Author Topic: Brrrr...cold boats  (Read 2198 times)

svsurprise

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Brrrr...cold boats
« on: November 26, 2014, 03:32:14 PM »
Hey All, I've only owned Surprise, a 44 w/o, for 5 months now and winter is fast approaching.  I live aboard in Beaufort NC.  I've found that on these cooler nights this boat is downright cold due to lack of coring in deck and hull.  I've got plenty of heaters and recently purchased an electric blanket but my carbon footprint will be size of bigfoot by February. 

So not only am I looking for any advice on how to better insulate the boat, but I also have a question: Do all CSY 44 w/o's have bare fiberglass ceilings?  Do any have headliners? Any other form of covering that might offer some insulation?  I often look up there and consider adding a thin ply headliner with insulation but it's a daunting task.

Two more winters then heading to warmer climates.  In the meantime, I would appreciate any advice you may have.
Thanks,
Don   

Soggy Geek

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Re: Brrrr...cold boats
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2014, 08:16:25 AM »
Bill,

I think all CSY's came with just a bare ceiling.  Some people have insulated.  One I know is Tiger Lilly but I think they are on passage between Tonga and New Zealand right now.

I googled and found an interesting Sailrite video on YouTube showing how to do it.  And there are a couple of "how to" posts on forums by various boat owners.  I think if we did it, we would use something like the "bubble wrap with radiant barrier" type stuff from Home Depot, as the insulator and use PVC signboard as the paneling, covered with some kind of naugahyde.  You need to glue some lath up to the ceiling in strips ~2 ft apart, and then screw or velcro the panels to the lath.  I would make everything you do easily removeable, so you can take down a panel to get at hardware that might be leaking or need replacing.

Sailrite Video

Virtual Boatyard

Frugal Mariner

Hope this helps!

Sherry
Soggy Paws the CSY has been sold but not forgotten!
http://svsoggypaws.com/CSY/

svsurprise

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Re: Brrrr...cold boats
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2014, 08:05:19 PM »
I hadn't thought of using laminate which should allow for the panels to curve to the ceiling.  Thanks for the links and quick response.
Don

Tiger Lilly

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Re: Brrrr...cold boats
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2014, 05:43:27 AM »
Tom from Tiger Lilly here.

We insulated our boat (WO hull#55) from the waterline up using a product called Heat Shield.

Fundamentally it was as Sherry described above: 2 inch X 3/4 inch firing strips (plywood) glued and screwed on 12 inch centers, the firing strips have channels for the trapped heat to migrate up and out when the hatches are open in the summer; 1 1/2 inch X 1 1/2 inch X 1/8 inch closed cell foam stand-off blocks glued with a hot glue gun to the overhead as spacers to create the necessary dead air space between the fiberglass and the insulation.

The Heat Shield is about 5/8 inch thick (it looks like bubble wrap but it is made with closed cell foam so that it does not absorb moisture), it is attached to the stand-off blocks with a hot glue gun. The insulation joints are sealed with Mylar tape

Panels are constructed with 6MM plywood door skins (learn how to make patterns to fit the panels to about 1/16 inch). The panels are sealed with 2 coats of white pigmented shellac (epoxy primer for the heads and shower) and then covered with white mildew proof / fire proof commercial grade vinyl stapled and glued with contact cement to the panels; the panels are screwed up with screws covered in buttons with matching vinyl covers. 

This is a HUGE project. But if it is done right it really looks good, and adds significantly to the comfort of the boat.  This is an EXPENSIVE project, and it requires good carpentry skills and pattern making skills in particular. 

In the summer, the interior of Tiger Lilly is about 12F cooler than ambient.  In the winter this insulation system, along with the 33,000 BTU WEBASTO THERMO 90 hot water heating system will keep the interior of the boat at 72F when the ambient temp is 30F with 30 knots of wind. 

There are some pictures of the installation on our Sailblogs site at

Tiger Lilly Photo Gallery
« Last Edit: November 29, 2014, 07:29:25 AM by Soggy Geek »

Rhapsody

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Re: Brrrr...cold boats
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2014, 10:58:10 AM »
Svsurprise: Go South Young Man...
These boats were not made for winter conditions and as described above, it is a considerable amount of work to insulate 'em.
I know cold and winters and have lived on boats for short periods of time in Norway and Alaska.
Never again regardless of insulation.
Quit your job and head South, way South:)

svsurprise

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Re: Brrrr...cold boats
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2014, 02:41:55 PM »
Excellent advice, just two more winters to survive on Surprise before retirement and heading south.  Young enough to tolerate the discomfort, old enough to know better.  A couple of things may keep me from tackling this large a project 1) still working so time is limited, 2) living aboard so no shop to work in to cut and assemble the panels, 3) competition with all the other REALLY important things that need tackling and 4) it really is only two winters.  Maybe I'll just buy a few more heaters....But I do appreciate everyone's help and comments and realize how much more comfortable the boat would be with an insulated ceiling.

In addition -  A boat neighbor just purchased a fancy computer milling machine.  We are going to pattern and cut out some oval port light screen frames out of garolite (see McMaster Carr) and glue the screen to the frames.  I currently have frames made out of some form of lexan or plexi (not sure wish) that work well but are starting to deteriorate.  They will have some small holes that allow the frames to be secured to the little nipples on the ports with fine stainless wire.  I'll keep you posted on how well they come out and perhaps we can make some extras and make them available if anyone is interested.
Don 

   

RHoodJr

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Re: Brrrr...cold boats
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2014, 08:57:03 PM »
Don, pray for snow.  A foot of the stuff will give you great insulation ;)  Sounds like you have a great attitude and that's 99% of what you need.

Have a great holiday, keep us all advised on your screen project.

Cheers!