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Old 26-12-2010, 15:04   #76
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Laugh all you want about a guy from Key West giving cold weather advise, but as a commercial tug/delivery captain, I've seen my share. The power boats were never much of a problem with enclosed wheelhouses and all. On blow-boats, I used to wear Gerbings while on watch and sometimes even below. They are made for motorcycle and snowmobile use and will work with any 12V DC source. I was NEVER cold wearing them.

I've used the cast iron skillet on the stove, never a flower pot, and also have used a large (like 20 qt) kettle full of water in calm anchorages and dockside. Heat the water to boiling, and shut off just before bed.... stays warm for hours!
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Old 26-12-2010, 16:22   #77
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Quote:
Coleman SportCat ™ Perfectemp™ Catalytic Heater with InstaStart™ Technology
If it does not vent outside then the by product of combustion in a perfect device is CO2 and Water. You'll get a tad of CO but maybe not that much but you will get WATER. You won't see it until it condenses on things cool. The above device works fine in a tent that leaks air or when cold is 50 degrees F and not 34 degrees F or colder.

I'm thinking I'll go with the George plan (see above)! You really need to be warm. Do that right and it will maybe be more like October with fewer places for lunch open. Sitting at the helm down the ditch gets old south of Wilmington (a bit north too) and you need to be alert. You get stupid when you get hypothermia (no joke). The zone around freezing is a killer! I've done -100 F wind chill where you get frostbite in 15 seconds and it was nothing compared to being wet at 34 degrees F. You get a little bit loopy and do things you know better than to do. No telling what low country backwater you'll get stuck in.

Make details plans for the daily legs and note all possible stop over points. Carry extra provisions just in case. A Carolina Ice storm ain't no joke!
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Old 26-12-2010, 17:53   #78
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I've done a bit of cold weather sailing and a lot of cold weather camping (snow, below zero, tent, no tent, etc.), all at altitude. I work, ski, hike, hunt, etc. outside in the Colorado mountains every day of the year and know a bit about keeping warm in the cold. I would boil my advice down to wear a lot of non-cotton layers and stay dry. Moisture cools you down drastically and wet cotton sucks heat from your body while wet polypro and wool will still insulate to some degree. A lot of mountain guides use the phrase "cotton kills" when telling potential customers how to dress, and that's been the case in many hypothermia deaths. As for keeping the cabin warm, unvented propane releases a lot of moisture, probably not a good idea as others have pointed out. To keep warm on watch, fill water bottles with hot water and stick them inside your fowl weather gear to supplement/save your chemical heat packs. The chemical heat packs need oxygen to activate, so they sometimes aren't effective in oxygen starved areas like the toes of tight boots. A down coat can be the warmest thing you own if you keep it dry. They'll keep you warm under the covers too, and you can probably find some post holiday sales right now. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 26-12-2010, 19:31   #79
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Electric clothing

If your going to be outside motoring when it's freezing you need electric clothing. This is similar to an electric blanket except it's 12 volt DC. I have a full set for flying my ultralight in the winter in Maryland (visualize sitting in a lawn chair going 50 mph with a 20 degree F air temperature). But for what most boaters are doing, all you need is the vest. This goes on over a heavy shirt and under an insulation wind breaker garment. It consumes max 54 watts (4.5 amps) and keeps your body core roasty toasty. Without the temperature controller you will be unplugging it every few minutes (it gets that warm!). It comes with a simple plug assembly, so you can easily unplug, move around the boat, and replug when you get back to your seat.

Vest including battery harness with fuse (just add extra wire):
Gerbing's Heated Clothing // Heated Vest Liner

Temp controller:
Gerbing's Heated Clothing // Temperature Controllers

For around $210 you can make life very tolerable in the cockpit when motoring. I was going to mention that this company makes pants & jacket liners, heated gloves & socks, but owing to the general frugality of this group, thought it would fall on deaf ears

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Old 29-12-2010, 13:59   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O.C.Diver View Post

For around $210 you can make life very tolerable in the cockpit when motoring. I was going to mention that this company makes pants & jacket liners, heated gloves & socks, but owing to the general frugality of this group, thought it would fall on deaf ears

Ted
I went Ice climbing with my daughter this morning. We'll go sailing Sunday. Two thoughts:
  • Retail, I was wearing perhaps $800 worth of mountaineering clothing. $210 would have bought the shell jacket or a portion of the boots.
  • Didn't have 5.4 amps handy. Was quite warm and comfortable, though.
And while down is really neat stuff in cold dry conditions (Colorado) and I have a number of down bags and jackets, if you get it wet it will NEVER dry in a boat. I would stick to synthetic fill. And it will get wet, just from condensation while sleeping. I use the syntetic bags any time moisture is a consideration; down is as dangerous as wool in damp places.
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Old 29-12-2010, 14:37   #81
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As for keeping the cabin warm, unvented propane releases a lot of moisture, probably not a good idea as others have pointed out.
What is people's experience with venting an unvented heater with an open port or slightly open hatch? Does it get rid of enough moisture? And what about the clay pots or soapstone on the cooking burners, and the same venting?
On cool nights, I just tough it out. I'm hoping to launch in April (can be freezing nights in Maine), and have pretty much given up on finding room for a stove pipe on my Cape Dory 27. This is just a question of comfort, for a night or two at a time, nothing serious this year, I think.
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Old 29-12-2010, 15:11   #82
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What is people's experience with venting an unvented heater with an open port or slightly open hatch? Does it get rid of enough moisture? And what about the clay pots or soapstone on the cooking burners, and the same venting?
On cool nights, I just tough it out. I'm hoping to launch in April (can be freezing nights in Maine), and have pretty much given up on finding room for a stove pipe on my Cape Dory 27. This is just a question of comfort, for a night or two at a time, nothing serious this year, I think.
If you've got a stove, light a burner, as you described, and try it. Heater, burner, flower pot; same combustion chemistry and same result.

