Originally Posted by brazerbramon
Awesome discussion. I am new to liveaboard
lifestyle and planning on being in Annapolis
during the winter. Anything I need to know before making the journey to live on a boat
in the water
in the middle of winter?
It's not nearly as hard as many people make it out to be.
Heat: Being cold is miserable.
Heat pumps (most marine
A/C is really a heat pump) won't work
once the water
temperature gets below 40°F. Regardless you MUST watch your connections at the boat
and the power pylon. Most boat fires come from electric
heat is awkward. In addition to the risks of fire from deteriorating connections (above) the heaters are in the way.
Non-locking plugs (for example extension cords to 15A or 20A outlets on power pylons) are simply not safe. They are likely prohibited by your marina contract
. Very likely the marina's insurance
won't cover damage resulting from an overheated plug
or cord. If a fire is traced to your extension cord you'll be in a world of hurt. Is it worth it?
heat, built-in, are the best. For about $2,000-3,000 you'll have solid even heat. There are some care issues that are really trivial. All in all, can't be beat. Bulkhead heaters are not as good, mostly because of hot and cold spots.
heaters are also tripping hazards with the same concerns of CO as in homes.
Often one of the big issues and very dependent on the marina. Some places have winter water (like City Dock) and you'll just need an extra hose to reach. Others have water parties so everyone gets together, hooks up hoses, and everyone gets filled up. You have to be there at the right time. Jugging is always an option. Tip - if you're jugging keep your tanks
full. A jug or two every day or so is much easier than hauling 20 jugs on a Saturday afternoon.
Slip and fall:
Frost is a problem. Ice is a big problem. Snow is not bad. Be careful. There are only a few days a year docks are really slippery. A set of Yaktrax are good insurance
, as long as they are on the correct end of the dock
. *grin* It's frustrating for them to be in the car when you're on the boat. Never be too proud to crawl.
The biggest scam against boat owners ever. Unless you have a slab-sided boat they just don't make any difference, especially for liveaboards. Even heavily insulated boats (like mine) will shed enough heat to keep a band of free water around your boat. What de-icers do is prevent icejacking which can with tide shifts (lunar or wind
pilings right out of the bottom. Marinas
that suggest or even require winter liveaboards to have de-icers are using your money
(for the de-icer and often for the electricity) to protect their infrastructure.
Heat and ventilation are key. See Roger McAfee's "The Warm Dry Boat." Ventilation keeps humidity out of the boat and heat keeps surfaces (metal rings around hatches are the biggest problem) above the dew point. A couple layers of bubble wrap over the outside of hatches and ports
helps tremendously and doesn't keep you from sailing on warm days. If you won't be going anywhere shrinkwrap is great.
Whatever you do remember that you have to live. That means, for example, considering groceries onto the boat, trash off, water on, pump-outs, luggage if you travel, and basically getting on and off the boat.
Originally Posted by ranger42c
The short version is that you need to solve winter water, winter heat, winter pump-outs... and you'll likely need a de-icer, a snow shovel, and a broom at least once over a typical winter around here.
And if you intend to rely largely on marina shower/head facilities, you should expect some occasional slippery docks.
See above on de-icer. Snow shovel is for the docks because as a liveaboard
you'll want to get off before anyone from the marina gets around to you. Shovel with the snow, not after. The broom is for your boat. For light snowfall just leave it be - it's traction.
The marina shower
comment brings to mind that most liveaboards end up using their cars as closets. I had a suit and tie job for years as a liveaboard and had a small storage
unit. Boat - shower
- change - car - reverse - lather, rinse, repeat.
Originally Posted by Suijin
Port Annapolis Marina on back creek. Around 70 of the 270 boats there are liveaboards.
You can be on the other side of the creek right in Eastport but will pay more for cruddier amenities, I think.
Port Annapolis and Annapolis Landing Marina are about the best on Back Creek. Annapolis City Marina is pretty good on Spa Creek. City Dock
is outstanding but you are probably too late to get on the list for this year. The winter I spent there the waiting list started in May. Eastport Yacht Center is decent - pretty good in winter, a little busy and dusty during the season. Allsops is okay - I don't know if they still take liveaboards. Jabins is pretty good year round - great in winter, a little busy in season.
Moving around is an option. I lived at Chesapeake Harbour Marina for three years. To comply with their regulations
I spent winters elsewhere - one at City Dock (great), one at Allsops (okay), and one at Gangplank Marina in DC (pretty good).
Watergate Pointe and Severn House are worth consideration although you have to keep a low profile.
If you're thinking long term than definitely consider South Annapolis Yacht Centre.
If your definition of Annapolis is broad consider Galesville and Deale.
Drop me a line if you want to meet up at Davis' Pub. No place better to talk about boats. firstname.lastname@example.org