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Old 01-25-2023, 07:51 AM   #1
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Too cold for me

I have worked and lived in the Bahamas the last 26 years and also own a home in Fort Pierce. The other week the temperature dipped down to the fifties at night and around seventy during the day. I don't like the cold and don't hold up well against it. My thinking was "this is about as cold a day as I want to be out on the water" as I huddled behind the windscreen and console.

So I ask - what is your threshold for heading out on the water during the colder seasons?
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Old 01-25-2023, 07:58 AM   #2
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It depends on how long we'll be out, what the wind is doing, if it's sunny, etc. Late in the season when we're trying to get a few more days in, it's not uncommon for us to be out with temperatures in the mid 50s, but at least some sun.

Our record was a "last run before winterizing" with some friends to check out out the trees up-river. We got back as it was getting dark, so no meaningful sun, and the weather app on my phone was showing 36* outside...
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Old 01-25-2023, 08:04 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. JC. My threshold is more than 1/2" ice thickness. Really can beat up the hull. Not too fussy about blizzards either when the visibility is less than a mile, or so.
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Old 01-25-2023, 08:18 AM   #4
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I left Crisfield, MD on the Chesapeake in February of 2016. The brackish water was below 32 degrees and the air temperature was in the teens around 2 AM. There's a lot to be said for a pilothouse with cabin heat off the engine.

These days my coldest day boating is usually in July crossing from the Keweenaw peninsula to Isle Royale on Lake Superior. Water temperatures can be in the 30s.

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Old 01-25-2023, 10:15 AM   #5
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65 is it for me. Takes to long for the ice to melt I'm my drink. I prefer bikinis to parkas.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:21 AM   #6
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I used to love putting around Cape May Harbor, NJ in a light snowfall in my center console. Trailer boat so easy to haul and drain.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:33 AM   #7
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When I had my pilothouse boat, the temperature year round was 70-ish INSIDE, so I could care less what the weather was like outside. Rain, snow, sunÖ didnít make a difference, and I love the feeling of being all warm and bundled up inside my cozy PH.

Thatís why I canít go back to sailboats.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:39 AM   #8
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My pilothouse boat is set up for winter operations. Anything above freezing is fine. Some of the nicest cruising I've had has been in 30-50F air temperature range.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:52 AM   #9
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I spent a rare sunny and calm but cold week working remotely from my boat in the San Juan Islands in November and loved it. Had all the anchorages and towns to myself, and the winter light on the water and shore was like liquid gold. Temps were in the thirties but I was snug as a bug with the diesel furnace going. Bundled up and took the dogs for long walks off leash on my “private islands” every day. In places like there that are a zoo in the summer but don’t close down entirely in the off season, winter is a great time to cruise!
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:53 AM   #10
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in 2015, we had at that time a 32 Ericson sailboat with a dodger/bimini and no enclosure. We departed Muskegon, MI for a trip up to the North Channel of Lake Huron on May 21. It was 36 degrees. That was a little too cold, but we did it.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Choices View Post
65 is it for me. Takes to long for the ice to melt I'm my drink. I prefer bikinis to parkas.
Thatís about my limit, too. Luckily, we only get a couple of months where it gets below that some days down here!
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:57 AM   #12
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I just drive from inside if it starts getting chilly or wet.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LenBuchanan View Post
in 2015, we had at that time a 32 Ericson sailboat with a dodger/bimini and no enclosure. We departed Muskegon, MI for a trip up to the North Channel of Lake Huron on May 21. It was 36 degrees. That was a little too cold, but we did it.
I did a sailboat delivery last year between Chicago and the Bruce Peninsula. I told the owner I wouldn't leave before June 1. Even that can be early.
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Old 01-25-2023, 11:05 AM   #14
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We USED to go out in inclement weather.
Kicked the frozen to the dock lines to free them.
Cleaned 6"-8" snow off the boat.
Broke ice to get home.
Heavy fog in ferry lanes so we hung at the marina untill we were sure they were no where near us.

We didn't go out looking for it but we knew the conditions could cause those troublesome conditions.

Often the conditions were absolutely beautiful. Flat, calm sea we could see our wake in for several miles back, almost no other boats, clear blue skies.

But no more.
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Old 01-25-2023, 11:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mako View Post
When I had my pilothouse boat, the temperature year round was 70-ish INSIDE, so I could care less what the weather was like outside. Rain, snow, sunÖ didnít make a difference, and I love the feeling of being all warm and bundled up inside my cozy PH.

Thatís why I canít go back to sailboats.

THIS^^^^!
We too have a pilothouse heater, and reverse cycle if the generator or main engine is running, and Hydronic heat for when they are not. So our tolerance is, as long as there is no ice on the water, we're game!

That being said, we're heading South for warmer waters come this Fall. Being comfortable in the boat, does NOT equate to being comfortable in the water. I'm done with drysuits.
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Old 01-25-2023, 11:38 AM   #16
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As long as the inside temp is 70* we are happy campers.
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Old 01-25-2023, 11:54 AM   #17
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When the rain turns to ice or slush on my wind shield I start looking for a safe harbor, unless I am less than 20 miles from my home port. Then I "run' for it.

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Old 01-25-2023, 02:00 PM   #18
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I took a ride on Saturday in my dinghy, no windshield, 52 to 55 degrees, moderately breezy. I was running 15 to 25 mph.

If it had been any colder, that would not have been at all enjoyable to me. The water temp was 49F, and that's a part of the comfort equation as well.
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Old 01-25-2023, 02:12 PM   #19
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In 2019 I booked some extensive maintenance on my boat at Tri-County Diesel in Bellingham, WA. Bellingham is a long day’s cruise from Seattle… this was in January during a rare cold snap. Daytime temps were about 20F, night time temps about 10F. Thank goodness for my big Espar furnace! Heavy snow on my return journey…That was my coldest outing to date!
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Old 01-25-2023, 04:14 PM   #20
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Well, hopefully all that are doing the cold weather cruising have the appropriate PPE aboard in case they happen to go into the cold water.

We lived in Tucson for 30 years before we moved back to Michigan. As we got older the heat was getting difficult to deal with. Boating when it is 115 to 118 degrees wasnít fun anymore. So the opposite problem.
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