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Old 12-03-2014, 05:59 AM   #101
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For laundry ashore the chore goes easiest if you have a Big load , so you only need to bother every 3 or 4 weeks.

T shirts and skivvies are easier to purchase and maintain than a noise maker ,water maker, washer and drier.

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If we knew you would be staying the night we would have changed the sheets!
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:09 AM   #102
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Nice outfitting. Where did you put the solar panels?
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:45 AM   #103
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On this minimalist thing. You know, I guess the OP was looking to see what others felt was the absolute basic necessities, and most of us had our own ideas about that - myself included, there were some very divergent views.

However, I am now going to make a confession. I am a bit of a gadgets man. I just love things that just work, and perform useful functions, and one of the amazing things about a boat is the number of useful gadgets you can justify. I say justify, because I think most of us try to avoid just stuff that does nothing - has no useful function.

But just think about it. How could you justify having neat things like Map-plotter/GPS, sonar, radar, VHF radio, AIS, autopilot, fuel flow meters, chain counters, generators, motor, wind or solar, etc, at your land-based home..? You can't. That's just a fact. Actually, we do have solar at home, and of course TV, radio, and ac, but they are different. Everyone has most of those at home, so they aren't exciting in the same way.

So I have to admit, even though I don't have all the above (strike TV, radar, A/P, AIS and fuel flow meter, but if I could have, I would have. And one of the things I will miss most if and when I sell and move out of boating, will be no longer having a reason to have such nifty gadgets. I've enjoyed fitting virtually everything on my boat.

I enjoyed converting the old eutectic frig to 12v. I enjoyed the challenge of putting in my wind genny and solar panels, VHF & CD/radios, converting all lights to LED, installing solar ventilators. I got satisfaction in converting the manual toilet to electric, installing holding tank, (no…actually didn't enjoy that job, it was a bitch), but all the rest - loved it. I got satisfaction out of installing a new hot water cylinder, new water tanks…the list goes on. As a doc I spend most of my working life in damage control, so my boating was a chance to be a bit creative. I will really miss all that. On land I'd have been obliged by regulations to have almost all of that done by certified tradesmen.

So, in my view, being able to do most of this stuff yourself - that's minimalist..!
That's one of the things that makes boating so fantastic. And that's before you've even left the dock. Then…on top of that there are all the really neat things you can do, share, achieve with a boat when actually using it, including all those neat gadgets..!
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:28 AM   #104
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We consider our Albin-25 to be somewhat "minimalist". The Du NORD follows 18 years in an Edey & Duff Shearwater Yawl, surely qualifying as "minimalist" for a boat of that size. And among Albin-25's, most others have more bells & whistles than ours.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:43 AM   #105
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There's no such thing as 'minimalist'. We all have our minimum specifications we accept as we move through life. It is just that some people will demand more (Think my sister in law) But, it does tend to keep her off my boat :-)

It was not too long ago I would accept sleeping in a sleeping bag, in a tent in a downpour. It has changed. It changes for everyone.


Regarding not having a dishwasher aboard, not true. I am a most efficient dishwasher!
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:02 AM   #106
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Nice outfitting. Where did you put the solar panels?
Assuming your question was directed at me... The four solar panels will be mounted atop the dinghy davit which is located on the stern.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:37 AM   #107
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I was there for my first four years afloat... and it was lonely. I missed my imaginary friends (that'd be you!) and the feeling of being cut-off from the world was disconcerting. Plus, I like to learn things and that means having a connection.
Hi Janice. I'm not sure how serious you are about your statement, but I have to admit that it rings of truth. I currently live in a very different culture and environment, quite disconnected from back home in the southeastern U.S.

But I have to admit that being able to chat with others from back "home" whom share a similar interest is very enjoyable. This forum certainly gets quite contentious at times, but it is very interesting.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:48 AM   #108
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I am now going to make a confession. I am a bit of a gadgets man.
This is a problem! I too could live perfectly fine with a fridge and some running water at most but find my spare time right now trying to set up an SDR receiver on my laptop so I can tune into pretty much the entire invisible world of satellites, radio broadcast, anything happening over the airwaves, and pretty much any other type of electronic creeping. Sure I may eventually be able to stream any AIS info over an IP address on a private network so I can overlay that on my freeware chartplotter and then view it on my iPad all for free without spending a dime on some off the shelf system. Sure I can do without it but I like to do it just to say it could be done. Reminds me of a classic...Smokey and the Bandit.

Why? They said it couldn't be done...
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:05 AM   #109
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My first two boats were minimalist by todays standards. Too small for some appliances and most modern nav equipment didn't exist. They were not fundamentally different from early 2oth century boats except for being plastic.


It has only been the last several decades that electronics and appliances have become common on boats just as they have in houses.


I rented a GB 42 to try FL cruising years ago and it had virtually no unnecessary equipment. When they said bare boat they meant bare boat. But it was a GB42 how can that ever be considered minimalist??
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:10 AM   #110
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In private email I received the following from a trusted member of TF. I’m not in knowledge from which article/review these quotes were taken… but… upon thought I can see where the numbers could be near correct.

