Jump to content
  • Announcements

    Welcome! New around here? Take a look at the New Members' Guide for some pointers.

    Not a member yet? Sign up here and you can soon be chatting away with friends old and new..

    Check out our Handy Information section if you're after something quickly!

  • If you would like to support the forum, please consider visiting the forum shop, where you can purchase such items as NBN Burgees, Window Stickers, or even a custom Limited Edition Wooden Throttle Control Knob

    Forum Shop

Cockatoo

What Are Your "must Haves" On A Boat?

Recommended Posts

Following on from the Semi-Liveaboard thread I have started to look at adverts to give me an idea of the market. I'm trying to come up with a list of things that are essential i.e.already fitted (and working) or need to be before we start using it and another that are desirable or can be fitted later. This will allow me to find rough prices for getting stuff installed and make it easier to compare prices properly.

I'm not including the basics, watertight hull, engine, gearbox, fenders etc. :default_smile:

 

Essential:

Minimum of two cabins.

Two heads (or one head and a separate shower)

Shore power

Battery charger

Heater

Depth guage

Electric mudweight

Oven

Fridge

Hob (2 burner ok, 4 burner better)

Holding tank (I've included this because I am looking at ads all over the place)

Bowthruster

 

 

Desirable:

LED lighting

Nav lights

4 Burner hob

Diesel gauge  (can these be retro fitted?. Using a dipstick drives me insane)

 

Help me out here people :)

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depth guage on the broads?... Stay inside the channel markers and there is no problem..

 You'd need a gauge that registers in inches, as the normal depth is about 5ft. Very rarely 10ft

A depth gauge on the broads won't help you, by the time the gauge registers shallowing waters the bow has run aground.

 If you're less than 30ft I don't see the need for a bow thruster either..

You should have an air draft (cockpit hood down) less than Potter Heigham bridge, There's no point having a boat on the broads and not being able to get to much of it..

led lighting is an easy bulb swap later..

An electric mud weight might be interesting for the fishing. But I think an electric winch might be better at getting the mudweight up..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, TheQ said:

Depth guage on the broads?... Stay inside the channel markers and there is no problem..

That's the point, if we mudweight on a Broad  we can go outside the markers

Quote

 If you're less than 30ft I don't see the need for a bow thruster either..

It won't be less than 30ft, probably 38ft upwards.

Quote

You should have an air draft (cockpit hood down) less than Potter Heigham bridge, There's no point having a boat on the broads and not being able to get to much of it..

Not too worried about that.

Quote

led lighting is an easy bulb swap later..

Sometimes it is, fluorescent probably means changing the fittings but I know the costs involved there.

Quote

An electric mud weight might be interesting for the fishing. But I think an electric winch might be better at getting the mudweight up..

I'll give you that one :default_wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of this is going to come down to personal preference. Some of your essential kit would be in the desirable category for me, and even after 15 years of boat ownership, some of it I still don't have.

I would suggest more worrying about the style and size of boat you want and then find a good example. Most of the other stuff you can fit yourself or pay to have fitted if you really need it.

Given your intent to spend a fair bit of time on board, large water and holding tanks. Something with good draught exclusion. Centre cockpit boats whilst my preference are a pig to try and draught proof in the Winter or even early Spring, late Autumn.

Some small things I have done and would think desirable if living on board for longer periods would be;

An immersion element in the calorifier so you can get hot water without running the engine. Or a diesel fired water heater, these can also be used to heat up radiators a bit like home central heating.

I don't have a water gauge for my domestic water tank, so I fitted a standard water meter between the tank and the water pump. I know the capacity of my tank and each time I fill the tank I take a new meter reading. Add on the capacity of the tank and you will easily know when you need to top up the water tank again.

I also changed the water pump for a variable speed pump which doesn't need an accumulator and stops the constant pulsing of the water pump and the consequent hot / cold pulsing you can get in the shower.

I also changed the shower head for one that has various settings and an off position. You can then get the shower set to a nice temperature and just turn it off completely during showering, until you need to wash the soap off you. This dramatically saves on water without having to keep adjusting the taps to find the water temp again.

The above are all examples of small things that will make extended living on board much nicer, but are unlikely to be a factor when purchasing the boat initially.

The last one is possibly a little contentious, especially for our liveaboard friends, but I would avoid the temptation to fit a log burner. If you are not berthed in a marina then they are ok and probably a reasonably cheap and good way of keeping warm. However in a marina they are a PITA. On cold and damp days the smoke goes up and comes straight back down onto the neighbouring boats, building up into an oily sticky black streaky mess over time.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bottle opener, a cork-screw, a tin opener and a box of matches, everything else is incidental!

  • Like 1
  • Haha 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

A bottle opener, a cork-screw, a tin opener and a box of matches, everything else is incidental!

You forgot the rags and bits of string!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, EastCoastIPA said:

Lots of good stuff

Thank ECIPA, there are some good points there.

 

As to the type of boat, probably a centre cockpit or a sedan. Need to look over a few :default_smile:

 

I'd completely forgotten the immersion heater

 

I'll add to my list and post it below

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a toilet and a cooker, give me those two and a boat attached and I will be happy

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edited List

Essential:

Minimum of two cabins.

Two heads (or one head and a separate shower)

Shore power

Battery charger

Heater

Depth guage

Electric mudweight

Oven

Fridge

Hob (2 burner ok, 4 burner better)

Holding tank (I've included this because I am looking at ads all over the place)

Bowthruster

Immersion heater (ECIPA)

 

 

Desirable:

LED lighting

Nav lights

4 Burner hob

Water gauge  (ECIPA)

Diesel gauge  (can these be retro fitted?. Using a dipstick drives me insane)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beer, lots of it.

