although i still have some “maintenance” items that need addressing, i decided that there was one upgrade item that i just HAD to deal with this season. all CS 36Ts have a very shallow bilge -which means the cabin sole is very close to the hull-which is at a chilly 9 degrees or so, and with an infinite capacity to sink away heat.
tracy likes to be barefoot most of the time and obviously it’s not comfortable. worse, there is a massive heat gradient from the sole to the ceiling, and it can be quite uncomfortable at the foot level.
i thought about it last year but decided to do something about it this winter-i’ve insulated the cabin sole.
i decided to use 2″ closed-cell foam, the type used to insulate foundations. i was a little reluctant before in that the foam uses up a great deal of volume in the bilges. the fact remains though, that we spend far, far more time at dock than sailing this time of year and comfort is important. and since i closed those two vents in the anchor locker i get very little water in the bilges, and most of that is rainwater. i was planning on gluing the foam in place, but decided instead to just pressure fit it so i can remove it next summer.
cutting it was a hell of a mess, and i was worried about all the little foam cells ending up in the bilges, potentially jamming or plugging the bilge pump if it ever needs to actually do something. i did my best to vacuum it all up as i went along, but i hope i never need that pump, at least until next spring when i pull everything apart and can clean out any foam bits i missed.
the difference is AMAZING. the boat is MUCH, MUCH warmer, especially around the floor. and you can actually walk around in bare feet and it’s comfortable-just like any home with hardwood floors. the boat itself is also much warmer, our single 1500 watt heater keeping up with the sub-zero temps we had last week.
one thing we’ve also found is that oil filled heaters really do suck. while they give off the same amount of heat as a fan-forced one, the heat just rises above it and spills out around the ceiling. we went with an oil heater because we like the quiet (who wants the noise of a fan going 24-7?), but it distributes heat very poorly. we have taken to putting on a fan that we have mounted on the ceiling to mix the heat around, and that also makes a huge difference. so we might as well ditch the oil heater and get a good forced air one.