“… interesting article stated average US citizen consumes more energy daily than that of an emperor or king from history.”

“Calorie for Calorie we would have the equivalent of 50 slaves working round the clock to keep us comfortable…puts things in perspective.”

And, we here on TF try to discuss or portray ourselves as minimalist???

Minimalist Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon man had less pelts for warmth, used less branches for fire, and stayed in smaller cave. But, he may have had more girlfriends, and still tried to remain minimalist - to the best of his ability, that is!! LOL

It all is truly relative! - Art
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:57 AM   #111
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Hi Janice. I'm not sure how serious you are about your statement, but I have to admit that it rings of truth. I currently live in a very different culture and environment, quite disconnected from back home in the southeastern U.S.

But I have to admit that being able to chat with others from back "home" whom share a similar interest is very enjoyable. This forum certainly gets quite contentious at times, but it is very interesting.
Hello Makobuilders... I was definitely serious! Having a connection to the outside world is important -- and not just for the social aspects.

When I've had trouble that was beyond the scope of my knowledge the forum folks have been able to provide specific ideas that have worked. That base has allowed me to make repairs (or hire help) without being blind.

The wifi is one of my regrets -- not having it from the start.
Ditto my Kindle (I do love to read)

Even on my budget I squeeze out the $50.08 a month, so yes, a wifi connection is critical in my view for MY happiness quotient. However as a soloist I am reliant on others for social interaction. If I were a part of a couple I don't know if I'd be so enamored with it!

Wifi is one of those "it depends" items. Being able to connect from the comfort of my dinette is great. I have gotten used to it.

Call me spoiled. I'm happy!
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:49 PM   #112
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I am not condoning the absence of a VHF, just saying its not neccessary.
The last time I was in Venice, La. there was lots of tug and barge traffic and a heck of a lot of oil field boat traffic. If you don't feel a VHF is necessary, more power to ya. My VHF is always on when I am on the go. So far I made and assisted in two major rescues because of VHF. I was not in the rescue mode at the time. I was sailing and just happened to be near by when it happened.
When I was much, much, younger, I was a minimalist and was fine with it. As I get older, I see a need for more stuff like an electric windlass, AC and heater and misc. things like wifi. Everyone has their own minimum requirements for comfort. When I was younger, I could be fine sleeping in a tree. Not so much any more. Age now is almost 68. I wish I could even climb into a tree not to mention sleeping in it.
Still, there is not much room on my boat for hobbies so other than boating, I left most hobbies behind. I do miss my woodworking though.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:52 PM   #113
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Hi Janice. I enjoyed reading some of your website articles, especially about the solar charger controllers. Have you ever done a breakdown of where the energy is being spent all day and perhaps how many amp-hours?
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:45 PM   #114
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To name the word minimalistic and power boats in one sentence is an contradiction.

The amount of money that powerboaters put in their fuel tanks is often more then the complete budget of sailboat sailors. I not even speak about minimalistic sailboat sailors....
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Old 12-03-2014, 02:45 PM   #115
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To name the word minimalistic and power boats in one sentence is an contradiction.

The amount of money that powerboaters put in their fuel tanks is often more then the complete budget of sailboat sailors. I not even speak about minimalistic sailboat sailors....
Reiz, I think you recaptured the OP's original point...trying to draw a comparison to the level of minimalism in powerboaters. I guess it's all relevant and depends on your perspective, past experiences, age, expected level of comfort, health, sense of adventure, budget and location.

I live and boat in Northern California, so AC is not needed and I know very few motor-boaters who have and use it. Heat is optional, but most have some form of heater either installed or portable, but it's normally just used to take the chill off at night. In other parts of the country, both of those items could be considered essential and having both might not disqualify you from considerations as a minimalist by some. Here it might bump you out of the running as a minimalist.

Like Peter, I love gadgets, but I need to be able to do it on a boating budget. That means I need to fund the boat maintenance, slip, insurance, fuel and other expenses before I can consider and justify expenses for convenience gadgets. But I usually find a way to make it happen over time. I just try to do it with a little out-of-the-box thinking, a little pre-project analysis and some re-purposing of items that might fit the bill.

When I needed a cockpit shade this summer, I used canvas and pool poles to put one together as a prototype. IMO, it looked great and was very functional. I had some home security cameras sitting around the house not in use, so they got installed in the engine room with the video feed to the TV screen. I found the 'need' for an inverter so I installed a small 1000W unit to service only one countertop of appliances to keep the cost down and the installation simple. As my boat became more electric dependent, I added a Honda generator to provide a charge at anchor. All non-essential gadgets and conveniences done on a budget.

I used to go camping a lot in my youth and loved every minute of it, but now I prefer boating in comfort over camping on the water. Mark me solidly in the non-minimalist column.
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Old 12-03-2014, 03:50 PM   #116
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Reiz, I think you recaptured the OP's original point...trying to draw a comparison to the level of minimalism in powerboaters. I guess it's all relevant and depends on your perspective, past experiences, age, expected level of comfort, health, sense of adventure, budget and location.