If I was going to live on it it'd have to be all on one level, with a decent size galley and fridge, a front well with a cover and a cover for the stern, this gives some added outside storage.

A decent DAB radio/cd player with aux input.

Possibly free standing furniture in the saloon.

and Beer.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

Rum, lashings of rum!

Rum, Yes, not so sure of the lashing..

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may want an Inverter/battery bank/intelligent charging system for when away from shore power perhaps? And maybe some solar panels too....

Oh and I think I a wet heating system would be preferable too, means towl rails and rads can be used, quite handy..

I think though that my main concerns when choosing a boat to live on would be the size of the berths/cabins, space in head and shower compartments, comfort of settes and availability of outside space(well or flybridge for instance)etc.

All the gizmos and gubbins can be added on but it's hard to change the fundamentals.

Just my thoughts

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The right layout that will suit you both.  View as many boats as you can to get different ideas on what you like and dont. What will be practical, how you will use the space for day to day living rather than just a holiday.   

(The right mooring - has it got good facilities.  Is there a launderette nearby)

Storage

Heating - hoping one day we can fit some to ours. I hate being cold

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, SteveDuk said:

That's the point, if we mudweight on a Broad  we can go outside the markers

 Most echo sounders are mounted midships or even aft on the hull to minimise interferance from the bow wave /bubbles. To use one for findng the shallows, you could really do with one hanging over the bows while creeping forward.

It won't be less than 30ft, probably 38ft upwards.

Not too worried about that. You'll missing some of the best bits of the broads though there are few modern 38 footers + that will go through the bridges.

 

Sometimes it is, fluorescent probably means changing the fittings but I know the costs involved there.

I do dislike flourescents, as on a quiet night you can hear the high pitched whine of the inverter  / oscillator and you think there's a mozzie in the cabin with you..

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SteveDuk said:

Sometimes it is, fluorescent probably means changing the fittings but I know the costs involved there

I changed the fluorescent tubes in Sunbird for 12 volt pad type LEDs - reasonably easy, and cheap conversion. Nowadays you can get LED tubes for an almost direct replacement.

1 hour ago, EastCoastIPA said:

I also changed the water pump for a variable speed pump which doesn't need an accumulator and stops the constant pulsing of the water pump and the consequent hot / cold pulsing you can get in the shower.

Do this if you are going to be aboard for extended periods! Possibly the best thing I've done aboard in terms of "creature comforts".

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are going to live aboard for periods of time, you will need good storage areas. Wardrobes, cupboards, drawers etc. Seems to me so many boats these days lack decent storage. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think that a decent solar panel to keep your batteries topped up would be a must have if spending so long aboard 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am surprised that no one has mentioned a washing machine, yes you could use a launderette but after a while that is going to wear a bit thin especially when you have to turn out in winter.

Living on a boat is a lot different to visiting for 10 to 14 days. You need storage for all your cloths, shoes and the like. You will need more space for cleaning materials, a hoover, ironing board, iron etc.

Regards

Alan

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, ranworthbreeze said:

I am surprised that no one has mentioned a washing machine, yes you could use a launderette but after a while that is going to wear a bit thin especially when you have to turn out in winter.

Always assuming that once you have got the washing machine / tumble dryer in, that if it goes wrong you can get it back out again - Eh Robin?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cloths on a boat, back in time when I did live on a boat, and when I worked on boats for extended periods, like all summer,  I worked round the principle of two ex RAF kit bags, if it couldn't be carried in those two bags then I didn't take it. Cloths to include foul weather gear & life's little essentials, including sleeping bag. I've always thought that its more about me adapting to the boat rather than adapting the boat to me. Someone mentioned CDs, I can't be without my music, thank goodness for MP3 players although that's past being geriatric now. Rather than kit bags I now use Dri-Sacs but the principle remains the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did think about a washing machine but, at least at the start, Debs will be coming home at least two nights a week and at a push Mum lives in Norfolk so we can always pop in there and do a load :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with washing machines is the amount of water they can use if doing multiple loads, and also not sure how environmentally friendly most of the washing powders are?

Bearing in mind that Steve is still keeping the house and with regular visits back and forth to collect mail etc, would have thought things like washing would easily be taken care of during those visits?

Grendel even mentioned tumble dryer, most marinas, despite what the electric regs may say, are not the cheapest for electricity. A case of don't rock the boat and get on with it in our marina, I certainly wouldn't want to run a tumble dryer for long though!

Too many heavy duty electrical appliances will also start to give you problems with your shore power supply. Immersion on, turn on the tumble dryer, decide on a cup of coffee and you trip your supply.

KISS springs to mind, Keep It Simple Steve.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, EastCoastIPA said:

KISS springs to mind, Keep It Simple Steve.

Spot on, one of the joys of boating, especially aboard small ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We lived on our 29' Fairline Mirage for 2 months when in between houses, A fridge with a decent sized freezer section is really handy and storage for clothes is important.  LED lighting wasn't around in those days but we would have found that  very helpful in conserving battery power had it  been an option Also unless you plan to shop on a virtually daily basis  ample food storage is very helpful. We converted a wardrobe in the forward v-berth cabin into a larder for this purpose. As we had the "luxury"  of friends living opposite our mooring who kindly allowed us to store clothes in their spare bedroom  we were  able to spare the wardrobe for this purpose.

 

 

Carole

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • NBN Mobile App

    Want to use NBN when you're out and about?

    Get our mobile app for Android and iOS!

    Get it on Google Play

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

For details of our Guidelines, please take a look at the Terms of Use here.