Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bowing To Reality

Whitehall, NY
43 33.27 N 073 24.13 W

Poor Libby doesn't have as much meat on her bones as I do to insulate her from the cold.  In the past few days she needed it.  It has been cold and damp.  Nighttime temperatures are in the 30s and with the boat bottled up, moisture builds up and the walls sweat but opening hatches to let moisture out makes it colder.   Remember, after more than 7 years on the boat we have adapted to continuously warm weather.  The only exception was the miserable winter of 2009 when the cold went all the way south of Cancun Mexico.

We have a propane cabin heater, but it sucks down the propane too fast.  We fear that leaving it on all night would drain a 20 pound propane tank before morning.   Therefore we use it only 15-30 minutes at a time to take the edge off the chill.

But the weather is not getting warmer and we are delayed again.  I decided to break with our tradition of a) being self-sufficient at anchor or moored, and b) not buying stuff we don't use much and don't have room to store.   While we're waiting here at Whitehall, we have free shore power.  I decided to buy an electric space heater.

Where to buy one in a small town like Whitehall?  There is a Stewarts convenience shop, a MacDonalds, a laundromat, restaurants and bars, a hardware store, and a restaurant supply store.  Oh yes, there is also a Dollar General and a Family Dollar Store.  I struck out at the Dollar General and the hardware store.  Both said, "They'll be in next week."  Apparently, the natives don't think it is cold enough yet for heaters.   In the tiny Family Dollar store, I scored!  Now, Libby is happily sitting in front of the heater making baskets.


  1. A good set of long johns, especially the silk ones can go a long way towards making it more comfortable to operate even in cold weather. Just a thought.

  2. Also, I'm sure you've been cautioned of the dangers of any 'flame' type heater in an enclosed space. In a contest for O2, the flame will win and you'll be snuffed before it is!
    Proper ventilation/plumbing for the heater.

  3. Having spent December on board in Annapolis, let me share what I learned there. Get an oil filled electric radiator. (available at any home depot or via Amazon)

    I was living onboard in Dec of 99 and with 3 electric space heaters maxing out my meager 110 system, I was still not warm. There was another fella on Ego Alley with me in a Freedom 39 Cat Schooner. He had much more living space than I did and a visit to his boat one evening found it comfortable and warm. He was using 2 electric oil filled radiators to my three ceramic fan driven space heaters.

    I switched the next day and got comfortable.


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