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Old 12-01-2017, 05:04   #16
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

I was in Waterford, Ireland for two winters.
The cheap little electric heater kept boat warm enough.

Make sure whatever clothes you store are either:
Well sealed in those vacuum bags that you suck the air out of (all my bed linens and winter coats ate cthus stored) or
In well ventilated areas. Never put anything away that's even slightly damp.

Good luck and have fun

Richard on Dauntless in Martinique
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:14   #17
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

I would advise you to get a local storage locker/cube for awhile and postpone some decisions about what to get rid of and what not to. With time spent on the boat you'll get a better feel for what you can comfortably fit and what's important to you and what is not. Perhaps in the future you'll be comfortable emptying it out and getting rid of it, but in the near term it will allow you to "figure it out" without selling off or giving away stuff you end up deciding later you wished you had kept. Also, with your size boat it allows you to rotate summer/winter gear in and out, and to keep bulkier maintenance items and materials.
One downside of working on a boat while you're living on it is that stuff ends up EVERYWHERE and gets in the way of you doing anything. As you'll learn, the smaller the space the more difficult it is to keep it neat and organized, ironically enough.

A 2000 watt heater may be adequate to heat your boat, in your locale. What you need to watch out for is electrical issues. You can plug the heater into your boat's electric, or you can plug it into the dock with an extension cord. If the former, ensure that your system is adequate for what the heater draws. Some will argue no to plug it into the boat, that it will heat up your wires and lead to premature failure of your boat's wiring. Some will argue that plugging it into the dock, with an extension cord (adequately sized) is an equal fire hazard.

Last spring as I was putting away one oil-filled heater I noticed that the plug on the extension cord was extensively charred. It was a beefy, commercial grade cord, and the other heater which was on a lesser cord was fine. I can only assume that the plug loosened at some point, the contact area lessened, resistance went up, etc. Wherever the heater is, make sure it is plugged in well and to adequate wiring.

If you decide to keep the boat and you end up being where it's cold a lot, a built-in diesel heater is something to consider adding. They warm up the boat fast, sip fuel, and work away from the dock, although the fan does use battery power of course.

Condensation is usually an issue on a boat in cooler climes, particularly in the boat's lockers. Warmer air from the inside of the boat seeps into the lockers, which have a side against the cold hull, and is trapped and you get condensation. If it's an issue you just get in the habit of leaving lockers open on a rotating basis or entirely if they are out of the way. Clothes in sealed bins should be fine. Larger plastic zip-loc bags are good as they compress and can fit better into the odd shape of most lockers. In general, "hard" storage solutions like plastic bins can be problematic on a boat as they take up a lot of space and make some of the surrounding space unusable.

You may experience condensation elsewhere in the boat, particularly if you're boiling water or doing anything else to add moisture to the air. I rarely cook pasta on my boat in the winter, for example, as a result. An electric kettle is one space-gobbling item I have added, since propane throws of moisture as it combusts and the kettle shuts off automatically when it boils.

As for keeping it simple, just don't bring anything onto the boat unless you've decided you absolutely need it. If one tool or kitchen implement will solve multiple problems, take it over the dedicated tool. Don't let people give you stuff, out of kindness. When people ask me what I need for my boat, I say "a dumpster" to get across the point that I'm vigilant about what's on the boat and what's not.

Getting the boat ready to go in 15 minutes is an admirable goal, but good luck with that. Takes me about an hour to get mine ready but that's because I'm not great at putting things away when at the dock for any period of time.

As for cool box, see if your marina sells block ice instead of bags. Block ice will last longer, cool better, and not make as much of a mess. It may well be cheaper. As to whether you can survive without powered refrigeration, there are people who sail around the world and have lived on board for years with no refrigeration at all. It's a matter of priorities, tastes, etc. Start out with what you have and see how it goes. Adding built in refrigeration to your boat will be expensive, take up space, add complexity to your systems, and gobble up power, so consider those factors as you go along. Adding a small out-of-the-box fridge is certainly an option, but will take up space and need to be stowed/secured when you're underway. It's all about what you decide you need.

One last bit of advice. Just live on the boat and don't make any major changes/purchases until you've done so for awhile. Experience will be the best teacher about what you need and what you don't.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:25   #18
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Hi
Good luck with it all. You will be fine.

One of the hardest things I found when my kids and moved aboard, was simply getting rid of stuff. There is also some good advice above about just taking your time and settling into it all.

Enjoy.
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:22   #19
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

NB NB BB BB ρί2
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Old 16-01-2017, 13:15   #20
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I would advise you to get a local storage locker/cube for awhile and postpone some decisions about what to get rid of and what not to.

{SNIPPETY / SNIPPETY / SNIP.....}

One last bit of advice. Just live on the boat and don't make any major changes/purchases until you've done so for awhile. Experience will be the best teacher about what you need and what you don't.
Thanks so much for your post. Some great points in there. I think you are right; I need to stick some things into storage for a while, and just live on the boat with the basics first in order to see how it's working...
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Old 22-01-2017, 13:41   #21
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Awesome post and a great thread! I've just started (trying) living aboard a columbia 26mk2 about the time you made this post, and running into similar 'learning experiences'. I'm at an inland lake in New Mexico (USA), but it gets fairly cold here as well. Curious about refrigerators as well- I'm not enthused about spending more for a fridge than I did for the boat.

I know these folks have waaay more experience- but I can keep you posted on things I learn as I go? And vice versa. Updates on things you've changed, where you store stuff, etc. Welcome aboard! The sailing community is the best one I've been a part of yet.
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Old 22-01-2017, 14:05   #22
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Of course! Post anything you find useful, or that you feel you need to do differently. I'm still about a month to 6 weeks away from launch I think. Still doing LOTS of jobs that eat up my time. I have a lounge full of running rigging tonight after stripping it all off the boat today. Bedroom with 5 sail bags, etc...

Best of luck with your own adventures...
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:21   #23
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

I once had an old sailboat with at least a half inch thick fiberglass hull. There was a pocket just off the keel that would hold some water. I placed the transducer for a Hummingbird fish finder in there with some water. It worked great with bottom contuors and everything. I never did install it permanently. Just refilled and cleaned it if the water evaporated. Here in Florida it wasnt that often.
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Old 11-02-2017, 14:53   #24
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Nearly there now... hopefully just another few weekends of work to finish the last few things before launch. Sanding, oiling wood trim, anti fouling...
Folks that I know still don't 'get it' lol...
6 hours outdoors today in a biting cold wind, washing and sanding...
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Old 11-02-2017, 16:36   #25
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Quote:
Originally Posted by spukistiles View Post
I once had an old sailboat with at least a half inch thick fiberglass hull. There was a pocket just off the keel that would hold some water. I placed the transducer for a Hummingbird fish finder in there with some water. It worked great with bottom contuors and everything. I never did install it permanently. Just refilled and cleaned it if the water evaporated. Here in Florida it wasnt that often.
Not sure if my last post was for this conversation.
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Old 30-05-2017, 14:36   #26
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Re: Newbie... getting close to living on board

Update:

Boat launched end of March.... shakedown cruising week with 2 mates covered around 300 miles in some good strong wind conditions; broke a few things... engine misbehaved with poor cooling, so lots of enforced sailing on to moorings, into marinas, etc... All fixed now with new exhaust elbow and engine has been very reliable since.

And... sold my flat last week! Actually living on board full time now...
Very early days but settling in nicely, finding a home for everything and tweaking the storage space. Sailing every weekend. Having lots of fun and taking non sailing friends out at times too...

Still some boat jobs to be done - new windows and portlights, and a topsides paint refresh... soon...

All good!
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