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Old 19-02-2014, 11:34   #1
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Pilothouse = Greenhouse

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Our pilothouse is unbearably hot here in the Caribbean unless we cover the windows with shade cloth. It's then as cool the rest of the boat, but we can barely see out. Which ruins the fun of a pilothouse: sitting on a nice couch out of the weather and keeping watch or enjoying the scenery.

Is there any other way to keep the pilothouse cool AND be able to see out the windows? Tinting? Double paned glass? Making the front window open, to have a ton of air flow? Fabric eaves to the lifelines?

Thanks
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Old 19-02-2014, 11:45   #2
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Re: Pilothouse = Greenhouse

Here its 9.c and has been raining since Christmas Eve, want to swop problems

First thought, how about a sun shade cover suspended higher so you can see out underneath it. It would keep the sun off the whole cabin top. Or alternatively http://www.pramworld.co.uk/britax-su...k#.UwT73WKKWSo

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Old 19-02-2014, 11:46   #3
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Re: Pilothouse = Greenhouse

Sort of similar deal on most cats. Put an opening hatch say 16" by 16" or 20 by 20 in the middle there.
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Old 19-02-2014, 11:55   #4
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Re: Pilothouse = Greenhouse

For what its worth I thought I would mention the whole louver concept of exterior sun control.
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Old 19-02-2014, 12:13   #5
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Re: Pilothouse = Greenhouse

There are three fractions of light: Infra Red, Visible and Ultra Violet. The heat come with Infra Red fraction and with Visible fraction. UV as a heat medium is negligible. Assuming Your boat has good isolation it is enough to block IR fraction to diminish the heat transfer through windows by about 60 - 70 %. You can also partly block the visible fraction. With hardly noticeable effect for view You can block up to about 30 % of visible fraction and heat transfer will diminish by more than 80 % overall. To dothis You need the proper foil/film put on the inside of Your window glass.
Unhappily it is common for pilothouses to be not heat isolated, and in such a case this will be not enough. Heat is transferred not only by light, but also by materials heated up from outside and cooling on the inside.
To have really cool pilothouse in tropicalor subtropical sun You need three elements:
  1. Heat insulation for construction (30 - 40 mm of foam should be enough for GRP with white glossy finish from outside)
  2. Double glazing in windows
  3. Foil/film blocking IR (and - if You wish - part of Visible) fraction of light attached to the inner glazing.
Have a cool pilothouse

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Old 19-02-2014, 12:23   #6
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Re: Pilothouse = Greenhouse

We made the two side windows sliding/opening, coupled with the hatch on top, problem solved.
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Old 19-02-2014, 12:56   #7
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Re: Pilothouse = Greenhouse

msponer,

I think you would be able to see out better if you used a dark color shade cloth on the "windows".

If you're wanting to keep the costs down, an awning might work for you, but won't help you out on windy days when it has to come down due to its windage.

Something that might work would be this: attach to the boom a bolt rope track on each side of it. When you make the shade covers, sew a bolt rope to it on the inboard edges for each side. Use a thick walled pvc pipe or an old long sail batten or something similar to stiffen the outboard edge, and so it can be rolled up and secured alongside the boom. Use bungies to secure to the lifeline, and lines forward to the capshrouds. The actual shape will echo the shape of your boat. It will have to be kept taut, as well, but it is something you can do if you have a sewing machine aboard. I would make it from WeatherMax, which is less expensive, weighs less, and takes less space to store than Sunbrella.

Having an opening hatch forward would help, or you could install fans.

There are some pretty efficient insulating foam sheetings around these days; maybe you could fashion a removable headliner from some that would help a lot.

The stuff they put on the inside of car windows works okay for a while, but then the bond fails, and I don't think I'd like the look on my boat; however there may be better products out there of which I am unaware.

Good luck with it.

Ann
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Old 19-02-2014, 13:06   #8
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Re: Pilothouse = Greenhouse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
The stuff they put on the inside of car windows works okay for a while, but then the bond fails, and I don't think I'd like the look on my boat; however there may be better products out there of which I am unaware.

Good luck with it.

Ann
I thought about the film made for regular office or home windows. It work well and has good life time expectation. We have local producers here, but it is of not great help for OP. I think some Googling should reveal some such products in US. The are more expensive than car stuff, but up to the task
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Old 19-02-2014, 13:35   #9
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Re: Pilothouse = Greenhouse

I agree with others that suggest to shade the entire pilothouse with an awning.

Obviously replacing one of the forward windows with an opening window or hatch would help with airflow a lot as well, but I think you would have to do that after your cruise.
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Old 20-02-2014, 04:56   #10
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Re: Pilothouse = Greenhouse

Thank you everyone, that's a whole lot of good ideas.

We used car windshield reflectors for a couple weeks, which is better than nothing but still hot. The window plastic heated up and radiated inside. Does this indicate that stick on film tinting won't work as well?

There is 1.5" of foam insulation in the ceiling (the boat is aluminum), so every part of the boat is cool to the touch except for the windows (unless we have the shade fabric on them outside).

Bountiful ventilation would fix this. Making either the big center window or two side windows open would probably do it. I will measure and write to Freeman Marine for a quote on fancy opening windows. It's a big project but could be tackled over the hurricane season in Grenada.

We have a shade awning that goes over the top of the boat, but the sun sneaks in sideways and makes the pilothouse uncomfortable before even morning coffee time. It would work better if we lowered the awning so that we have to crawl underneath it, we didn't try that.

Thanks again!
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Old 20-02-2014, 05:06   #11
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Re: Pilothouse = Greenhouse

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
The window plastic heated up and radiated inside. Does this indicate that stick on film tinting won't work as well?

There is 1.5" of foam insulation in the ceiling (the boat is aluminum), so every part of the boat is cool to the touch except for the windows (unless we have the shade fabric on them outside).

Thanks again!

It mean the best permanent solution will be adding second, inside glazing, spaced about 10 mm from main one, and covered by IR blocking film.
It can be not so difficult - depend on Your window construction.
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Old 20-02-2014, 05:15   #12
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Re: Pilothouse = Greenhouse

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It mean the best permanent solution will be adding second, inside glazing, spaced about 10 mm from main one, and covered by IR blocking film.
It can be not so difficult - depend on Your window construction.
Oh, thank you, that might be super easy-- if that means I can just cut and glue another piece of lexan or polycarbonate on the inside. The aluminum frame on the inside is maybe 6-8mm thick, but with the sealant it'd be close to 10mm.

How thick should the inner piece of glazing be? Will plastic work or would it need to be glass?

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Old 20-02-2014, 05:21   #13
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Re: Pilothouse = Greenhouse

Glass would be the best, but I think the Perspex will do. Polycarbonates are great for their sturdiness, but they transfer heat easily. You can use 10 mm sheets of Perspex. As area is quite big, as I can see from photos 8 mm could be too flimsy. You can use a slightly tinted variety, to block some visible fraction also. Ask for 15 - 25 % blockage of visible fraction and look around for film suitable to block maximum of IR fraction.
Look around if You can get a white sealant - will be less of heat transfer. And make the seal really good - You will be creating something like a thermos!
Of course - in long run decent ventilation is advisable also
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