Forum: Shantyboat Windows

Classic external post says:

As some of you know, I’m building H. Bryan’s shantyboat, much like the one featured in the recent issue of Wooden Boat. I’ve been considering my cabin windows. I’ve been reading about how people in the Bahamas used to have only Bahama style shutters (no glass) on their homes. I think these would look really nice on my shanty boat with the clapboard siding of the cabin. However, where I am can be buggy in the summer and get pretty cool in the winter. I’m thinking the shutter idea would work well in combo with a simple sliding screen and lexan insert in the window jamb. Thus, when the weather is warm, use the shutters with the screen inserts and when cold, use the lexan insert.

Any thoughts on why this is a terrible or good idea?

Visit thread   See more build pictures

Originally posted 2012-02-27 08:02:48.

A website about Shantyboats and affordable living on the water. More than 800 stories to date, and growing.


  1. Ahoy!

    Years ago, I saw a really intriguing design for louvered shutters that I have never tried – but it was good enough to remember. You might give it some thought. The shutters were the full width of the window and hinged at the top. When propped up near horizontal, they provided full cross ventilation, and some shade. When lowered so that the “slats” were near horizontal, it provided good shade, and less ventilation. When lowered further, the sun was kept out; and some breeze still came thorough. Down, they provided privacy, and some security (when locked.) Various window covers could be changed from inside; Bug screen (several meshes), Lexan, Plywood (security & warmth), etc. This was fresh to my mind, because I am considering building a stretched (24′) “Retreat” to spend time on S.F. Bay, and the San Joaquin / Sacto. Delta. I am considering wide bulwarks/rub rails, cut with a sweeping sheer, and through bolted to the clamps. I want to stay with a scow hull, and this would make it look a lot better, more like a punt. (Yours!)

    Down the dock from where I currently live aboard, there is a small Houseboat on a converted “Hay Skow” (c.1906). It is flat on the bottom, with a radius bow and stern, plus skids. I’ll call the one in the center the “keel”. Of interest is that going forward, the metal shod ‘keel’ continues straight, and with a small radius goes vertically up to deck level, In profile it looks like a ‘Plumb Bow’. The radius of the bottom, instead of an abrupt angle, probably allows smoother water flow. I presume this is so the boat will track better, while being able to ‘take the ground’ for loading, falling tide, etc. If/when I build, I will try it. 

    Fair winds… Alaska Dave

  2. Top hinges work well except if on a rafted mooring or a close wall/ dockside. Gull-wing Mercedes had similar problems in carparks and garages!

Comments are closed.