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Welcome TV viewers! Yes, it's cold today.

Thanks for making the trip over to the blog today after watching the story on TV or online.  If you take a look around the blog there are lots of answers to some of the questions I'm sure a lot of you have.  We wrote a post about all the costs and I'm sure many of you will start there.


Knowing how cold it is outside this morning you may also want to know how we are doing. Yesterday when Marcus and cameraman Carlos came out it was 63 degrees inside the boat.  Well with the wind we had last night and the brutally cold temperatures it's a bit cooler inside now, about 54.  We have an alarm set if the temperature in the engine room goes below 40, which it did at 5AM.  We took one of the space heaters out of the living area and moved it down to the engine room to keep things comfortable down there.  Inside the engine room you obviously have the engines, which don't use antifreeze like a car, and can be damaged by the cold.  There are also a slew of water lines feeding the bathrooms and kitchen, the water pump, and a bilge where any excess water collects to be pumped out if it gets too deep.  All this needs to be kept above freezing, so this morning we sacrificed a little comfort for safety.

Again, we want to welcome you all and say thanks for taking an interest in our silly experiment.  Feel free to post questions in the comments and we'll try to answer ASAP.  Check back once a week for updates (we try to do it once per week, but life sometimes intervenes) and if you would like to know more info ask a question and we might make an post about it.  Thanks!

-Kevin and Colette

Comments

  1. I am finding this fascinating. your not so little thinking outside of the homeowner BOX! Do you have any security concerns? Colette where do keep all your cloths, shoes, and purses. The downsizing that must have gone into this is very intriguing. I can see it's upside in other seasons but would really be concerned with this weather and the lake front rain and water spouts etc. I am totally checking back this is so interesting. Wishing you all the best Angela

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    1. Angela, we have locks on the doors and the windows so we are not too concerned about safety, the marina also requires a code to get through the gate. We also live in a pretty safe part of town called Printer's Row - it's part of the South Loop. We are two blocks from the Loop. When we used to go to school in this neighborhood 15 years ago (Columbia College Chicago) we'd have never lived in this area, in fact I was mugged one night in 2001 only blocks away. Our neighborhood is mostly young professionals and some families now, it's quite safe. Colette gets 2/3 of the closet space, but we are not the type of people who hoard clothes, we buy quality clothing that can be worn many different ways. Our wardrobes are versatile, and Colette especially always dresses well.

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  2. I was wondering if you have a washer and dryer on board? ??

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    1. Justin, we DO have a W/D on board, however it only dries right now and we can't figure out how to get the wash aspect operational. We normally take our clothes to a fluff-n-fold laundromat every couple weeks where they turn our soiled garments into freshly folded or hung clean ones for about $30.

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  3. Fantastic spot on TV today. My wife and I are a few years away from doing this ourselves. Just need the boys to graduate from HS! We already have a 36' SeaRay Sedan Bridge. We will be looking to upgrade to atleast a 52' for a live a board. Hope to meet you some time. Great blog, thank you for the great information and please have a wonderful New Year! Erik & Jennifer

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    1. Erik, sounds like you have a great plan. Remember the larger the boat the more maintenance, so don't simply look at size as an advantage. Our Carver is very well laid out and has much more space inside than many other boats we looked at in the same size range. Your Sea Ray is probably a great weekend boat but might not be right for full time living so getting something bigger is a good idea, but don't rule out a well designed boat in the 40-50 range. Slips larger than 50 feet also command a premium at the marinas and you can be limited on where you can go. We went for practicality over speed and style. Good Luck and stay in touch.

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    2. Kevin, thank you for the feedback. I am tracking with your comments and am in the same line of thinking. Our goal is to have a Blue Water capable lady, possibly a steel hull trawler type: Hatteras, Cape Horn, Bering, etc. We just moved from Kansas when I retired from the Army after 25yrs. We were on 5 acres in the country. I do not miss all that work. I would rather work on a boat than cut all that grass!! Be safe, be well and we will talk soon. E & J

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  4. Stay warm out there! It can get pretty dangerous!

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  5. Capt. Dave here.

    OMG you guys are doing what some of us Boaters have talked about for years.

    Great tv spot and blog!

    So how do you pump the holding tank in the winter?

    How do you fill water tank in the winter?

    Where the main engines winterized? Or do you fire them up as needed?

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    1. It sounds like the River City Marina might have a city water hook up. That would negate the need for filling the water holding tank and also provide higher water pressure. We are up in Sturgeon Bay, WI. and we have city water at our slip. I will not get another marina slip ever without that option. Night and day. Happy Boating!

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    2. captdave71, we have a pumpout located very close to the boat, I just drag the hose over when needed. The marina has city water but we shut it off in the winter so the pipes don't freeze. We all share a spigot coming from the building and fill using hoses when the days are warm enough, then drain and store the hoses when we are done. One of the other boats has a 1,000 gallon freshwater tank so he can go for a couple months without filling, we only have 170 gallons so we can last a couple weeks at most. I shower at work and Colette uses her gym shower in the winter. In summer I dump and fill weekly and we have no problems with waste or water showering every day.

