Date: 9 June 2019. Tips for Cooling
This started out as a short singular tip on how to keep the boat
cool. I rather ran on at the fingertips so you might wish to pour
yourself a nice cool glass of iced tea.
As summer arrives the heat becomes
oppressive here in the humidity belt also known as the southern United States.
Seaweed has an air conditioner. My friend Edwin installed it for me
a couple summers back. That series of articles starts with
Moby-Cool a/c cover Tweak.
During the hottest days my small 5k BTU air conditioner wasn't quite
enough to cool the entire boat. Here's what I have done to abate
This is Edwin ↓ who
installed my 5k BTU Haier air conditioner in the overhead of
Upper left corner of this photo (white area) is where the air comes
through into my cabin.
Side Note: The
galley/dinette area of Seaweed is where I do most of my living.
Forward of my pilothouse and down two steps is my head and shower. All the way at the bow is my
bunk. Life though, that happens in my galley at the dinette. It's
where my netbook (thank you Karl!) and tablet (thanks Sir!) are most
Thus the air conditioner is
installed directly above that area of my boat.
I use a Haier 5000 btu room air conditioner. This is
the least expensive model sold. Cost: $110.
The 5k BTU Haier does quite well most
of the time at cooling the interior of my boat. Then comes summertime. With
oppressive humidity and weeks of 90 degree-plus temperatures my unit
struggles. Now is the time of the year I begin to have problems cooling
The first thing to do is to block
of drafts. To that end, I utilize FOAM
↓ at the back door.
The foam tucks around the top of the doorway. It
blocks the hot outside air from coming inside.
Some day I will
find some black rubbery stuff, 1.5" wide by 1/8" thick and 5' long.
Years ago my friend Dale had a roll of it. That would have been
perfect, tucked outside along the edge of the door. IF it the rubber
is as good as I hope, I'll buy eight more feet to do the two
pilothouse doorways too.
In all probability
McMaster's has the rubber I desire. I am not up on the
terminology to know what to order at this point. For the curious,
McMaster's] is a place to explore. It is akin to a candy store for grown-ups
who like fixing things.
The next thing to do is to shrink
the size of the area being cooled.
To that end I utilize my shower
In case you wondered, the shower
curtain I use was bought at Walmart. It is fabric, does not mildew
and dries quickly. When I needed a way to block off my pilothouse, I
chose to use the shower curtain as a barrier.
I utilized what I already had on
board, versus going out to buy the "perfect" item.
To hang the shower curtain I used a
CUP HOOK HOLDER ↑
on the starboard side up high just aft of my door.
Just right of the cup hook holder is an old black
antenna from a wifi booster. After this photo was taken I did
remove said antenna. I sealed the hole using
SilPruf. So far, I am impressed.
There are no drips nor leaks where the antenna had been.
Along the overhead in Seaweed, between the pilothouse and galley is
a teak strip. That strip covers the where the two fiberglass panels
of my overhead meet. The wood-covered gap also provides access (barely!) to the wires
for my steaming light. The good thing is that it is wood, thus easy
to screw into.
I used three screws, inserted
horizontally. They were placed where a normal shower curtain ring
Because of the teak I could easily hang the shower
curtain all the way across my cabin.
You may have noticed a black wire
near the screw shown above. That is a speaker wire. It is one of
those Good Ideas that has not panned out quite as well as initially
expected. The intention was to use the wire to bring the sound of a DVD player over to
a speaker by my ear. All too often I forget about the wire as it is
nearly out-of-sight, and thus out-of-mind.
Good Ideas become
great only if they work, and are utilized.
The shower curtain holes do not match up side-to-side. What
that means is that though they appear to be evenly spaced,
they are not. I can only hang my curtain with the front facing
aft for my screws to mate with the holes perfectly.
To keep the sunlight out of my pilothouse, I hung a white table
runner over the west side window.
This also is easy to place and remove. Additionally
the table runner lets in some light. I can see around the edges.
Folks walking by cannot see in easily. This is a layer of privacy
In a nutshell,
folks on the starboard side could at the correct angle peek into my
forward cabin. Both the head and a part of my bunk are visible. For
obvious reasons, that is not welcome!
Another good idea I implemented was
the use of
Reflectix is bubble wrap with thin silver (aluminum-type) covering
on both sides. The silver coating does eventually deteriorate in sunlight. The
great thing about Reflectix is that you can cut it to size with
scissors. It will stay
in your windows if you've got any sort of an edge/frame.
Reflectix is available at Lowes Hardware Store in larger
rolls than on Amazon. The one I purchased was 3' wide. It covered every window in the boat with some
I bought a roll of
Reflectix at Lowes for about $60. With it I had enough to cover
every window in the boat.
The problem I experienced is that when everything is covered in
Seaweed turns into a cave. It's awful!
