Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why didn't we...

I don't know why we didn't. You would think that we would have long ago.

Living aboard and dealing with the problems of humidity, especially in the winter when the boat is sealed up should have pointed us at this solution sooner.

In a dock gathering discussion last week, we realized that most of the other boats were keeping dehumidifiers running in the winter.

But my memories were of the huge clanking monster of a dehumidifier that my parents ran in the basement of our childhood home. It was a heavy, file cabinet-sized unit that needed its own circuit - it drew 15 amps. Not exactly appropriate for a boat.

But now we have the world's products at our fingertips - I did a quick Internet search and found this one - it draws only 1.6 amps, is small enough to live in the aft head, and yet is capable of pulling 25 pints of water/day out of the atmosphere inside the boat. It even has provision for a continuous drain (which I haven't set up yet), that would go right into the shower sump it is sitting above. Oh yeah... and that is distilled water it is producing too - ideal for the batteries. Finally, condensing water produces heat, so it functions as a small space heater too (you can almost think of it as a tiny heat pump).

One of the dangers of living with problems is that they cease to be viewed as problems after living with them long enough. If it hadn't been for that casual dock conversation, we'd still be living with the humidity.


SV Estrellita 5.10b said...

Oh we debated and debated about that. The problem is that we were simultaneously trying to live comfortably for 2 years aboard the boat AND prepare it for off-the-dock cruising. In hindsight we clearly should have bought a dehumidifier on day 1 and used it for 2 years. We should also have bought our full enclosure the first year but at least we wised up about that one and got it the second year.

Mike said...

It would have been nice to have one of those last fall.


Drew Frye said...

You may want to consider storm windows on those windows that will fit them easily. I added these to my boat after I noticed a slow drip from the port over my bunk would keep me awake in the winter (one drip each 15 minutes to the nape of the neck, just as I was falling asleep, all night). The storm windows solved the problem for just a few dollars and a few hours work. They also save some heat - important on the coldest nights.


If I was in your area, I would take the time to figure out the other windows as well.

bob said...

Estrellita and Mike: It would have been nice if we had gotten it last fall too. Even so, it has been a great addition even now in the season of Woebegon. When we get to summer, with the ports open all the time, it'll go into storage somewhere onboard.

bob said...


I had considered storm windows, but the winters here in Seattle are short enough and mild enough that I didn't think it worth the bother.

On the other hand, you are right - proper-sized cutouts would fit nicely in the screen grooves...

You have some very good ideas for boat projects on your site - would you consider contributing to the Small Boats Project site, or letting me copy some things from your site to there?


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