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Winter Liveaboards in the North?-gctid605687

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    Winter Liveaboards in the North?-gctid605687

    Anybody out there living aboard their boat through a cold winter? I live in MN, and have decided to try living year around up here. I have seasonally lived aboard for the past 7 years, getting an apartment when the cold weather comes, but this year I have decided to try and last as long as I can through it.

    I have a 1985 Bayliner 3270. It has the built in electric heat down in mid-cabin and up in the v-berth. I have also been using a radiant heater in the salon to heat the boat. I have a back-up generator if power were to go out, and also have several propane "ice house heaters" with oxygen safety shut-offs should things get cold enough. I am in a bubbled and covered slip, so wont have to worry about the boat being exposed to heaps of snow, or freezing rain.

    Has anyone else tried this out? If so, what worked for you, and what didn't? What did you do with the water system? Did you winterize it, or just hope the constant heat in the boat would keep all lines above freezing?

    My motors and generator will be winterized.

    Any thoughts from anybody? any success or failure stories?

    #2
    I stay on my 38 into December on the upper mississippi 283 mm. I go back to Kansas till March because it is to expensive to heat the boat at the rates the marina charges. The built in heaters and a Caframo heater that I can move from solon to galley keeping the boat comfortable. I'am also in a covered slip but what helps the most is having the flybridge and cockpit enclosures on. I heard a couple tried to stay on a 47 several years ago and ran up $800.00+ a month electric bills. The pump out and water being turned off is also part of my decision to abandon ship.
    Capt. Ron.
    "I will not tiptoe through life to arrive safely at death"
    "Never Trade Luck For Skill"
    1987 3870 - Northern Lights ll
    Hino EH700
    Westerbeke 8.0
    1999 Logic Marine 17' CC/50 Merc.
    on Louisiana pool Mississippi River.

    Comment


      #3
      Yeah, how will you handle effluent? Sounds like the boat isn't intended to run for awhile.

      Comment


        #4
        We had a guy live aboard his 32' sailboat in our Marina on western Lake Erie. I know he had bubblers and wind generator. Don't know any details how he made it work.

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          #5
          My marina has a shower house with full bathroom facilities just a short walk away from my slip. They keep that building open all year. My Toilet system is currently winterized. Last night it got down to 28 degrees, and the boat stayed at a warm 68. I was running one of the built in heaters, and then a radiant infrared heater. They would bring the boat up to 70 degrees, then the thermostat would shut them off, and it would hold temperature for at least 15-25 minutes before they would both kick back on again, so it wasn't like they were running all the time. My electricity is included in the annual slip fees.

          Comment


            #6
            In the northern states you will not like wintering over.

            You should have a central heat system, either a hot air or a hot water system.

            I lived on my boat in Seward AK year round for 6+ years year round, at 15 below it got cold, after the first year I installed a Webasto DBW 2010 hot water system, 45,000 btu.

            Anything less will eat up a lot of electricity, then you need to consider the harbor freezing up, in Alaska we have 2 tides per day and the ice does not get thick enough to harm the boat.

            My first year I had all but one window insulated as well as the fwd stateroom hull and in the salon.

            Even with the Webasto I sometimes use an electric heater in the fwd stateroom, I should add a second hot water heater fwd.

            Then you must consider fresh water issues, I used to run a hose from the top of the dock to fill my tank, since we have a new dock there is no winter water unless I move the boat to the only hose.

            A hot air system you must have enough BTU to keep the boat comfortable.

            Think about all the issues! Warm is good, cold is not, neither is outrageous electric bills.
            Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

            Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
            Twin 350 GM power
            Located in Seward, AK
            Retired marine surveyor

            Comment


              #7
              I live on my boat year round. I have 4 electric heaters that are good until it gets down near freezing. Then I have to turn on the diesel fired hydronic furnace. This works quite well because even the hoses running through the bilge areas keeps those areas warm. Staying warm is not a problem. Also I do not have to worry about the ocean freezing, no bubblers required.

              BUT...here on the island, it does not go below freezing temps but for a few days each winter. Last winter, the marina turned off the water to the docks just one time and only for a few days. The unavailability of water would be a big issue for me, a major PITA.

              Comment


                #8
                I am very interested to get a feel for what it would be like to liveaboard year round in the Victoria BC area.

                For example, would you strongly suggest a diesel hydronic furnace for that climate?

                Is it possible to get by on electric portable heaters ? is it a LOT more expensive to heat that way ??

                How do you prevent freezing pipes (or systems) when you are not aboard ? do you run some sort of minimal heat ?

                How many weeks are you feeling the winter is uncomfortable or difficult ?

                I would guess that only January is bad, but I'd like to hear more if you have a moment please ((-:

                Thanks, JOhn.

                Comment


                  #9
                  This is my 13th winter aboard just east of Toronto



                  We have a tracked pumpout that comes right down the dock

                  Heated water lines right into the boat so I have hot showers all winter. You can see the heated insulated water line going into the boat

                  at the lower right of the door.

                  I use 4 fan heaters set at 750 watts to keep air moving plus a 400 watt ceramic plate wall heater in the head mounted

                  under the towel rack so I have a warm head with hot towels all winter.

                  50/125/250 power, cable tv at each tower.

                  My generator is winterized but in a way that I can bring it on line in less than 5 minutes if we have a major event like last years ice storm when I had to

                  run it for 48 hours.

                  My ice eater is hung off the bow and I average 30 to 35 days of use each winter.

                  My diesels have a 600 watt block heater and the genny has a 300 watt oil pan heater which is enough to keep the engine room at 40 degrees F all winter.

                  I designed and built these docks for the marina so I set it all up for winter liveaboard, not camping. Well I acted as the general contractor. As Whiskywizard can tell you, I seldom do any real work.

                  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frenc...=photos_stream
                  "Adios Dinero"
                  1997 3988 with new 330 Cummins
                  Photo Credit: Whiskywizard

                  Comment


                    #10
                    "The Other Gary" post=616709 wrote:
                    This is my 13th winter aboard just east of Toronto

                    With snow on the dock and ice on the water, IT LOOKS COLD.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      "The Other Gary" post=616709 wrote:
                      As Whiskywizard can tell you, I seldom do any real work.
                      I wasn't even thinking it Gary. :lol:

                      You're configured differently this year Gary? No finger docks.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        These are the new Dockominiums I built :unsure: over the spring Mike.

                        70 foot side tie berths, the original 47 foot slips are just north of this one in the picture.

                        These new ones are set up for 12 month use.
                        "Adios Dinero"
                        1997 3988 with new 330 Cummins
                        Photo Credit: Whiskywizard

                        Comment


                          #13
                          "The Other Gary" post=617076 wrote:
                          These are the new Dockominiums I built :unsure: over the spring Mike.

                          70 foot side tie berths, the original 47 foot slips are just north of this one in the picture.

                          These new ones are set up for 12 month use.
                          That is quite the idea ! I like the heated water lines and pump out at the dock. It looks like an interesting way to spend the winter :-)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            "The Other Gary" post=617076 wrote:
                            These are the new Dockominiums I built :unsure: over the spring Mike.

                            70 foot side tie berths, the original 47 foot slips are just north of this one in the picture.

                            These new ones are set up for 12 month use.
                            Ah yes. You'd told me about the plan but I haven't seen it yet.

                            Very nice. Any vacancies left? It's a very appealing location.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              the other Gary

                              how much does your power bill run each month?

                              windriver

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