From experience I can agree with Talbot! We own an FP Belize 43
located in Norway
and have been sauiling a lot during our winter up here.
I have insulated the deck
with special insulation
, which has helped both on keeping the boat warm and free of condensation
. The sidedecks are massive GRP, no foam core
, hence insulation required.
The main problem I have found is the hatches. The aluminium frame bridge the cold directly into the warmer interior
creating massive condensation. Less hatches is good for the cold climate but not so for the tropics! I have made "mats" with several layers of bubble wrap, and attached underneath each of the hatches. All 21 of them. This has kept the condensation level down to what can be accepted.
structure is foam core
, which is sufficient to eliminate any condensation and also a good insulator.
We use the engines to provide heat via heat exchangers and fans and also one dieselheater from Eberspacher. There should however be one in each hull.
When in dock
we keep the shore power
on and I have installed Ex certified 50W block heaters on each engine
that keep them frost free. Means I don't have to drain the seawater side of the cooling
system and the motors are always ready to go.
The seawater cocks also have the same heater, but in general the seawater does not freeze in the cock but a bit up inside the boat so that need to be insulated as well. A seawater cock that cracks from freezing will most likely sink a mono and fill some serious amount of flooding in that hull on a cat.
One thing I cannot keep operational throughout winter is the fresh water
system onboard. The water tanks
are located on the bridgedeck and will be suseptible to freezing with subzero temperatures. Also the plumbing
is inaccessible for insulation. We therefore use 3 x 10 litre water cans that we keep in the fridge. This sound a bit strange but every time we're onboard we open the fridge door and let some warmt into it. It then keeps above freezing until the next time we come onboard, usaually every weekend.
Sailing wise you need to cover up all the ropes and winches. If they get wet and it frezzes there will be no sailing until warmer weather comes along.
on our Belize
has never had any problems with freezing.
For winter navigation
I would consider a cat with good alround visability so you can navigate from the comfort of the saloon
. By having a chartplotter
inside and a remote
for the autopilot
you only have to take small trips outside to adjust the sails
. We also have a hatch
in the gally that let us check the sails
when on starbord tacks, not very helpful on port tacks though.
The cabin sole
cant be insulated on our boat but bu using some non slip boat carpet thats not too much of a problem.
We keep the boat in a river and therefore can use the boat all trough winter unless the arcipelago surrounding us frezzes up. Lats Easter we where down on the Swidish westcoast and experienced our coldest days of -12 Deg C. We had 5 fantastic days!
A cat can function well in the artic, but it takes more effort and therefore cost to modify than a monohull
and probably you could keep warmer in a mono -- when at the docks or moored, you cannot sail a mono from down below!
Also make sure you use witerized diesel
, summer diesel
will clog up the diesel filters. Also make sure the fresh water cooling
on the engines have a mixture of antifreeze
. This must be to the motor
manufacturer specification otherwise the could be internal corrosion
problems over time.
Good luck with your cat search.
Cheers from Lars
Happy lead free sailin!