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Monthly Archives: April 2012

A few of my favorite things…

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…that make living aboard a bit easier.

The object in question is the white appliance to the cat’s left. It’s about the size of a carry-on suitcase, and probably saved the boat from ruin. It is a Kenmore dehumidifier, said to remove about 35 pints of water a day, if provided with a drainage hose, that is. We had decided, last Fall, that our boat did not have a condensation problem. No, it had great insulation, a nice teak interior, even a liner below the waterline. Well, mold happens. To every boat that is occupied and warmed throughout a Pacific Northwest winter. This we now know, and this thing has been heavily used. We empty it every day, and every day there is about a quart of water, some days more, lurking in the drain pan. It is not quiet or unobtrusive, but it is a necessity.

This tiny little powerhouse is about 8x8x10 “, and is our boat show find of the year. It’s the West Marine ceramic radiant heater, and it has heated our entire 34 ft. boat better than two other electric heaters put together. It has a thermostat, it’s quiet compared to the others we tried, and if you knock it over, it turns itself off. We do have an Espar diesel heater for when we’re at anchor, but it smells…and it scares the cats.  It’s also temperamental.

This is how we chose to maximize our wifi connections. We now get free wifi here at 12th St., and this inexpensive little dongle really speeds things up.  I assumed we needed a big, bad exterior antenna, but John knew better, and for now, in the marina and around the Sound, this is really all we need. I think it costs around $40.  It just hangs around on one of our portlights.

First sojourn of the year…

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….was a weekend trip to Port Ludlow, about 4 hours away. There was a raft-up (boats tied together) with the Puget Sound Cruising Club. It was the first time we had left the dock since Labor Day last year, and it felt a bit strange to take off our nifty canvas weather cover and take our only ‘house’ with us, out of it’s usual parking space. Other, hardier liveaboards may not have this same reticence. Real sailors who go out in any weather may scoff at such wimpiness, but then, we aren’t the hardiest of sailors…I feel like I’m mostly masquerading as a sailor. The cats, who also had not moved in the boat since September, were seasick all over again. As it turns out, dramamine is not a consistent feline motion sickness drug. This time, it served only to render them incapable of pulling themselves out of their own vomit.

It was otherwise a good trip, and we got some spirited sailing in on the way home, albeit heavily reefed. We also conclusively prooved that when you’re heading towards Everett from the West, flood or ebb, you’re ALWAYS against the tide.