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Old 03-09-2014, 09:36   #1
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Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

I am looking at a 27' Bucaneer- yes I know- crappy boat yada yada- this is for low cost live aboard and to learn about working on a boat- how do, what to, what not to, etc. I have found a cheap $850 with trailer, all standing rigging fairly bare hull that I am looking at using as temporary housing for a couple years. Question- can I insulate the hull to cut down on condensation in the boat. Down here in the deep south it's hot and humid, the boat will be on a lake with lower than air temp water temp. Since the hull is fairly bare I am thinking that if I put insulation on the sides of the hull it will cut down on the condensation issues I've heard about. If this is doable what type would be best to use- spray, foam board??? I would think I'd need to FG some wood to the hull as well to use for attacment points for settees, cabinets etc- like a house with 2x4 between the insulation- am I thinking correctly (be nice)? After I were to insulate would I need to "wrap" the interior to keep the condensation from getting between the insulation and the hull?
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:14   #2
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Re: Insulating a hull- does it work-how to do?

Cork
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:34   #3
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Re: Insulating a hull- does it work-how to do?

Anything that will bend a bit, not start falling apart and is glueable will work. The more air it holds the better insulator it is. Cork is a good idea from a standpoint of easy and good looking. Styrofoam or urethane foam will start coming apart and drive you crazy. I once used that packing foam (usually blue or white now days) in 1/2" thick sheets to insulate a boat, it's super tough & cheap. It was all under woodwork though.
Incidentally, I noticed a 27 Bucky up here in the PNW on a trailer with all the stuff, sails etc and interior intact for $1750 a few days ago. It was the outboard version.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:04   #4
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Re: Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

Metal boats have to be insulated to prevent rust from condensation.

Some people use house type rigid insulation which makes no sense to me against a curved hull. Any gap that allows air to the hull will cause condensation in the right conditions. I would guess that most metal boats are using spray insulation. Spray insulation needs to be as water phobic as possible. Some spray foams are very flammable but this type of foam can be painted to as a precaution.

There are also flexible foam roll/sheets that can be used. The Dashew boats use this type of product to insulated their boats. SetSail┬╗ Blog Archive ┬╗ Adding Insulation to Wind Horse.

Later,
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:13   #5
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Re: Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

Biker,
You might want to visit: thesimplesailor.com where the inimitable Roger Taylor has rebuilt and insulated two small sailboats for high latitude sailing. I am also certain that if you do not get everything you need from his excellent videos, you'll be able to write him for additional information. Your concept is a good one for a first boat and do not let the "brand conscious authorities" sway your decision. I have met more small boat sailors in my travels that have many more miles at sea with inexpensive boats they could afford than the "well found" floating electro pod palaces strangled in their slips by tightly cinched lines or cemented to the bottom by shell encrusted rodes and owned by an assortment of Captain NoGo's.* Good luck on your new boat and hopes for great adventures.

* I must not take credit for this inventive name--Capt. NoGo since it was coined by cruising sailor Bruce Van Sant.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:14   #6
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Re: Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

a lower r rating but easy to work with and durable.

Double Bubble Foil Insulation 500 sq ft - Bubble Wrap Insulation

-steve
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:30   #7
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Re: Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

Thanks for all the info. I will be looking at the provided links. Appears the simplesailor.com is no longer valid. I do like the stuff used on wind horse-self stick is a+ in my book. I just wasn't sure if I was thinking correctly since I don't see alot of info on insulating hulls- I like the idea of the mylar covered bubble wrap as it is reasonably priced, flexible and easy to work with. I am not sure yet if I will cover it with wooden panels or fabric. I like the idea of painted wood better than fabric but bet the fabric would be easier to work with. I've gone from a 7 year plan to this in less than a few months- things move quick once I put my mind to it. I figure this will be a great learning boat- wiring, cooking, sailing, etc will all be new to me and this boat offers a bit more interior room than other small boats I've found. This one is an outboard as well, I wanted an inboard but this is not my forever boat and know that the money I put in will not be recooped but the experience will be invaluable for the next stage of my plans. Y'all are a great group- thanks again!!!
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:41   #8
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Re: Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

