Maintaining Your Cool: Ventilation for Cruising in the Tropics

Good ventilation in the tropics is a key factor in enjoying the cruising life. This applies to charterers as well as full time cruisers. It also applies on those hot, wind-challenged summer days closer to home.

One of the keys to maintaining onoard ambience is a good flow of wind through the interior. This can often be augmented with wind scoops over hatches. When working out the rigging of the scoops, one also needs to consider reduction of sun load and protection from rain squalls.

The three photos below give some interesing options (for more information on awnings and wind scoops see pages 152-170 in Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia).

ventilation ideas

Above: Here we have a small foredeck awning tied between the cutter stay and mainmast, which protects the foredeck hatch from sun and rain. If the staysail boom were out of the way, and the aft end of the awning down on the deck, it would substantially augment the airflow into the open hatch.

ventilation ideas

Above: A conventional wind scoop. These work well in light to moderate winds (but become noisy in more boisterous conditions). The main problem is that they force rain down the hatch as well as air. Reversing the hatch so that it opens towards the scoop will reduce the amount of rain which gets below without a huge impact on air flow.

ventilation ideas

The fact that this scoop wraps around the sides of the hatch means it will force much more of the trapped air into the open hatch. In this configuration, however, there is no ran protection. If the hatch were reversed, there would be excellent rain protection with only a moderate drop in air flow below.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 6, 2001)

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