Thursday 17 February 2011

Windows or portholes?

What is your preference and why?   This seems to be another issue that elicits strong opinions. 

We are used to having fresh air through our house.  We never have every window closed and sleep with the bedroom window open because it is under our front verandah so the rain can’t reach it.  Even on the coldest nights we still have the window open a couple of inches.  During milder weather we keep the back door wide open until we go to bed.

This will be something we’ll have to get used to when living in a colder climate.  It might be impossible to leave windows or portholes ajar all the time. We love the look of portholes from the outside of the boat but they only open a little bit!  So… our preference would be windows.

Since we decided to work towards our narrowboat goal, we’ve wondered how we’ll manage sleeping in a steel box after a warm Summer day.  Does it get hot inside? Does it cool down at night?  I don’t think I’ve read a single blog entry complaining of being unable to get to sleep because it’s too warm.  There’s lots of complaints about cold, rain, snow and condensation though!


Tom and Jan said...

Hi Elly,
We went through the same considerations and decided on 15" double glazed opening portholes. Two reasons. Security - we thought the bigger windows made it easier to break into the boat. Energy (heat) loss through the bigger windows during winter. To compensate for the portholes we have two side hatches and three houdini hatches.

Peter Berry said...

When we stayed at my Australian cousin's house, a Queenslander, last year, they never closed the windows, in fact when they bought it, they couldn't be closed as they had been painted in the open position over many years! Enough of that though, back to the point. I love the look of portholes, but they can often make interiors dark. They are usually made of brass and require regular polishing to keep looking good. So, practically it is windows for me, although you will see some boats with a mixture, portholes at the back, and thus a compromise again. Windows usually have anodised frames and require no maintenance other than a wipe over. As for the openings, narrowboat windows are often of the type with top hopper type openings, so there isn't much window to open anyway. As for temperatures. We have never suffered from excess heat, even in great summer weather. In fact we have found the interior to be warm in cold weather and cool(ish) in hot weather. That must say a lot for the insulation of the shell. Ours has a total of 9 windows, all with hopper openings. In summer, all can be left open with security and the interior is usually very pleasant.

Anonymous said...

I much prefer windows as you can look out and get light in without having to have hatches in the roof which cause condensation and can leak!

Joan Watson NB Dream Chaser

nb chance said...

Definately prefer windows to be able to look out of, as its seems to be like living in a coffin with just portholes, you can't get a really good view out with them. Agree with Joan's comments roof lights do get condensation and drip downwards, so also not a great idea, Port holes are fine in bedrooms and bathrooms, although it can get very warm sleeping in the summer with just portholes. windows do let in more air!! We are having a combination of both, we did consider all portholes for security but as our boatbuilder said he can get through a 15" porthole, so they are not that secure! I guess it all depends on how much light you like in your boat and how much you want to see out....

Elly and Mick said...

Hmmm... this first person who has said it can get warm sleeping in Summer. I was starting to think we might be worrying about nothing. So far everyone I've asked about this subject have said the heat in Summer isn't an issue for them.

I think we'll move windows a little higher up our priority list - for the light, the outlook and the airflow. We could live with half and half but we wouldn't buy an all porthole boat.


Anonymous said...

We are going for portholes for the same reasons as one of your other comments, security, privacy and warmer. To be honest I wouldn't worry too much about warm nights, thay don't happen that often.

Elly and Mick said...

Thanks Mark and Corinne,
I love topics where there is strong opinions both ways. I guess it's just a matter of weighing up the pros and cons and determining what is most important to you. We want light and fresh air. But... having never lived through an English Winter we might feel differently one day!