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Old 05-06-2018, 12:35   #31
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

Wolf:

I read into your asking this particular question that you haven't spent a great deal of time in boats. Regrettably you haven't told us what kind of boat you have. I say regrettably because whether opening portholes are "required" or not depends on where you are going to use the boat, under what conditions you are going to use it, and on how big it is.

A lot of "received wisdom" about boats does not stand up to scrutiny, and probably 90% of what you will be told in this forum [including by me ;-)!] is just opinion.

So don't sweat the opening ports if you are sailing a modest boat in the Salish Sea in the summer season. This is NOT the tropics :-)!

TrentePieds is just that: Thirty feet. Just a little toy boat, really. When we are underway, we are in the cockpit and we, the crew, are perfectly well ventilated, and so is the boat thanks to the open companionway hatch and doors. If it's raining we close the hatch but leave the companionway doors open. If it is piss-pouring rain we close the doors too. That's okay since the boat isn't heated, and we, the crew, are not sweating below decks and we are not making humidity by cooking.

When we are alongside, or at anchor, the forehatch is left open, wide open in clear weather, and "cracked" open when it rains. When it is only "cracked" the rain doesn't get in. The companionway hatch and doors as above.

On the rare day when it is stinking hot in the Salish Sea, and we are at anchor, I anchor over the stern so that what little breeze there may be on such days blows in the companionway and out the forehatch. Nothing to it. These things are really just common sense.

The trick - always - is not to let condensation form in the first place.

Cheers

TP
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Old 05-06-2018, 22:52   #32
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

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Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
Wolf:

I read into your asking this particular question that you haven't spent a great deal of time in boats. Regrettably you haven't told us what kind of boat you have. I say regrettably because whether opening portholes are "required" or not depends on where you are going to use the boat, under what conditions you are going to use it, and on how big it is.

A lot of "received wisdom" about boats does not stand up to scrutiny, and probably 90% of what you will be told in this forum [including by me ;-)!] is just opinion.

So don't sweat the opening ports if you are sailing a modest boat in the Salish Sea in the summer season. This is NOT the tropics :-)!

TrentePieds is just that: Thirty feet. Just a little toy boat, really. When we are underway, we are in the cockpit and we, the crew, are perfectly well ventilated, and so is the boat thanks to the open companionway hatch and doors. If it's raining we close the hatch but leave the companionway doors open. If it is piss-pouring rain we close the doors too. That's okay since the boat isn't heated, and we, the crew, are not sweating below decks and we are not making humidity by cooking.

When we are alongside, or at anchor, the forehatch is left open, wide open in clear weather, and "cracked" open when it rains. When it is only "cracked" the rain doesn't get in. The companionway hatch and doors as above.

On the rare day when it is stinking hot in the Salish Sea, and we are at anchor, I anchor over the stern so that what little breeze there may be on such days blows in the companionway and out the forehatch. Nothing to it. These things are really just common sense.

The trick - always - is not to let condensation form in the first place.

Cheers

TP
I'm currently on the hunt for a boat. 30-37' in length, and will probably end up on the smaller end of the scale. I asked this question because I noticed a lot of boats for sale don't have opening portholes and I wasn't sure how much value I should place on ones that do. Keeping condensation at bay is one of my major concerns, so in my mind it seemed like they would be really important, but based on the feedback so far, I won't omit boats from my search that don't have any.

Considering this is the liveaboard forum, and that I'm sadly in no position to cast the lines away and sail into the sunset, I'll mainly be at the marina. When I have a day off and the weather obliges I'll be out on the water as often as I can. And hopefully after a few years have the funds to start making some longer trips. The dream will be to head south eventually, but I figure we have a lot of great sailing here for me to explore and learn the ropes before that time comes.

But until then, being comfortable onboard is my primary concern. And as much as admire your dedication to long johns, mummy sleeping bags and toques, I personally need heat! I work long hours outdoors and when its cold and wet, I'll need somewhere warm to come home to. Even if it means i'll be fighting a battle with condensation, it's one i'm willing to fight. And is why I'm doing my due diligence now before buying a boat.
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:32   #33
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

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Ha, ha, thanks, but I'm done with production boats. Next boat will be custom!
Oysters can be completely custom with the owners making decisions on every detail including interior layout. Really, only the hull is the same as other Oysters, just like the Bestevaer. Rig type and all components can be chosen by the buyer. So by your understanding of a “production boat,” the Bestevaer would also be a “production boat,” which it clearly isn’t.

‘Just thought you might wanna know.
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:40   #34
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Oysters can be completely custom with the owners making decisions on every detail including layout. Really, only the hull is the same as other Oysters, just like the Bestevaer. Rig type and all components can be chosen by the buyer. So by your understanding of a “production boat,” the Bestevaer would also be a “production boat,” which it clearly isn’t.

‘Just thought you might not know.
Thanks, I'm familiar with the process. I was spending a lot of time at the Oyster facility in Ipswich, at one time. Incidentally I was at their new plant at Saxon Wharf in Southampton just a couple months ago, having my rig surveyed by Harry James, Oyster's chief rigger.

