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Old 13-08-2011, 21:58   #1
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Insulating Your Interior

Has anyone on this forum ever insulated their own boat? I am mostly curious to hear from do-it-your-selfers living in cold climes.

What are some methods? How long did it take? How much $? What was the mess like? What material did you insulate with? How did it turn out? Were you in hell before? After?

I have noticed discussions about where to insulate. Did you go to the waterline? Further? Did you insulate your ceiling as well?
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Old 14-08-2011, 01:07   #2
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Re: Insulating Your Interior

Never gets that cold here in England (-5C) especially on the south coast. However our plans are to venture to both the North East and West of the 'States.
As such we have built 4 inches of PU foam all around the hull above the cabin sole (we use the space beneath the floors for long term cool storage and for water tanks). This meant removing the furniture and rebuilding the lockers that exist behind the seat backs.
The foam used in standard builders PU foam, we went for the "Self Extinguishing fire retardant" stuff. Yes there was a lot of mess, a big suction cleaner is a great help.
For the cabin trunk side we have opted for a double layer of what looks like "Bubble Wrap" coated in foil this we have glued to the sides and to the under-deck. We have started to cover it with 6mm T&G "V" (makes it all look nice and boaty).
Our deck hatches are all small (with one exception) and as such do not cause a problem. The one larger hatch has a 4" cushion that we can clip to the inside to close off that space.

The result of all this is that we have a "Shirt sleeves" environment all the year round. Heating is provided by a Dickinson Adriatic cook-stove running 4 X 1/2 Kw radiators, this may be augmented with a Dickinson Antarctic heater (this is also plumbed into the radiator circuit). In total we can pour 22 Kw of very dry heat into the 45 foot boat length.

We have no condensation issues at all, the Diesel stove and heater provide a marvellous dry heat. Whilst we may get warm in the summer with the cook-stove running 24/7 we can always open a Port hole (there are 8 around the galley area) in the winter we just turn the cook-stove up a bit and relax.

Costs? Not that much really, we purchased the foam a few can at a time so did not really notice the cost, the Bubble Wrap was purchased from a leading DIY chain (B&Q) when on special offer (I think we spent 90.00) the contact adhesive was more expensive that the insulation (try Hawke House in Gosport www.hawkehouse.co.uk).
If I factor my time in to this that yes it is expensive, however I have also gained a valuable knowledge of how the hull was built and was able to ensure that the chain plates are sound and well bedded and remembered to note the position on a plan of the interior.
THe Dickinson Adriatic and the Antarctic were expensive, but not when compared against the cost of similar build standard Stainless Steel cooker / heaters. I did save some money by installing the system myself.

Talisman is a big(ish) Concrete Schooner we live aboard full time, the insulation has reduced our fuel costs, reduced the condensation issue (to zero) and as an unplanned by product made the interior of Talisman much quieter, there is now little structure borne noise, the sounds of other boats and people are now muted and distant.

I do not know that this will work for you but after much research and testing, it works for us. It was not easy (the foam can be difficult to contain), stripping back to the hull can also be difficult (I still have 3 section to do), working in small tight areas is time consuming when you come to line the hull (I used 9mm Marine (BS1088) Ply) the stringers need to be bonded to the hull first then the Ply stripes need to be screwed to the battens, then you can inject the foam. Probably 3 days per section. Because you live aboard each section needs to emptied cleaned worked upon and then replaced prior to the evening meal and period of rest.

Is It Worth it, Hell YES!

Have fun,

Simes
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Old 14-08-2011, 05:31   #3
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Steve Dashew had a good piece on insulation on his website about the building of Windhorse

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Old 14-08-2011, 13:48   #4
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Re: Insulating Your Interior

I had a little success using Reflectix. I would go for something thicker.
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Old 14-08-2011, 17:59   #5
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Re: Insulating Your Interior

Our boat is solid (not cored) fiberglass without a headliner. We had great success with Reflectix (the foil/bubble-wrap stuff) - easy to work, no mess, and a good compromise - thin enough that it didn't use up all the space in the lockers leaving no room for possessions, yet thick enough to be useful.

We lined everything above the waterline with it, then used clear shrink film on all ports and other glazing, and styrofoam in the hatches. Toasty warm all winter (chesapeake) and on sunny afternoons we didn't need to run the heater at all.
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Old 17-08-2011, 20:14   #6
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Re: Insulating Your Interior

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Steve Dashew had a good piece on insulation on his website about the building of Windhorse

Dave
Can you send me a link to the actual page? I am having a hard time finding it on his site.
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Old 17-08-2011, 21:28   #7
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Re: Insulating Your Interior

Try here for Dashew's site

SetSail Blog Archive Best Color For Engine Room Insulation

I am just now installing insulation on my project.
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Old 18-08-2011, 03:30   #8
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Re: Insulating Your Interior

Quote:
Originally Posted by westsail42 View Post
Try here for Dashew's site

SetSail Blog Archive Best Color For Engine Room Insulation

I am just now installing insulation on my project.
He's talking about insulating an engine room in that project. Not exactly the same thing as insulating a boat for heat retention and to reduce condensation. Or is it?
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Old 18-08-2011, 07:21   #9
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Re: Insulating Your Interior

I can't give you a reference page because you could search for it just as well as I can, but Steve Dashew does talk about insulating the hull and the reasons for his choice of insulation material. Might be in the hull construction section for the 83'(?) unsailboat.
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Old 30-08-2011, 03:34   #10
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Re: Insulating Your Interior

you can also try to glue cork onto the hull. Cheap, fire resistant, mold resistant VERY easy to work with, and environmentally a good choice.
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Old 30-08-2011, 04:21   #11
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Re: Insulating Your Interior

Check out the Picaroon blog. They insulated a an entire 41 foot boat relatively quickly, days, not weeks. The pictures made it look like they used a foam board.
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Old 30-08-2011, 19:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah on 'Rita T'
Check out the Picaroon blog. They insulated a an entire 41 foot boat relatively quickly, days, not weeks. The pictures made it look like they used a foam board.
Can you post a link?
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Old 30-08-2011, 20:35   #13
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I've heard if you don't attach the insulation correctly that condensation will happen behind the scenes, thereby allowing mold to grow along with a host of other problems. Is this true? It sounds right to me.
So does this mean the safest way to insulate is by spraying foam/completely gluing foam panels in place?
I'm really keen on doing our boat, and willing to do what's necessary, but will admit it sounds daunting.
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Old 30-08-2011, 21:14   #14
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Re: Insulating Your Interior

There is also the option to use MASCOAT or HYTECH insulation paint. It is being used on arctic trawlers.......It reduces condensation and insulates. Then glue 6 mm cork panels on top of the paint. This provides a lot of insulation, sound proofing, fire prevention and .....cork is cheap and easy to work with. If using foam you are going to have a mess....
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Old 30-08-2011, 22:43   #15
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Re: Insulating Your Interior

It's only one way to do it properly. Armaflex..
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