10 Absolute Necessities for Living on a Boat in a Marina
Living on a boat beats living on land. But where you live on your boat matters, too! If you've been using a mooring all these years, switching to a marina slip can be an adjustment.It took me a whole season of living on a boat at a marina to know what I truly needed to feel safe and comfortable. But you'll find a marina is a great place to live once you have all the essential items you need. With endless boat upgrades to make,just don't get caught at the marina without these ten crucial items.
1. High-quality Shore Power CordWhen I first got my boat, I didn't think about electricity at all. With the wind in the sails and sweet mother nature all around, it's easy to forget about technology. I scoffed at the other boats in the marina with their power cords dangling in the water, constantly plugged in. Until I started sleeping on my boat too, craving late-night Netflix and burning my laptop battery writing in the cabin on a rainy day. Anywhere you live on a boat, even if it's part-time, shore power is essential. But don't just skimp on any old cord. Get something new, heavy-duty, free of corrosion and high-quality to reduce the risk of complications. Shore power cords are the number one cause of marina fires, so be safe and be sure to inspect every receptacle for damage before plugging it in! This Marinco EEL Shore Power Cordset (Check Price on Amazon) is a fantastic option and safe with a jaw-clamp to provide watertight seals. It also has a cord light to let you know you're indeed plugged into the dock.
2. Shower CaddyOkay, I know this feels like a throwback from freshman year of college, but trust me on this one. There's nothing worse than carrying a pile of loose toiletries to the marina bathroom. It was awkward to drop your shampoo in the hall back in college and it's even worse to drop it on the dock as an adult. So, if you plan on living at a marina, get yourself a fancy shower caddy. I love this Attmu Mesh Shower Caddy (Available on Amazon)it's mesh, quick-drying and easily folds away when not in use. Plus, there are tons of pockets to hold everything you need!
3. HyperVentThis is #1 on my wish list list for the boat right now. Seriously. Like most boat-owners, I've struggled with mold and moisture building up under the bed in the V-berth. An extra waterproof cushion cover has been a decent temporary fix, but I still have to wipe up the moisture every couple of weeks. After extensive online research, I came across HyperVent a super strong woven polymer mat that sits between the mattress and the boat. It separates the two surfaces to prevent condensation so you can sleep safe, sound and mold-free. When I get the new cushions in, I'm going to protect them with a layer of Hyper Vent. It's expensive but worth the investment to keep your cushions dry and mold-free. Speaking of dry and mold-free...
4. Dehumidifiers (Yes, Plural)You can't escape a boat's dampness. You just can't. The best you can do is try to manage it. And there are a few great products out thereto help. In the winter and in specific areas of the boat (like cabinets and closets), I opt for simple, cheap and easy-to-find DampRid Refillable Moisture Absorber (Available on Amazon). These little buckets manage to get musty aromas out of areas that need some extra love. Go for the fragrance-free product so your delightfully salty boat doesn't end up smelling like suffocating "mountain air." To tackle larger spaces and extra humid summer days, an electric dehumidifier is your best bet. When you're living on a boat and have items like clothes, bedding and food, it's important to dehumidify the space especially if you have a cabin shower. I highly recommend the Eva-Dry Edv-200 (Available on Amazon)for its size and portability. It's a simple electric dehumidifier that draws moisture from your space, but does lack fancier features like air filters and the power brick tends to run hot. If you're looking to make more of an investment in a higher-quality product, try the Mitsubishi Oasis 16L Dehumidifier. This baby has it all: LCD display screen, high humidity indicator, washable air purifying filter, mildew guard, and a slim shape for easily tucking away in your cabin. Unlike other dehumidifiers, it works in cold weather, too, and is compatible with a permanent hose attachment to allow the machine to continuously operate.Another especially awesome feature for boaters is "laundry mode"a simple and gentle way to quick-dry a rack of clothes indoors. When this model becomes available in the U.S., I'm going to be all over it!
This one might surprise you, but curtains are essential when you're living on a boat at a marina. When I saw them on other boats I thought it was weird and unnecessary. It wasn't until I had the sun beaming in my eyes at 5 am when I thought, "hey, those guys are onto something." If you're living ona boat anywhere, curtains are helpful in offering some morning darkness and afternoon shade from the hot sun. They're especially useful when you're living in a marina because they offer some extra privacy. (Never will you be closer to your neighbor than at a marina). Do yourself (and your privacy) a favor and either buy or DIY some curtains for your portholes.