Living on a boat conjures visions of tropical beaches and turquoise waters, sunny days and bathing suits. But living in Boston also includes winter and oddly enough, it gets cold around here.

We talked to people all over the marina about their heating choices. Electric, propane, wood burning, I think if I asked 20 different people I would hear 20 different answers about the perfect heating solution. For now we’ve settled on two electric heaters, one for the main room and one for our bedroom. I move the main heater into the hall between the kid’s rooms at night. So far so good, and we’ve had a couple of nights that reached freezing. We also have a propane heater tucked away in case of losing power, but hopefully we won’t need it.

Alex replaced the hatch boards for the winter. The boat boards have slats for ventilation and, what a surprise, the cold air comes right through. Alex cut solid boards backed with insulation, that have made a huge difference. The new boards have small cut outs for the electrical cords that run the heaters. We’re cutting more insulation to fit the back of the cabinets, to limit the cold that comes through the hull.

I’ve also been working through how to keep little bodies warm while we are out and about. As much as I would be perfectly happy to spend the winter curled up in quilts, drinking tea and reading books, somehow I don’t think I can get the kids to buy into it. We’ll still have to head out and every trip means at least a walk along the docks. Both kids have warm winter coats and I know I can track down snow pants and boots without too much trouble. Layers have been harder. Alex and I have a combination of silk and synthetic base layers for both top and bottom. It’s a lot harder to find these types of layers for kids. Waffle weave cotton long underwear is everywhere but it’s not warm enough for playing outside. I’ve been scouring EBay and consignment shops for deals but there’s not a lot out there.

The final and most obvious solution is shrink wrap. After a couple of delays due to wind we are framed and wrapped for the season. Of course, then the weather warmed up and our upper story greenhouse has reached 90 degrees. Not that I’m complaining, this fall and winter can be as mild as they want.