living on Dreamkeeper

Have we mentioned that we love our boat?? We feel so privileged to own and live on such an amazing vessel. Almost everyday we find ourselves appreciating our life aboard and all the details that make up our compact little world we call our home. Not only do we feel "safe" with her at sea, when we are at anchor or in a marina, we appreciate her layout and comfort. For Nicole and I, two people who have spent many many years both living out of backpacks, tents, and truckbeds, our boat is a super luxurious version of "international car-camping"! Even though we live in a space less then 150 square feet, for us it often feels so plush and extravagent.

Here's a few of the details:

Refrigeration: We have just recently replaced our seafrost refrigeration unit with a Technautics "Cool Blue" holding plate frige/freezer system. We debated long and hard about having a freezer, and finally decided that in the long run, we would be pretty psyched for some frozen morsels from time to time. I chose the Cool Blue system because it was a 12 volt DC system and claims to only use around 48 amps/day, about half of what our seafrost system did. Plus it was a fairly easy install, it is super simple, and it allows us to keep our icebox space the same with one section a frige and one section a freezer. Still figuring out how to get the temps perfect for each space, but it is holding a deep freeze very well and the energy usage looks to be about what is advertised. Stay tuned....OK, I'm back...writing this from Palau after 2 1/2 years of crusing. The Cool Blue has worked well overall, but I would definitely say it sucks a lot more energy then the advertised 48 amps/daily. All good in the temperate regions but we have mostly been in the humid tropics and I bet we are looking at almost 100 amps/day on this little sucker.

Things that have helped have been to shut down and defrost the system every few months or so. The ice really tends to build up on the holding plate and the system starts to perform poorly. Defrosting the plate every so often makes a big difference. Also, create an insulative blanket for the top of the freezer and it would be a good idea for the fridge side too.

Overall, not sure if I'm happy with this choice. It's what we have now and we'll stick with it, but if I had to do it over again I'd research a bit more about better fridge/freezer systems.

Galley: We have a Force 10 3-burner propane-fueled gas stove. It also has a small oven. We carry 2 '5-gallon' propane tanks in a dedicated "propane locker" in the stern of the boat. We also have a double-basin sink with a pressurized water system, plus a mechanical foot pump for both fresh water and sea water. We also have a Seagull filter system for fresh drinking water. The Seagull Rocks! We love it and we always have clean water with this little filter.

Sleeping: Our main sleeping berth is the forward V-berth. We have guest quarters in our smaller aft quarter berth, that is usually taken up with "garage" items like extra pillows, computer and camera equipment, and extra sleeping bags. In the port side of the salon, we have a "lee cloth" for our "Sea" berth. And on the starboard side, we can convert the sitting area into another full berth for sleeping 2 more people.

Head: Our head has a marine toilet with holding tank, small sink, and a separate shower stall. Our shower stall serves the purpose mostly for storing wet and salty items like foul weather gear, spare sails, and sailcovers.

Some of the other features we appreciate are: a good stereo system, good lighting (led and compact flourescent reading lights), beautiful woodwork, lots of fans for ventilation, a solid windlass for anchoring, a comfortable and bright interior, a safe and well thought out cockpit, adequate engine access, and a well designed galley.