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Old 09-12-2022, 15:39   #31
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

When the snow gets several inches deep on the deck, it will act as an insulator against colder air and will reduce convection heat losses from breezes as it acts as a wind break. So don't sweep off the deck other than the part you must walk across.

Basically let your boat become an igloo on the outside and bundle up with warm clothes indoors, especially where a cap as much of your heat loss is from your head. And wear a night cap when you sleep.

Wear light gloves the type without the fingertips to keep your hands warm.

Oh, and if you have a pet onboard, you probably should get a heated water bowl so that it doesn't freeze in their drinking bowl.
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Old 09-12-2022, 16:09   #32
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

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Having built my first boat and recalling the long involved process of lining the parts where the hull was not covered with furniture I'd rather sell up and move to a warmer country than remove the lining, insulate, and replace the lining. I'm of the opinion that it's not really a practicable solution.
It was very practical for us, my wife did it singlehandedly in one day. We had to move off for a night because of the fumes from the glue (rubber cement)
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Old 09-12-2022, 17:00   #33
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

Run the Dickeson heater all day as once it gets going it cranks out the heat. Most Maine winters it comes to $4/day. 1/2” of insulation is not very much R value unless it is aerogel (pricey) and headaches to try to insulate every surface did not seem worth it. We closed off the V-berth (and slept aft) which reduced the heating load. Used a dehumidifier. Also put a clear plastic cover over the cockpit as a solar room (great space between noon and 3pm) and an ante room to knock off snow before heating below. One year electricity was free so we ran an electric heater along with the humidifier (although sometimes needed two heaters).
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Old 09-12-2022, 18:49   #34
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

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There are 2 reasons I say this Jim.

1.) I've seen poor installations that tap off the fuel line to the engine, and the little pump feeding the heater would overheat and starve the Dickenson of fuel.

2.) I installed a gravity tank to lower energy consumption on the hook and underway. Dock queens don't have to worry about that, but if you're hanging from a hook for a while under gray PNW skies, batteries can get pretty low pretty quickly and every little bit of savings helps.

I used a small electric pump off the main tank to feed a gravity tank once per day. No inconvenience at all. I could also fill the gravity tank with a hand pump should the electric pump fail. I'm a big believer in backup systems and redundancy.
My arrangement to feed the Dickinson is similar, and if things go sideways a couple of valves can be set to allow the day tank to gravity feed the engine.
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Old 09-12-2022, 20:21   #35
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

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Originally Posted by Discovery 15797 View Post
There are 2 reasons I say this Jim.

1.) I've seen poor installations that tap off the fuel line to the engine, and the little pump feeding the heater would overheat and starve the Dickenson of fuel.

2.) I installed a gravity tank to lower energy consumption on the hook and underway. Dock queens don't have to worry about that, but if you're hanging from a hook for a while under gray PNW skies, batteries can get pretty low pretty quickly and every little bit of savings helps.

I used a small electric pump off the main tank to feed a gravity tank once per day. No inconvenience at all. I could also fill the gravity tank with a hand pump should the electric pump fail. I'm a big believer in backup systems and redundancy.
If it works for you, that's fine. But my system works too, and has done for many years. For us, adding a day tank/gravity feed of a useful size would be quite intrusive, put the potential of a leak in the main cabin out there. should our heater fuel pump die, there is another electric pump in the system that would supply fuel, and I carry a spare for the heater pump. And we live aboard at 43+ degrees South, so kinda similar weather and sun issues... and it still works.

Anyhow, I don't care w hat system you choose to use, but felt that categorically saying that the OP (or whoever it was that you and I were addressing) should never use a pumped system was wrong: we know nothing about the boat in question and how it is laid out.

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Old 09-12-2022, 20:44   #36
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

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When the snow gets several inches deep on the deck, it will act as an insulator against colder air and will reduce convection heat losses from breezes as it acts as a wind break. So don't sweep off the deck other than the part you must walk across.

Basically let your boat become an igloo on the outside and bundle up with warm clothes indoors, especially where a cap as much of your heat loss is from your head. And wear a night cap when you sleep.

Wear light gloves the type without the fingertips to keep your hands warm.

Oh, and if you have a pet onboard, you probably should get a heated water bowl so that it doesn't freeze in their drinking bowl.
I hate to disagree with someone from Montana about winter things, but I have spent several winters aboard And what youíre suggesting is not safe at all.

Letting that much snow and ice accumulate on the boat is incredibly bad for the stability of the vessel. It can lead to capsize. Itís important to remove the weight from the deck.
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Old 09-12-2022, 21:06   #37
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

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Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
When the snow gets several inches deep on the deck, it will act as an insulator against colder air and will reduce convection heat losses from breezes as it acts as a wind break. So don't sweep off the deck other than the part you must walk across.

Basically let your boat become an igloo on the outside and bundle up with warm clothes indoors, especially where a cap as much of your heat loss is from your head. And wear a night cap when you sleep.

Wear light gloves the type without the fingertips to keep your hands warm.

Oh, and if you have a pet onboard, you probably should get a heated water bowl so that it doesn't freeze in their drinking bowl.
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Old 09-12-2022, 21:18   #38
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

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I hate to disagree with someone from Montana about winter things, but I have spent several winters aboard And what youíre suggesting is not safe at all.

