Originally Posted by colemj
Dave, you didn't find it too hot to be enclosed all of the time? I need new canvas for our cockpit and am considering having a full enclosure made. But I also thought I wouldn't have a need for it if we headed to warmer climes.
Most of the time we had our cockpit buttoned up, and we did fine without getting overheated. The reason is simple. We were at anchor the majority of the time and lying to the wind
. In a marina where there was little wind
and little flow through ventilation, we might raise one side of the enclosure to let some air in.
39 had eight deck
hatches that caught wind and funneled it through the boat when we were at anchor in the trade
winds. All of that wind funneled right through the cockpit to provide a lot of ventilation and keep us cool.
If we were sitting at anchor and there was no wind, sometimes we might roll up the sides to eliminate the greenhouse effect of the izing glass on the sides of the enclosure.
was downwind in the trades the majority of the trip, and so there was usually a good breeze blowing into the cockpits coming from behind the yacht, and so the full enclosure kept us dry and cool from the tropical sun, while the winds coming from behind ventilated our cockpit nicely. If there were no trades, and we had to motor
, then we would roll up the sides for better ventilation.
The only times we would roll up the sides and remove the front izing glass was when we were becalmed without wind. Then even the tiniest breeze was a help, and rolling up the sides and front kept the heat from building up in the cockpit.
So the answer for us was to have a flexible enclosure that we could use according to whether we were anchored, sailing downwind in the trades, tied to a dock
in a marina, or whether it was raining.
You shouldn't overlook the importance of the cockpit as protection from the sun. If you have two peeling sun burns before you are twenty years old, you will start having skin cancers when you are between fifty and sixty years old. Peeling sunburns start the skin cancer clock, and a flexible awning arrangement that keeps you out of the sun is a good investment in protecting your face, arms, and torso from skin cancer.