Boat Life,  Winter

Living on a Boat has its Drawbacks Too.

Filling the Water Tank For those of you coming here to read about How To Live on a Boat – you might start with the Living on a Boat Series.

Yesterday, I contemplated how good life was living on the boat. Today, I’m warming up after going through one of the cons of living on a boat in the winter – filling the water tanks.

It is -17 deg C out and the wind is blowing hard and cold and the tank goes empty. The tank never empties on the warmer days – not when the wind is calm and the sun is shining – but when it is the most miserable out. So tonight I hauled 55 gallons in jugs from the laundry room and filled it again. This should last us about 10 days to two weeks depending on how water frugal we are. As an aside – I have no idea how much water the average 4 person family uses but I can guarantee that they will use more than 55 gallons. Those who live aboard boats live with a true conservation spirit – out of necessity.


  • William B. Kelleher

    This may be a dumb question, but why don’t you top off the water tank when you have a warmer and/or no wind day ???

    You don’t really have to wait for it to run dry, HONESTLY. LOL

    William B. Kelleher
    46′ Bertram Motoryacht
    Toledo,Ohio USA

  • Jamie

    Yes, it does require actually thinking about it once in a while 🙂

    I’ve only run out once. Of course, it was in the shower when I was all soaped up! Won’t be happening again, I can tell you that!

    I agree completely with your observation about the natural conservation instinct one develops living aboard!

  • John (Loves boats) Alford

    I second Casenet’s comment about living in a house having its own drawbacks too. Probably more so.

    Everything happens for a reason – at least now you know to keep the tank filled (even when you feel you least need it).

    Dream unapologetically, my friend.

    take care…

  • sabine

    i really enjoyed finding your page. it is really cute and fun. i am considering boat living for my husband and i so its a nice rescorse to have for info. i would love to ask you lots of questions if you have time. thanks so much

  • chez

    We have made an offer on a 55′ kingscraft, all alunimum house boat and anticipating year around liveboard. I am getting “cold feet” about this deal because we live in Minnesota. Any advise from those who are doing it knee deep in ice and snow?


  • Viking Yachts

    The land area becomes more expensive to stay these days. Sometimes, I feel like want to move. I love fishing and living on a boat will be the perfect choice. Glad you share you point on difficulties you faced and experience on living on boat.

  • John

    Or you might consider moving the fill up point somewhere inside the cabin. Then life on the boat would be grand again.

  • michael c

    I would love living on a boat. I would do it as a single man though. I don’t think I could handle having the whole family with me. But someday, perhaps as an ‘older’ man, I will….

  • bob lantinga

    Good for you for living your dream of living on a boat. I would pick a place with better weather for the winter. I know of lots of people who anchor in the gulf islands (west coast) They get rain and wind but in the winter they get sun also. Some work art time on the lsland’s for cash and enjoy their island and boat life. Some stay in one spot and others move around
    and work on a number of islands. The islands are filled with nice shops and colorful people from all walks of life. Having a sail boat is even better if one wants to enjoy the wind and save money moving around. Keeping warm is done in most cases by a diesel heater. Some use diesel for their cooking which also gives off good heat. Having a good go to shore boat also makes a better life style. Going ashore and do some exploring and having the ability to make it back to you anchored boat in waves and in a storm is no fun on a small boat. Enjoy your life on the water. You will meet great people.

  • Terry Gainford

    Hi I have been reading all the comments and the life sounds great.I am about to buy a sail boat I have no experience of sailing although the seller has promised to take me out for a week which I am really looking forward to, also I plan to take formal training course.I have secured a mooring on a canal with a sea lock for three hundred pounds a year, which is so cheap compared to some more popular marinas where 200 pounds a meter/yard.As a newie to this I will write again and let you know how I am getting on with a fresh look at the pros and cons. Live the dream Terry.

  • roger

    Hi Terry
    Whats it like then as Im literally in the same boat as you.Im ready to live on a boat and have not got the first idea on what boat to get but i really fancy the idea of living on a boat, one that i can take out to sea etc please advise me.

  • Jeff Wilkinson

    For several years my wife and I thought we would like to try living aboard our boat, so in 2005 we purchased a 24 foot pontoon boat and had a canvas enclosure built for it. So we could camp on the water and see what it was like. And you are right, there are some draw backs. But, after about 30 days on the Gulf coast of Florida, we had most things worked out. We had only planned to stay the month of May, We reluctantly returned to land in September. We are now in the process of replacing the canvas enclosure with a solid structure. So, let this be a warning to all those who dream of a life upon the sea, in the imortal words of Jimmy Buffett’s Grandfather ” if you go down, you may never come back again”

  • dan61

    It is -17 deg C out and the wind is blowing hard and cold and the tank goes empty. The tank never empties on the warmer days

  • michael4877

    Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and it has some excellent info and I always manage to spend an hour reading it everytime i drop by here. It also inspired me to go through with living aboard.
    I am about to become a resident at the Port Credit Harbor Marina. I am bringing my new (first) boat there this weekend. Could you give me some info on how you get internet service. I am a web designer so this is a priority. I have heard that there is wifi service available but have not been able to track the company down.

    Thanks for the good read,

  • Mike

    I only made it through 3 weeks living on my boat. A vacation is one thing, but I went stir crazy…had to get off the boat

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