Cabin insulation question.

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Steve Frost's picture
Steve Frost
Joined: 12/14/07
Posts: 788
Cabin insulation question.

Have any in our group added insulation to the inside of their boats?

I spent the night on the boat over the weekend, mind you my boat is in California and northerners will not show much sympathy but, it was all of about 45 or 50 degrees out and the boat felt like an ice box. Speaking of ice boxs, I left my refer on overnight froze all my beer.
I have a small electric heater that I use in the main cabin. It keeps the cabin reasonably comfortable when socializing or just setting around, it does not do much for the forward cabin. I left the heater on medium under the game table, the forpeak seems to radiate cold from the deck above and the sides of the hull and the heater just does not overcome this.
My wife has never spent the night on the boat and I could use some extra heat so I brought my Black Lab Beamer, he is pretty cuddly and generaly complains less than my wife. I have one of Beamers sons as well, his name is Tucker, next time I may bring him as well if it gets colder. They do shed a bit more than my wife but she spends less time licking herself, just can't convince her it is as comfortable as our bed at home.
Guess I could line the forpeak with bubble wrap.

Cepheus dream
C36 MK I # 825
MK I Tech Editor No Mas

dejavu's picture
Joined: 11/6/08
Posts: 433

Apparently, you're no relation to "Jack", huh?:D I've been thinking of dressing up the V-berth area by installing teak battens along the upper portion of the sides. I was figuring I would use a few vertical firring strips and attach the horizontal battens to them. One idea I had was to lay insulation between the vertical strips in the air space between the teak battens and the hull liner. Other than doing something like that, I'm not sure how you could cleanly install insulation in our boats. Now if you could determine that the cold of the water was making the area under the V-berth super cold, I guess you could lnstall insulation on the underside of that area, but that's all I can think of. When I lived aboard my last 36, it seems that the typical West Marine heater placed on the top step of the ladder did the trick. Of course, I live in SOUTHERN Cali.:p

Deja Vu
1991 MK I # 1106
Marina del Rey, CA

stu jackson c34's picture
stu jackson c34
Joined: 12/3/08
Posts: 1270

Steve, we bought a small catalytic heater from a camping store, uses the green canisters, self supporting, turn off at night always. Pretty much the same output as a small electric heater. Just takes the chill off, that plus our trawler lamp!

Stu Jackson, C34IA Secretary, C34 #224, 1986, SR/FK, M25 engine, Rocna 10 (22#)

ProfDruhot's picture
Joined: 2/8/09
Posts: 354

Steve, my last boat was a Catalina 25 and I insulated the vee berth fir the very reason that you are referring to. It turned out to be quite a winter project. I first glued fiberglass stringers on the interior, then used closed cell insutaion that has foil on both sides from Lowes. I glued it directly to the interior side of the hull. Then I happened to run across a great deal at an auction where I bought of huge bundle of teak for $20. I ran it through my planer and then grooved it to fit so that it would cover the insulation. It worked just fine and kept the cold out and the warmth in. Probably would have been cheaper and a whole lot easier to just purchase a nice ceramic heater, but the project turned out to be very nice.

Glenn Druhot
Carpe Diem
New Bern, NC
35* 6' 10" N / 77* 2' 30" W
2001 C36, Hull #1965
Std Rig; Wing Keel; M35B

Joined: 3/23/09
Posts: 3

Steve: I haven't tried insulation but sounds like you might soon be at a three dog night! Ouch, I couldn't resist............

Scott Traweek
s/v Scot Fre
Pensacola Beach, Florida

Joined: 3/1/09
Posts: 107

Our family often stays over on the boat in late May or early June here in New England, and it will often get into the low 50's We are on a mooring so we will use the oven to keep the cabin warm in the evening.

At night my experience is that the aft cabin tends to stay warmer, probably because on a mooring, the bow is always into the wind.

We also have a big down comforter in the V-Berth, which in combination with a sheet and light blanket will keep everyone in the V-berth toasty.

Condensation on the hatch is the biggest annoyance, and if I was going to do anything I would focus on ventilating the cabin to pull the moisture out.


Ballena 1995 Mk II #1445

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