Monday, December 05, 2011

life in the bubble

You know how as parents you sometimes block things out? Convenient amnesia seems to be a survival mechanism for parenting and probably how and why we are able to have more than one child. One thing Doug and I can not remember for the life of us is how we managed winter heating when Zach was a tot without having him touch the big large hot heater we normally keep at floor level in the salon. Our only answer was that either we were slacker parents or the dog was always in front of that heater making it impossible for him to get close and burn himself.

Our smaller oil filled radiators can't hurt you when you touch them, even at the highest settings. But the big hot heaters we keep in the main salon (once the "central heat" reverse cycle is turned off for the season which happens when the sea water it sucks in to run drops to 45F degrees) can leave a nasty burn mark with even a slight touch (don't ask how I know this).

So we did for the first time what intrepid liveaboards of the great white north do every season (like our pals Tig & Serena) - we wrapped the boat in plastic. Being 44 feet long and 24 feet wide we didn't want to do the whole boat. But we figured if we shrink wrapped the salon and the cockpit that would make a big dent in our warm and dry factor for the winter.

And boy were we right! Not only is it down right tropical in our cockpit during the day, we don't even have the heat on at all in the boat (of course it's not THAT cold outside yet... but so far so good.)
There's always been the option of getting a canvas shop to install what's called a "full enclosure" around our cockpit. The problem is cost. For a cockpit our size it would be about $6500 (and that was a quote from 7 years ago) to get the job done. The eisenglass panels are crazy expensive and then the labor and such on top of that. Then the issue of where you put all of that expensive and easily scratchable eisenglass in the spring/ summer/ and fall comes up? So it just never made sense for us. But having the boat shrink wrapped by our pals at Dean's Yacht Services was well worth it at a mere fraction of the cost of the enclosure.

Mr. Dean himself came to get the job done, which was quite a site to see. They loosely canopy the thick plastic around the boat and then use heat guns to shrink it on nice and tight.
He gave is a zippered door and some air vents in case we got a little too toasty and within a few hours we had a whole new room as our disposal.
I can't tell you what a difference this has already made to our usual cabin fever. Just being to live in 2 rooms rather than one... wow! Zach can be out there playing with his blocks while Naia is in here sleeping on the settee and I don't have to tell him every 30 seconds to keep it down. Your sister is sleeping. Shhhhh! And I can spread out my projects while he spreads out his and we're not on top of each other. What luxury! And good for family peace too.

It will be weird to experience our first good rain or snow storm with the bubble. We're so used to being really in it. I am sure there will be a little storm party in the bubble when the time comes. And when the time comes in spring we will pop this bubble, tear off the plastic wrap, and welcome our outdoor life once again.

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