Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The insulation conundrum

Listening to "Autumn Leaves" by Eva Cassidy



Tick tock.  Tick tock.  As the time slips away we work on the seemingly endless projects.  At times it feels as though we are almost there, but then realize that what we thought would take a day or two suddenly has stretched into a week or more.  



I draped the salon in plastic sheets and Drake installed a base support for our new, beautiful batteries.  This included the unavoidable task of attaching and grinding fiberglass inside the boat which is...awful.  There is no other way to describe the task.  I'm sure those of you who have had the delightful experience of dealing with fiberglass know how it can, seemingly, invade every area of your space and feel like a thousand little daggers in your skin.  We tried to minimize particles as much as possible, but still managed to get flecks in some unlikely places.  However, we now have a lovely and stable resting place for these extremely heavy batteries.  I believe we're installing some side brackets and top straps and then we'll be done.  Maybe.  *grin* 




While this was going on, I was upside down in a locker under the bed in the aft cabin measuring out templates for the insulation.  Many of the places we intend on visiting, especially next year, will be colder, and properly insulating the boat is a must.   Has anyone out there looked at insulation?  Is there something in particular that you prefer?  We have looked at soooooo many different types that our heads were literally swirling with visions of, not sugar plums, but closed cell foam and such.  We finally decided on Volara which is a 4lb density closed cell foam.  It's flexible, has low water absorption and vapor transition, and is non-toxic among other things.  We have installed this stuff in the majority of accessible areas in the boat and very much look forward to seeing how well it works.  This winter will be telling.  I'm especially interested in seeing how it handles the condensation; is there really any good way?  It appears to be the nemesis of many a sailor and, from what I've heard so far, there doesn't seem to be any really great way to deal with the problem.  I'd be interested in hearing more…






















One of the benefits of making the templates is that once they were finished I was able to go outside to cut the foam which was a welcome relief from the fiberglass upside down craziness on board.  I even wrote one of my favourite snippets from a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay on the last piece of foam.  Now every time we grab plumbing hose from under the bed I'll see her beautiful words and remember my afternoon.  It kind of makes me want to write little quotes all over the boat as a kind of unexpected inspiration.  





Now as we near the end of October, we both feel the clock ticking louder and louder.  The departure date seems to be slipping further and further away.  I suppose we'll see...

10 comments:

  1. Hey Mo, thanks for the post, been wondering if you were on a delivery of something. Glad to hear things are comming together onboard. Getting ready for winter up here in Mi. too. Putting away the mower, tiller, boat and helping a friend build a "tiny house" in my garage.

    Thanks again, from behind my desk :( Dean

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  2. Thanks for the update. We who are landlocked midwesterners, living our dreadful lives vicariously through your adventures hang on every thread you so graciously provide us...:-)

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    1. Thank you. I'm back and not traveling at the moment, so I plan to update quite a bit more. I also have a back log of photos and progress reports that I'll be working on over the next week or so…

      Cheers,
      Mo

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  3. I love the quote you left there! Most of the time, leaving messages like that will motivate you to go further, and do the task better. :) Hmm, I understand what you feel. When you look at it, there are things that seem close yet are still far away. But I hope your perseverance and dedication have given you the reward that you want. :)

    Regards,
    Raymonde

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    1. Now that we are closer to pushing off, and many more things have been crossed off the list, I feel that we may actually pull this off. Especially while being on the hard for so long, I sometimes got lost in the anxiety of endless tasks swirled in with the horrible reality of living in a dusty, noisy boat yard. Working on the boat from the anchorage in Ocracoke is a welcome breath of fresh air.

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  5. How's insulation working sofar I live aboard up here in RI. And we are just getting into the cold now. The heater works great but anything I can do to help the heat stay in I'm willing to try. I am a bit surprised at the amont of condensation and am presently looking for something I could use under the coshins as a moisture barrier.
    Thanks for the blog and videos I enjoy hearing stories from others living this lifestyle
    Midnight sail.

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    1. I wish I could offer a resounding solution, but I'm afraid that condensation is the bane of our existence. A great majority of the boat is insulated, but we have a constant battle with moisture building up in the most unlikely of places.

      Unfortunately we do not have a vent or a port to open while cooking in the galley. I feel if we could release some of that vapor it would help greatly, but there is also a huge temperature difference when we have the wood burning stove going and it's freezing outside. *shrug*

      I suppose we will continue to try different things, and in the meantime invest in some very large plastic bags to help keep things dry. *grin*

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  6. Is there something in particular that you prefer? We have looked at soooooo many Loft Insulation different types that our heads were literally swirling with visions of,

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    1. We ultimately went with Volara, which is a closed cell foam, and we are generally quite happy. We were able to insulate the the various areas of the boat, but are also able to remove the insulation should we happen to need to get to a certain area for repairs of maintenance.

      Unfortunately, we are still dealing with the condensation problem. I'm not certain there is any foolproof solution to this, but if anyone has a solution I would be delighted to know!

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