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Any Minnesota liveaboards here?

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  • Any Minnesota liveaboards here?

    Hi! I am currently looking for the right boat to live on year-round in Minnesota. I always dreamed of retiring to a houseboat - preferably in Jamaica... but I'm in my early 40s now and don't want to wait to live the life I want. Many people live on the Mississippi here. I would live out of a tent if I could, so I think I have the chops for it. I've rented apartments my whole life because I never felt comfortable buying a piece of land - hippie at heart. But I've missed out on the pride of ownership and that's something I would find very fulfilling. I like the idea of constant puttering around repairing and upgrading things on my "home." And I do love a challenge. I have a 14-year old daughter who is just as crazy as I am - nature loving, not afraid of hard work and always ready to do something interesting. She'll be a great first mate. And we have a cat we take on hikes and camping with us. He'll be in heaven on a boat. So the mindset and motivation are there.

    The logistics.... I thought the hardest part would be keeping the boat warm and dry in the winter, but it's turning out to be finding the right boat. Anyone have any suggestions as to the best boat to use in weather that can go below freezing? I'll be shrink-wrapping, of course, and I'm leaning to infrared heaters installed on the walls and connected directly to the boat's wiring for safety. I like the style of motor yachts better than barge-style houseboats. We don't need much room at all. We are all about the tiny house concept and we're super green and conservative with our belongings. That's part of what attracted us to boating.

    Sorry I'm so long-winded! I wanted to put the full story out there. Thanks for any help

  • #2
    Welcome aboard Kari!!!

    Do all the rivers freeze in Minnesota???
    Kevin Sanders
    Bayliner 4788 Seward, Alaska
    Map where I am right now


    • River Dreaming
      River Dreaming commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks ksanders, good to be here. The rivers do freeze, but there are devices you use to keep the water around your boat open. We visited a marine last January when it had been below zero for 2 straight weeks and there wasn't any ice buildup along the docks or the boats. When there's a will, there's a way

  • #3
    I have such little data on your wants from a boat. This makes it impossible to toss you an idea. Are we looking for sail or power? What amenities are you looking for. How many state rooms. Diesel or gas? Newer or older? Budget area?
    Seattle, WA
    Ocean Alexander 54


    • River Dreaming
      River Dreaming commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm mainly asking for opinions about the sturdiest, best-made boats. As I mentioned, I'm looking at motoryachts and houseboats. For instance, do you know if there were boats originally made with weather treated wood? I'm coming across a lot of untreated pine under the stringers, which doesn't pass the test of time. Thanks for asking

  • #4
    LIveaboard, in MN? Wow, now that's hardy. You're probably on the Mississippi river that freezes over, even in the marina's. Here in Green Bay, nobody makes it through the winter. They kick us out on or near October 1 and pull all the boats until spring. Most, if not all of MN gets down into the -30 degree F range at some point. Not sure if a boat is insulated enough to manage that extreme.
    1999 Bayliner Ciera 2655 5.7L B3
    Green Bay, WI


    • #5
      There are quite a few liveaboards in the 5 marines in the St. Paul area. 50+ separate boats. They shrink-wrap their boats and use bubblers to keep the water around the boats open. Some people actually add insulation and install forced air heating systems, but that's very expensive. Shrink-wrapping does the same job and it provides a greenhouse up top on sunny days! Thanks for the reply.