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Turn Your Boat Into A Camper

DonJohnsMusic

Active Member
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Location
Wilmington, NC
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2019
Boat Model
AR195
Boat Length
19
Before my wife and I purchased our 2019 AR195 I had the idea of camping in the boat. Growing up camping my idea was sleeping on the ground can sometimes be cold and uncomfortable. (I”m old, back before all the crazy camping things we had today), our boat is actually bigger than most tents, so why not use the boat as your base?
We bought a tent over 10 years ago and never took it out of the box, so I thought why not use this in the boat? What if I cut the bottom out of the tent and put it over the Bimini tower for support? Would it work? It did!
We are planning to go out for Thanksgiving on Thursday and it is going to be cold. (For us 62 is the high) When we anchor we can put this up to keep us a little warmer and allow us to use the boat more in the colder months of winter.
I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the boat warmed up once the tent was up. For Summer I plan to purchase a net for mosquitoes, but that is later. These are pictures from the boat coral where we keep our boat, tomorrow I’ll be hopefully out on the water and I’ll share more pictures.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. We have so much to be thankful for!AE3113BF-003B-4709-854D-35040CBD0987.jpeg62191279-AA23-4E96-AA1D-FFDC4F7CFEB4.jpeg1283AA04-6DA6-44FD-A844-2B706EDE2143.jpeg458AE7A2-431C-47A8-86A7-43C7660A9780.jpeg6EE4AC7D-F404-4947-9213-D43909F658C2.jpegC5C2A6BF-98C7-4A64-99D2-2C937F8FA181.jpeg
 

Jim_in_Delaware

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I always like the idea of camping on boats. One of my dreams would be to spend a week boat camping along the Trent-Severn Waterway! Looking forward to see how you fare with camping on the boat. My biggest concern would be sleeping space. Do you think there is enough cockpit floor space to comfortably sleep in two sleeping bags?

For me, the ultimate dream for me would be a trailerable cruiser like a Crownline 264CR or Regal 26 XO. Problem is that for day use they are a pain to single handedly launch and retrieve, and much more expensive than a Yamaha.

Jim
 

DonJohnsMusic

Active Member
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Location
Wilmington, NC
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Yamaha
Year
2019
Boat Model
AR195
Boat Length
19
Been thinking about that. I was thinking we could sleep on the cushions. They are actually wider than a sleeping mattress I have, also being up off the ground would be warmer. My wife is not there yet, but working on it! I’ll be taking lots of video tomorrow and I’ll share when I get it posted! About the grill, I have an attachment for my jet boil. Grilling would be awesome as well!
 

DonJohnsMusic

Active Member
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Location
Wilmington, NC
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Yamaha
Year
2019
Boat Model
AR195
Boat Length
19
I always like the idea of camping on boats. One of my dreams would be to spend a week boat camping along the Trent-Severn Waterway! Looking forward to see how you fare with camping on the boat. My biggest concern would be sleeping space. Do you think there is enough cockpit floor space to comfortably sleep in two sleeping bags?

For me, the ultimate dream for me would be a trailerable cruiser like a Crownline 264CR or Regal 26 XO. Problem is that for day use they are a pain to single handedly launch and retrieve, and much more expensive than a Yamaha.

Jim
Just thought about something. Before purchasing our AR195 I’ve been doing research on boats. First I was convinced Sea Ray would be the boat for us to do some serious ICW long trips, but then I discovered the Cutwater brand! In my opinion there is nothing out there that offers what there boats offer and for the price. We are considering either a Cutwater 24 or a 30 when we retire. What sold me on the Cutwater is fully enclosed! No isinglass to deal with, unless you want to close in the very back. You can get a brand new 24 Cutwater for around 120K, I know that is a lot, but anything else that comes close you have to either go back 20 years or up in 350 to 400k prices. We really want the 30, but even used they are around 200 to 250k range, but again there is no other boat out there that I have found that offers the amenities that all Cutwaters have. Just thought I’d mention that if you are looking to purchase a boat. Best of luck in your search!
 

Ronnie

Jetboaters Admiral
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@DonJohnsMusic , I think you developed a nice inexpensive alternative to the custom camper enclosures I’ve seen here and yamahajetboaters.com.

I’ve slept on my boat before, once, never again. My experience was on the lounger in the cockpit. It was long and wide enough but the dip created by the hinge in the middle of the seat was horrible. I was able to insert thebow filler cushion and a tube / air matress on top of it for my son to sleep in the bow and he said it was great but he was like 12 so ….

other members here were able to find coolers that they used to fill the space between the rear cockpit seats with before throwing an air mattress on top of the Seats and coolers. That looked like a good solution. My wife die and I gave up on tent camping years ago, we do it if we have to otherwise we will be in an RV or a nearby hotel.

I think there are a lot of good alternatives where live aboard a are concerned, especially if you are not picky about the brand/ For instance a 20 year old 40 foot bayliner with a flying bridge for under $50k or a 30 to 35 foot carver for under $100k. What i would consider if buying such a boat would be cost to store on the water and mpg. Some of the boats I’ve seen get less than a mile per gallon, not the type of boat o would buy.
 

DonJohnsMusic

Active Member
Messages
46
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Location
Wilmington, NC
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2019
Boat Model
AR195
Boat Length
19
@DonJohnsMusic , I think you developed a nice inexpensive alternative to the custom camper enclosures I’ve seen here and yamahajetboaters.com.

