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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-20-2008
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Staying Warm

Summer has passed and the mornings are getting colder.. (the down side of being Down Under! )

I'm looking for ways to extend our boating for as long as possible, but staying warm in our little Hartley is proving to be somewhat of a challenge on chilly Melbourne mornings. In a wooden boat, we start out warm enough curled up in sleeping bags, but:

Scenario 1: If I leave the forward hatch and companion-way vents open, the wind picks up and the warm air rushes out. Then at some stage during the night nature's urges wake me up and I need to go topside. Opening the main hatch then lets all remaining heat out of the boat and the fog rolls in. By morning we are damp and cold and the First Mate wants to go home.

Scenario 2: If I leave the forward hatch shut and the companion-way vent open, the boat gets stuffy and condensation runs down the inside of the windows. By morning we are damp and then cold and the First Mate wants to go home.

If the boat was big enough, I'd fit one of those old-fashioned cabin heaters so much talked about on Sailnet - but it ain't!! Someone in the club mentioned putting an upturned flower-pot on the metho stove, but I'm not going to let that run all night unattended. I think this is linked in with the ventilation issues raised here a while back.

My question: How should I close the cabin up at night to ensure we stay warm without it being stuffy? Anyone know of any small (real small) practical cabin heating idea that might help eliminate condensation??

Thanks!
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Last edited by Classic30; 04-20-2008 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 04-20-2008
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I use those ceramic heaters you can get at West Marine, or any store practically, but that option is only if you are tied to the dock or have a generator onboard. They do pretty well for taking the nip out - not necessarily cozy warm but just enough. Coleman has a propane heater that I have used when on the hook - which works also fairly well.
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Old 04-20-2008
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Using a heavy curtain around the companionway might help with the heat flowing out and the fog rolling in. If you treat the companionway kind of like an airlock, and close the curtain before opening the dropboards and sliding hatch...and vice versa... it should help retain a good bit of heat in the boat.

Adding insulation to the interior of the boat would also help. One sailor I know used the reflective "space blankets" and foam board to insulate his boat and it made quite a difference.

Not using your hatches and using dorade-type or mushroom type vents can help a lot too. Especially if you run duct work from the vents to low in the cabin, since you can leave the vents open and if they pull air out, it will pull out the colder air at the bottom of the cabin, rather than the warmer air from the top.

Also, if you can find some soapstone, preferably in brick sized chunks or blocks, you can use a relatively primitive, if effective heater based on them. Soapstone was used for fireplace hearths for a good reason... it heats up and retains heat a long time...and re-radiates it quite nicely. Heat up a few of these over the stove, then wrap them in cloth and set them on the cabin sole.

I think the real trick is to keep the air moving through the boat, but not let all the heat escape. I hope these help.
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Old 04-20-2008
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Tough thing to get round.... definitely shouldn't be interested in running an unvented flame for any period of time with the boat shut up... many have perished that way.

Dog's point about insulation will help with the sweating and condensation, but can add weight and may make an already small space a bit tighter still.

Fact is, you're ready for a bigger boat (Have I said that before? I think so )
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Old 04-20-2008
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Second that...Another nod for all the conveniences of home....Happy mamas
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Old 04-20-2008
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Thanks, guys! ...and, yes, Ron you have said that before - it's probably true too!! It's a shame the ex-Womboat was up North and I was too busy at the time (still am) to take a look. Nowhere to keep it anyways.. it wouldn't fit in the garage.

Fitting extra insulation is a bit impractical, but I'll see if I can find some Soapstone. Heating something up on the stove is fine - I just wasn't aware of anything that wouldn't cool down fast.
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Old 04-21-2008
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G'day down there! Been a while since I've tipped one back at the St. Kilda yacht club myself, but I have to say that if you're winging about the winters in Melbourne, you're a bit soft mate.

Now if you're interested in keeping the lady happy, may I suggest a wood stove. Almost instant heat and HEAPS of it. I had a cole stove (no longer made but identical to the dickinson solid fuel stove) which was not airtight so it was fiddly but I could have my 30ft wooden boat up to 40c in as many minutes if I wanted. It also had a grate to watch the fire which was tres' romantic.

I don't have direct experience with these stoves but they look great, they come in small, smaller and really smallest and are cheap. Try using the compressed 2hr wax firelogs they sell at supermarkets. Duraflame is one brand. I would hack off a double fist sized piece and put it in the stove. They burn consistently, and not as hot (but plenty hot enough) as wood. They last longer than wood too. Once you have a nice glowing source of heat you can ventilate the boat better and the stuffness goes away.

Check this out:
Fatsco Stoves

MedSailor
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Old 04-21-2008
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If you're on dock power, an electric mattress heating pad does wonders for the bunk...but won't do a thing for heating the interior of the boat.
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Old 04-21-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
G'day down there! Been a while since I've tipped one back at the St. Kilda yacht club myself, but I have to say that if you're winging about the winters in Melbourne, you're a bit soft mate.
What with Global Warming and all that BS..

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Now if you're interested in keeping the lady happy, may I suggest a wood stove. Almost instant heat and HEAPS of it. I had a cole stove (no longer made but identical to the dickinson solid fuel stove) which was not airtight so it was fiddly but I could have my 30ft wooden boat up to 40c in as many minutes if I wanted. It also had a grate to watch the fire which was tres' romantic.

I don't have direct experience with these stoves but they look great, they come in small, smaller and really smallest and are cheap. Try using the compressed 2hr wax firelogs they sell at supermarkets. Duraflame is one brand. I would hack off a double fist sized piece and put it in the stove. They burn consistently, and not as hot (but plenty hot enough) as wood. They last longer than wood too. Once you have a nice glowing source of heat you can ventilate the boat better and the stuffness goes away.

Check this out:
Fatsco Stoves

MedSailor


Now that would have to be the cutest, most affordable wood stove I've seen yet! If the boat was twice the size, I'd get one straight away!!

..but it ain't and I've a feeling it'd be a mite too dangerous inside a wooden Hartley. I'd be worried that the boat might become part of the firebox one night.. with us in it.
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Last edited by Classic30; 04-21-2008 at 03:49 AM.
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