Dealing with heat is always an issue, but this summer, limited as we are by the virus lockdown, it seems more acute. Neither of us was raised with air conditioning, so we're not used to it, but there are some days when the heat index wanders over 100 degrees that it becomes an issue.
The problem is, of course, power. Our solar system is just fine for most applications, but it just won't handle them AND an air conditioner. I could, of course, plug in at dock, but an AC is an awfully large hunk of metal to lug around and store. I keep getting asked how we fare without air conditioning. Usually it's okay, but at times it gets to be an effort. We do have a few things that help us get through the nastier parts of it.
|Finding a nice anchorage with a nice breeze can help a lot.|
Hanging out at anchor is certainly one of them. The air can be thermal and dead still at dock, but sitting at anchor there's almost always a breeze. With a little exploring, one can even find secluded inlets with that most rare of all commodities: shade, along with a nice little breeze.
|Magellan is not amused by the heat.|
And hey, we're on boats, right? In, like, water? Swimming is always an option, though I have to confess, there are times in summer where the river is at bathwater temperatures.
|A simple white tarp can really cut the heat from the sun beating on your boat.|
The simplest thing we'd recommend is a white tarp. Doesn't seem major, but, tented above our boom and with an air gap between it and the bimini and covering at least a portion of the dog house of the boat, it literally drops the temperature by ten degrees or so, especially in the cockpit.
At anchor or underway, there are a number of small, usb and 12v fans available that will keep you cool(er) where your sitting, but at dock, there's really no substitute for the old reliable box fan. They're big, they're ugly, they collect dust and cat hair (especially the latter) but they move a lot of air and can really help you flush the heat out of the boat.
|It's big, it's perpetually dirty, but at dock it sure can move air.|
We've resorted lately to the "hillbilly air conditioner" version of this, parking a bucket full of ice in front of the box fan. It's wet and ridiculous, but it does keep it cooler in here for several hours, and then you have some lovely cool water to swab yourself with.
Of course, it's occurred to us to give up and just do the "AC in the companionway" thing.
|It's an option a lot of sailors use. Makes getting on and off the boat iffy, but the cabin's cool at least.|
But, hey, we're stubborn, and the heat is like to break in a week or so. So lots of cold drinks, a daily swim, and some cool breezes.....we persevere.