Even with an abundance (relatively speaking) of power, there are still some things we just can’t do. One of them is to heat water with an electric water heater. Before I get into the nitty gritty of our situation, I’ll give you a spoiler: we have found a way to make hot water with little electricity or fuel. It is incredible. We now have electricity, refrigeration, and hot showers. This must be what yachting is like!
On December 15, 2016, an arctic chill snapped us into winter mode with subzero temperatures and gale force winds. Wind chill values dipped to nearly -40 degrees Fahrenheit, freezing the surface of the bay around us in a matter of hours. Comfortably warm below, we settled in for a movie and listened to the wind’s harmonic resonance in the mast and rigging.
I woke early to the sound of snow sliding off of our shrink-wrapped enclosure, the reality of living inside an actual snow globe. The weight of the snow breaks loose its adhesion to the plastic and follows with a splash as it crashes into the ocean around us. It’s driving our cat, Farley, entirely mad. He charges from one end of the boat to the other, reacting to a series of taps, swooshes, and splashes.
I don’t drink coffee. I know, it’s strange. I simply can not stand the taste or smell of coffee no matter how many times I try it. Hot coffee, iced coffee, coffee ice cream…no, thank you. My wife, however, does drink coffee like a normal person, which means I make coffee on a regular basis. Due to the space and power constraints of life on a sailboat, a standard coffee maker isn’t practical.
The final post in a four-part series explaining how we stay warm while living on a sailboat through the long Maine winters. I have written extensively in the past about the selection, preparation, and installation of our Olympia OL-60 heating system, but today I am going to tell you how it performed during its first winter of use.