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
. 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
If I've missed anything you care about just holler.