Insulating a tin box

We’ve been hard at work since we got back from our Hungarian holiday, spending nearly all our weekend time down in the hold trying to get it insulated and sealed as quickly as possible with the encroaching winter.

We chose to go the Celotex route, buying 50mm thick boards for the walls and 75mm thick boards for the floors and ceiling. Unfortunately, the sheets didn’t fit through the hatch, despite our measuring, thanks to some welded tabs to hold the metal stairs in place making the diagonal measurement smaller than expected. Plus the, err, crazy thickness of the boards. So all the sheets had to be sawed in half (with kitchen knives) in order to get them safely inside.

To get them up and in place, each span between the ribs is measured and a corresponding width of insulation is cut with a kitchen knife, then jammed into place, with any errant bits shaved off with the knife in situ. I’ve been finding my L-ruler (A “Sew Easy Dressmaker’s Square”, bought for patternmaking) to be beyond dispensable in making nice, even rectangles! to answer a commonly asked question – no, there’s nothing holding the insulation to the walls, other than the tight fit against the ribs and battens. To answer another frequently asked question, no, we didn’t want to go the total sprayfoam route because it’d mean hiring the pros and having the mess three or four separate times since we’re not renovating the hold all in one go (we do have to live here while we’re doing this, remember!)

Then one of us comes along with the spray foam gun to seal up any cracks and irregularities (like the odd spaces around the portholes). You can see James on sprayfoam detail here:

James sealing insulation

Music makes the job a bit easier, as we found with the wirebrushing and painting!

So far we’ve managed to insulate both the port and starboard sides, and part of the wall with the focastle:

Insulation on the port side Insulation on the starboard side insulation detail

The ceiling requires two people to get the boards up and into place, and it’s a bit tricky considering they’re a good 7 feet up and we’ve only got one stepstool! Our neighbour Lumni has been busy helping us out, too, making quick work grinding off the earlier floor supports (the hotel floor was raised ~18 inches in order to fit the ballast water tanks underneath) so it’s easier to walk around down there now.

He’s also been busy helping us with our main deck. I’m ashamed to say that he accomplished in one (long) day what we couldn’t in 4 years, and gave us a nice, clean surface back. He also rollered on the first two coats of Jotun Vinyguard primer, and then James has put the first green topcoat on over the weekend!

Green deck

We’ve still got another layer of topcoat to go, but it’s the first time in YEARS we’ve had a beautiful green deck! Like Serenity, we are definitely members of the Jotun fanclub!

While I was cutting insulation, James has also been working on building the first replacement skylight cover, too, so our new bedroom doesn’t get dripped on. He’s used sapele wood for the frame and plexiglass surface before reusing the metal grates on top, but we’ll have photos of that once it’s complete.

- posted by Melissa Fehr on 18 October 2011, 14:16 in