Crazy Idea from the Mayor of Pipe Creek

For anyone that hasn’t been in Pipe Creek, Bahamas, Joe (the Mayor) and Carol on S/V Just Ducky have been there for several years.  While there in 2011, I saw Joe put a white pad hanging from the toe rail out to protect his refrigerator from the heat of the sun on the topsides.  I thought hey – what a great idea. If he thinks it helps with his IP light colored hull, it would probably help a lot with our red hull.  We have long noticed that the lockers above the settee and in the galley were very warm from the heat on the red topside.   We have also had many problems from the batteries being discharged too rapidly on this trip and the extra heat on the refrigerator wasn’t helping any.

So this trip I decided that I was going to make our own insulation pads and I got them completed this weekend while Phil painted the bottom of our boat.  Proper oohs and aahs are appropriate for the nice bottom Phil completed today on the last photo.

My project started a few weeks ago, trying to get the Space Blanket without having to pay $42 for a  4′ x 25ft roll.  Thanks to our friend Phil W, for giving this to us from one of his left over projects at his home!!  I’ve also been trying to get my Sailrite sewing machine to sew with Tenara thread, and after a few emails, a video, Phil making a horizontal holder for the thread and phone calls, I have officially given up trying to sew with Tenara Thread on my sewing machine.  I’m disappointed but that’s the way that goes.  As most projects go, the first aft panel took me most of the afternoon to make.  The second panel took fewer hours – I knew what I was doing and the tabs were made for both at the same time.

The Space blanket insulation laid out of the Sunbrella


Sunbrella positioned over Space Blanket

Hanging the Insulation Pads


Almost done


Loop put on the front and back of the Sunbrella pocket – on Aft Pad


Revised design – put both loops on the back side


This is what it looks like from the Front – the Carbiner attaches to the holes on our toe rails and are Aluminum so they don’t corrode.


Pocket closed with Velcro to enclose Space blanket

The forward panel protects the lockers over the settee – the Aft panel protects the refrigerator

When we first tried the aft panel on the boat – the wind was blowing down the bow of the boat at about 15 knots gusting into the low 20’s.  Great I thought, this would give us an idea how the insulation pads would work in the wind and even though we put in a length of 3/16″ chain – there was not enough weight to prevent the wind from blowing the insulation pad up onto the deck.  Also the chain clanged against the hull – but didn’t scratch it as it’s inside the sunbrella, but WHO wants to listen to that???  The tabs and the brass ring at the bottoms were put there in case we needed to hang something to weigh down the pads – and it seems like a good thing too.  Does anyone have an idea what we can do to prevent the wind from flipping up the panels?

We are waiting for the Zincs Phil ordered to arrive so that Phil can put them on.  Then Changes will be ready to go into the water.  Now Phil is asking what is MY next project.   Relax and do some knitting comes to mind.

6 thoughts on “Crazy Idea from the Mayor of Pipe Creek

  1. As suggested, add a batten or pole to the bottom of the panels. A pole would be easy to attach to the lower straps. At each end of the pole attach a line and bucket weighted with rocks. Make the line long enough to place the buckets several feet below the water surface. The buckets should act as a sea anchor that provides an additional resistance from upward movement in wind gusts.

    An extending aluminum painter’s pole might work well if holes were drilled in it to let air and water be readily exchanged from it’s interior.


  2. Maybe her bean bag idea will do it, but how about also adding a batten? I’m thinking that the stiffer the bottom, the harder the wind would have at bending the thing. The winter cover (our own design) that we put on our Catalina 30, this past winter, was weighted down with old milk jugs partially filled with water. And I was amazed when we found that the wind had flipped one up in the air and up and over onto an adjacent boat!!


    • Thanks for that idea. Now have to think about how to add that. Had thought about buying a steel rod and painting with a plastic coating and place in the bottom. Maybe that would work as a batten and weight at the same time. Please keep the ideas coming everyone!



  3. How about some type of bean bag. You could hang three from the bottom of each panel. They shouldn’t make noise or scratch the boat. bz



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