Never gets that cold here in England
(-5ºC) 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).
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!