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Old 09-10-2018, 00:04   #1
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Inward opening ports and rain.

Hi, I tried to search but couldnít find...

We chartered a new model Leopard 40 and loved it. But it had a minor issue that perhaps applies across nearly all boats we have seen. (We are wannabies without a cat yet)

In the rain at anchor it was hard to get ventilation in the hulls. The ports all open inwards and would dribble water inside.

Why arenít they outward opening? If under way outward opening would be potentially terrible if left open... is that the reason?

We also found that the hardtop ran rainwater to edges above flat surfaces that allowed it to run into cockpit seat cushions. A simple moulded ridge would have channeled it away.

After all the iterations of models I would have thought rainwater is well managed and even captured. But at least in that beautiful Leopard it wasnít...

Thanks for any thoughts you might have on this.
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:50   #2
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Rustytony.
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:01   #3
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

These work very well:

http://seaworthygoods.com/flotilla.html
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:34   #4
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

The main salon windows in our 2011 Lagoon 450 open outwards and if there is anything over 3 knots of breeze rain water still finds its way in. In the side ports, the windows open inward, this allows insect screens to be permanently fitted. If they opened outward a separate sliding screen would be needed. Also if they protrude from the side of the boat they may be caught by fenders, lines and sheets etc. We find that the overhang of the hull/deck is sufficient to prevent rain entering whilst at anchor with nose to wind, the front window opens to the shower recess , so rain water is of no consequence. The 450 does suffer from rain runoff into the cockpit area and this is alleviated by making ridges of white window sticky back sealing piping or 2mm cord covered with duck tape. I agree rain management systems could be a lot better especially for water capture. Some boats do this well (Antares I think?)
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:51   #5
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

Hatches are much better for air flow. The way boats orient themselves at anchor precludes much coming in ports anyway. With a forward hatch open and rear port or hatch open it can be big rush of air.
Of course rain is an issue either way. I think ports dont open out because they are shin biters when open and you have to go on deck to close them! But the big problem is not they open inward, it's because builders use universal ports that dont angle/direct the water out instead of inward. Some port makers build a slope in the bottom, but its not enough most often. They could be designed with a dam in the bottom too, but no one does it.
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:01   #6
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

Yup, rain thru ports invariably an issue. Each boat with its own solution.
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:43   #7
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Yep; each of my 5 boats had the same issues. Think of the "vent visors" or "rain visors" for cars - same principle.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:30   #8
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

All side opening ports, on all boats, will be problematic. If they open outward, then a line can snag on them and rip them off. Or, they intrude into the side decks and bite your shins. If they open inward, these are not problems. And if they are installed in sloping surfaces...it may not matter which way they are installed, rain may still get in.

Those rain guards installed outside over the top portion of any opening port are one answer. The other is just, well, secure the ports in inclement weather, and you have to rely on some other way to ventilate the boat. Dorades, fans, whatever.

Sadly there's usually "something" wrong with every boat, there are always compromises that must be made in designs, but that's the way it goes.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:39   #9
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

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We installed these this year. We were very impressed. We can leave our ports open in all by a torrential driving rain where the water begins to hit the deck so hard it splashes up under the rain visors and into the window. This is very, very rare.
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Old 09-10-2018, 13:26   #10
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

All ports that I have seen open inwards. It is possible to fit rubber hoods to the hull outside so that they may be left open during rain, but I prefer to have a hooded hatch instead--with insect screening in it.

These fit OVER the hatch and the hatch base, so that the open hatch lid fits inside the ventilator. In that way there are no leaks. Yes it does look cumbersome--but comfort is king.
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Old 09-10-2018, 14:39   #11
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

Actually, we never considered this issue before we bought our boat. Over the past 12 years though, we have come to appreciate the "old fashioned" design of more vertical cabin trunk sides. In the tropics (Hawaii) to the Pacific NW and Alaska, we've had our ports open in the rain with only the occasional, fine droplets getting in past the insect screens. We are currently shopping for another boat and this one feature is high on our list of "must haves". I'm not the brightest, but I am lucky!
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Old 09-10-2018, 15:28   #12
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

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Originally Posted by Bean Counter View Post
The 450 does suffer from rain runoff into the cockpit area and this is alleviated by making ridges of white window sticky back sealing piping or 2mm cord covered with duck tape. I agree rain management systems could be a lot better especially for water capture. Some boats do this well (Antares I think?)

Yes I agree. Even better would be if somewhere in the last decades the builders realised a slight change to their mould could take it from being a problem to being an asset for rainwater collection.

Iím sure that good solutions exist for rainy weather ventilation so I will need to research more at some point.

Thanks so much to all of you who have offered your opinions and experience to a newbie.
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Old 09-10-2018, 15:45   #13
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

Hmmm, our boat has Goiot Cristal portlights that open outwards. They are on the hull below the deck line and above the hull deck join. When cracked open they keep most rain out but because the hull slopes in at that point they are more exposed. When open they can catch sheets that droop over the edge of the deck.

Iím not sure that permanent rainshields would survive wave splashes and strikes, but we will try, as they are nice for additional ventilation. We often leave the shower room portlight open (at anchor/mooring/berth) as weíre not worried about water in the shower.
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Old 09-10-2018, 18:06   #14
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

We put Port Visor's from Seaworthy on all ours 6 years ago and their standing up real well! The 2 stern ones take some abuse as people come aboard, yet their in great shape and no problems with the 3M double sided tape holding them on. Even the Florida heat, sun and salt hasn't affected them. Two years ago we installed them also on our outward opening forward salon hatches as we would get rain dripping down from the top edge due to the slope of our cabin top, but not anymore. We now can leave the boat with all hatches open for ventilation and not have to worry if it starts raining before we get back aboard. Strongly recommend them!
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:32   #15
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Re: Inward opening ports and rain.

Most production catamarans are (very) badly designed regarding ventilation.
Yet our requirements are simple should not be negotiable.
- Ventilation of each cabin , rain proof and wave proof, at anchor and under way, whatever the weather and point of sail
- ample ( through large hatches) and rain proof ventilation of saloon when at anchor
- burglar proof .

My PRIVILEGE catamaran met none of these requirements : zero ventilation of cabins under way, no ventilation of saloon other than through hatches open to rain and burglars and 'idiot' portholes funneling rain water inside saloon.

I met my requirements fully by manufacturing simple items in fiberglass as described in the attachment.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Ventilation aboard GALAWA II.pdf (172.0 KB, 37 views)
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