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post #11 of Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Insulation

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
I've lived aboard in BC year round, for decades, in extreme comfort. The trick is lots of foam insulation sprayed into my steel hull. Any piece of steel the size of your fingernail which is not covered by at least a half inch of foam will drip like a leaky faucet. I believe fibrglass is not much different in that regard . A friend who sold his spray foamed steel boat and bought a fibreglass one said living in the fibreglass hull was like living in a block of ice, by comparison.So the trick is start cutting and gluing in foam, a bit at a time. The thicker the better. You can do it over time and each piece of foam you glue in will improve the comfort level.
A false ceiling with an open air space is not much insulation, and wont do much.
Brent, what kind of insulation/glue would you reccomend on an older fiberglass boat? My family and I are going to be moving aboard our Cal 34 soon in preparation for cruising.
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post #12 of Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Insulation

We have lived aboard in Toronto for 16yrs, never had a condensation problem.
We bought 4X8 sheets of 1" thick pink insulation foam board and cut it into 3" strips and bedded it in silicone to the entire hull but for the engine compartment. The trick is a tight fit as any air getting between the foam and the hull defeats the purpose.

For winter our windows all have heavy fabric blinds and hatches are sealed with the clear plastic shrink kits you can buy at the hardware store. Our two solar powered vents take care of the fresh air requirement.

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post #13 of Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Insulation

We've noticed a friend's C34 sweating quite a bit in the off season with an espar going. I think running a dehumidifier even between trips will keep the moisture content down to some degree, but of course once there are 'breathers' below, heaters going and hatches closed the moisture builds up quickly - any cold surface is going to sweat, and port frames and hatch frames are pretty good cold conductors.

Though it's a pain and not very pretty you might find that a tarp stretched over the cabintop might provide an insulating buffer of air.

It's tough to apply the various bubble wrap style insulation to a molded F/G headliner that's already installed.... so you gotta think outside the box, I guess...

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post #14 of Old 03-09-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Insulation

Thanks all for jumping in with advice. I'll be following up on that!
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post #15 of Old 03-09-2013
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Re: Insulation

As mentioned, if you insulate, you have to keep the cold moist air from being able to get around the backside of the insulation. It will condensate there and mold will grow. Spraying it on, or sealing it against the hull are the only effective methods. However, I still don't think you can really conquer this one. It will find its way behind a cabinet or beneath a bunk. It's just a problem.

Are you at a slip with power? Personally, I think the only real solution is to run a dehumidifier.


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