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Old 11-06-2018, 06:50   #46
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

Hi Wolf,

I think it depends on personal preference. Our boat has two small opening portholes in the forward v-berth but none of the others open.

It depends where you are and what you plan on doing with the boat. Here in Texas, I hadn't originally planned on buying a boat with AC and reverse cycle heat but this boat had one and we really liked her. So we bought it (4 years ago). I've used it a bunch of times when we've slept overnight in the Marina. Now, I'm not sure I'd want a boat without it.

Some larger boats have marine generators and so they can run the AC when they're away from the Marina and shore power. Not us - we have a 28' sailboat and out AC is 110v. So it requires shore power. By the way, the previous owner lived on this boat comfortably for two years.

When I've anchored out in Upper Galveston Bay and slept on the boat, I first slept in the cockpit so I could get a breeze. Then I found this awesome Davis Windscoop in my lazarette (from a previous owner) that I use to funnel wind into the v-berth via the forward hatch. As a previous poster mentioned, it isn't cold but it keeps me cooler than the alternative. I'd like to install a couple of 12 volt fans too but haven't because we've had all kinds of other unexpected repair costs last year and this year.

As far as ventilation and moisture - we've not had any problems. Whenever I open the boat up I have never smelled mold or anything like that. We don't have any dorade boxes but ventilation doesn't seem to be a problem on our boat.
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:50   #47
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

sail a sauna or enjoy fresh air. your choice.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:06   #48
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

If you like water leaks/stains, then opening ports are for you.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:37   #49
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

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Originally Posted by Lonewolf View Post
Yes the winters here are cold and wet, but we also get pretty hot summers so it would be nice for then too.

I'm just concerned about moisture not being able to escape, like when I'm cooking or have a rare shower aboard, even just breathing.

I do plan to run the diesel heater 24/7 once winter comes so keeping the metal portholes warm may reduce the condensation there, or maybe plastic fittings would be advantageous, despite the obvious drawbacks.
That will actually make things worse. The outside cold air vs the warm inside air combined with a high humidity on the inside will cause a ton of condensation. For cold weather you are better off without portholes.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:00   #50
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

Hi
I'm selling my lovely boat and have loved all the ventilation pluses that come from being able to open all the port-holes. Great at night to have that flow of air regardless of bunk. And when not on the boat I leave the port-holes in the cockpit open as they're covered from weather and it keeps the boat fresh. Without this I think you end up drilling holes in the cabin top to provide some sort of ventilation system when not on board
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:15   #51
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

I agree with az r2d1. Here in the PNW ports are your weakest link between you and the cold air outside your warm interior. The more ports...the greater the condensation build up in the winter. Your diesel heater will dry the air, but you are right...cooking and even breathing in a closed cabin will cause condensation to build up on any ports/hatches. I would also recommend getting some foam insulation and cut it to fit every hatch and port opening to help reduce condensation in the winter months.

The summers really don't get that hot here in the PNW for a prolonged period of time that you need to worry about extra ports in your boat. Hatches let most heat escape. A few years ago, I made a canvas boom tent for my boat and you would be surprised how much of a difference it made in keeping the cabin cool in the summer.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:10   #52
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

stains vs sauna
i chose stains and drips on pillow. easy choice. had closed up boat. was difficult to live in no air except overhead hatch.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:58   #53
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

We have a hatch in the forepeak and one in the main saloon, and opening ports in the sides of the coach roof to the saloon, heads and quarter berth. We’ve found them invaluable in warm dry weather. However if you have plenty of opening hatches and some wind scoops to fit them so the breeze can be grabbed from any direction that might be enough. Ventilation is key to a comfortable boat!
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:05   #54
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

For fresh outside air to enter the boat, provision has to be made for exhaust or relief air. This is where ports can aid in ventilating spaces such as heads.


Frequently, current will hold an anchored boat such that the breeze is from the beam. This is another case where ports will aid in ventilation.


If your only sailing is high latitudes, your requirements might be different. In the tropics or sub-tropics you cannot have too much ventilation.
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:39   #55
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

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Originally Posted by aeronautic1 View Post
If you like water leaks/stains, then opening ports are for you.
I take it this has been your own experience, but not necessarily that of all owners with opening ports. Mine for instance have never leaked, and there are certainly no stains from leakage.
I get really annoyed with people such as yourself who make blanket statements as if your word is 'gospel' and, whatever problems you have experienced will occur with any vessel having opening ports or whatever item the complaint relates to.
It would be much appreciated if you would please keep your negative comments to yourself; after all, we might collectively consider all your problems are due to either improper, or lack of, good maintenance.
Most Opening Ports I have seen or dealt with incorporate a rubber seal, usually made from "o-ring" material, and sold by the foot in many Chandleries. This material is prone to deterioration and, requires replacing on a regular basis the frequency of which, is determined by the climate in which your vessel is normally kept, or where you do most of your sailing. Anyone who has ever owned a sailboat for any length of time will know from experience (that), nothing lasts forever . . . except maintenance.
As for posting information on this forum, I believe it should be restricted to a description of the problem you have, and precisely what you did to resolve said problem or, an inquiry for help from forum folk to assist you to resolve the problem.
Badmouthing anything at all, simply shows ignorance of the problem &/or a lack of maintenance skills on the part of the owner.
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:56   #56
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

Before going too far off topic, condensation, and avoiding it, are certainly an issue, and ports/hatches can be part of that problem.
However, that would be best served in a separate thread. Especially if the OP intends to sail in substantially different climates.
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:18   #57
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

Being a liveaboard in a hot climate, you can't have too much ventilation. The gasket material in opening portlights is key - it degrades, hardens and crumbles with time. Replace gasket materials, and portlights seal pretty well.
I made a composite gasket - inner layer o-ring material, outer layer closed cell soft round. So far, so good, no leaks when lee rail in the water
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:42   #58
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

I've lived on a boat for 42 years. In Northern Europe and the tropics. I wouldn't be without my opening portholes. In the winter it keeps the boat aired and in summer it keeps it cool. The after cabin has 4 and it's lovely for tropical sleeping. The shower room has one which is left open most of the time. The walk through has one opening into the cockpit which is rarely shut and one on the cabin side which I have to remember to shut at sea.
Combined with the 3 hatches it makes for an airy boat.
However, I have none on the topsides, which I do think are a bit vulnerable.
I once met an American in Dominican Republic that had one low down in the bottom of the hull so he could see under water. Hmm? Makes me shudder.
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Old 11-06-2018, 15:46   #59
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

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I've lived on a boat for 42 years. In Northern Europe and the tropics. I wouldn't be without my opening portholes. I once met an American in Dominican Republic that had one low down in the bottom of the hull so he could see under water. Hmm? Makes me shudder.
Obviously a real gambler eh?
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Old 11-06-2018, 15:48   #60
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Re: How important are opening portholes?

Quote:
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.
TP, we've had such a diesel heater (a "Fab-All", which is a Dickenson knockoff) now for 15 years, and used it extensively, especially while "summering" in Tasmania (where summer is kinda vague). We are very happy with ours... and it uses cabin air for combustion. Obviously, one must have an exhaust stack, but I see no reason that one needs to burn outside air. Doing so does eliminate the issue of blowback, but that is addressable by a small fan acting as a forced draft. Meanwhile, if one extracts combustion air from below decks, this adds considerably to the circulation and drying effect so badly needed. As a matter of fact, the heater is running along nicely right now as I type, and I'm so glad the PO of our boat installed it.

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