Letting that much snow and ice accumulate on the boat is incredibly bad for the stability of the vessel. It can lead to capsize. Itís important to remove the weight from the deck.
By my reckoning 4 inches/ 10 cm of fresh snow on a 12 x 4 metre boat would be a bit under 4 cubic metres of snow which according to this https://www.eoas.ubc.ca/courses/atsc...-snow-density/ would be about 400 kg.

I think that would be manageable - its less than 4 FOG ( fat old geezer ) equivalents but to let it just keep building up through the winter could be problematic for sure.
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Old 09-12-2022, 21:28   #39
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

So I need to design de-icing into my overcoat??
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Old 09-12-2022, 21:59   #40
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

My suggestion would be to forget the insulation and buy two of these...one to heat the boat and the other as a backup since they are so cheap and could be swapped out in 1/2 a day...



Then of course you could forget all this silliness and just move here...
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Old 09-12-2022, 22:25   #41
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

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So I need to design de-icing into my overcoat??
FOGs come with built in de-icers - best fueled with rum.
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Old 10-12-2022, 07:12   #42
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

With small amounts of snow on deck, weight is a concern, but a minor one. My bigger concern would be melt / refreeze cycles turning it all into a hard to remove block of ice, especially if the boat is heated and the decks aren't well insulated. That melting and refreezing can also create leaks around deck fittings, hatches, etc. if there's even the tiniest gap for water to freeze in and cause things to move a little.
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Old 10-12-2022, 07:52   #43
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

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With small amounts of snow on deck, weight is a concern, but a minor one. My bigger concern would be melt / refreeze cycles turning it all into a hard to remove block of ice, especially if the boat is heated and the decks aren't well insulated. That melting and refreezing can also create leaks around deck fittings, hatches, etc. if there's even the tiniest gap for water to freeze in and cause things to move a little.
Not specifically talking to Rslifkin here:

And that’s kind of what I’m talking about. It’s not about a dusting of snow. Or even a foot of snow on the deck. It’s about repeatedly leaving that snow on there to melt as the heat from you living inside turns it into one giant block of ice. . It’s thousands and thousands of pounds after a few storms. It’s a serious risk.

Why do you think fishing boats are so careful about getting that ice off the deck when they go out in the winter to get fish? It’s because they risk capsize. Even freezing fog and freezing rain are a big danger to boats. It just forms giant ice blocks on the deck, on the rigging, on all of the hardware outside. Everywhere. It weighs thousands and thousands of pounds and it WILL tip the boat over.

I guess not that many people on here have much experience with this. You shouldn’t post if you don’t understand it. Seriously. This is a real danger and you shouldn’t mislead people by saying it’s no big deal. It causes fatalities all the time. It’s wrong to trivialize a leading cause of maritime deaths and brush it off like it’s nothing.

Where I grew up and learned boats, it was pretty well known that you don’t do this.

Here. I’ll start putting links up. You can start learning about this topic.

Don’t trivialize it. The OP could be in real danger taking that bad advice.


https://www.vos.noaa.gov/MWL/dec_05/ves.shtml

https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventu...in-bering-sea/


https://www.maritimeinjurycenter.com...-accumulation/

https://www.capecodtimes.com/story/n...k/52654934007/

There are dozens and dozens and dozens more examples. I can keep putting up links for you guys to read but you can Google it.

Now, I have actually lived and overwintered in Maine. For multiple winters. I hauled my own firewood. It was pretty rustic. Lol to put it mildly. But you better believe I shoveled those decks off. Even just a foot of snow on the deck put that water line down several inches. If you let that go for two or three storms, you’re going to capsize.

And storms, especially by the ocean, where it’s warmer, are not just light fluffy snow. It’s heavy snow. It’s ice. It’s freezing fog and freezing rain. Nothing like that little dusting in the calculation above. And it just keeps adding and adding and adding to the boat until it’s finally too much.
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Old 10-12-2022, 08:11   #44
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

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Not specifically talking to Rslifkin here:

And thatís kind of what Iím talking about. Itís not about a dusting of snow. Or even a foot of snow on the deck. Itís about repeatedly leaving that snow on there to melt as the heat from you living inside turns it into one giant block of ice. . Itís thousands and thousands of pounds after a few storms. Itís a serious risk.

Why do you think fishing boats are so careful about getting that ice off the deck when they go out in the winter to get fish? Itís because they risk capsize. Even freezing fog and freezing rain are a big danger to boats. It just forms giant ice blocks on the deck, on the rigging, on all of the hardware outside. Everywhere. It weighs thousands and thousands of pounds and it WILL tip the boat over.
And it just keeps adding and adding and adding to the boat until itís finally too much.
Years ago, I read a book, (written in the 1930s,) where an amateur crew of yachtsmen purchased a big schooner in, (IIRC,) Newfoundland with the plan to sail it back to the US, this was in winter.
They got caught in a real front and were forced to use axes to chop away the bulwarks to get the ice off the deck, the boat was laboring heavily.
They made it, but it was a real mess.
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Old 10-12-2022, 10:06   #45
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Re: Insulating a 40' 1980 fiberglass racer for living aboard?

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When the snow gets several inches deep on the deck, it will act as an insulator against colder air and will reduce convection heat losses from breezes as it acts as a wind break.

believe I would do almost anything in my worldly powers to avoid living in an igloo
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