Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Life Under the Bubble

Random Guy at the Bar: So you live aboard in the winter? in Maine?
Jill/Tim: Yup. Full Time. We're under the shrinkwrap.
Guy: Are you crazy?
J/T: Yup!

Life under the "bubble", as we lovingly refer to our shrink wrapped boat, is going well, we're 2+ months in. When we first started researching life aboard in New England in winter we read a lot about shrinkwrapping. The white vs. the clear, the pros and cons, the cost. It seemed most liveaboards use the clear shrinkwrap because it allows for more light, sun (i.e. warmth) and you don't feel quite so claustrophobic. The funny thing is it's not totally clear so you can't really see out. You can tell when it's gray or sunny but you can't see a boat going by or when your boat neighbor calls to you, you can't tell who it is. It's a rather an amusing and bizarre experience - life in a foggy bubble world. 

The marina we're at typically only installs white shrinkwrap but this year all of us who were spending the winter there requested clear. The marina guy said he "doesn't guarantee clear" but he'd do it to make his customers happy. So clear it was. Right after Thanksgiving the guy came to build the wooden frame.

After the frame was up we went to Habitat for Humanity to buy us a front door. Tim built a threshold over the toe rail of the boat and framed out the door. 
Inside our front door.
Then came the team with the shrinkwrap...
The roll of shrinkwrap wrapping up Zephyr. 

Once they wrap her they use a propane heater blow torch to warm up the plastic so it'll shrink around the boat

Balancing on the seat of a little boat to work on her port side- risky business! 

For Christmas we even had a wreath on our front door. 

Christmas Card 2012 featuring our bubble door 
Another Christmas Card Outtake, not a bad backyard! 

 This winter has been particularly windy, exceptionally so, life under the bubble helps us keep out of the wind. It's nice when you come in our front door on a windy night and all of a sudden it's quiet and calm. The Bubble also helps with condensation issues and on sunny Saturdays it's about 80 degrees under there. 

Not a bad vantage point for reading a book on a sunny day
Just last week we suffered a bubble blow out, on a wicked windy day - not to be compared with a flip-flop blowout. One of the seams burst and then the wind got up under the bubble and caused it to rip open. 
We shouldn't see the sky through the bubble, that's a blow out
The Bubble blow out around the where the boom meets the mast
Tim's temporary fix - DUCT TAPE! How's the saying go - "if you can't duct it -- "
 This Friday we're expecting A LOT of snow, some forecasts are calling for well over a foot, hooray (said very sarcastically). And though we do trust duct tape's strength we know it probably won't hold up to a foot+ of snow. So, lucky for us the marina guy is coming over this afternoon to properly patch our bubble blowout using the proper materials and tools and HOPEFULLY she'll hold until we happily hatch from our bubble in late March. 
Our Marina Swans who visit daily love swimming amongst the "bubble people"

Life inside a bubble can make anyone long for the outside world :)


  1. You are my weirdest friend. In a good way. Love the door.

  2. We got professionally patched up today for the big storm!

  3. You guys rock! If you want to stay at the house this weekend your welcome to it!