14 October 2016 | Herrington Harbour South
The cool October air has arrived! Its time prepare for our LAST winter on the Chesapeake! This winter will be a bit different - in a new marina (Herrington Harbour South). We have become accustomed to fixed docks - finally got the spring line arrangement right. We have pulled the trigger on the fiberglass tradesman to glass-up the new hard dodger and top that we spent all summer designing - sure hope he finishes by the time it gets cold? We bought the new tender and motor package in prep for our south-bound cruise next year - just waiting on delivery. The Admiral is about 2-weeks away from being "Dr. Admiral!...PhD. Our slip neighbors are slowly evaporating as cooler weather bodes winterizing chores. We live aboard and will be but part of a handful of brave souls to face a Chesapeake winter aboard in our marina. Hey! - they turn the water off here!...Can they do that! Something we will have to adjust to - I guess?
Winter is peeking around the corner: As live-aboards - we are no stranger to season changes. Even now, as mornings are cooler when we awake - the little comforts are important. This whole living at the dock thing is NICE. The Admiral's two favorite amenities: (1) Shore Power and (2) Shore Water!
- The Toasty Tush - toilet seat warmer. Man - the Admiral loves this thing! A light weight pad that attaches to the toilet lid and plugs into the nearest outlet (AC). Sure does make it a pleasant start to your day when the toilet seat is warm and welcoming! For me (the Captain) not so much for obvious reasons...BUT...If she ain't happy - you ain't happy...and if she's unhappy long enough; you will be unhappy with half of your stuff!
- The IRIS Home Security and Automation System - I wrote about this a while back. This system allows us to schedule "events" aboard like turning on water heaters, space heaters, ice eaters, lights, fans...anything connected to the AC power system. So - when we are away for the day - it all gets turned off...when we return, conditional rules trigger the "on" buttons for the devices we desire so the boat is warm and toasty upon arrival. It even has a water shut off/bilge detection capability; camera options and temperature/humidity monitoring. Best musing of all - this system really helps with piece of mind when you are away from the boat and return (on a cold day/night) to a warm, inviting environment that you know didn't cost you $0.13 per KwH all day while you weren't there to enjoy it!
- The Ultrasonic Anti-fouling System - We put 2 of these $100.00 24V DIY kit systems in last year from an electronic project warehouse after reading about the concept in Boating Magazine (costing nearly $1500.00 a piece)!...haven't seen a barnacle yet on our 53 ft hull! Doesn't pull more than a handful of milli-amps...not a bad $200.00 investment - Pretty neat!
- The Hard Dodger & Top - This has been a long and drawn out project and I'm feeling a bit vulnerable at the moment of this writing since our canvas Bimini is down and the new top is not yet up! But we are close! Previous posts describe what we designed and there are a few photos but we can't wait to see the finished project! This summer's goal was to get the structural engineering finished and the fiberglass work done. The winter project is to finish out the interior of the Dodger and Top with the wood trim and canvas sides/rear. The beefy aluminum frame is in and ready to take the Dodger and Top. We are photo-journaling the project to share. As soon as the top is up - the Admiral can begin leading the interior cockpit re-design with new cushions and comfort ergonomics.
- The new Tender - We waited for boat show prices...not so impressive! Found a better deal from a marine outfit in Racine Wisconsin...new 2017 Walker Bay Hypalon 310 SLXR (10ft 2 in) Flat floor Lightweight RIB (97 lbs) plus a Tohatsu 15 HP/4 Stroke for under $6K...10yr warranty on the Hypalon/5yr on the engine! Couldn't beat that price locally with a stick!
- So few Live-Aboards - We have met only a few this summer but may consider hosting a "Fall Social" soon to meet the "brave" ones that will be in the marina all winter. We are lucky to have a VERY well outfitted vessel - the 16KW Phasor Diesel Genny is our proudest possession when its cold - especially when the power goes out! We'd like to be able to help anyone that is less fortunate when conditions go bad- knowing who they might be is the first step...so an effort to meet the local winter live-aboards is in the works.
- Water off 15 NOV - Well...this one is new for us. Our last marina had underwater lines and did not turn off the dock water in winter. NOT SO HERE! SO - we have purchased 200 ft of "shrinking" hose (so we can keep it inside) to fill up tanks each week from the land hydrant at the entrance to our dock section. Good news is that the Herrington Harbour South Bath Houses are NICE!...Fully heated (and AC'd) and have private showers when we need to use them. We are fully rigged with de-humidification, heat pumps and forced air (dry) heat as well as propane back-up. We WILL be warm and dry...but its nice to know the bath houses are there in a pinch.
The Ice Eaters are ready; the winter snow covers will go up on our booms and whisker pole in late NOV and the window, hatch and dorado insulation will go in soon. Time to start winding up the winter (indoor) project list!