Comfort aboard starts with more-than-adequate insulation to keep condensation—and the mold and mildew it produces—at bay. Nothing beats 2 or 3 inches of insulation installed when the boat is being built. But insulation can be refit, and we met several crews who'd removed a boat's interior to do so. Many people added insulation by lining lockers prone to dampness with polyurethane foam or polystyrene, carpeting the cabin sole to keep cold air in the bilge, and double-glazing hatches and ports. Plastic window film sold by hardware stores attached to the port or hatch surround to create several inches of air space works well. Removable acrylic panels with foam-rubber gaskets offer a more elegant solution.
A good heater makes the difference not just between warm and cold when temperatures average between 5 F and 10 F but also between wet and dry—critical to preventing hypothermia as well as protecting possessions from the damp. To be useful, a heater must be capable of oper-
ating smoke-free with 40 knots of wind on the beam. A few of the boats were equipped with powerful forced-air heaters of the type made by Ebersprecher or Webasto. They heat the boat evenly if set up properly and aren't subject to back-drafting and filling the boat with smoke. But the forced-air systems won't operate without electricity to run fans and glow plugs, leaving crews without heat if the engine, batteries, or charging systems fail.
Most of the crews we met relied on some sort of drip-diesel or paraffin heater, citing their simplicity and reliability. The Danish-built Refleks heater was considered the model of choice. Our Refleks proved practically bulletproof and fixable with the most rudimentary tools. Strategically placed fans help to circulate the warm air from the drip-diesel heater to the far reaches of the boat. Many crews had problems with backdrafts down the chimney, particularly with strong winds on the beam
our lines, setting them up on the side deck before we reached the anchorage, with the line led through large snatch blocks on the stern quarters. This worked well for deploying, but once the lines were retrieved, it took half an hour or more to flake them back into their bags. Where we could drop the anchor within 500 feet of shore without swinging into anything, we'd use a reel of 600 feet of 10-millimeter Spectra as a first line ashore. We'd winch the boat into place using that line, then replace it with the polypropylene lines at our leisure.
In much of the North Atlantic, including the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and Norway, well-sheltered anchorages can be hard to come by in long, steep-to fjords that are subject to katabatic winds. Dockage, then, must often be found in boat basins along piers meant for trawlers and big ships, and the boat must be secured to these in a way Continued on page 83
or in near-freezing temperatures. A tall stack that exhausts the warm air well above the deck minimizes this problem, however. A standing joke claims that you can tell how long a boat had been cruising Patagonia by the height of its stack!
In addition to the main heater, a bus heater plumbed into the engine cooling water provides free heat when the engine is on, and the powerful fan circulates enough air to dry the boat completely while motoring 20 minutes into an anchorage.
For these heaters to function, enough fuel must be carried to run the heater a minimum of 12 hours per day for 60 days; that translates into 25 to 50 gallons of diesel for a typical heater. That's in addition to fuel carried for motoring. Many hundreds of miles separate the few places where diesel can be obtained, and most crews motor a significantly higher percentage of time than in the tropics due to the frequency of headwinds and light air in between low-pressure systems. Hawk's 200 gallons of diesel tankage proved more than sufficient; boats that carried less were forced to supplement with jerry cans and, in some cases, with oil drums stored on deck. B.A.L.
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.