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First new thread - looking for any commentary/experience with marine dehumidifiers such as the Mermaid Dry-Pal, eBac CD30 ($600) or even cheaper the D-H-51 at edehumidifier.com
Bottom line,sure it looks like the way to go to avoid condensation if one has the amp hour solution to support it, but it doesn't seem to be widespread installed or accepted. The book Warm and Dry got a bad review from an old salt (he said nothing there except common sense and some cfm tables). And since the manufacturers pay no attention ultimate cabin comfort it's left to us individual owners, boat by boat.
Saw one short positive comment on dehumidifiers from WuWei on the Ventilation Options thread, but could not get my post to stick there. Briefly, I want to extend the summer sailing season by two months without doing a major insulation job. So here's the detailed story on what I'm intending to do and any critique is welcome.
Boat - Beneteau 473, 500 AH house bank, Freedom 2000/Xantrex 1000, low hull liner, teak decks
Location - Lake Ontario
Useage - currently on 30A shore power with lots of day sails, weekend cruises and longer runs to the 1000 islands.
First started by looking at installing air conditioning. Then a 3.5 KW genset to drive the new A/C and existing inverter/charger when away.
Also have a few cold feet family members and would like to extend the sailing season to include May and October. That leads to finding a mild weather heating solution which apparently leads directly to risk of condensation. I have no plans to insulate the interior. There is a general consensus that circulation and ventilation are key factors to consider.
Problems - Half the docks around this lake aren't equipped to carry a 18000 BTU load (ie reliable 30 amps), so a 2 zone A/C becomes an expensive option. Air conditioning does remove condensation but hatches should be mostly closed - in too many ways that's a dumb idea when 'out there'. Running a diesel is prohibited in some anchorages in the 1000 islands. With our reasonable summers (maybe only 10 boiler days) a full capacity air conditioner is looking like a noisy floating condo application with low R.O.I.
Now the heating solution definitely will be going in, probably an Espar air to air and ducted. I am not getting much support from my know-it-all crowd because I am leaning towards also installing a marine dehumidifier. This combo should provide humidity control and plenty air movement. I will help it along with good return paths, openings to closets/storage/bilge areas, and solar vents all generally circulating the air back thru the engine/battery areas and out the stern. When I get the Espar I will work out the make up air equation. I was told they generally set up for 100% recirculation, but I think some controlled mixing should be possible.
Still have room for an A/C unit (with insulated ducting) so might just put in a 9000 BTU to knock the hot days down a bit at the dock, and remove summer humidity without turning on the dehumidifier. Should able to use common ducting for the heat and A/C. The smallest Mase 2.2 KW genset would then suffice.
Major comfort versus major complications. Life used to be simpler but then I bought a bigger boat.
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