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Living on the hook for extended periods

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Lets explore what it takes.
I think anchoring is one of the great things about boating. Our season is short, about 100 days when the weather is good boating weather.
Our season on the hook starts as soon as the weather breaks and we launch. Hopefully the first week of June but often extends to the second week.
We leave immediately for the North Channel of Lake Huron, almost all in Canadian waters.
Our range is about 175 to 200 miles from the marina. Weather in the area turns windy in Sept. so we have to be a bit careful on the 60 or so miles of open water when we return.
So how do we equip our boat for this extended stay away from docks? We do not dock the entire season. We do go towns for the necessary things like pumpouts but we need no fuel except for the tender.

The primary thing is the electrical system.
We have 4 gulf cart batteries for the house system. We found that to be enough with ample safety.
A good system to monitor the battery condition is important and we use the Xantrex link system. It measures amp hours in and amp hour out so we know at a glance our true battery condition. We have 420 amp hours of battery capacity.
Batteries should not be discharged much more than 50% and it takes a long time with the generator to fully charge them so I quit charging when they are about 90% when the charger cuts back.
Our charger charges 100 amps but it will cut back to avoid overcharging and over heating the battery. It measures the temp. of the batteries and won't allow them to overheat and boil.
You need means of charging that will utilize the larger charger so you don't have to run the genny a lot.
We average about 2 hours a day genny time. We do it when making coffee unless we have another boat close by we would annoy with the generator. Also when we heat water.
I have a 2400W Yamaha generator for backup. Without a genny. our season would be ruined. It is quite like a Honda and sips fuel. We do use it a bit but mostly the diesel generator. It is 8000W

We spend our time where there is little or no cell phone service and no internet. We do have satellite tv with a 32 inch tv. That is our biggest electrical draw. Even more than the full size refrigerator but you gotta keep momma happy. If she isn't happy, nobody is happy.

We carry enough fuel to last the season. We travel at hull speed or a bit slower with our 3870 and usually on one engine. We get better than 4 mpg doing this. We average about 450 miles a season and likely burn about as much with the genny as the main engines.
Fuel in the area is usually over $6.00/american gallon so that is nice.

We are able to get our drinking water from the lake. Have been doing this since 1963 and never a problem. Of course we select the areas we fill our tank. We have just bought a filter we now use and can use water from anywhere. This is the filter we use.
You can make drinking water out of ditch water with these. You simply scrub the filters to clean them. You get 1000's of gallons with 4 filters depending on what is in the water.
As we boat in fresh water I have modified the water system to utilize lake water.
The only faucets that use tank water is the galley cold water and the small bath. I like to brush my teeth in tank water.
The shower, all the hot water, comes from the lake. So you can take a long hot shower without draining the on board tank. This won't work in salt however.
Its a good idea to modify the black water holding tank for more capacity. In our case there is only 2 places to get a pumpout and we can be 25 or more miles from them so that has to be monitored carefully.

We do take a lot of food with us. The stores are really limited to one town and the selection isn't very good in the small towns we visit. Our spare stateroom becomes a storage room.
It is OK to rough it a bit for short stays on the hook but for extended stays you will want a bit more comfort. We vacuum seal and freeze our meat. That works out really well. We also vacuum seal fish so we always have some when the fishing is slow.

We tow a 16.5 Sea Nymph aluminum boat with a 90 hp Evinrude Etec and a 2.5 Suzuki trolling motor. We fish a lot and it is a large part of our food supplies. It is our go fast and we often venture 20 or more miles from the Bayliner.

I also carry a good tool selection and a lot of spare parts. We boat in an area it would be difficult to get much but the very basic parts in a timely manner.

In a nutshell that is how we live for 3 plus months.
We also take a lot of books as we both are avid readers and with no internet for me I really catch up on my readng.
I should also mention we have a cat and dog aboard. Over the years we have had several different cats and all proved to be great sailors. They are no problem. Our dog also is a great sailor and loves to go in the tender. Just mention go fishing and he is in the boat. He does require 3 trips ashore but that is no problem. The Sea Nymph is aluminum and can stand groundings with no damage. The dog doesn't require me to leave the boat and will return immediately upon call.


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