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Old 28-01-2021, 07:19   #31
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

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Originally Posted by KelliH View Post
Also we were considering the short term rental, but can't find anything. Do you have any suggestions?

Do mean rentals ashore?

We know two liveaboard couples who have begun spending 2-3 months in apartments every year. One in Annapolis, one in Baltimore. Sorry, don't know how they sourced that...

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Old 08-02-2021, 07:54   #32
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

Kelli You have two questions, one as it specifies Annapolis, and the other more general about winter living aboard. You have gotten good responses about both questions. I have a 38' sailboat in Annapolis (currently Port Annapolis), but am very familiar with local options, where I have been operating boats professionally for decades, have had clients living aboard and a friend, also on aboard all winter a 38' boat in Annapolis. The big question it seems to me, is if you want to be within walking distance of town and of course water, bathroom amenities. Many marinas allow liveaboards so why not narrow down what is most important? Have you lived aboard elsewhere? What specific concerns about your boat, ie ventilation, power, heating etc. I think that shrink wrap with vents and see through wrap is the way to go--and southerly exposure s much as possible. Short term rental can be a challenge, but I can certainly help with info about specific marinas and the local area. By the way--it's chilly today but clear and sunny. Please, feel free to contact me via email or pm and I will be happy to provide more information specific to Annapolis.
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Old 08-02-2021, 08:08   #33
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

If you aren't tied to Annapolis for work or family, you'll have a much nicer winter going three days south to Norfolk where the water is warm enough that reverse cycle A/C heat works all winter and you don't need a plastic cover.

And if your mast fits under ICW bridges, there are lots of choices with even better weather 3-5 days from there down the ICW.
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Old 08-02-2021, 08:37   #34
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

I think Mold and condensation would be what I would be most worried about. I have had to deal with that in my shop, and just recently resolved this problem. I have a very tight building, and concrete, so, like a boat, can have condensation problems. The solution for me was Fantech, altho there are several out there. Search for, Heat & Energy Recovery Ventilators at Supplyhouse.com. Opening a port or two just lets cold air in, but these pull cold, dry air in, and warm that with the outgoing warm damp air from inside. They can be a little bulky, but in the winter you are usually not romping around on the water. The difference it has made here is nothing short of remarkable.
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Old 08-02-2021, 08:47   #35
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

4 years in Annapolis. Good suggestions so far. Some also use a dehumidifier. Our hull snd deck is cored so big big help in reducing condensation. We also have a safe Dickinson propane bulkhead heater. It uses outside air so is much safer then Mr Buddies. You’ll get at least 100 hours on a 20 lb tank. We kept our water tanks working with bi weekly fill hose parties. Shower and dishes all worked well. No need to rough it.
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Old 08-02-2021, 09:20   #36
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

Hi Kelli,

I wintered over on a Hunter 35 with a full dodger in Portland, OR.

I kept the water running all the time to make sure that there was water movement inside the freshwater system.

The full dodger allowed me to gain extra living space and additional ventilation. I also had a ventilated box cover that covered the forward cabin hatch so I could leave it open and get flow thru ventilation. If you're inside the boat you never want to close it up entirely as condensation is not your friend. Wet moldy bed clothes is the result. Don't ask how I know.

Use the marina showers and head exclusively so you don't have to worry about getting pumped out. I also filled the toilet bowl with vinegar and over the winter, it dissolved all the crystallization in the drains and valves and removed the stains out of the porceline bowl leaving everything clean and clear.

For heat I had 2 of the small 1500 watt electric heaters that you can get at West Marine and many other places. I ran one nearly all the time in the salon and the one in the stateroom was only run to warm up the space prior to going to bed then it was secured. I was quite comfortable and had the best sleeping of my life that winter. But, your mileage may vary!
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Old 08-02-2021, 09:52   #37
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

We had a hurricane heating system onboard while we lived in the Annapolis area. Runs on a diesel boiler or if you are running your engine, it does a heat exchange. Worked great - it's kinda similar to radiant heating in a house. It heated the water for the galley, plus heater fans keep the boat toasty warm.

We still use it in Florida, but mainly for heating water, no need to heat the boat anymore.
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Old 08-02-2021, 10:06   #38
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

I have done a few weekends on the Chesapeake in winter , depending on the boat etc I can envision condensation running off the walls and soaking your clothes and bedding , that is the worst on an uncored and uninsulated boat , find a marina with a bathroom you like , good luck
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Old 08-02-2021, 17:38   #39
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

I lived aboard in Annapolis for five years, most of that time with a suit-and-tie job. My primary marina required, in their contract, that you winterize so I spent two and a half months in various other marinas. I didn't winterize anything as I wanted to go sailing on nice days.

Heat: I had heat pumps I used until the water got too cold, around 40-42F. Then I used an Espar forced air diesel heater which was a delight and much lower maintenance than the Webasto it replaced.

