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Old 17-05-2015, 22:33   #1
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Ventilation for Voyaging

Iím concerned about onboard ventilation while making blue water passages. Assuming that hatches will have to be closed while underway, would it become too unbearably stuffy to sleep below in tropical or subtropical waters? Unless the sea is very smooth, it probably wonít work to try to sleep in the fore cabin, and ventilation in aft cabins is usually not as good as in fore cabins under any condition. My boat has very small hatches on the aft cabins, about 12" x 12", so I drop the dodger and put on a Breeze Booster when at anchor, but this wonít work at sea.

A related question is ventilation in the aft cabin of center cockpit boats. Most have an overhead hatch but have no aft ports to allow the air to exit. For those of you who have such cabins, how is the ventilation in them, both at sea and at anchor?
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Old 17-05-2015, 22:51   #2
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

We use a fan.
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Old 17-05-2015, 22:57   #3
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

We have a fan in each aft cabin and 2 in the fore cabin, but in hot and humid tropics I'm concerned that they won't move enough air to make it comfortable to sleep with the hatches and ports closed while underway. I guess I'm looking for some additional ideas other than air conditioning which we don't have and wouldn't be using anyway while underway.
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Old 18-05-2015, 00:34   #4
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

Unpleasant experiences tend to create vivid memories and determination to never repeat them.

The MOST uncomfortable time I have ever spent on a sailboat was when during a gale and while on a long passage and underway, we had all the hatches closed and all the ports closed and the companionway hatch fully closed and boards in place. Buttoned up!

Three men below, one at the helm out in the cockpit. The atmosphere in the boat was oppressively stuffy and very hot. This was just north of Hawaii in the summer.

The air was so heavy, that I felt it difficult to breathe, it was that stuffy and smelly. And humid! NO ventilation!

Despite the high seas and the stinging rain in the high winds, I could not wait to get up and OUT to the cockpit to breathe fresh air. I clipped my harness tether on and despite the Gale felt great relief at being able to breathe fresh and relatively cool air again. It felt like the inside air temp was over 110 degrees f, though that was likely due to the perception of heat and humidity and lack of fresh air.

So, I told myself I would put several effective Dorades on my own boat, so that air can circulate, even if it rains or spray is coming aboard while underway. I consider this a very important "bluewater" feature.

When I see a real bluewater boat, like an Amel Supermaramu or a Wauquiez, I appreciate the multiple Dorades located across the deck. I would want one for every stateroom and multiples for the saloon and over the galley. I like them big too, with a good bell shape and deep box. I don't like the little flat mushroom shaped cowls.

I will post some photos to show you what I would like on my boat.

Hope that helps!
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Old 18-05-2015, 00:42   #5
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
So, I told myself I would put several effective Dorades on my own boat, so that air can circulate, even if it rains or spray is coming aboard while underway. I consider this a very important "bluewater" feature.

When I see a real bluewater boat, like an Amel Supermaramu or a Wauquiez, I appreciate the multiple Dorades located across the deck. I would want one for every stateroom and multiples for the saloon and over the galley. I like them big too, with a good bell shape and deep box. I don't like the little flat mushroom shaped cowls.
Second that
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Old 18-05-2015, 03:47   #6
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

One point re the dorades ... best to trim them off the wind, ie typically facing aft , so that the venturi effect sucks air out of the cabin rather than trying to push air in.... far more efficient and less water likely to find its way below.
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Old 18-05-2015, 09:18   #7
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
I appreciate the multiple Dorades located across the deck. I would want one for every stateroom and multiples for the saloon and over the galley. I like them big too, with a good bell shape and deep box. I don't like the little flat mushroom shaped cowls.

I will post some photos to show you what I would like on my boat.

Hope that helps!
Great photos of dorades that mean business!
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Old 18-05-2015, 09:58   #8
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

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One point re the dorades ... best to trim them off the wind, ie typically facing aft , so that the venturi effect sucks air out of the cabin rather than trying to push air in.... far more efficient and less water likely to find its way below.
Thou you need some vent to get fresh air in too. The problem lies in the misty spray that doesn't have the time to settle down before the fresh air get's sucked in. I have a plan of moulded dorade boxes with the idea of forcing the air into a ascending vortex to centrifuge most of the mist away. I'll load up a sketch later..
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Old 18-05-2015, 11:30   #9
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

I'll be interested in seeing what you have designed.
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Old 18-05-2015, 13:07   #10
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

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Thou you need some vent to get fresh air in too. The problem lies in the misty spray that doesn't have the time to settle down before the fresh air get's sucked in. I have a plan of moulded dorade boxes with the idea of forcing the air into a ascending vortex to centrifuge most of the mist away. I'll load up a sketch later..
I always have the overhead hatch ( about 6" x 6" square) in the after head cracked open as well as a small 'window' that opens from the aft cabin into the cockpit.
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Old 18-05-2015, 13:13   #11
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

It has to be pretty rough not to be able to open some of the portlight hatches on the lee side. Especially the ones over galleys or heads as it doesn't matter if they get a tad damp every now and then.
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Old 18-05-2015, 13:40   #12
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

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It has to be pretty rough not to be able to open some of the portlight hatches on the lee side. Especially the ones over galleys or heads as it doesn't matter if they get a tad damp every now and then.
In that kind of weather you can have whatever hatches open anyways. It's when the the seas build up and more than occasional spray comes to deck. Then you have to close all the other openings and only dorades give ventilation. It's mold groving all over your galley and head after a while if you keep them damp all the time.
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Old 18-05-2015, 13:41   #13
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

for personal ventilation, I have found dorades (with water traps) nearly useless.... unless the wind is blowing hard, then maybe useful. I think If I was building a boat I would go with small hatches less than 12 x 12 you could open and close when needed. One boat had a few of those and they let a lot of air in and out.
For storage or siting at the dock, I think dorados are great to keep the boat ventilated though.
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Old 18-05-2015, 13:44   #14
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

My boat came with at least 6 dorades. Still counting them up lol
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Old 18-05-2015, 14:00   #15
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Re: Ventilation for Voyaging

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Originally Posted by TeddyDiver View Post
In that kind of weather you can have whatever hatches open anyways. It's when the the seas build up and more than occasional spray comes to deck. Then you have to close all the other openings and only dorades give ventilation. It's mold groving all over your galley and head after a while if you keep them damp all the time.


The boat voyage I mentioned in my earlier remarks had many opening portlights in the cabin. I think something like 12 opening portlights! That is many more than most monos of that size. In benign weather, it was designed to have a lot of open portlights for good ventilation. But, it did NOT have any Dorades.

The boat was heeled at a steep angle, in high seas, and high winds, and with lots of spray and driving, stinging rain.

There was no safe/prudent/smart way to keep hatches open or companionway hatch open either, and if we had attempted that (which is unsafe) we would have been drenched down below from water coming through the hatches. So, we were "buttoned up."

Of course average sailing (average nice or moderate weather) allows one to have open vents or ports or hatches. In gentle weather. But this was different, it was "heavy weather" and one of the reasons a Dorade is something I consider "essential."

I don't expect a Dorade to function like a big wind scoop when at anchor in the tropics. I just want it to allow air FLOW even if the weather is bad, rainy, stormy, or conditions severe.

Of course, YMMV.
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