For my next boat I'm after something very different from a normal cruising boat, so it definitely won't be anything like an Oyster, and it won't be plastic. I might well have it built at KM Yachts in Holland, but it won't be a Bestevaer, either, although they are somewhat closer to my conception.
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:10   #35
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the solar-powered vent fans yet. Though they're small, they're moving air full-time, and one of them keeps my boat's interior fresh while laid up for winter. I would advocate having one always on while away, and then a little wood heater for when you're inside and it's chilly.
On my boat (31'), I have five opening ports, and though I have the usual troubles with drips, I wouldn't eliminate them for anything. Any additional air movement when it's hot, even though I have two overhead hatches to really funnel it in, is critical in the tropics. My only regret in that regard is that I didn't provide even more ventilation--a dorade or two right aft would have been nice.
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:23   #36
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

We have quite a few port lights. None leak and with my wife’s custom made portlight windscoops they actually produce a breeze below. Click image for larger version

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Old 06-06-2018, 07:31   #37
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

Qoute: "I work long hours outdoors and when its cold and wet, I'll need somewhere warm to come home to. Even if it means i'll be fighting a battle with condensation, it's one i'm willing to fight."

So stated, your "problem" has, IMO, an entirely different complexion. Now your task must be one of selecting/adapting a boat to your bodily needs, rather than the one that most of us have, viz the one of adapting our bodily requirements and habits to what a given boat can support.

I therefore make bold to say the following. If it is redundant, forgive me, If it is not, and if it is of service to you, I am glad to offer it, for the trite old saying that the “devil is in the details” was never more true than in regard to living aboard :-)

Were I in your shoes, I should look for a boat with a diesel fueled heater, for preference one of the old Dickinson ranges that were so common in small commercial vessels. Excellent for cooking on, and, at their lowest setting, a very powerful space heater.

Very few small sailboats are arranged so that such a range can be installed. TP certainly could not accommodate one. Dickinson's, however, makes, or did make, diesel fueled, dedicated space heaters that can be mounted on a bulkhead, and so does Force 10. One of those will keep you comfortable even on the dreariest, wettest Vancouver day. Remember, if you install one or get one with a boat you buy, that combustion air MUST be taken from, and exhausted to, the outside in a circuit SEPARATE from the air circulating in the boat.

So you problem in a small boat will not so much be that of keeping your body warm. I dare say that a far greater problem will be that of drying your work clothes unless you have resort to the dryers in a shore based laundry facility at your marina. There really isn't room in a small boat for a dryer, or even to sling a clothesline in a manner that won't interfere with other essential tasks of keeping body and soul together.

In a related vein you will also need to stress in your selection criteria the requirements for personal hygiene. There are 30-footers with shower facilities, but they are, usually, rather too primitive for my liking. While going ashore for a shower is tolerable when one is simply playing at being a sailorman on a summer cruise in The Islands, having to do it every day when returning from a job - such as the one I now assume that yours is - would grow tedious really quickly because walking a quarter mile through the marina - twice - would make demands on time and sheer physical energy that I'm not sure that I would have after a long day of hard physical work ashore.

You must also take into account, as you are no doubt doing, that toilet facilities in boats of this size are primitive, whichever way you slice it, and that NOWHERE in the immediate vicinity of Vancouver can you (legally) pump your sewage overboard. In this context, “sewage” includes the “grey water” from the shower, so if you are going to shower aboard, your boat will need a very large “colostomy bag”. Having the pumper-outter come alongside can, for a live-aboard, become expensive really quickly. Again, trotting the quarter mile through the marina to the shore based loo at 0230 hours in the pouring rain is not something I enjoy :-)

You may already have selected a marina. If not, do remember that MOST marinas in the Vancouver area have moorage contracts that specifically forbid living aboard.

To return now for a moment to your opening question about opening port holes: IMO opening ports will simply not give sufficient ventilation, under Vancouver's typical weather conditions, to do what you'll need doing. This ain't the tropics. This is the “Wet Coast”! You will need forced ventilation in some shape or form, but you will find, no doubt, that even making generous allowance for the amount of “juice” consumed by that, your shore power via a 20Amp “smart” battery charger will handle it. Remember that Dorade boxes, wind scoops and all other such devices are intended to take outside air INTO the boat. What you'll be needing is to take inside, moist air OUT OF the boat. The only way to do that effectively is by means of forced ventilation, so the question of opening port lights becomes rather moot. “Replacement” air will find its way in without any particular attention being given to it.

All the best

TP
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:03   #38
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewolf View Post
I'm currently on the hunt for a boat. 30-37' in length, and will probably end up on the smaller end of the scale. I asked this question because I noticed a lot of boats for sale don't have opening portholes and I wasn't sure how much value I should place on ones that do. Keeping condensation at bay is one of my major concerns, so in my mind it seemed like they would be really important, but based on the feedback so far, I won't omit boats from my search that don't have any.

Considering this is the liveaboard forum, and that I'm sadly in no position to cast the lines away and sail into the sunset, I'll mainly be at the marina. When I have a day off and the weather obliges I'll be out on the water as often as I can. And hopefully after a few years have the funds to start making some longer trips. The dream will be to head south eventually, but I figure we have a lot of great sailing here for me to explore and learn the ropes before that time comes.

