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Old 07-01-2011, 02:50 PM   #1
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Hatch cover

With the heat index at 114 degrees F today it takes a lot to stay cool. I shot the temp beneath the front cabin hatch today and got 133! After securing a towel and small rug over the hatch it no longer felt like a heat vent pushing hot air in.
Trouble is- the Admiral is gonna be here in about 2 hours and I'm sure my solution will be short lived. I'm sure most of you know what I'm talking about:smile:

Any suggestions on an affordable source for hatch covers?
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Old 07-02-2011, 01:20 AM   #2
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RE: Hatch cover

Maybe an even more effective and elegant solution Steve, would be to do what I have done, and place a solar-powered vent in the middle of the hatch. Continually extracts hot air in the summer, and protects against mold by venting warm or cold damp air and aiding air circulation when all closed up in the off-season or when left at the dock between outings. There are a number of models, they are quite cheap, easy to install, and last forever, virtually with no maintenance needed.
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:49 AM   #3
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RE: Hatch cover

Steve, bought some shiny bubble wrap, sold in rolls at Lowes etc. cut it to shape and wedged it up inside the hatch cover opening, . It helps some, really it should be on the outside to do the most good as the cover still heats up but I don't know of a good way to hold it in place. A roll has lots of material so I cut some for the rest of the windows which I leave in place when we aren't on a trip. It blocks the sun so keeps it dark in there.

I have been thinking of reflective window tint film anyone tried that?

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Old 07-02-2011, 07:05 AM   #4
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RE: Hatch cover

<h1>Coincidentally, I just got an email from Sailrite on this subject. I hope it'll get posted by our moderators even tho it might be construed as advertising.* I have no interest in Sailrite except as an info source - their mini-videos are often helpful.</h1><h1>*</h1><h1>Boat Window Insulation</h1><h3>Written by Dan Smith, Sailrite employee</h3>
A common problem for anyone living aboard a boat is keeping the heat out during the summer and keeping the heat in during the winter. The problem grows exponentially with larger windows, like those found on trawlers and houseboats that seem to have a built-in convection draft that sucks air right out of the boat.

As a live aboard myself, I've observed several different methods for insulating a window over the years, but none seemed to offer an optimal solution. Standard curtains or drapes provide some relief but are not sufficient on really cold or windy days. Thin cushions, made from Ĺ" Ensolite foam and sized to fit into the windows, cut down the draft but kill any light coming into the boat and require drilling holes in the interior of the boat for the mechanical fasteners needed to hold cushions in place.

While helping a fellow live aboard and Sailrite customer, I came up with an effective (and creative!) solution using sheets of random fiber expanded foam packing material (found at any post office). This translucent foam material is a great insulator and is only about 1/16"1/8" thick allowing for more light and less bulk.

Make Your Own Snap-On Window Curtain Panel Video

Use the foam material as a liner between (or behind) panels of Sunbrella Shadow (preferably light colors like Snow or Sand). Covering the panels with Sunbrella on just one side will let more light through, but the window will not have as finished a look when viewed from the outside. Fold the outer edges over twice and sew to create a rubbed seam or bind with a 1" premade binding to finish the edges.

Hang the window panels with the new adhesive-backed YKK SNADs. A SNAD is a low profile nylon molded male or female snap held in place by a high tech 3M adhesive. Install a button snap in all four corners of each panel. Then attach a male stud SNAD to each button. Pull the paper backing off the SNADs and adhere directly to the glass, smooth fiberglass, or varnished wood surface.



The result is an attractive window cover that provides both insulation and privacy while still letting in quite a bit of light. Your neighbors will be impressed and probably want to know where you got them!

A summer alternative to the foam material is Sailrite's Thermozite material. Thermozite is a very good insulator and when installed with the shiny side facing the window also reflects sunlight to keep the heat out. The obvious drawback is that Thermozite is opaque and will block all light. Use SNADs and female snaps as described above to hold the panels in place.

Thermozite Alternative Window Panel Video

If I were refurbishing my boat, I would create window covers using Sunbrella Shadow and create ceiling panels with Thermozite insulation. (Boater lingo is a bit funny as "ceiling" panels refer to the vertical sides on the inside of the hull and "overhead" to the horizontal surface above your head.) Adding Thermozite Insulation to the inside of the hull will help keep the heat in or out when oftentimes the only thing between you and the elements is less than Ĺ" of fiberglass.
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Old 07-02-2011, 07:26 AM   #5
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RE: Hatch cover

Our previous owner made squares out foil-colored windshield shades. They work great. There are three on the inside of the front windows and one for the forward overhead galley hatch
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:22 AM   #6
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RE: Hatch cover

Wow. Those are some great idea all. It makes sense to put a vent on the hatch to get rid of the heat so I am going to give the a hard look. For the weekend I am about to go pick up some automotive windshield covers and cut to fit the hatch and front windshields. I especially like the suggestion offered by ARoss. This would take some planning but would look great and have the benefit of minimal damage to the boat.
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:52 AM   #7
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RE: Hatch cover

I've noticed several people using silvered car widow shades to cover boat windows which let in (or out) a lot of heat. That would be a good solution if letting enough light in was not a problem, and could be used in conjunction with the Solarvent I suggested in a clear front hatch in summer, with a suitably sized hole cut out. In winter the insulating foam material mentioned above in the Sailrite video sounds/looks interesting.
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:49 AM   #8
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RE: Hatch cover

For my pilothouse, which has all flat glass in frames, I cut up three sheets of that foam/foil house sheathing. It just presses into place in the window frames, foil facing out. Makes a tremendous improvement. I take them out in the winter and the PH becomes a solar heater for the boat during the day.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:01 PM   #9
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RE: Hatch cover

Quote:
Keith wrote:
For my pilothouse, which has all flat glass in frames, I cut up three sheets of that foam/foil house sheathing. It just presses into place in the window frames, foil facing out. Makes a tremendous improvement. I take them out in the winter and the PH becomes a solar heater for the boat during the day.


Update: Went to Lowes and finally located the foil bubble wrap. 4' X 25' roll for about $40 so a really good deal. I cut 3 panels to fit the front three flat window and placed them outside beneath the screen windshield cover. Then made a pattern and cut one for both hatches.
Also located a failing high pressure switch on the front unit (I have gauges on the boat now and know the pressure was within spec) which I bypassed for a temporary repair and BAM, the boat is very comfortable:smile:
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