I always found running a burner with some ventilation (as described) would give me a headache within 45 minutes. Moisture gets on the windows. But your mileage may vary. Try it for yourself. For my tastes, I would rather wear more clothes than use an unvented heater of any sort.

And when you consider that a real installed heater will probably increase the resale value of a boat in Maine waters, it may be free. If you have propane, go for it.

My install:
Sail Delmarva: Let There be Heat!
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Old 29-12-2010, 15:26   #83
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I think thinwater meant to say down is as dangerous as cotton when wet- wool is about as good as it gets when insulating when wet. I would still think about a down coat as an insulating layer in the cockpit. Keep it dry, as I originally said. I've seen them on sale for as little as $30 lately and when dry there is nothing warmer ounce for ounce. Just keep it under your foul weather gear if any precipitation is coming down. I was fishing on the Olympic peninsula (the wettest place in the US) a few winters ago and the guide swore by his down coat, so I'm pretty sure they're valuable in wet climates when treated properly- during the day we spent with him we saw rain, snow, and sleet, and he wore his (under his raincoat) the whole time.
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Old 29-12-2010, 15:32   #84
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would not agree with the use of down, in practice its nearly impossible to keep dry and once wet it never dries and in fact can mould quite badly, thinsulate is the only way.

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Old 29-12-2010, 15:58   #85
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sure glad i have a dry boat--no condensation , no leakage--lol--i use down and have since 1990. i have had no problem with it--i have used it underway and at anchor and in rain and seas. love it. down and silk have saved me. nice n warm n cozy. each to his / her own. whatever is comfortable for you and your boat--each one is different. i wouldnt use it onboard the boat i sailed last yr-- but i wont be sailing it again, either...waaaayyyyy too wet.......
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Old 29-12-2010, 16:22   #86
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sure glad i have a dry boat--no condensation , no leakage--lol--i use down and have since 1990. i have had no problem with it--i have used it underway and at anchor and in rain and seas. love it. down and silk have saved me. nice n warm n cozy. each to his / her own. whatever is comfortable for you and your boat--each one is different. i wouldnt use it onboard the boat i sailed last yr-- but i wont be sailing it again, either...waaaayyyyy too wet.......
That really is a good point; each person has a different sense of comfort. I hate wool; makes me itch, even the smart wool stuff, and it feels wet, but that is just me. I don't care for silk; just me, since it is clearly high quality stuff and many swear by it.

The real answer, like most things, is practice.

As for down, forums seem to encourage emphatic statements. The danger is a wet down bag in the backcountry; they require constant vigilance on multi-day trips. That said, I have 2 down bags and 3 synthetic bags. Also, several down parkas that I have given up for fleece layers. I am now more inclined to insulate my legs more than to wear a thick coat.
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Old 29-12-2010, 17:00   #87
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silk long jons are just warmies, bro--look like any others but are lighter and dryfast=--a lot faster than polypropolene--dont take much space and keep warmth inside against brisk winds.even we broke budget folks can use it-- find secondhand.
my trips are legs of a forever trip..i dont go back to regroup--repairs are wherever the place i am is......and i still use down.....have on board since 1990.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:04   #88
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Not sure what the rest of the bay looks like but here in the upper bay all the rivers are frozen I cant get my boat out
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Old 01-01-2011, 16:08   #89
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Is the C&D Canal clear?
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Old 01-01-2011, 16:45   #90
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Silk, Wool, Fleece, Acrylic, and Polypropylene don't hold moisture. Satin silk is only one type of processed silk and what most people think of when you say silk. Silk fiber wears like iron and common silk garments can be woven such that it is quite warm. Raw silk is less expensive and isn't slippery.

Marine grade Gortex breaths and performs well in cold weather even better than in summer. I was on committee boat today out in the Bay for the club New Years Day race and we were out for about 7 hours. It was a nice day but the water was 42 F and there was a breeze. Gortex is the magic that works. Your high quality rain gear is what you want in the cold too. For a long trip down the ditch I would spend the money on a good set of Gortex bibs and jacket. You don't want rain gear that does not breathe period! It's my outer layer of choice in cold weather. The temperature gradient drives away the moisture your body produces. You sweat 24 x 7 X 365. Once you get a little damp you'll quickly get cold and shiver. You are then in stage 1 hypothermia. Working with layers you can find the right mix for any day. Lots of fibers and styles in a wide range of prices to choose from.
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