For my happiness I need to see out.
That's one reason why after careful consideration I opted to go with
a power boat. Sailboats in my price range tend to have cave-like tendencies. Despite
the desire to visit all those wonderful places shown in the cruising
magazines (Tahiti, the South Pacific, etc.) I knew that I would be
most comfortable in a home that offered a view from inside.
Seaweed provides that view outside.
I am truly blessed.
Looking out on my bow over Christmas I spotted an
immature ibis sitting on my bow rail.
You know, life aboard a
boat is truly wonderful...
I pulled out my bird book and looked up the ibis standing on
the bowrail. The book I recommend is from the Golden Field
Guides series and is titled
Birds of North America. That's an
affiliate link which means if you buy something through it I
get a small percentage back at no additional cost to you.
Quite frankly, I like every Golden Guide made. I
Birds of North America,
Seashells of North America. They are all amazing, wonderful and
worth the money, even at Retail prices.
Side Note: Field Guides
Birds of North America
Seashells of North America) are 360
pages while the others are 160 pages. The contents are all
the same if you buy one from the 1950's or a later edition.
The difference is that the glue in older ones tends to fail
after 50 years or so.
My copy of
Fishes is from 1955
If you're curious about me flogging certain products, know that it
is because I find them of value. The Amazon links are a convenience
for you and a way for me to on occasion make a little bit extra via
the affiliate link. It costs you nothing and does help me. I REALLY
appreciate it when folks take the time to use my links. It makes a
For instance, I
found myself in need of a
Tens7000 unit. The pain from my
broken arm has not abated much, thus the wish for a Tens. Well,
three months of Amazon income and it was paid for by you, my
readers. So THANK YOU!!!
But I digress...
This is the Haier a/c unit, under the
cover. The owner of Moby-Cool is Scott. He's great!
Scott's phone number is
407-435-9733. Leave a message.
Scott's not paying me for mentioning his product. I Really don't
like boats that appear ramshackle or unloved. To that end, the
cover hides what could be a rather tatty looking a/c unit. I like
As a side
note, you may notice the solar panels are raised twice. Once is the
zigzag bracket that attaches to the panel. In addition to that I
lifted the panel a further 3/4" using starboard. Starboard is softer than
metal. If the solar panel vibrates the aluminum brace will not damage my
overhead and cause a leak.
But I digress...
Basically you need
to know this: If your vessel is like mine with
large windows, in the summertime that might cause problems. The
windows must be shaded if at all possible. In that regard,
Boats such as Grace with her
covered side decks are more immune to the sunlight shining on her
The windows being shaded makes a world of difference
in the inside temperatures.
An additional way I help my 5000btu A/C by Haier cool Seaweed is by
curtaining off the pilothouse portion from the galley. The
pilothouse has seven windows providing a greenhouse-effect to the
boat. The a/c unit does fine for the galley area even in blistering
summertime. It does not do so well when attempting to cool both the
galley AND my pilothouse.
By late afternoon Seaweed is
shaded by the boat to the west of me. I open the
curtain part way and the rest of the boat rapidly cools off. Each evening the shower curtain is moved down below
into my forward cabin for its intended purpose: so I can take a shower.
Folks in houses do not always
cool rooms in their home
are not using. I follow the same principle aboard my Seaweed.
A pair of HELLA FANS
↓ situated by the dinette
also help. The closest one on the right is used most.
This is what I do to stay cool
Close off a major heat source by
separating the galley/dinette area from the pilothouse. Sunlight
flowing into the windows of my pilothouse forms a greenhouse effect,
where temperatures can easily top 100 degrees when at a dock.
At anchor the boat swings with the tide and breezes, thus stays
Fill in gaps where drafts occur
around doors using foam.
Dress in less. Summertime outfits
are skimpy unless I'm out in public.
Drinking lots of iced tea from my
refrigerator is a real pleasure. I chill apples too for a special cool
treat. Details can be found in the
Cinnamon Apples article.
The Hella 12-volt fans (available
Defender's) for about $25 are used during the hottest part of
I don't do physically demanding
activities except early in the morning or late in the afternoon or
Heat exhaustion is
a real thing, and it is Dangerous!
Instead I read, relax and write, crochet, eat, etc.
Update on the
broken arm: It's not great. Not yet. You see,
I thought (really!) that I would be totally recovered by now. It is
a bit disheartening to be healing so slowly. Tomorrow though a new
Tens unit is scheduled to arrive. I'm excited for that.
In the meantime I am reading on my Kindle and perusing the world via
a Verizon tablet. Those two items have helped me keep my sanity.
It's a wonderful life here aboard Seaweed. I am truly blessed.
To you and yours, thank you for
reading. Happy boating.
I'd love to ways you stay cool in the summertime aboard
And, is there anything special you do this time of the year just because
it's hot out there?
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