Any way to reduce the station wagon effect?

jmauld

Well-Known Member
Jun 9, 2020
2,843
Carolina Beach
Boat Info
2010 Sundancer 390
2016 Sea Hunt Ultra 211
Engines
Twin 8.1l of gas guzzling iron
I have this nice camper canvas, but can’t run with it closed. I would like to be able to run the boat in the wintertime, down to about 55F or so.

Are there any things I can do to reduce the amount of exhaust that comes back into the cockpit?

Bonus points if it makes the engines a little quieter.
 
I got rid of (redesigned it) the camper back on my last boat (340) because of that. There is little you can do to fix that. I now have the back of the boat open, but the curtains drop straight down even with the top and this makes running with the enclosure possible, albeit only half of what your talking about. Kind of makes the back look like a Tierra the way the curtains drop and snap in.
 
I got rid of (redesigned it) the camper back on my last boat (340) because of that. There is little you can do to fix that. I now have the back of the boat open, but the curtains drop straight down even with the top and this makes running with the enclosure possible, albeit only half of what your talking about. Kind of makes the back look like a Tierra the way the curtains drop and snap in.
This makes me think the exhaust is coming up through the hatch. It shouldn’t as long as the exhaust is sealed correctly. Did you ever try sealing your hatch?
 
I had a fairly bad problem on our 380DA with back-draft. Not so much exhaust, but salt spray. The stern of the boat would be caked in salt on any trip when we got on plane (which was 99% of our trips). We are now in a 480 Sedan Bridge and fortunately don't have that issue.

The only suggestion I could make to you is to try running at different speeds to see what works best as far as back-draft is concerned. If your 390 was anything like our 380, over a few hours of cruising, it got damp back there from the salt water back-drafting into the cockpit. From that perspective, it was not designed well (or thought out well) in my opinion. I tried adjusting the tabs and that did not make a difference.

Do whatever it takes to get more cruising time in, its worth the effort. That's the goal for us all right? I am a lil spoiled here in FL, but you can run your heater, open your cabin door and warm up the seating area and take a nice fall ride for a few hours. You have options. Just make sure you have some fresh air coming in from the front of your Isinglass or other source forward, exiting aft.

Best of luck JM.
Vince

Here is a picture from one of our barrier islands. We took our tender over to the island Sunday to watch the sunset.
Caladesi Island Sunset
sunset.jpg
 
This makes me think the exhaust is coming up through the hatch. It shouldn’t as long as the exhaust is sealed correctly. Did you ever try sealing your hatch?

It was definitely coming back in from the vacuum effect (back draft). My flag on the transom would not extend out, but fly back into the cockpit. And to others point(s), I had a salt spray issue as well, the back seats would be all wet at times on a calm day.
 
Searay refused to offer a camper for that reason and advised against doing it. I had a 2005 390 Diesel, which I believe is a different boat, and could run with the vent open but it still smelled.
 
Opening the windshield vent and top vent typically do not provide enough pressure to stop the effect. I have to pull some of the front canvas/isinglass pieces down, and then we get cold.

Our winters are mild and we should be able to boat year round with a full enclosure.

maybe a giant fan placed at the transom?
 
Try opening a forward vent AND a small section of the aft canvas. The goal would be to get air flowing through the cockpit and out. I think you just have to experiment with different ideas.

I don't know if you guys down in the warmer states know about this, but up here we have things called sweaters and coats. They're like a shirt, but much bigger and heavier. They tend to help out quite a bit when it's chilly ;) Sorry, couldn't resist!
 
Is it station wagon effect or affect? ;-)
We put the camper canvas back on the 380 a couple weekends ago. I plan to open the windshield vent and roll up most, maybe all of the panels for our trip this weekend.

I used the 330DA many times in the winter with no issues, maybe I just got lucky. In that case it had the slant back canvas, I'd leave part of it unzipped and the windshield vent cracked. Maybe put a strong turbo fan on the cockpit floor blowing stern?

It's been my experience even on a cold sunny day the cockpit stays pretty warm from the Sun.
 
Sunny days certainly help. My first boat was a 9’ whitewater kayak, I was a whitewater guide back east, West Virginia, Maryland, & PA. The guides were always amazed at how much more fun the crowds had on a sunny day, versus cloudy day, with like water and air temps.

We open both windshield vents, and roll up one of the three transom issenglass panels we have, works fine.
 
The picture reminded me to post one here…..of course it’s going to be sideways (or upside down!)….lol.

The admiral and I live in Tucson, AZ, and keep our vessel in the beautiful CA delta, confluence of the Sacramento & San Joaquin Rivers. It takes us 12 hours on the road to make the trip. That sucks, but we are willing to make that driving sacrifice to have our boating pleasure. We stay 2-3 weeks at a time on the boat, then home for 3 weeks, and do it again.
So we started talking about putting a vessel in San Carlos, Mexico, which is on the Sea of Cortez, and 6-7 hours drive time. We’ve heard for years how beautiful it is there, and last weekend made the trip to check it out.
Here’s what San Carlos looks like:

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A couple more of San Carlos, Mexico. Only two marinas there, NO covered slips, and Very warm over summer months….And Very Humid! slip fees just slightly higher than California.

CE2A023E-7C45-4DB2-95CF-6CFB63C4FE3B.jpeg
CE2A023E-7C45-4DB2-95CF-6CFB63C4FE3B.jpeg
81B12AC7-CB8B-43A3-BAF7-FE5ECBBC9881.jpeg
2C592E17-EB1E-4824-AE71-9AB43DE16723.jpeg
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I run a CO detector with digital read out at the helm to know when CO is present…
I do too. Do you try to keep yours at zero or are you okay with it staying below a certain number?
 
I don't seem to get much exhaust smell period once the plugs and wires were replaced this spring. But even before that my bil and I ran up from Port Clinton Ohio to the north end of Lake St Clair with the canvas closed. We did have the w/s vent open.
 
I don't know if you guys down in the warmer states know about this, but up here we have things called sweaters and coats. They're like a shirt, but much bigger and heavier. They tend to help out quite a bit when it's chilly ;) Sorry, couldn't resist!
Useless without pics. What a sweater looks like…
3934C0E8-5F5A-4EF5-8D54-F7CD57009CD7.jpeg
 

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