Best New Things Boat Project
Insulated Portlights: The Best New Thing In the BoatFriday, November 21, 2014S.V. CAMBRIA
A couple of months ago, I started a series on the blog called “The Best New Thing In the Boat.” Well, “series” might be a stretch since I’ve only written one other post, but you have to start somewhere. And now that I’ve started, it’s time to build on it.
First, a little background.
We have a Sirus satellite radio on board and I used to listen to the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC almost every day (I’ve since been treated for my addiction and now it’s all Classic Vinyl or BB King Bluesville for me!). Rachel does a segment from time to time called, “The Best New Thing In the World” where she introduces something new that’s caught her attention. It can be a product, an idea or something somebody has done, and it was her segment that inspired me to start this “series”. My first post was about our new portable freezer. And while I have to admit that our second item isn’t as “sexy” or life-changing, it really is “The Best New Thing In the Boat” – window insulation!
Winter has made its return and the entire country has been blasted with Arctic temperatures thanks to Typhoon Nuri out of
. It’s been no different here in the Japan Pacific Northwest and
last week we experienced below freezing temperatures that left frost on the
decks and the portlights dripping with condensation.
For years, friends have been raving about window insulation. You know the stuff – the kits they sell with double-sided tape and a plastic sheet that are supposed to seal out the cold air and keep things warmer. But, for one reason or another, we hadn’t gotten around to trying it until last week and, I have to say, we’re impressed!
I was dubious at first and couldn’t see how a very light piece of plastic was going to keep all that dew at bay. After all, when it comes to living-aboard during the winter months, we are
enemy. But it does. We still get some drops around the port rims
from the cold (which are aluminum) and have to wipe them on occasion, but the
windows themselves are dry as can be. Even
cooking, which used to steam up every portlight and hatch on the boat, is no
longer an issue. IF the plastic film
gets foggy at all, it clears up in minutes.
It’s still early days but both David and I are incredibly happy with the results: The boat’s warmer, dryer and a lot more comfortable – all for under $10.
There are several brands out there, but they’re all basically the same thing – a thin sheet of plastic they call “shrink” wrap (it doesn’t actually shrink) and heavy-duty double-sided tape. We opted for the large window kit from Duck because that’s all that was on the shelf the day we finally remembered to look for it. We had plenty of window film left over but ran short of tape. We ended up purchasing a roll of Frost King which did the job but I found more difficult to work with than the Duck brand.