But until then, being comfortable onboard is my primary concern. And as much as admire your dedication to long johns, mummy sleeping bags and toques, I personally need heat! I work long hours outdoors and when its cold and wet, I'll need somewhere warm to come home to. Even if it means i'll be fighting a battle with condensation, it's one i'm willing to fight. And is why I'm doing my due diligence now before buying a boat.
Well..... I wondered why you asked the question. I think you have developed the wrong impression. Most boats already have opening portlites.... at least a few opening ones. Unless you are looking at pretty small boats, maybe 26 ft or less. Trientepied's posts have a lot of reality in them. Pretty much all my boats have had opening portlites. But few of them were ever opened, the exception being over the Galley when cooking(if no hatch over) or in the Head to release show steam or smell (again if no hatch overhead) I wouldn't focus much on the opening hatches in your search.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:37   #39
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

Thanks for the replies. A diesel cookstove is an interesting idea TP, I hadn't considered that before and will definitely look into that as an option. A diesel heater however was a big must have for me, weather the boat I buy has it or not, it will be one of my first projects to prepare for winter.

My work has lockers and dry rooms for me to hang up my wet work clothes, and showers as well. So I'm not too concerned with that, although I am putting a big priority in a dodger/bimini with full enclosure to have a "wet room".

Sounds like I won't be putting as much value into the opening portholes then and will look into forced ventilation more, as you put it.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:56   #40
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

Good! IMO "bimini"s are best left in Bimini :-)!

The money they cost is far better spent on what in the old days we simply called a "boom tent". Then it was just that - a tent with the boom serving as the ridgepole and the "eves" taken to the coamings. With the coming of "modern" racing-cruising designs with their short booms, it doesn't work quite as well, but on most boats it is possible to create an "enclosure" that protects the entire "back porch" from the weather - including the rain that occasionally drives horizontally across the water :-)!

But they are a pain to raise and to take down, so whether one is worth your while will really depend on how much time you expect to be sailing as opposed to lying still alongside or on the hook. A dodger is IMO essential in our climate.

Best

TP
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Old 10-06-2018, 23:47   #41
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

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Originally Posted by Lonewolf View Post
Hi there,

My search for a boat is on going and I'm trying to determine how important opening portholes should be as a liveaboard.

I'm aware that condensation/moisture build up is a serious matter on boats and I'm placing a high priority on minimizing this. The first things I'll be doing is lining the hull with insulation and installing a diesel heater if it does not have one.

I'm curious about ventilation recently as I see a lot of boats for sale that have very few opening ports, if any at all, just the opening hatches. I cant seem to find any answers on this topic so far. My gut feeling is that it's probably a big deal, just looking for some first hand experience to confirm or deny my suspicions. How much value should I be putting into opening portholes?
My vessel is equipped with eight (8) opening port-lights. A 24' hull w/'Sprit & Boom-kin provides a 30' cutter-rig sail-plan ... similar dimensions to a Dana 24 with less than 20 hours total use since first launched August 2015, so most of the equipment is unused. 12 hp BMW single cyl. Diesel has a max of 15 hours running time. F/G hull designed by well known N.A. Tom Gilmer it is Located in Point Roberts marina, WA. It is for sale! PM me if you are interested for more detailed specs.
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Old 11-06-2018, 00:21   #42
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

I have 14 large heavy forged
Inward opening portholes on the hull and 4 opening in the raised house in way of Galley / dinning salon.

The ones in the hull are a PITA, except for the ones in the showers and heads.....
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Guests just love to open and gaze across the water when in their bunks and if hunting at anchor, a cool breeze wafts in.

BUT, .....they never seem to close them properly and firmly.

I have removed the custom wing nuts on the closing togs in the bunks and replaced them with large stainless nuts so you need a wrench to open.
The ones in the heads still have the wing nuts and I always check myself before sailing.
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:55   #43
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

Met a chap recently... had experienced a rather severe knockdown x 2 in quick succesion on an HR with opening ports in the hull as shown ^^^

OK so he lost the full standard issue HR windscreen & dodger and trashed his solar panels on an arch down the back but that would have been neither here nor there...

Major issue was when the closing arrangements on one of his ports gave way ... port opened... and a rather large part of the Drake Passage came in through the hole on her lee side while she was on her beam ends.........
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:31   #44
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

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I agree with others that when at anchor opening ports make little difference, since airflow through the main hatches is massively greater, but in a marina I'm glad to have them. Also, I have one opening port in the head which is good for venting and for drying the shower on the rare occasions when it is used...
This has been my experience -- I use those mushroom (solar) vents and like them, but realize that many folks who sail in heavier weather often aren't fond of them and much prefer the proven dorade configuration. My port in the head is usually open pretty much year-round (except for one boat I that didn't have any opening ports -- only hatches).
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:39   #45
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

We cruise in warm climates (FL and the Bahamas, east coast in the summer). Opening hatches/ports are a lifesaver as every little bit of breeze helps. The only drawback is rain! Always close up before leaving the boat!
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