Dec 6, 2018

Shrink Wrap Vent A standard ‘push-in’ style of shrink-wrap vent

I passed by a person doing some shrink-wrap work recently, and as he installed a vent in the shrink-wrap he was completing, he muttered satisfactorily to himself ‘Air flow isn’t just for sail boats.

Truer words were never spoken. Ventilation – on and off-season – is important on all boats – large and small, power and sail.

Poor air flow, combined with the wet nature of the marine environment, leads to mould, mildew, and rot. These combined, over time, leads to bigger problems: damage to carpets, covers, seats, cushions, woodwork, de-lamination, and a significant loss of value of the boat

Ventilation can be boiled down to a simple balance: The balance between moisture and air-flow. Too much moisture and not enough air flow leads to problems. Reasonable air flow, with a reasonable amount of moisture is what we’re after.

In the off-season, this is a particular problem. Boats are put away (in more cases than I care to mention), with a bilge full of water, wet/moist carpets, wet leaves, or even snow inside. Then the boat is wrapped in a heavy gauge plastic which may or may-not allow air flow in or out. The bilge and moist areas have no chance to dry, and create condensation inside the cover. The cover ‘sweats’, causing moisture to drip and fall, in a cycle. When the wrap is removed in the spring, it should be no surprise to see the interior covered in mould and mildew.

Here are a few tips/tricks to help:

1) If you boat has a transom or garboard plug, make sure it is removed to allow the standing water inside the boat to drain

2) If there is no plug, use an electric or manual bilge pump to pump out the bilge. Try using a Shop-vac, if this isn’t effective

3) If carpets, covers or cushions are wet, remove them before the boat is covered

4) Do cover the boat. Use shrink-wrap, a custom cover, or a tarp. Use the best cover available that will prevent snow and rain from getting inside.

5) Do ventilate the cover. Air needs to flow, and moisture needs to escape

6) In troublesome boats, a dehumidifier may be helpful – Though this shouldn’t be left on and unattended

7) Do use products like ‘No Damp’ which draws moisture and humidity from the air and captures it in a disposable container

8) On boats with companionway covers, hatches and portholes, try opening some of them slightly before covering to allow air to flow

9) Lift seat hatches, lazarette covers and cabin soles slightly to allow air flow

I’ve heard a number of complaints of boater struggling with condensation/moisture issues during the boating season. Here are a few ways to combat this problem (perhaps a good winter project to prepare for 2019!):

Deck Vent A deck vent in a modern sailboat, made from plastic. Forward of this is a solar-powered vent, mounted in a hatch

1) Use solar vents, installed in deck hatches – these vents are powered by the sun, and spin, to allow air in and out of the boat.


2) Consider companionway options: installing a vent in a companionway cover, or using multiple styles of cover to change the way air flows both when youre aboard, and when you aren’t

3) Keep your bilge as dry as possible – use an automated bilge float switch to pump water out when it reaches a high point – but also get in the practice of pumping out the bilge when you arrive and when you leave.

4) Track any areas where water collects and stands - correct this by considering scuppers and drains to allow water to escape.

5) Make repairs to any leaks in hatches and windows

Louvred Vent A great, wide set of louvred vents in a companionway door. The slats are backed with a screen, to keep bugs from gaining access
Air flow isn’t just for sailboats…..and water belongs on the outside of the boat.

1) Electrical upgrades: upgrades to existing electronics (GPS, chartplotters, wind instruments, etc), or the replacement of older batteries, wiring and breaker panels.

2) Plumbing upgrades: replacing faucets, installing a shower or head, adding a water-heater, water pump or water lines.

3) Re-powering – replacing an engine (or engine parts) with a newer more efficient version – or perhaps the switch to electric propulsion

4) Mechanical additions: Bow or stern-thrusters, electric windlass, autohelm, air conditioning, heating or refrigeration units

5) Wood-working – installations, repairs to existing woodwork, sanding and prepping for fresh varnish as the temperatures warm. Treat interior woodwork with teak oil

6) The bilge: Draining, cleaning and painting the bilge. Testing and replacing bilge pumps and float switches

7) Marking leaks and removing obstacles (cabinetry and fittings) to get at the water’s entry point to repair

8) Interior customization: redesigning cabinetry, cupboards, tables and surfaces. Replacing cushions, window coverings or upholstery

9) Review your sail inventory, lines, sheets and rigging – make note of worn parts and begin a plan to replace them as necessary


10) Pull your mast from it’s rack and go over its rigging, lights, structural integrity and make notes for repair before stepping

11) Replace plexi companionway hatches or portholes

12) Buff and polish stainless fittings

13) Lubricate deck hardware: clutches, winches and blocks

14) Pull out your safety equipment – dispose of expired flares and make sure that your safety gear meets Transport Canada regulations

15) Sit on your boat and dream. Read a nautical adventure. Flip through vendor catalogues. Peruse charts. Plot a course for next season. Enjoy!

Stainless Steal Vent A stainless steel deck vent (with a protective cage surrounding it) in a classic sailboat

Andrew McDonald is the owner of Lakeside Marine Services – a boat repair/maintenance firm based in Toronto. Andrew has worked in the marine industry for 12 years and is a graduate of the Georgian College ‘Mechanical Techniques - Marine Engine Mechanic’ program.

Questions or comments for Andrew? Email him directly via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Related Articles

Destinations

  • Prev
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.

Grenada: It was all so inviting...

The Large Island of Grenada

By Katherine Stone

Anytime a Canadian is asked to travel south in the beginning of our spring, which this year was far from inviting, is a dream worth living. The thought of a sailing adventure, tropical breezes, the smell of spices and the warmth of the sun was too much – we HAD to go! The first thing we did was to dig out the copy of Ann Vanderhoof’s book, The Spice Necklace, we had acquired several years ago and to re-read the seven chapters of their adventures in Grenada. Not only should this be your required reading, but the book is loaded with scrumptious Caribbean recipes that are a must-try.

Read more about Grenada...

 

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
We are home for Christmas this year. Soon we will be heading back to Adamant 1 for another winter ...
This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
We have kept our subscription to Canadian Yacht Onboard as we have traveled the South Pacific over ...
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...
Our Photos of the week this time come from BC where our friend Rob Stokes sent us a very nice ...
Our little treasure: Montague (Monte) taken at Pirate's Cove in the Gulf Islands. Monte is a ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...

Leader 9.0

Leader 9.0By Andy Adams

In the case of baking a cake, Betty Crocker and Julia Child both start off with the same eggs, sugar and flour, but the results can be very different. Naval architects, designers and engineers in the boat business also have many of the same ingredients, but the trick is to make the cake unique and desirable.

With a huge history of innovative design in boatbuilding, Jeanneau brings the sort of skill and artistry to their boats that can set them apart. Their new Leader 9.0 model is a case in point.

Read more about the Leader 9.0...

 

 

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
Looking for a great Christmas gift for the Offshore sailor on your list? This being a Marblehead to ...
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...