Ventilation Tactics on a Sailboat

Author:
Publish date:

Dorade vents come in all shapes and sizes, but basically they consist of a box with a baffle inside and a vent on top. Fresh air and any spray enter the box through the vent. The air finds its way below through an offset vent in the deck, while the water drains out through small holes in the sides of the box.

 

To improve airflow in harbor, some boat owners shift the exterior vent on their dorades so they are directly over the cabin vent in the deck. Adding an extension pipe to raise the vent will also increase ventilation. If mosquitoes are a problem, it is easy to incorporate a small screen to keep them out.Dorades work well at sea, but need a shut-off plate for when there’s solid water on deck. Some folks also add a fan to suck in more air or to blow out cooking fumes.

 

A windscoop can be rigged over a hatch in harbor to force more fresh air below. Some have a relief hole in the back to help vent heavy gusts that might rip the scoop off the hatch.

 

If rain is expected, an aft-facing hatch can be rigged with a scoop like this. Air will still blow below, but most of the rain will be kept out.

 

When a boat is tied to a dock, this cross-shaped windscoop can catch some breeze, regardless of where the wind is blowing from.

 

Ships of old ventilated their holds with tall windsails. Some yachts use similar devices while at sea in the tropics. The bottom section is a strong waterproof material sealed to the hatch with a bolt rope and gaffer tape.

 

To increase airflow through an opening port you can use a strip of plastic or a cut-up water bottle to create a scoop vent.

 

A cloth scoop can be pulled through a port and secured to a stanchion post or lifeline. A stiff plastic frame with a mesh net secures the scoop on the inside.

 

Some traditional wooden hatches have hinges both fore and aft and can be opened either way to catch a breeze or keep out spray. Triangular side panels can be added to create a more efficient vent; a louvered panel at the open end will help keep the rain out.

 

Dick Everitt has sailed many thousands of miles in various parts of the world. He has been an illustrator, journalist and engineer for over 40 years

Related

emSelf-tacking-jib

Ask Sail: Are Self-trackers Worth It?

Q: I’m seeing more and more self-tacking jibs out on the water (and in the pages of SAIL) these days. I can’t help thinking these boats are all hopelessly underpowered, especially off the wind, when compared to boats with even slightly overlapping headsails. But I could be ...read more

01-LEAD-hose-leak-CREDIT-BoatUS

Know how: Is Your Bilge Pump up to the Job?

Without much reflection, I recently replaced my broken bilge pump with a slightly larger model. After all, I thought, surely an 800 gallon-per-hour (gph) pump will outperform the previous 500gph unit? Well, yes, but that’s no reason to feel much safer, as I soon discovered. The ...read more

190314-viddy

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: A Source of Hope

The tagline for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is "serious sailing, serious fun." However, for the inhabitants of St. Maarten, the event is more than just a festival of great music and some of the best sailing around. Local blogger Angie Soeffker explains the impact the race ...read more

SPOTX-1500x1500_front

Gear: SPOT-X Satellite

Hits the SPOT The SPOT-X two-way satellite messenger is an economical way of staying connected to the outside world via text or e-mail when you’re at sea. As well as the messaging service, it has a distress function that not only alerts authorities if you’re in trouble, but lets ...read more

_8105684

A Kid’s Take on the Northwest Passage

Going North—and West Crack! Crunch! I woke with a start to the sound of ice scraping the hull of our 60ft sailboat, Dogbark. In a drowsy daze, I hobbled out of the small cabin I was sharing with my little sister. As I emerged into the cockpit, I swiveled my head, searching for ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! We set sail from Chicago on a crossing to Saugatuck, ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Let her breathe When the wind’s so light your cigar smoke goes straight up (or it used to, before having fun was banned) any well-designed yacht with a clean bottom will somehow keep on sailing if you ...read more