Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Living aboard

Wow! three followers, this like, becoming a trend or something. This is my home. I bought it in June, and have been living aboard. I spent the summer in Quincy, where the boat was located when I bought it. Now I'm in East Boston where I moved because the marina has a heated shower and bathroom. In Quincy, they shut down the heads and showers for the winter.

Living aboard is not a bad thing, as long as you can get used to a few things. The first big thing is space. My whole living area is contained in that little space right there, twelve feet wide by about thirty feet long (plus the back deck which is about four feet long). In the winter it's even a little smaller because I close off the fore peak area to make it all a little easier to heat. I use that area for storage, which leads me to the issue of storage. There isn't a lot of room for stuff. Everybody's got stuff right? Books, clothes, kitchen gear, knickknacks and whatnot. one has to make peace with what's necessary and what's worth the clutter, and all the other stuff that, well, just isn't that important once you've lived without it for a while. Besides the whole space issue, there's also the bathroom thing. On a boat, we're not hooked up to the sewer system like in a house. Dumping waste overboard isn't option - unless we're out at sea - so most boats use a holding tank, or a treatment system. In the winter, there aren't a lot of options for having the waste holding tank pumped out so the way to get around that is to go up the gangway and use the facilities up on the dock. I liken it to living back in the days when there was an outhouse out back, except that there's heat up there. Same with the shower. I'm developing a habit of going to the gym every other day, so I get my shower there on those days, and use the marina shower on the off days. So once you get past those things, there's only a few minor adjustments to make. In the winter, fresh water is something to think about. Our water line isn't in the ground under the frost line. It's right there in the open air where it can freeze. When I was a kid growing up at Fan Pier somebody was always around to check on things, so we kept a faucet open in the tub so as to keep the water flowing. Flowing water won't freeze unless it gets really really cold, so that worked for years. The problem with that is that if a pipe burst in the bilge (if you're not a boat person think cellar) then the boat fills up with said water and sinks. It's not really a good idea to keep a faucet open unless there's always someone there to keep watch on it, not to mention the water bill gets a little high if there's a meter on it. The marina I'm at now runs a water line under the docks to keep it in the salt water where it wont freeze, so all you have to do is top off your water tank every so often and make sure you drain all the hoses that are out in the open air: the one coming down from the pier to the dock and the one from the dock to the boat. That's it for now, I have to get some work done. I'll continue this in the next couple of days, stay warm! ~ AL

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