How to Install Boat Insulation

boat insulation protects your vessel and makes for a more comfortable cruise. It also keeps your boat cooler and prevents condensation that can lead to mildew, mold, and corrosion. It reduces noise too, which contributes to a more enjoyable boating experience. It can even help your boat retain its value and resale value.

Insulation can be difficult to install, especially on a ship. It’s not the same as home or building insulation, and the needs are different for military, commercial, passenger, or pleasure boats (mega or super yachts). A professional marine contractor will understand your particular needs and have a solution to meet them.

The best insulation for your boat is probably a closed-cell foam like polyurethane, or an iron slag-based ‘wool’ like Roxul. Both are more expensive than common foams, but have a better thermal resistance and do not easily grow mildew. They are not as water-permeable, either, so they can be used on cored hulls and superstructures.

Another option is to use foam sheets that can be cut and sized for your area. Foam sheets are relatively easy to work with, but need to be bonded using contact cement or spray-on adhesive. Many people prefer to use a self-adhesive type of adhesive for this, but this may be counterproductive in a marine environment because the adhesive can fail over time in a moist environment. In any case, it’s important to ventilate and wear a respirator when working with contact adhesives in enclosed spaces.

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