“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Winter Liveaboards – Other Upgrades That Helped


I have had this post in draft long enough that spring is almost here.  Sorry.

Here are a couple of other things we did this winter that really helped make the boat liveable during one of the coldest and snowiest winters Boston has seen in decades.

We added dry deck type products below the mattress.  After doing some price shopping we ended up going with Greatmats Staylock.


These added some great air flow below the mattress that really helped cut down the condensation.  Prior to adding these the mattress would feel wet on the bottom.  Some of the other liveaboards put some ridged foam down under their mattress to act as a barrier.  I don’t think that is necessary if you get air flow with something like this.

We stole this next idea from Andrew, our neighbor who has lived on his C310 for over a decade.  We put foil, bubble insulation along the sides of the berth.

IMG_2632This added some insulation to help keep the heat in but more importantly it prevented us from touching the cold sides of the forward berth at night.  Andrew has covered his with a felt material.  This seems to be a good addition and we would have done that if we were going to be doing this next winter.

With all of the cold weather and snow, close to 100 inches in a one month period, we were never cold on board.  The heaters kept us in the low 70s while not having an electric bill over $200 for a month.  Moisture issues were minimal and we didn’t have to run the dehumidifier full time.  We only had one time when the power went out and we had to use the propane heater.  That was during the first blizzard of the season back in late January.  We were only without power for about 3 hours.

The ice around the hull got a little nerve racking at times.  Hell the US Coast Guard icebreaker got holed the ice was so thick and the commuter boats had to discontinue service to Hingham for close to a month.

The marina had some struggles keeping the water flowing to our boat and the waste flowing away.  In their defense, the systems they had in place had worked for the last 15 years without a problem.  It was just an exceptionally cold winter.  But they kept the docks clear of snow and ice and eventually figured out ways to keep the water flowing.



7 thoughts on “Winter Liveaboards – Other Upgrades That Helped

  1. Great tips! Was the foil a permanent addition or just for the winter? And do you have a cored deck/above waterline hull?

  2. Hi Matt,

    The foil was just for the winter. As soon as the weather gets warmer we will take it down. Our friend Andrew had some fabric sewn around the same kind of foil, kind of like a pillow case, and he uses it every winter but puts it in storage for the summer months.

    Our boat is solid glass for the hull but cored for the deck.

    How are things for the winter in Victoria?

  3. Not bad – certainly not on the same scale as you guys! Bottomed out at around -2c this year. It’s really wet though – you certainly find out if you have any leaks!

  4. How in the world did they keep water flowing to you and waist flowing away? Did they heat the lines?

    • Hi Marty,

      I wrote about the marina’s water and waste plan in this previous post.

      But there initial plan, the one that has work for the last couple decades didn’t work. We ended up with frozen lines. At first the assumption was that someone didn’t push the line back down under the ice after filling their tank. So they put another set of lines in that were about 8 feet down below the ice and those froze too. Then they put a thermometer down and found out it was only 30F down at 10 feet. So the lines were just freezing anyways. So then they put lines on the top of the dock and covered them with insulation and heat trace tape. That seemed to work fine but were in the way for shoveling.

      For the waste they have a pumpout boat. To get the boat through the ice they have an aluminum hulled skiff they used to break up the ice everyday so the pumpout boat can get around. Although, I suspect a lot of the liveaboards just discharge. You could see paths in the broken ice where the pumpout boat had visited and it wasn’t every boat with people living on them.

      Thanks for reading.


  5. Hey Jesse,

    You guys are making my trip back to Colorado seem warm. 😉 I know even in Georgia I had a tough battle with condensation this year. Those temperature swings from the 50’s and 60’s down to the 30’s overnight would sure result in a lot of condensation in the berths in my port hull (where the heat doesn’t make it even with fans). Decided my boat, like me, was meant for more tropical locales.

    Thought about using that type of insulation to help keep out heat in the salon during the summer…just wasn’t sure how effective it would be. I might be able to squeeze something that thin in between the hull and the inside panels.

    Glad to hear you are making it through a very tough winter up there. Bet you are looking forward to some warmth and sunshine.

    Take care,

    • Man,

      I can’t wait to be back up to 60s during the day and 30s at night. Last night was in the teens again. Woke up to ice in the marina again.

      I’m with you, my winterization plan for next winter is to be in the tropics!

      Hope everything is tying up nicely in Colorado. Don’t forget to enjoy the new tax revenue source while you are there 😉

      Fair winds,


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