Living Aboard as Winter Approaches

Deale, MD – Notching a frigid winter as liveaboards is not something we are looking forward to – but we are doing our best to prepare and expect to continue to tweak and adjust through the depth of winter.

Early snow on Nov. 15, 2018, broke some local records.

Our first snow made an early, mid-November arrival, before Vinyasa’s winter wrap was cinched around her rub rails. A harbinger of cold to come?

Three weeks later, Herring Bay’s 53 degree (Fahrenheit) water is still warm enough for Vinyasa’s HVAC to heat the boat. But we’ve seen the water’s surface ice up overnight, so these days are numbered: the cutoff temperature is 40 degrees.

While we are plugged into shore power – and thankful for that luxury – load balancing electricity on the boat means that we can currently run just one of our three, small electric space heaters.

Vinyasa has a pigtail outlet with a 50 and a 30 amp connection. The 50 amps provide electricity for everything on the boat other than the HVAC, which feeds off the 30 amps.

A crew of three spent the better part of a day wrapping Vinyasa.

Once the HVAC is shutdown for the winter, we’ll use an extension cord to its source to power one or possibly both of those now-idle space heaters.

In the meantime, we are adjusting to living under wraps.

Like most things on a boat, being wrapped comes with some trade-offs.

On the plus side, the wrap keeps the boat warmer and will prevent melting/refreezing snow and ice from creating unwanted problems on deck. We aim to repair some leaky hatches and reseal a deck saloon window while the wrap is in place.

On the minus side (is that a term?), we miss our lovely views of the sky and the water…and getting on and off the boat is considerably harder now. To enter or exit from the finger pier, which given water levels is our most frequent point of access, requires crouching and contorting between the wrap and the coach top. Add a backpack, bags of groceries, or a duffel bag of laundry…and well everything  takes longer on a boat, doesn’t it? 

Getting on and off the boat through the side door requires a good deal of flexibility and patience.

3 thoughts on “Living Aboard as Winter Approaches”

  1. Wait a minute. You are livng inside a docked, wrapped sail boat all winter? This is a first for me. You too I bet!

    1. Indeed! It’s different, for sure!

      Looking forward to Spring, and to warmer waters in 2020 🙂

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