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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-28-2008
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Ventilation Options

New and old vessels alike never seem to have sufficient ventilation, especially if you live in the southeast US or cruise in the Caribbean where the humidity is off the charts. Having done both, I can attest to the fact that more than cowl vents are needed to keep the sweat out of the bilge and the mold off, well –everything. The addition of a solar powered fan definitely helps but that option doesn’t work for everyone.
I'd be interested in learning how you have tackled this issue on your boat.
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Old 03-28-2008
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Breezeboosters on deck (I use a forward facing one forward and an aft facing one all the way aft) and lots of fans below.

I open up everything that will open as much as I can which of course means hatch drills when a shower sweeps through.

Awnings help keep the heat down, protect most open hatches from most rain squalls, and don't seem to reduce air flow.

If all else fails I start the gen and run a/c.
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Old 03-28-2008
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We use a solar vent fan, a louvered vent in the companionway door, a couple 110/12V fans, and a demidifier. The boat is always dry, not stinky, and when I wipe down the walls, they are clean. We also have an A/C, but did not use it last year.

When we bought Wu-Wei, she was a mold-pit. Carpet on the walls did not help, either. We replaced that with vinyl, fixed leaks, and did a major refit. I vowed never to see mold again. And we haven't. But, in addition to all the things we use for good ventilation, we also wipe everything down and spray Febreeze antimicrobial every time we use the boat.
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Old 04-01-2008
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I live aboard a 35' sailboat in Key West, FL - Mildew Capital of the Cosmos. I am at a dock, so can run fans all the time and a small AC unit when it gets truly brutal. It's not enough to keep the boat cool, but it does knock the humidity down a notch. I have several small hanging lockers/closets on my boat but even with the fans and AC I was never able to keep clothing in them because of moisture and mildew problems. I was in Radio Shack a while back and spotted some computer cooling fans for $6.99. The fan is 12 VDC, draws a measly 0.1 amps, moves approx 30CFM, and is almost completely silent - You can't hear it at all unless you put your ear right next to it. Made a small cutout to fit a fan in each locker, added a grill (more to protect the fan blades than my fingers) and have been mildew free ever since, even with the clothes packed in fairly tight.
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Old 04-01-2008
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Wind scoop on the fwd hatch, hatches in the overhead of every cabin and FANS everywhere! Insulation and white decks and/or a 'tent' over the deck can also help a lot. Good ventilation is mostly in the hands of the designer/builder. Fans and wind scoops are about all an owner can do.
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Old 04-01-2008
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I'd be interested in learning how you have tackled this issue on your boat.
We decided to limit our cruising to the Great Lakes
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Old 04-01-2008
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I installed a solar fan in the head and in in the main cabin. I also installed 12v fans in the V-berth, quarter berth and sette area. I also use a wind scoop on the front hatch when on the hook. When at the dock I run the A/C's fan and keep Damp-Rid packets hanging in the cabin. This seems to work in N/E Florida.
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Old 04-02-2008
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After 15 years manufacturing plastic covers for the automotive after market I am working on some portlight covers that will allow the air in while keeping the rain out. My idea is to make a cover that will attach outside the frame of the portlight and be designed not to catch a line or sheet. After a cruise to Mexico I thought it would be nice to be able to leave the portlights open without worrying about rain.

Let me know what you all think.

I will post an update when there is something for you to see.
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Old 04-02-2008
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BTW, a good general rule of thumb is that you should have 1 sq. inch of ventilation for every square foot of beam x LWL your boat has. If your boat has an 8' beam and a 25' LWL, then you'd want 200 sq. inches of ventilation. IIRC, this rule is for passive ventilation and doesn't apply to powered vents.
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Old 04-02-2008
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Quote:
I was in Radio Shack a while back and spotted some computer cooling fans for $6.99. The fan is 12 VDC, draws a measly 0.1 amps, moves approx 30CFM, and is almost completely silent
spoonbow,

you get the atta boy award. That is an excellent idea, bet West Marine will be pricing those at $36.00 soon enough.
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