Saturday, November 27, 2010

Boat warming

Boat warming over the Thanksgiving weekend was a good choice after the sub-freezing weather we experienced the week before  The cold had been harsh, with morning temps in the very low twenties.

People kept asking us if we were staying warm, which was reasonable indeed, considering the icy winter wonderland that Seattle had become.  Brigadoon was covered in ice and snow, as was our dock.  This was a good test for us, a little more than a week into living aboard at the marina.

With the temperatures forecast so low and snow in the picture too, we had prepped the boat as best we could, filling the water tanks before the water supply was shut off at the docks.  We also purchased a second DeLongi oil filled radiator the week before.  The heaters are completely safe for boat use, not using any hot coils or fans.  They are quiet, provide a soft heat and made the inside of Brigadoon cozy and warm.  They do draw as much as 1200 watts at full tilt but, we only had to run one at 1200 watts and the other at 700 to maintain temperatures above 55 degrees.  Yes, I said 55 degrees inside the boat.  Now that seems cold but, really, it isn't.  Our large V berth is very warm and comfortable and waking up to a cool cabin was just fine.  Also, I was able to figure out how to operate the Dickenson Newport heater on the boat.

I really love this little heater. It's simple, easy to light, runs on the same diesel the boat engine needs, and only burns about a gallon if fuel a day.  We had a little trouble with it at first as we figured out how to get it lit and keep it that way but, once that was past, it will happily push the cabin temperature up to 70 degrees, even with ice and show all over the boat.

We have had a couple instances where it has done out and belched black smoke into the cabin, but we have learned to deal with that quickly enough.  It happened last night, during out boat warming when a strong gust of wind came down the stack but, because we knew what to do, we aired the boat out ad had it re-lit in a few minutes.

As an added bonus, when it is running, we can make tea directly in our tin cups, place a small pan of pud thai or reheat pizza on top of the thing. 

Then, there is the berth where we sleep.

I have rarely had a more comfortable bed.  We added an inexpensive foam mattress topper to the already adequate cushions.  A few warm blankets, a comforter and a pretty girl are all I need to sleep warm and safe, on Brigadoon, surrounded by ice and snow, looking out over Lake Union towards the city.

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