I live and boat in Northern California, so AC is not needed and I know very few motor-boaters who have and use it. Heat is optional, but most have some form of heater either installed or portable, but it's normally just used to take the chill off at night. In other parts of the country, both of those items could be considered essential and having both might not disqualify you from considerations as a minimalist by some. Here it might bump you out of the running as a minimalist.

Like Peter, I love gadgets, but I need to be able to do it on a boating budget. That means I need to fund the boat maintenance, slip, insurance, fuel and other expenses before I can consider and justify expenses for convenience gadgets. But I usually find a way to make it happen over time. I just try to do it with a little out-of-the-box thinking, a little pre-project analysis and some re-purposing of items that might fit the bill.

When I needed a cockpit shade this summer, I used canvas and pool poles to put one together as a prototype. IMO, it looked great and was very functional. I had some home security cameras sitting around the house not in use, so they got installed in the engine room with the video feed to the TV screen. I found the 'need' for an inverter so I installed a small 1000W unit to service only one countertop of appliances to keep the cost down and the installation simple. As my boat became more electric dependent, I added a Honda generator to provide a charge at anchor. All non-essential gadgets and conveniences done on a budget.

I used to go camping a lot in my youth and loved every minute of it, but now I prefer boating in comfort over camping on the water. Mark me solidly in the non-minimalist column.
Al - Soon as I read your following sentence I just knew you would not consider yourself a minimalist! Great Rube Goldberger YES! Minimalist - naw.

Real minimalists only have claw foot tubs... not lavish pools! - LOL... and, boats too!! - LOL x 2

"I used canvas and pool poles to put one together as a prototype."
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:26 PM   #117
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:36 PM   #118
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Al... just to tweak you a bit, but I seen no way for you or a guest to re-board from the water without on-deck assistance. Is there a swim ladder I'm missing?

(and yes, I worry about stuff like that)
Wonder if M/V Oliver has found the need for one? That there wasn't one as standard equipment did surprise me.......

Curious.
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:52 PM   #119
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Hi Janice. I enjoyed reading some of your website articles, especially about the solar charger controllers. Have you ever done a breakdown of where the energy is being spent all day and perhaps how many amp-hours?
Thanks makobuilders.

The Haier reefer (a plain old cube from Walmart) sucks juice. It's my only power hungry item aboard. It runs a lot (even with a fan blowing on the compressor and one pulling hot air out of that cabinet) -- this is Florida and it gets HOT!

I worry about taking the batts down too far because I know (as per Calder) that the further I take them from full, the fewer recharges I have left.

I don't like my batts below 12.4
And the refrigerator will take it far lower.

Yes, additional batteries would help. Additionally, I've got the real estate (over my galley/dinette area) for two more panels so that's on the table too.

The two additional panels would put me at 475 watts. Lots of power without ever having to consider it equals happiness.

At my latitude, using a plain solar regulator (not MPPT) with my 275 watts panels I get less than 100 amps a day. Figure it this way: (specifically at this latitude, i.e. the Georgia/Florida border)

Take watts and divide by three. Call it amps. So I'll get let's say 100 amps a day from my three panels.

Now, IF I had one of the fancy MPPT regulators (be still my heart) the same Watts divided by 3 equals amps would work in Washington state. Far further north, eh?

Anyway, as I have the room for the solar panels and even the wires ready for the next pair...

But first the batteries. In that regard I've still got to get one more 4 gauge, 8' length of black. I have the red side leftover from my old alternator on the Beast (former gasoline engine).

First though (my first "As long as we're at it" during this engine swap) is the bonding. I've got a Dyna-plate down there (under the engine!) so will actually get the bonding done when this engine comes out and the new one goes in. There are only three thru-hulls but I do have the strut/skeg and rudder post. None are bonded. Knock teak.

And "as long as we're" up to our clavicles in wires, I'll add a buss bar some place convenient so I can actually use the bonding system. In my spare time that is. The down low stuff (thru-hulls and strut, rudder) will all be direct wired to one of the bolts because the wire runs will be lower. I was told I can daisy chain them too -- using 6-gauge green wire as I recall.

I'm very good at planning ways to spend money. This is my home so making her all she can be is an exciting prospect. I am truly blessed and little by little, Seaweed is becoming all she could.

Hope this helps. All the best to you.
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:55 PM   #120
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Al... just to tweak you a bit, but I seen no way for you or a guest to re-board from the water without on-deck assistance. Is there a swim ladder I'm missing?

(and yes, I worry about stuff like that)
Wonder if M/V Oliver has found the need for one? That there wasn't one as standard equipment did surprise me.......

Curious.
Al just makes sure he rafts with boats that have a swimming ladder down!

Al - That's pretty fancy. No vert supports on cockpit canopy in your way for falling overboard... so you can more often make use of neighbor's swim ladder. LOL

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