Date: 20 January 2018. Draft Prevention
I have a drafty boat. When folks
say things like "be sure to crack a window when you're using your
oil lanterns" I laugh. Really?!? Aboard Seaweed there are breezes
even when she is closed up tight. Here is how I help seal the door
into my cockpit.
You can see daylight ↓
through the top of my doorway.
Red arrows point to a STRING
that prevents a lantern from banging the window when the boat rocks.
Side note regarding the string (red arrows) as seen
above: When the wind and waves are "just so" the oil lantern
would bang into the glass insert in the door. That was noisy. It irritated me. I saw no way
to lock the lantern in place. Instead I opted to prevent the lantern
from hitting the window.
This system of a string spanning
the doorway does work. The lantern cannot hit the door. Instead it
bounces off the string. This is also a pain in the transom when
going in or out. Fortunately the conditions requiring the string
barrier are few and far between. Thus I live with this "temporary"
Photo repeated for your convenience.
The problem is wind. When the temperatures
drop a cold draft blows inside Seaweed.
I have in the past shoved a tea towel at the top of the door.
A large gap above the sliding door lets in a lot of cold air.
It has been really cold here in St.
Pete. Keeping the boat warm is harder
when the north wind blows in. My transom faces north incidentally.
I a well aware that to some 52
degrees is not terrible. I am a southern gal. It is too cold for me.
Keeping the heat inside Seaweed is imperative
especially as temperatures plummet.
I was talking with my friend Tom in Apalachicola the
other night. I
met him a few years back and we have kept in touch. He is a former
merchant marine and has more miles at sea than anyone I know. I like
Irene taught me the benefit of calling friends [see the
Lonely No More
article] a few years back. I have enjoyed keeping in touch. Tom is one of my phone friends.
This is Tom. He made the chain he is holding. Boaters have many
talents and hobbies.
Doing things the old way is often
economical. Tom suggested that instead of a towel I use foam. He
said it would make a better seal.
I just happened to have a piece of 2" square foam leftover from my
In 2016 with the help of
my friend Edwin I was able to have a permanently installed 5000btu
air conditioner on Seaweed. It is a great addition to my
happiness quotient. Because
cover I have my $100 a/c unit mounted. This is neat and tidy,
out of the way and easy to use too. Basically, Moby-Cool is
the perfect solution for those of us who use *wall-bangers.
standard room air-conditioner found in a house.
↓ makes friends
Edwin is the reason the Moby-Cool project
was completed so quickly. Thanks Edwin.
Here are two articles
describing the Moby-Cool project:
But I digress...
Tom suggested I use foam around my doorway into the cockpit. He said
that it would compress and seal the door better than my towel
system. He was right. Thank you Tom for the great idea. It worked. This
Best of all I had
all the components aboard Seaweed necessary
to fix the drafty door. I was fortunate. Life does not get much better.
are shoved into the gaps.
A 2" square by 15" long block of foam came with my Moby-Cool kit.
I cut the foam lengthwise using scissors. The cut is jagged. I
should have used a different method to get an even cut. Repeated
passes with a razor blade would have resulted in
a neater end product.
My doorway into the cockpit is 21"
wide. Therefore I took one of the 15" x 1" strips and cut it the
appropriate width to fill in the rest of the gap at the top of the
door. The excess piece was tucked into the side of the door.
As you can well
imagine, the cuts using scissors are not perfect.
I wanted to put away a 2" cube, not
a jumble of foam pieces. That is when I got out my nail polish.
THREE DOTS at the center
of the long piece, then ONE DOT and
TWO make rearrangement simple.
When I remove the foam from the door it is an easy matter to put the pieces all
back together so they fit smoothly. Then I tuck the threesome at the
back of my microwave. They will not move.
As I get older I
have discovered something about myself: I prefer easy. Effort takes
more endurance than it used to. Lack of stamina drives the urge to
make everything as simple and straightforward as possible aboard
Stored out of the way yet easily
accessible... that is exactly what I wanted for the foam.
On any boat it is a battle to keep visual clutter to a minimum.
During Christmas I do not even try. Now I have my home back to normal and
am therefore more relaxed. My happiness
quotient continues to rise.
If only the temperatures would do
so as well...
24 January 2020: Though this method does
indeed work, I found a more permanent solution. Details on
that can be found in the
Inexpensive Draft Stopper
Is your boat drafty too?
How have you stopped these cold winter winds?
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