Wednesday, February 23, 2011


You probably thought this was going to be a galley-related post.

Not so.  This is the medicine cabinet in the aft head on Eolian.  You can't see it, but the door is not ventilated - it has a mirror on it.  And you may not be able to tell, but the space shares two surfaces with the outside world:
  • The back wall is the hull
  • The top surface is the bottom of the side deck
With no ventilation and these two outside surfaces, it gets mighty cold in there when it is cold outside.  Cold enough that squeezing toothpaste out of the tube is quite difficult.  And putting on deodorant?  Boy howdy!

So, this is not a project, but rather a project *need*.  This time I am soliciting advice from you, the readers of this blog, looking for ideas for insulating material which could be applied to the two outside surfaces.    I have some criteria:
  • The installation cannot be permanent - there is wiring running up there, and I don't want to permanently cover it.
  • The wiring running on the underside of the deck makes an installation tight against the upper deck difficult
  • I don't want to cover the bottom end of the chainplate that is on the back wall.
  • It would be nice if I could finish the insulation somehow (paint?)
  • Whatever the material is, it has to go into the space thru the small door with the mirror
I am looking forward to seeing your ideas in the comments.



  1. velcro on some space blanket. Then add a little transfer vent to the heated space, or pipe in a hot water line circulation from the engine manifold.

  2. We use those pads that campers use for sleeping on (blue closed cell foam). We used to call it Ensolite but I'm not sure what it's called now. Anyway, it's maybe 1/2" thick. Cut it with scissors and, if you cut it a little over size it can be jammed into place and will stay put even on vertical surfaces. We've used it between our clothes and the hull in our clothes lockers and also between our various unguents and ointments and the hull in the head.

  3. Excellent suggestions both! I think I will take some of each - I'll install some kind of venting, and I'll look for the polyethylene foam somewhere (packaging?). Just for grins, I put a thermometer in there last nite - this morning it showed 38 degrees. It really is an icebox.


  4. And now I've discovered this afternoon, as we enter our third 24 hour period with sub-freezing winds over 20 kt, that there is a place where cold air is entering the living space. It will be no surprise that the medicine cabinet in the aft head is along that path.

    At the moment, I have some dirty laundry stuffed in the opening - I am leaving the boat to go get some fiberglass insulation to take its place.

    Amazing what you can discover, even after living aboard for 13 years.


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