“Living in a Tree House” to boaters means staying on the boat while it is out of the water. Things are very different when you aren’t floating.
Normally we are at a floating dock. This means you just step right across and are easily aboard.
If we are at a fixed dock, the entryway is either a step up or a step down. The size of the step depends on the tide.
When you are out of the water, the part of the boat that is normally below the waterline is on the ground. The entryway that is normally just a small step is now about 10 feet in the air. This means you must climb a ladder to get on or off the boat. Hence…living in a tree house.
This marina has very nice ladders. Most marinas just use regular ladders that lean against the hull of the boat. This ladder was like climbing a staircase by comparison. It was no problem for Don or I to run up and down by ourselves. Getting Roux on or off the boat was a little trickier. The step from the ladder to the boat was a tad bit to large for me to do and hold a wiggly dog at the same time.
There are also other things to consider. Yes, you can plug your boat into power. But the power is limited. We usually plug in one 50 amp cord, two if we want to use air conditioning. Here we could only plug in one 30 amp cord. This means the batteries could stay charged, the refrigeration could run and we had hot water. Using the blow dryer or the microwave wasn’t an option.
There are not pump out stations on the yard. So you can’t get rid of your grey or black water. Grey water is the water from the sinks and shower. Black water is from the head. This means limiting the amount of water you use for everything. Yes you can put more water in the water tanks, but you can only use what the grey and black tanks will hold. Fortunately we have tank watch to show us how full the tanks are getting.
This helped us keep an eye on our usage so we didn’t overfill the tanks. We are very lucky that the head flushes with fresh water. If it flushed using sea water, we would not have been able to go to the bathroom aboard. Not bad during the day, but horrible if you need to tinkle at 3am!
For Roux, nights were spent aboard, days were spent in the truck. It would have been nice to let her run around while we worked on the boat. But there were just too many things she could have gotten into. You never know where someone may have let antifreeze drip onto the ground. I’m certainly not taking any chances where she is concerned. She was pretty happy to nap in her bed in the truck, watch us work and go for frequent walks.
Boatyards are dusty, dirty places. We put old towels out on the cockpit floor and took our shoes off immediately when we came aboard. Much of the dirt comes from sanded bottom paint. We definitely didn’t want to have to clean paint off the fiberglass or carpeting. While in the boatyard, the dust creeps in and settles on everything. A good cleaning is always in order just as soon as the boat leaves the yard.
Living in a tree house isn’t hard. It just takes a little thought and planning.