Holy crap this boat is a huge mess!
Sometimes, I have NO IDEA what I’m doing. But, it keeps working… Today it’s about 112 degrees outside. I can say “outside” now because I went and bought an air conditioner. Yesterday it was about 98 inside the boat and maybe 105 outside. I just couldn’t take it anymore…
I spent the whole day praying for the right A/C unit to show up on craigslist. I finally found one this morning. He only wanted $45 for it, so I drove out and bought it, took it home and tried to install it. No love…. It was about 1.5 inches too big for my companionway. I knew it… I measured before I left and I measured the A/C when i got there, but I figured for $45 I’ll either make it work or I can just turn around and sell it for $75. Well, try to “make it work” in 100+ degree heat. Forget about it… So I gave up and bought one from a discount store. It wasn’t cheap but like I said, I can turn around and sell the other one and get part of my money back. I spent most of my rent money on this thing (and I’m already a week late on rent!) but I don’t care!
So, now I’m sitting here and I just pulled an ice cold beer from the fridge, and the cabin is nice and cool while it’s scorching hot outside. Pure luxury! Oh, did I mention I bought a fridge a few weeks ago? It’s one of those small dorm style fridges I paid $40 for. It’s absolutely wonderful.
Am I starting to sound like a liveaboard yet?
The fridge I can understand, it saves money (I was spending around $40 a month on ice). But, I thought for sure I would avoid having A/C on any boat. I mean, you’re basically living outdoors, so it only makes sense to embrace the climate and deal with it, right? I figured when it’s hot, it’ll just be incentive to go out and find things to do instead of sitting on the boat and being hot. But, reality doesn’t actually work that way…
I survived last year’s summer. I remember it well. It was 100+ degrees for almost 2 months straight. And I had nothing but a single 12v fan on the boat the entire time. So what changed? Well, last year I was spending all my money hanging out in bars and eating at restaurants. That’s the main reason I’m still here… I spent way too much doing nothing at all. Then I spent the better part of the winter trying to get over the habits I formed during the summer… It’s a never ending cycle if you don’t change. I’ve definitely changed this summer, but it’s all still a work in progress. I haven’t been to the bar more than 3 times this year, and I rarely eat out. Especially now that I have a fridge. I can buy meats and freeze them, I can save leftovers, I have ice for drinks, veggies last twice as long… It’s been too hot too cook on the boat lately though, so hopefully the A/C will help with that now.
I’m not being charged for electricity, and even if I was, I’m still only using a single 15A circuit, it can’t be that expensive… so I can’t find a reason not to embrace technology and forget about communing with nature for a few months out of the year I mean, if I’m going to be here, I might as well be here and be happy.
The Chesapeake just isn’t the Caribbean. We don’t have Trade Winds blowing all year long and average temps in the 80′s. Oh, how I envy those sailors! We need heat in the winter and A/C in the summer. That’s all there is to it.
So anyway. I’m happy right now. Morale aboard S/V El Camino (I’m trying that name on for size, what do you think?) is up 200% and hopefully productivity will follow. As you can see in the pic, this old boat is a disaster in progress. Actually, I’m too embarrassed to show you guys a pic of the rest of the boat. It’s terrible. I’m so lazy lately… But it’s mostly just a matter of cleaning up and getting organized (still). Then maybe getting a few projects finished. Once I get a few projects done I think this boat will be ready for some minor cruising. Extended cruising (or living at anchor) is a different story though…
Notice in the pic there’s a water hose and an electrical cord coming into the companionway. Since I haven’t done my water tank project yet, I’ve found it’s best to just run the hose into the boat and keep a nozzle on it. Instant pressure water with no fuss The electrical cord is just a regular extension cord from home depot plugged into a 30-15Amp adapter at the dock. It’s been working wonderfully for several months now. It would certainly be nice to have a real AC shorepower system hooked up, but only for the convenience of not having a cord draped through the boat. Functionality wise, it’s just as good as the real thing. Same goes for the hose…. I’m tellin you. Pure Luxury A/C, refrigeration, endless supply of pressurized water, unmetered electricity… It’s like having a house (or maybe a trailer!), except it still only cost me $200 a month, and it’s a little bit smaller….
If you find yourself living at the dock for any extended period of time, it’s not too difficult to embrace it without spiraling into debt at the expense of ‘marine’ grade equipment and installations. Living at a dock is EASY. I can’t believe it’s been a year now and this whole time I’ve been ‘struggling’ to leave. I should have just embraced it from the beginning. I had a good plan (and it could certainly work for others), but there was never any point in avoiding comfort. I like the ideal of working for rewards and embracing nature, but reality is reality, embrace that first… I would never tell anyone to put their dream aside for the sake of comfort, but I will say to embrace TODAY, then work towards your ideals after you start cruising
Simply put; it’s not possible to live a cruising lifestyle if you’re not actually cruising. So just deal with it… Of course, keep working on the boat (because you know it needs work!), but don’t think $200 worth of luxury is going to stop you from achieving your dream. It won’t. The reality is, it might actually help you move forward.