Moisture/condensation: The issue here is moisture in the air hitting surfaces at temperatures below the dew point. You can do one of two things: increase the heat level so the cold bits are above the dew point or have less moisture in the air. I did some of both. I kept the boat really warm and taped layers of bubble wrap over the outside of hatches and ports. I ventilated the boat through dorades, a slightly open forward hatch, and--when aboard--a slightly open companionway slide. My diesel heater draws cold, dry air from outside for domestic air. Together this worked well enough for me to shower on board, cook as I wished, and breathe with abandon.

Mold/mildew: No condensation and a warm, dry boat so not a problem for me.

Water was a manageable issue. As noted some places such as Annapolis City Dock have winter water. Others had "water parties" in which liveaboards combined hoses and filled everyone up. Some places you haul your own water in jugs. If you find yourself in that situation never leave the boat without an empty jug or return without a full one. It's easier to build the extra five minutes into every trip than to fill an empty 120 gallon water tank.

I put an Electroscan on board so pump-outs weren't an issue. As noted the Annapolis pumpout boat does run through the winter. They'll cover from Weem's Creek to Chesapeake Harbor; I don't think they serve Lake Ogleton.

There is a sizeable liveaboard community. There are regular gatherings in the community room at Port Annapolis and impromptu ones at Leeward Market and Davis' Pub. All that pre-COVID of course.

If you work pay attention to parking, both quantity and location.

Watch your footing. Snow is uncommon and fleeting but ice can be a real hazard especially on the docks in the morning. Yak-Trax help a lot. Never be too proud to crawl.

Annapolis City Marina fuel dock has contracts to fuel local, state, and federal government boats in the area so their fuel turns over even in winter. I always went there too. Call ahead and then radio when you can see heads inside the office.

If you're above the bridge call (phone) before you leave the dock - sometimes the bridge tenders fall asleep in the winter.

Lots of marinas are leery of liveaboards. I had the best experience by dressing nicely and having good pictures of my boat. Go visit, express interest, and then you can migrate to phone and email. One place had a strict no-liveaboard policy but since I had mentioned I traveled for work they decided--on the basis of the face-to-face meeting--that I wouldn't actually be living there since I was away eight to ten nights a month. *grin*

Curbside pickup is the silver lining of COVID. Giant on Bay Ridge is good, Giant on Riva is good, Safeway on Housley is good, Whole Foods in Parole is good. The Safeway on Forest Drive is bad. Drugs and other gang-related activity. Two shootings in the parking lot in the last year or so and a car jacking just a few days ago.

Curbside is available at True-Value and West Marine. True-Value will pick-up, fill, and return propane tanks on Fridays.

If I've missed anything you care about just holler.
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Old 08-02-2021, 17:45   #40
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

But we do have our cold spells.

I believe this was 2018 and it's Onancock Creek frozen over ........

This is about 125 miles south of Annapolis.
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Old 08-02-2021, 17:50   #41
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

it is a misconception that heat will reduce humidity. it may be able to reduce condensation. the only thing that will remove humidity is a dehumidifier which would require shore power. propane stoves and your breathing will produce a lot of moisture that can cause problems as stated by the other posts. unless you keep your boat in the desert .. ventilating it with outside air won't help much either.
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Old 08-02-2021, 18:12   #42
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

I don't know who you are addressing, but I didn't say heat reduced humidity. I said it will reduce condensation when cold spots are heated above the dew point.

Mixing dry air (cold outside air) with inside air will reduce humidity due to dilution given even the smallest amount of ventilation to avoid air compression.

On topic and funny: "A new acquaintance may invite you to dinner. A friend will tell you to bring your laundry. A good friend will tell you to bring your dishes and run them through his dishwasher."
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Old 08-02-2021, 18:28   #43
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

It is true that the water is warmer here in Norfolk, but not by enough that your reverse cycle will work all winter. Once the water temp drops below 45-50 degrees reverse cycle stops being able to squeeze heat out and your system will error off. Right now the water temp is 40 degrees and the only solution is space heaters or another auxiliary system such as espar or similar.
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Old 09-02-2021, 08:19   #44
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

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I was wondering if an electric / oil filled heat source alone would cause any moisture or mold problems?
I tend tostay away from anything catalictic, oil/propane etc.
It does get cold in Florida and a decent but small electric heater works fine. Rarely do I need two. But in Annapolis you may need the two.
Be prepared to lose power though.
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Old 10-02-2021, 06:16   #45
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Re: Winter in Annapolis practical for liveaboards?

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We are buying a 38ft sailboat and are thinking about living on the boat in Annapolis during the winter. Any advice? Any water supply issues? Is mold a concern? Emptying holding tanks? Any other concerns we need to be aware of? Are many people doing it? Thank you so much for any advice!
Unless living in Annapolis is a requirement, which I would totally get it if that is the case cuz we love visiting Annapolis, there are alternatives which might be cheaper too. Water and mold will always be a concern no matter where you park your boat. As others have mentioned, heat is key, and moisture build up mitigation. Its not hard if you get started right away with preventative measures.
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