Winter Liveaboards

December 2014 Web Exclusive

Have you ever toyed with the idea of living on your houseboat through the winter months? You’re not the only one. Ian Macpherson gives some practical advice at for people who have been asking the same question—what are some ways to live aboard during the winter?

Ian’s insightful input is extended with the definition of winter meaning the water can or will freeze, and that at least a little snow will get involved. Some things he advices any serious liveaboarder to consider are the following:

Get a water bubbler system. This will agitate the water around your boat to help prevent ice from developing.

Consider ways to keep your houseboat heated (electric-propane-diesel), and keep the condensation under reign with a dehumidifier.

Winterize the outdrive system or outboard so you can avoid freeze damage, which is certainly a risk.

Brainstorm some methods for keeping snow from piling onboard. Some ideas could be a shrink wrap system or portable garage tempos around your entrances and outside walls. This will also reduce heat loss.

Decide on a plan to pump out the septic tank and how you’ll get the potable drinking water you’ll need while living aboard.

Make sure you have a dependable generator, so you can avoid freeze damage in the event of power loss.

And most importantly of all, make sure that you and your spouse or partner are both okay with any difficulties that can come up with living aboard in the winter. Imagine them saying, “There is no I in team but there is a ME so you’d better help me understand before I commit to this!” Because surviving through the winter will take a team.

Or, in the less extreme cases, enjoying the winter will take a team, too.

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