I know I’ve been very remiss in writing lately, and there is a ton to catch up on. But just because we haven’t been updating, doesn’t mean the progress has stopped! So with the cold weather upon us, it’s time to play catch up and tell you about some of the projects we recently completed.
Installing our dorade boxes has long been at the top of our list. Originally designed by Rod Stephens and named for the first boat on which they appeared in the early 1930s, dorades are a great way to increase airflow down below, especially when you are underway or in heavy weather.
|Basic design of a dorade box. Air (and possibly water) flow into the cowl vent and into the dorade box. Water is (hopefully) blocked by the through-deck pipe, and then exits through a drain hole. Air is shuttled down below through the deck pipe.|
We decided to go with 6, 4-inch dorade vents – 2 in each cabin, all of which Bill made out of Brazilian teak (camaru). Bill made baffled dorade boxes for the forward and main cabins.
|Inside foredeck dorade box with baffles|
The 2 on the main cabin were sized to maximize 4-inch cowl vents. The 2 on the foredeck are taller and larger so they can accommodate 5-inch cowlings if we want to upgrade down the road. The taller dorade also helps catch more air that could otherwise be blocked by the bullwarks and bowsprit.
|Checking for placement of foredeck and main cabin dorades. Note the size difference between the two sets|
|Mushroom vent without box on top|
|Box placement taped and pilot hole marked -- ready for drilling|
|No kickback here!|
|Deck thickness removed|
|Checking for fit|
|Through deck pipe cut and caulked in place|
|Cleated, caulked and Cetol|
|Screens in place at the dock. They are easily removed when underway or at anchor to increase airflow|
|Mushroom vent in the ceiling without the trim ring|
|Teak trim ring|
Now that they are in place, I can definitely say that they look great and you can feel some increase in airflow; though it’s still only a fraction of what you would get from a well placed hatch or opening port. If you had to choose between the two, we would recommend going with a hatch with a good sea hood rather than a dorade. But if you have the deck space or want them as part of an overall ventilation system, they are well worth the chore of installation.
We still need to make dorade guards for the two vents on the foredeck to prevent the sheet leads from catching on the cowlings, but that will be another story...