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.
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.