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Tartan 37
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm installing new ceiling panels since I had to take half of them down to install my new traveler, and I want to add insulation of some sort before I put the new panels back. Ideas?

BTW, is it common or not for a boat to be insulated?

Thanks
Shawn
 

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Don't know what type of boat you have or how much room, but on BR we have two layers of 1" styrofoam boards cut to fit between structural members. It works well -- even in the tropics the cabin will be much cooler than the deck. (I think the white hull and deck helps a lot in that regard as well). My only concern with this form of insulation is for the day we have a fire as I know styrofoam puts out nasty, toxic smoke. With that constantly in the back of my mind I keep the fire extinguishers close at hand and hope for the best.

I should add that the advantage of this type of insulation is that it is easily removed and thus access to the underside of deck hardware is much easier. As BR is a steel boat, removable insulation makes keeping track of rust much easier as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks BR,

I have a Tartan 37C, 1982. There is about 1"-2" of space and I had initially thought Styrofoam would work well. I even thought about your typical household insulation?

The fire related concern is a good, something I had not considered.

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Telstar 28
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Not a big fan of foam insulation if you can avoid it. Most of the foam insulation is fairly toxic if it catches fire...and much of it is fairly flammable. It is fairly common for liveaboard and long-distance cruising boats to have some added insulation of some sort, since that makes the boat a lot more comfortable.
 

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One of None
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Honestly.. by the time the toxic fumes from the foam hit you.. wouldn't you already be dead? Or at least off the boat? Just some thoughts of my own
:)
 

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I would probably use 'insaboard' (it is a insulating board with foil on one side and and a barrier plastic on the other). It is very common in bullding. You can buy at Home Depot or Lowes for less than $9/sheet (4x8 sheet). I have used it a lot and it is easy to work with.

Yes, if I was you, I would insulate. It certainly would not hurt. They do make a flame resistent insulation that is used around fireplaces and smoke stacks... but I doubt I would be too worried about that.

Brian
 

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Make sure whatever you use won't absorb water. As far as toxicity goes, I don't think it is really that much of a concern. If your boat is on fire, you need to get off the boat. And when you think about all the fiberglass, resin, cushions and ather stuff aboard (that give off toxic fumes when burnt) a little foam isn't really going to make much of a difference. If you really are worried about toxic fumes in a fire, you need to get rid of all your cushions and mattresses on board. When burnt in a closed space, in addition to giving off carbon monoxide they also produce a cyanide gas (which I have personally seen someone poisoned from). You don't see anyone throwing them away though, so a little styrafoam in the ceiling isn't that big of a deal.
 

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While T37Chef will probably be okay with some sort of off-the-shelf insulation board, I'm going to disagree a bit about whether the fire/fume hazard from certain insulations is a big deal or not.

Over the years, I've read several accounts describing smoldering insulation fires that forced abandonment of the boat because the toxicity of the fumes was overwhelming, making it impossible to combat what would otherwise have been a manageable fire.

We tend to read about these incidents in connection with insulated metal boats, but some insulated fiberglass boats are also vulnerable. Builders of metal boats always face a dilemma as they decide on how/whether to insulate their hulls (besides the thermal and acoustic qualities, proper insulation can minimize the corrosive effects of condensation on the interior of steel hulls.) Most opt for insulation, since the benefits generally outweighing the risks, but as BillyR mentioned they live with the nagging worry about fire (especially insidious electrical fires from wire runs through the insulation).

The U.S. Navy recently (within the past few years) developed and tested a new foam insulation that is supposed to be non-flammable/non-toxic. I think it was spray-on, but I'm not positive of that. I don't know whether it has trickled into the market yet.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the input, I'm liking CD's recommendation, especially the $$ factor :)

JRP, I wonder if the spray on stuff the Navy has experimented with is similar to what they sprayed on my trucks bed? Rhino or Line X type?
 

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Like I said, they do make a fire resistant foam. I just do not think I would go to the expense. For wire rins, you could spend a few extra bucks and run the wiring through UV elec grade PVC conduit (the gray stuff). It is also available at home depot. But just being honest, I would not.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Like I said, they do make a fire resistant foam. I just do not think I would go to the expense. For wire rins, you could spend a few extra bucks and run the wiring through UV elec grade PVC conduit (the gray stuff). It is also available at home depot. But just being honest, I would not.

Brian
Ain't got no wires & stuff up there anyways, but good idea.

I'm curious about the ABYC question.
 

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Astro-foil

we go out a lot in winter in british columbia.

I make limited use of "astro-foil" - an air filled polyethylene bubble between two reflective foil layers. It is light, thin, easily cut, can be used indoors or out, water resistant, cheap, easy to work with and has both reflective and conductive insulating properties.

I dont use it anywhere that fire might be an issue.

I found it at a local hardware store where they were selling it mostly as additional insulation for hot hater heaters.

see it at, eg:

ASTRO-FOIL - Reflects Heat - Stops Air Infiltration - Acts as Vapor Barrier
 

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insulation

there is an insulation called "armaflex" that is fire resistant - installation on boats is covered in the "plastic classic" forum.
 

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Rambling on a cold winter night

Honestly.. by the time the toxic fumes from the foam hit you.. wouldn't you already be dead? Or at least off the boat? Just some thoughts of my own
:)
Denise, the idea is avoid being dead!! :) As for being "off the boat".....it's kinda hard offshore, but I guess that's what the life raft is for. But then launching a raft during a fire is complicated by the wind putting the smoke where you'd normally launch the raft (lee side). Flamable insulation is just a necessary evil, I guess.

I remember what a crusty old Chief told into me in the Navy: "Sir, a fire at sea can ruin your entire day. Best to avoid them altogether, but if you have to have one, keep it small and kill it quick." I only experienced one fire at sea. It was small, but really scary. I was truly imazed at how rapidly the smoke filled the spaces and how hot the steel bulkheads got. :eek:
 
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