I’ve slept on my boat before, once, never again. My experience was on the lounger in the cockpit. It was long and wide enough but the dip created by the hinge in the middle of the seat was horrible. I was able to insert thebow filler cushion and a tube / air matress on top of it for my son to sleep in the bow and he said it was great but he was like 12 so ….

other members here were able to find coolers that they used to fill the space between the rear cockpit seats with before throwing an air mattress on top of the Seats and coolers. That looked like a good solution. My wife die and I gave up on tent camping years ago, we do it if we have to otherwise we will be in an RV or a nearby hotel.

I think there are a lot of good alternatives where live aboard a are concerned, especially if you are not picky about the brand/ For instance a 20 year old 40 foot bayliner with a flying bridge for under $50k or a 30 to 35 foot carver for under $100k. What i would consider if buying such a boat would be cost to store on the water and mpg. Some of the boats I’ve seen get less than a mile per gallon, not the type of boat o would buy.
This made me laugh out loud! Yes, I used to do a lot of things in my younger years, I’m sure it might be a one time event, but if my wife is game for it, I’m up for it. We might do the mattress on the floor, or just get a room at a dock somewhere! LOL!
Like I said, my wife is not there yet, but working on that. I’m just excited that she is enjoying the boating as much as I. I do think a lot has to do with how beautiful a place we live as well. We are very thankful that we moved here. Before we moved, we talked about if we did move here, we’d have to get a boat and here we are doing it. Like in the movie Contact, ”baby steps, baby steps.”
 

Jim_in_Delaware

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@DonJohnsMusic , I think you developed a nice inexpensive alternative to the custom camper enclosures I’ve seen here and yamahajetboaters.com.

I think there are a lot of good alternatives where live aboard a are concerned, especially if you are not picky about the brand/ For instance a 20 year old 40 foot bayliner with a flying bridge for under $50k or a 30 to 35 foot carver for under $100k. What i would consider if buying such a boat would be cost to store on the water and mpg. Some of the boats I’ve seen get less than a mile per gallon, not the type of boat o would buy.
I was actually seriously thinking about going this route, and I spent 3 - 4 years over at the Trawler Forum (a great bunch of folks) before coming here. Life choices, a much bigger and expensive retirement home, and where we decided to retire, changed my future boating plans. If I only had another $100K, I might be doing both! :)

Jim
 

HawaiiBreeze

Jet Boat Lover
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Oahu Hawaii
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Yamaha
Year
2017
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SX
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19
ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT....CRAIGS LIST HERE I COME!
 

HawaiiBreeze

Jet Boat Lover
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2017
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What size tent was this?
 

DonJohnsMusic

Active Member
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Location
Wilmington, NC
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Yamaha
Year
2019
Boat Model
AR195
Boat Length
19
You know I don’t know. Let me see if it’s on the tag on the inside! I knew you would love this! So easy to set up and put away in a small bag. Let me look and let you know!
 

DonJohnsMusic

Active Member
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Year
2019
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What size tent was this?
Ok, the tent is 7 x 6. Here is a link to it. https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/quest-rec-series-3-person-dome-tent-21queu3pdmtntxxxxcat/21queu3pdmtntxxxxcat

You’ll need 5 buggies. 4 that tie off on the cleats and one that you hook to the underside of your windshield. I sewed on a little attachment point so you could hook it there, basically took a piece of canvas and folded it over in a loop. This is a pole tent, so there are 4 metal hooks at each corner. I cut those off so you are not worried about them hitting something like your windshield or scratching the hull. That’s it. I had mixed buggies on the test, but I went out a purchased 4 36” and 4 24” so it’s a equal tension all around. Going out today in a few hours and I’ll post more later. Later dude!
 

HawaiiBreeze

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Roger that. Thanks for the links and the pics and the idea!
 

DonJohnsMusic

Active Member
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Location
Wilmington, NC
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Year
2019
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Did you catch the video on it? Showed a lot more of the tent in real time and on the water! It worked better than I thought it would!
 

HawaiiBreeze

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Aloha! Yes I just found it. Very cool. So it slips down over the Bimini and it's tight fitting around the Bimini poles plus you're holding it to the boat with some bungee cords at the corners? Love the table too. Glad to see it on a 19 ft boat. I've looked at buying the pieces and out fitting mine but wasn't sure how much room it might need. Question: Can your pilot seat spin 180 and face the table with the other person sitting opposite and is there enough room to get in and out of the pilot chair? Do you have to rotate it slightly to get out?

Was that Apple Pie on the table in the covered dish...better yet, don't answer that, I can't have any anyway!
 

DonJohnsMusic

Active Member
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46
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Location
Wilmington, NC
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Yamaha
Year
2019
Boat Model
AR195
Boat Length
19
Let me cover your questions! Yes, it just slips down over the tower, I attached 4 bungees where you put in the tent poles, removing the metal parts to keep from scratching the boat. I believe I bought 2 foot and 3 foot bungees. About that seat! I thought I saw a video showing that seat being about to flip backwards, but I have yet to figure out how to do it. So we have not been able to do that if in fact it will spin around. It catches on the side of the boat when you try and spin it backwards. Has anyone figured out how to do this? Or is it a different boat I saw the video on?
Yes that was apple pie and it was the bomb! How made from my wife. She is quite the cook! We had such an awesome time. My best Thanksgiving ever!
 
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