Dealing with the heat
I am trying to figure out how cruisers and live aboards deal with the heat in Florida. Specifically the Tampa area.
I love the area and look forward to spending the summer there on my boat or even moving there.
How do you keep the boat down to a reasonable temperature?
I know many boats have air conditioners but thatís not realistic if youíre sitting in a bay somewhere for four or five days.
I guess you could run a genset and a cooler but again, not realistic for multiple days. What if youíre out for ten days or fifteen?
I have a wind catch for the forward hatch but if there is low wind then there is no comfort.
So, how do you keep cool in the Florida tropics on your 40 footer?
Iím not asking how do you bear it. How do you do it?
low draw fans
I don't live in Fla. but when we have 'hot' days I use the low draw fans from WM. Did the same thing in Belize on charter trips. Air is good :D ...frequent jumps in the water help too!
Besides the low draw fans, a good awning will help keep the temperatures in the cabin down.
Sometimes you just have to leave the simplicity of land life behind. The days will be few where there is not enough wind for the scoop to keep you cool. Shade for the boat is essential too. You can get cheap perforated shade that breathes from home depot. It is what they use in the garden department. You can use zip ties to tie it down too.........i2f
For the most part, one rarely doesn't have a reasonably good breeze in most anchorages in the Tampa Bay area or anywhere on the southwest coast of Florida except, perhaps, for the really urban locations that most wouldn't choose to anchor in anyway. With the breeze; and, some good awnings to keep the sun off the deck, most boats are reasonably comfortable. Once the sun sets, except on rare occassions, things cool off pretty well and one is usually quite comfortable with only a few fans to keep the air moving below. We have a generator and can run the AC while anchored out, if necessary, but rarely have. Note, however, that in most marinas, where there is little wind, one does need AC unless one is made of sturner stuff than we!
I absolutely understand the part about "Sometimes you just have to leave the simplicity of land life behind" and have no problem with that. I have sailed extensively in the Pacific Northwest. Tell me you’re coming this way for extended stays and I can tell you much about the nuances of keeping from freezing in the winter (and summer) etc. I’m looking for those same bits of knowledge for when I get to the tropics. It’s the understanding of the unknown I’m after. I can take a hot day and night and all but it’s how you do it every day. I don’t want to be sitting below deck sweating so much you can actually hear it. Lying awake at night because the air is too heavy to inhale.
I’m OK with even having to sleep up on deck a few nights in the bad parts of the summer.
It’s one of those things easiest expressed as “So how do, you do that?”
I guess what I need is a recollection of all those articles and whatnot I’ve read over the years on keeping cool.
So let’s see, we got:
- Low power fans strategically placed throughout the cabin to keep air moving.
- Air catch’s for the hatches.
- Tarps to create shade.
- A cool off as needed (always great down there).
- AC unit if possible or swamp cooler for emergencies or for when you’re at dock and there just is no air.
Bedding ideas? What not to use?
In time, say 3 mos. your blood will thin and you should hopefully get acclimated.
You do get used to the heat!!!! At anchor we usually are comfortable as we anchor where there is wind..out near the sea. In the marina it is hot until later at night. Good News is that this is usually only for a couple of months in the middle of summer. Most of the year it is pleasant.
We have no builtin a/c, and have been comfortable up into August in Miami. We cruised for a couple of years with no a/c, and one hurricane season in Daytona with no a/c.
We came to Green Cove Springs, and the first day someone asked if I had a/c. I answered no, and he suggested I get it. The sun starting going down, and the temp was pleasant, but the mosquitoes forced us to close the boat up. We bvorrowed a car the next day. Went to Home Depot bought a 5k unit, and a sheet of insulation board with the aluminum foiln on it. A roll of the foil tape, and for $100 we had a cool enviroment with no creatures while at the dock.
The following year we added another unit, and now we close off the forward, and rear berth in the strbrd hull, and the rest of the boat is very cool.
What I did on my mono was add a stern shower to give myself a small spray once in awhile to keep cool at times in Mexico........i2f
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