From Seattle but are looking to buy a boat for Florida. Advice on dealing with heat and humidity? Windows, flybrdg use? Canvas vs HardTop?
Do you need an inside a/c helm for summer? Do the size of the windows matter for a/c usage? What makes the saloon hot? Thanks!
Personal tolerances for heat and humidity vary. That said, air-conditioning is pretty much a "must" if only to keep the cabin dry and mildew free while at the dock. A hardtop and glass enclosure provides better climate control for the helm....
As for a flying bridge, the height can be helpful if you plan on crossing to the Bahamas, since from on high you can see deeper into the water and spot coral heads more easily. ( This is most important if you want to get off the 'beaten track; its not a requisite)
Also, you dont say where in Florida. The climate varies quite a bit from north to south.
Others will chime in I am sure.
Kevins right, it boils down to what you like and want,if you hate the heat then A/C a must,if you want to sell later it's a good thing to have (people look for it) as fars as a flybridge goes again it's what you like yes you can see further ahead, more room but the downside is they catch the wind and alot of people don't like the rocking motion up above,hard top/canvas again choice is yours,with a hardtop the only canvas is on the sides and thats all you have to take down and put up quick and easy, but if you like lots of sun then a canvas tops better, just fold it up out of the way for full sun ,fold it back when you want some shade, as Kevin and I said it just depends on what you like and need and want, have fun looking we are lucky here to get 5 months of good weather to enjoy our boats. Cheers :-)
What makes the saloon hot? ( Just saw this part of your question). Typically an inboard boat where the engines are mounted under the sole of the saloon will heat up the cabin while running and for some time after shut down.
Also, incandescent lights put out a lot of BTU's relative to LED's, so in addition to reliability and energy savings, LEDs can help make your boat more comfortable. ( or at least you wont have your lighting system fighting your Air-conditioning ;)
Thanks for the tips. All very helpful. We are targeting an inboard 40' give or take... last set of questions re: window size - Generalizing, trawlers have large saloon windows, cruisers have more like portholes at the water level in the kitchen/saloon. I heard rumor that large windows cause a greenhouse effect in FL - but I prefer the view. Does the A/C handle the large trawler saloon well like in a Beneteau? Or would we be better to purchase something more like an GB Eastbay or Albin Command Bridge to stay cool?
The thing about fibreglass is it HOLDS the heat, so on the issue about wether glass or fibreglass is better once again it's your choice, the thing with fibreglass is it wont break so to speak and sometimes the TRACKS that glass slides in will over time will plug up with dirt and start to grow moss and alot of time they leak, so something to consider again but it really comes down to what you like ,I would check both types out and choose the one you like best, check both out in the heat and sun of the day and again if and when its raining, good luck :-)