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Some Residents Live On Boats Year-Round Despite Cold Weather

BOSTON (CBS) – As frigid as it is near the water Monday night, just imagine what it’s like living on the water, not as a fisherman, but a homeowner.

In Boston Harbor, some proud and hearty souls live on their boats year-round.

Walter Hope can’t wait to get home, but admits he doesn’t get many guests these days.

“It’s hard to get people to come visit in the wintertime,” said Hope.

Perhaps that’s because the house Walter shares with his partner is floating. It’s the 50-foot trawler “Imagine,” docked in the shadow of the Bunker Hill monument.

WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports.

“The first question is always ‘how do you stay warm on a boat?'” said Hope.

His answer to sub-zero temps is thermostat-controlled diesel heat aboard a vessel that’s essentially shrink-wrapped to shed snow and wind and provide a greenhouse effect for 1,000 square feet of cozy living-space during the day.

Around 90 boat residents secure their homes with several extra lines and fenders for the stormy winter and the marina breaks the thickening ice around them every few days.

Windy Nor’easters are just something they’ve learned to deal with.

“So the whole boat might sway a bit from one side to the other,” said Hope. “The rocking puts you to sleep at night. It’s quite beautiful.”

The harbor is warning that another storm is arriving.

Walter said he has lived on boats for a decade now. He said his floating neighbors include a handful of senior citizens.


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