1975 27'Buccaneer sailboat and trailer Here's the one I'm looking at. There's also a Grampian 26 in Ohio that appears to be large for it's size as well but I won't be able to see it before purchase so I'm thinking the Bucky is the one.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:44   #9
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Re: Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

I just would like to caution you about the Buccaneer. I'm sure you've heard the negatives about the boat itself. But just realize that one project leads to another on a boat, and after some time you will have a lot of money in a particular boat that will not increase in price no matter how much you do to it. In fact, you may not be able to give it away. If you select another brand of boat that needs a lot, you may at least get your money out of her. Just sayin... before you make the leap!
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:53   #10
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Re: Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

Fitted 1/2" foam panels against the hull into all the cabinets and exposed parts of the hull and then glassed them over with a layer of light cloth down to the waterline. Furred out the cabin sides and large open areas with wood battens epoxied to the hull and filled in the open space with styrofoam. Covered it over with thin wood ceilings. Worked well with no condensation in winter offshore California with daytime temps in the 50s. It was a hell of a lot of work that took a long time to do. Wouldn't go that route with the boat you're contemplating.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:55   #11
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Re: Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

Thanks Cheechako- I understand and I am looking this simply to learn about working on boats and having a room for the size live aboard. I imagine when the time comes I will probably do just that- give it away to the next first time boater as the experience will have paid me back in learning. It will offer me what I need at a cheaper than expected cost in the beginning. I don't want a "super sailing" "perfect handling" awesome boat- I just want something that if I screw up totally I'm not out big$$$, something I can rip all the wiring out, rewire and learn as I go. I want a boat I can learn on- plain and simple. There probably are better boats that I might not lose $$$ on and if I find one in the next little bit I might get. I'm not set on this one or any particular one. I have just a couple must be's- trailerable to get it to our marina to work on, must have headroom- this seems to be the kicker with small boats- the engine is whatever it is, not picky on that. If it's got soft spots that's ok- I need to learn to do FG repair, if it's got leak that's ok- I need to know how to fix them. I guess this will be my classroom- I've read lots of books and studied the theory- now it's time to some hands on. Amzingly hubby won't let me know practice on his fishing boats!
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:59   #12
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Re: Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

If you use spray on you would need to use a closed cell. My thought is that it would hide damage.

You only want one air space when insulating. If you do it at the hull then you want something that will stick to it. Foam board will work, but you need to keep it tight to the walls you build.

There is 2 major parts of insulation.
The first is R value and is what most people think about, but with such a tiny space you don't want to give up that much room. If not done right you might create a problem.
The second part would be from heat transfer from items touching. IMO this would be the best thing to go after.

I was going to use peel and stick roofing underpayment against the hull, but when talking to the builder we were unable to work out the details and we decided not to use anything.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:59   #13
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Re: Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

Roverhi- why just down to the waterline- or did I misunderstand? I thought at the waterline is where the condensation would happen the most. The boat I'm looking at is really bare so I"m thinking I"ll insulate all that I can get to. All the cabinets etc will come out so I don't think there will be much that I won't be able to get to. I am lucky that a good friend built a wooden shrimp boat and has lots of FG experience and a woodshop so that's a big+ for me- and he loves doing this! A few 6 packs and we'll be rolling. I am already envisioning what the interior will be like- guess the bug bit me already and I haven't even seen it in person yet!
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:59   #14
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Re: Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

"Appears the simplesailor.com is no longer valid." Biker


I hope all is well with Roger. That is quite interesting the site is down. If you go to youtube and look for Roger Taylor the Simple Sailor you will have access to all of his videos. Here's a start for you. The Making of Mingming II - Part 1 - YouTube
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:05   #15
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Re: Insulating a Hull- Does it Work-How to Do?

Duck55- my concern is more the condensation than the Rvalue. I will be living on it during the week and don't want my work clothes damp if I can prevent it.
I just found this which looks very doable The Frugal Mariner: Insulating your boat
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