Woman Enough

Heating Up

Posted in Uncategorized by womanenough on November 23, 2011

The most often asked inquiry into the well-being of Mama Tried’s crew these days is “are you staying warm?” which I suppose is something of a form of small talk around these parts, but I think we get it more often than others. We do, after all, live in a piece of plastic, and the temperature of both air and water are dropping.

But I can assure you that yes, we are plenty warm enough.

Mostly because Mama Tried is insulated. The decision to insulate was made after we spent our first night aboard last November. The next day, I went to work and Elias lined the interior hull with inch and a half thick foam insulation. And then, because pink isn’t really my color, we covered the insulation with a wood tongue and groove ceiling. It’s actually quite fancy looking.

So we keep most of the heat we make.

On top of that, it’s a very, very small space, and it doesn’t take much to heat it. So we have this tiny, football-sized wood stove that does and darn good job keeping us toasty, as long as we do a good job keeping it fed.

Gathering wood is yet to be a problem; last winter we scavenged building scraps, and this year it looks like we’ll be able to do the same. Lots of manufacturers around here sell their hardwood scraps for $10 a truckload, and we’re thinking about this option, too (although storage is a tough consideration, and it’s actually easier for us to collect a week’s worth of wood than a winter’s  worth).

Of course, a wood fire doesn’t last long when no one’s tending it, and so we run an electric heater when we’re not on board. It keeps the plumbing from freezing up and it means things aren’t quite so frigid when the people arrive home.

About this time last year, Elias suggested an electric blanket might be cozy. I’m not sure what I was trying to prove in terms of heartiness, but I refused to bow to such luxury. That was pretty stupid. We spent $40 on an electric blanket this month and it is worth twice that.  If this is what getting soft looks like, I’ll take it.

Granted, it has been an exceptionally mild fall. I don’t recall being cold last winter, however, and we’re in much better shape for it this year. In fact, last year at this time Mama Tried was just being launched for the first time in years, and we were checking the bilge obsessively and shaking our heads in shear disbelief that the thing actually floated. Today, I take the wonders of buoyancy for granted and manage to whine that it’s really too warm in the cabin once you have the fire going and a couple of stove burners chugging to boot.

The problems aboard are really great problems to have.

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