Projects: Engine Compartment Insulation

When we purchased Ariel it was apparent that the old conical insulation in the engine compartment had had it; bits and pieces of it lay scattered about the bilge, while a few hearty scraps were still stapled to the bulkheads here and there. After removing all of the old, rotted material, we bought 1" thick insulation material composed of an open-cell foam and an inner PVC vinyl sheet - like the material available from West Marine. We carefully cut each piece to size - a somewhat delicate operation at fifty-some dollars a sheet - and attached the pieces to the bulkheads using a bit of spray adhesive and a few screws with fender washers. Once the sheets were in place, we re-mounted the fuel filters, bilge hose, etc. One thing I didn't do that I wish I had was to tape the edges of the foam with a mylar tape to prevent water or fuel from being absorbed into the insulation. This hasn't proven to be too big of a problem, but it would have looked a bit nicer. Also, I didn't extend the insulation past the access hatches on either side of the boat - i.e., the one located in the quarter berth, and the port cockpit locker - since I figured it wouldn't do much to lessen engine noise and heat in the cabin.

Our original fuel and freshwater configuration over the new insulation.

The removable engine cover freshly covered.

Since we completed this project before we launched Ariel, we don't really have any point of comparison as far as sound and heat are concerned, but we can report that we are very pleased with how cool and quiet things are below.

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