Challenges of winter living aboard a Monsun

Winter is coming, even to central France. Living aboard is going well, although it’s a challenge to battle the temperature differences inside and outside the boat. Biggest concern is the condensation of water vapour on all the cold surfaces inside. To make living quarters liveable I have invested in an electric heater (oil filled radiator, 1500W) and a 300W-consuming dehumidifier. The combination of heater/dehumidifier keeps the boat dry and warm. In the nights temperatures outside drop and every morning the diesel heater kicks in and warms up the boat to 20 degrees Celcius. Nice to have a good heater! To help insulate the boat even more I have covered the cockpit tent with a layer of see-through plastic sheeting (70 microns) and the windows are covered with the same type of plastic on the outside, to create double glass windows. It greatly reduces condensation on the inside of the glass. The forward hatch is also covered with the plastic sheet. The deck is protected by a blue tarp tied to the stanchions on either side of the boat. It is still nice to have the cockpit as a place to take on and off shoes and outer clothing, but temperatures make it less fun to spend time out there. Moved more inside the boat, meaning that living space is reduced to a minimum. That’s life on a Monsun in a river harbour of central France.

Author: captain

Johannes, born in 1960 in Zierikzee, The Netherlands. Owner of S/Y Isabell. Retired environmental toxicologist, now living aboard and sailing south.