold approach, but its not a huge issue.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:14   #5
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

There have been several liveaboard threads focused on the northeast, and the Chesapeake including Baltimore and Annapolis and other nearby areas.... so you might search those out. The Advanced and Custom Google Search tools work better than the basic tool.

The gist is that you have to solve winter heat, winter water, winter pump-outs, winter snow (load on boat, and trudging through on docks), and some pesky issues like condensation. None insurmountable, varying degrees of effort and/or $$$. Marina choice can solve some of those. Some folks shrink wrap, or partially wrap, for the season.

Water temps do sometimes get cold enough so that reverse cycle heat won't be great, if at all. One couple we know added radiant heat to their existing reverse cycle air handler/duct system, and I think they augmented that with space heaters sometimes, but they said that worked well.

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Old 03-01-2020, 09:23   #6
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

More and more difficult to find a marina that allows new liveaboards. Make sure that you clear that with your marina of choice before buying your boat for that purpose.
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Old 03-01-2020, 18:00   #7
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

Thanks for replying. We are trying to plan our timeline to avoid the whole winter living in the Northeast and head straight to milder temperatures.
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Old 03-01-2020, 18:05   #8
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

Thanks for the details, good to hear it's possible, even if not ideal.
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Old 03-01-2020, 18:07   #9
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

Thanks, your signature is exactly the life we are looking for!
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:57   #10
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
There have been several liveaboard threads focused on the northeast, and the Chesapeake including Baltimore and Annapolis and other nearby areas.... so you might search those out. The Advanced and Custom Google Search tools work better than the basic tool.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowcountry View Post
More and more difficult to find a marina that allows new liveaboards. Make sure that you clear that with your marina of choice before buying your boat for that purpose.
Quote:
Originally Posted by krisbria2022 View Post
Thanks for the details, good to hear it's possible, even if not ideal.
You can get ideas for liveaboard marinas in those previous threads, and Active Captain can like help you flesh out that info too.

-Chris
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Old 04-01-2020, 09:19   #11
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Personally I would not live where water froze, it does occasionally for us and in my opinion itís miserable, but then I donít like cold.
Condensation is a PIA, and you can run dehumidifiers etc but with the hull being cold and the window frames being cold etc. itís going to happen, and yes there will be an ongoing battle with mold.
Wait until you can be where itís not below freezing to live on a boat is my advice.

We have to leave a hatch open for ventilation and yes that drives up the heating bill big time. Go to Loweís or Home Depot and buy what is called Concorbian.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/32-oz-Liqui...emover/3623280
Spray the inside of every crevice that can mold, every locker, every nook and cranny. This is not a chemical, it wonít stain and has no smell, but itís the only thing I have found that will honestly, really prevent and treat mold, and itís not unhealthy either. I mean soak everything. I know sounds too good to be true but it works, Clorox and white vinegar etc does not work, or may help for a very short while.

Winter on a boat sux, itís not fun at all, and this is supposed to be fun, and if itís not, then why are you doing it?
So donít ruin living on a boat right away

That stuff is nothing more than TSP (trisodium phosphate) in a 5% solution which can be bought in any hardware store for a few dollars. Normal precautions with TSP are widely available for reference.
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Old 04-01-2020, 11:33   #12
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
That stuff is nothing more than TSP (trisodium phosphate) in a 5% solution which can be bought in any hardware store for a few dollars. Normal precautions with TSP are widely available for reference.

It is NOT TSP, it is in fact Sodium Carbonate that is the active ingredient, it does have some TSP but it’s not listed as an active ingredient, presumption it’s to help clean as that is what TSP is. The active ingredient is not Sodium Bicarbonate which is of course baking soda. I’m not sure what the difference is, often leave out one molecule changes things radically.
Go to their website and see.
https://www.concrobium.com/products/mold-control-spray/

Whatever it is, it is the only sure fire thing I’ve found that works and it has the wonderful quality of not running fabrics and smelling to high heaven.

TSP is a great additive to help clean things and is also I believe why phosphates are no longer in laundry detergents as it’s apparently a very powerful fertilizer and causes algae blooms etc.
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Old 04-01-2020, 11:38   #13
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
It is NOT TSP, it is in fact Sodium Carbonate that is the active ingredient, it does have some TSP but itís not listed as an active ingredient, presumption itís to help clean as that is what TSP is. The active ingredient is not Sodium Bicarbonate which is of course baking soda. Iím not sure what the difference is, often leave out one molecule changes things radically.
Go to their website and see.
https://www.concrobium.com/products/mold-control-spray/

Whatever it is, it is the only sure fire thing Iíve found that works and it has the wonderful quality of not running fabrics and smelling to high heaven.

TSP is a great additive to help clean things and is also I believe why phosphates are no longer in laundry detergents as itís apparently a very powerful fertilizer and causes algae blooms etc.
Iím just reiterating what the MSDS indicated are the active components, the largest of which (at 5%) is TSP. The carbonates are inert.
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Old 04-01-2020, 11:40   #14
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

Sodium carbonate is apparently washing soda.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_carbonate
It’s also apparently a food additive
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Old 04-01-2020, 11:48   #15
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Re: Liveaboard advice requested

TSP by itself doesn’t kill mold, it may help clean it up, but it doesn’t eradicate it.
This stuff does, My Engel sweats continuously, meaning it and the floor it sits on is always wet, over time as you can imagine it molds, this stuff prevents mold, not forever of course, but it does so for a couple of months.
Nothing lasts forever.
One quart last us a year, so it’s not worth trying to homebrew an alternative.

Even I guess two years ago we spent a portion of Winter in Brunswick and fought mold everywhere, every storage locker had it in the corners etc.
We had to unpack the boat completely and this stuff eradicated the mold, before we tried it, we would clean the mold out, spray the area with bleach and in a week or so it would re-occur.
Even our sheets on the side of the bed that sits against the hull would stay damp, and you guessed it, mold.

Last year we were South before any cold, this year luckily it’s not gotten cold and we plan to head South late next week, but we still get mold on the Engle if we don’t use it, year round.
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