SIMPLE WAYS TO KEEP EVERYONE COOL ABOARD YOUR BOAT
Boating in hot and humid weather can be uncomfortable and even downright unbearable. It can ruin what was intended to be a fun day out in the ocean. Instead of simply enduring the heat, there are numerous ways you can keep yourself cool aboard your boat. Here is a whole range of simple upgrades that will provide relief from the hot weather. Some of them are great investments that will even save you money. If there is a way to be eco-friendly with your boat, then I say do it.
As much as a portable air conditioner will solve all your problems, it consumes a lot of power, and your boat may not even have enough space to accommodate such a machine. A much more practical solution is bringing along small 12-volt fans. Fans are capable enough to provide you with some much-needed relief on a scorching day. It’s also more energy efficient. Since it’s portable, you can move it around. You can also place multiple fans throughout the cabin since they don’t take up too much space. Rechargeable batteries are also great for portable fans that use them. I always keep some standard batteries as a backup just in case the rechargeable batteries are taking too long to recharge – something to look at when you purchasing a battery recharger.
Solar panels are readily available that don’t require the license of an electrician to install. Many are simple portable units. Everyone is using them camping these days, so why not use them on your boat. Charging your 12-volt devices and running your fans and the like will be free from the sun and you won’t be short of the sun when you are out in the Australia sun. Australia is one of the best locations in the world to use solar panels to recharge devices right through to powering homes, and why not boats too!
Have enough 12-volt batteries to store excess power for later use via an inverter that allows the power to supply back out of the batteries. 12-volt batteries are low cost and can be set up in a parallel for the storage of extra power to be used later.
Similar to an air conditioner, some boats don’t have the capacity and space to operate a refrigerator. As a compromise, have ice chests or coolers aboard your boat. As long as everything is packed efficiently and your cooler is well-insulated, your drinks can stay cold for a long time. Dry ice is excellent for keeping your drinks colder longer and another way to go is with a salty slush as the ice will last longer and the water temperature will be lower.
CREATE A SHADE
If your boat doesn’t have any shelter, provide temporary relief from the sun by creating shade on deck. Canopy or bimini tops are made from heavy-duty polyester fabric, so they’re breathable and waterproof. As an alternative, even mesh tarpaulin bought from hardware stores can do the same job if you are very good with your hands and DIY but if you are not, think about investing in bimini top that will last for years and really protect you from the sun. Spraying the canopy with water is a great way to help cool the space below as the water evaporates.
Make sure what you’re wearing is in line with the current weather conditions. On a hot and humid day, it’s best to wear light clothes made from breathable fabrics. Protect yourself from the sun by also wearing a hat and polarised sunglasses.Fishing clothes even offer SPF/UV protection. Loose cotton is also a great fabric and looks great.
In this kind of weather, you can’t go wrong by drinking a lot of water. Your body needs fluids to regulate your temperature. Keeping hydrated improves your condition as you can replace the moisture lost when you sweat. Keeping bottles of water on ice will help but because you are out and if you are fishing you will lose a lot of electrolytes and minerals.
Even those not fishing can lose these important minerals and electrolytes. Drinks such as Gatorade can be used sparingly only after activity and losing a lot of sweat while also drinking water. They should not be taken if you are just thirsty otherwise they amount to a sugary drink that will not be good for anyone. Any time you are feeling thirsty means you are already a little dehydrated. Try to keep drinking small amounts in advance to avoid feeling thirsty as you may feel a little off at this time too. Drink fresh, clean and moderately cool water to keep you from getting dehydrated
You can make your cabin more comfortable and ventilated by installing a wind scoop. It’s a nifty product made out of nylon. When installed facing the direction of the wind, it can catch the breeze and direct it down the open hatches.
12 VOLT AIR CONDITIONING
If you have a sealed cabin, a 12-volt air conditioner is an excellent option and your guests will love it. The same goes for a 12-volt heater in wintertime. There are a couple of types of 12-volt air conditioning systems. I prefer to use those that use moister/water in the air for cool and allow you to keep windows open over more traditional systems that use freon and require a lot more power and you need to keep all windows and doors sealed. This also creates an indoor area that is often too cold that makes the outdoors seem even hotter compared to the water-cooled systems which require the windows to be open and far better for ultra dry or humid climates.
IF ALL ELSE FAILS
If all these tips aren’t enough to stave off the heat, there’s still one possible solution — take a leap and cool off! Take a dip in the water as many times as you want. This is guaranteed to keep you cool. If simply taking a dip is too boring for you, perhaps you can do watersports where both the wind and water can give you a more refreshing feeling. I, myself, have never been keen jumping into really deep water. It just scares me so much. But in shallow areas, I am one to jump straight in and let the ocean cool my body fast. Remember, salty water makes it easier to get sunburnt so make sure you rinse off with freshwater if possible and reapply your sunscreen.
You can’t really do anything about the weather. If the sun decides to shine brightly, you’ll have to accept that the weather can become uncomfortable and unbearable. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot make any changes to your boat to accommodate this kind of situation. By making simple upgrades or additions, you can keep cool aboard your boat and have a great time and keep your guests happy.
Are there any other ways that you can add? Share your thoughts below.