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  6. That's so Awesome- Stay warm! God Bless

    ~Renee

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  7. I think this is totally awesome!! No worse than living in an RV year round and that's my dream!! More power to ya! GOD speed! <3

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  8. I thought we were crazy for taking our family on the road in a fifth wheel and braving these winters �� I love your story!

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  9. I don't think you are crazy at all. We did the same thing about 2 years ago, so far we love it. We are not in as cold of weather cruising along the gulf coast, spending some time in Louisiana right now. But with that said, it is supposed to get to 18 degrees here tonight as the low. Like you we have a heater in the engine room in the event we are not on the boat, but when we are on, we keep both of the reverse cycle heaters running and keep it at 72 or so inside.

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  10. We read your blog with interest. Knowing the weather in (sunny) Chicago, I can't imagine spending the winter onboard. If it's any comfort we had 18 deg. Last night, and we are about 1000 miles south of you. Warmer days are ahead.

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  11. I read on a blog a couple of years ago about a guy who did this on the East coast. He swore by a certain kerosene heater, but with your boat shrink wrapped that's probably not an option. How are you adjusting to the relatively confined space? With a house, you tend to take storage for granted. But boats are another matter. Any mildew issues?

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    1. iRocco, our neighbor has a diesel heater that works extremely well but he doesn't wrap. This might be something we consider in the future, a propane or alcohol burner since our engines are gasoline. We have no problems with mildew so far, other than normal boat stuff. There is enough airflow even with the wrap that we get enough oxygen, even when we've spent all day on the boat there is enough air seeping in to keep it fresh. So far no problems - fingers crossed!

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  12. THIS IS GREAT! I am a 28 year old bachelor and keep my 28' sea ray in diversey for the summer and goose island yard for the winter. 6K a year once its said and done. Currently paying $1000/per month for my apartment plus utilities. Was considering buying a house but this has definitely caught my eye. I will be able to save money while living the dream. I didn't think there was a way to do this in Chicago until I saw your story. Might be time to upgrade to 40ft +...

    Awesome. Congrats!

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  13. I like this idea we have a sailboat in Belmont harbor just curious as how you pump out your holding tanks in the winter.

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    1. Cindy, there is a pump out close to our slip. We have hoses that reach our boat without having to move it. Very convenient!

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  14. I saw your story on the internet last night while I was staying on my trimaran in St. Pete FL and felt compelled to say hi. I will add your link to my blog. Mine is:
    http://3sumtri.blogspot.com/

    I spent a few months in Chicago working and know right where your boat is and always thought that would be a great liveaboard place. Come sailing with us sometime! Paul M.

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  15. I absolutely LOVE the name of your blog! Very fun! I've also added your blog to my list (http://thingswedidtoday.blogspot.com) and look forward to reading your updates. We've lived aboard our 45 ft. sailboat for just over two years now and have had a brush with two winters, although not in Chicago, they were plenty cold for us to last a lifetime. Now practicing winter avoidance. I'm curious about your future plans to cruise. Will you be leaving Chicago or are you simply trading a house for a boat?

    I do worry for you about mildew. It's impossible to keep our sailboat dry enough in the cold and the hull condensation is a huge factor. Mildew will grow everywhere that isn't well ventilated so really if you haven't had a problem yet, you probably will. Keep a close eye on all your enclosed spaces. Oh, and leather (shoes, belts) LOVE to mildew first!

    Oh and for Colette, there is a wonderful closed Facebook Group called Women Who Sail. You don't have to be a sailor or have a sailboat to join, and it's of course only for women. It's a forum where you can ask questions and learn about life on boats from other women in a welcoming and nurturing environment. Oh, and do you have a Facebook page for your boat? I'ld love to follow there as it's easier with limited wi-fi.

    Well good luck and welcome to the neighborhood!
    Tammy

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  16. What year is your boat? Do you have carbon monoxide alarms on board?

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    1. David, our boat is a 1988 Carver 4207. Here is a link to a very similar one for sale, although this one has Diesel engines, not gas like us http://www.madaboutboating.com/Carver-4207.html . We have three built it CO detectors which are original with the boat, they are old and sometimes false alarm but we've used them since May. I have not been comfortable with using those so we have 3 new Kidde battery operated CO detectors. It's a job I meant to do 7 months ago, but I kept forgetting or getting distracted! I ordered them on Amazon Monday so they will arrive and be installed today.

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    2. Kevin,

      Do you still have the Old/original alarms? I would like to trade you new 12 volt CO alarms for your old ones. What brand are they?

      Thanks

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    3. David, poor me, I'm in Miami right now for work. I'll get back to you in a couple days.

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    4. Kevin,

      Hope you are back freezing with the rest of us. Any luck on the old CO alarms. I consult to a manufacturer of CO alarms for boats. We are looking to test them etc.

      Thanks

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    5. David,
      Yep, I'm back and chilled.
      They are Newtec brand alarms and I'd be happy to send them to you if you want them. I took a photo of one if you want to see it, I don't see the model number, but I have not taken them off the walls so there might be a model on the back if it matters.
      You can email me at like.i.amuse.you@gmail.com with the address to send them.

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