Take two boats and 2 couples.
One couple sold their house and bought a boat by choice, whereas the other sold their house and couldn’t afford to buy another.
One couple had always had cruisers and fancied a change, and the other had never even had a boating holiday.
One boat is 30 years old and will need periodic blacking, the other a year old with an aluminium hull.
The difference in length is about 20 feet.
While their house sale was going through, Couple One had their boat completely gutted and rebuilt inside with all mod cons, such as a power shower, macerator loo, washing machine/tumble dryer, fridge freezer, double oven cooker and fully carpeted throughout. They also had the added luxury of a multi fuel stove and comfortable armchairs rather than caravan type benches.
Condensation was a problem for both.
Couple Two addressed it immediately by removing metal window trimmings and adding temporary secondary glazing, but Couple One were convinced their stove would solve the problem once it was up and running in the colder months.
Couple One had to fill their fresh water tank twice a week.
Couple Two topped up their water tank once a week having only used a quarter of its full capacity.
Couple One had a holding tank for ‘black water’ which had to be emptied every ten days or so at £17 a time and by taking their boat to the pump out jetty.
Couple Two’s boat was too small for a holding tank and so they used a cassette toilet.
However, ‘grey water’ waste for both (sinks, showers, hand basins etc) was expelled directly into the marina.
The two men were comparing notes and discussing water usage.
A power shower can use more water than a bath and a macerator loo as much as 1.6 gallons of water per flush depending on the make and model.
The loo was therefore kicked into touch and replaced with a cassette, and the marina shower facilities used more.
At a later date, the two men discussed condensation, damp, mold and mildew.
Carpets with a synthetic backing sweat, the moisture having nowhere to go but up.
In boats and caravans, any carpets are usually hessian backed so that they can breathe.
Bedding needs to be aired daily, and good circulation required rather than having a mattress on a solid base where body sweat can’t evaporate.
Good air flow and ventilation are also necessary in cupboards and wardrobes, or anywhere where linens and clothing are stored.
I suppose we were lucky in not planning for our boat ownership and having to get rid of all of our household possessions rather than try to bring bricks and mortar living to the water.
One thing we have noticed about the boating community is that everyone is happy to share tips and pointers. It doesn’t matter if the owner has a half a million pound cruiser or a small narrowboat, problems arise, solutions are found, and if they work, passed on.