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  #1  
Old 09-03-2012
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Mold and moisture

We are having a problem with mold on our Pearson 28. I know from this thread Mold that I need to kill the mold. But, I also want to get either a dehumidifier or a small AC to reduce the humidity while at dock. I am thinking that a small dehumidifier will be more economical. The thread I referenced mentioned using a small household dehumidifier. Can anyone make a recommendation of a small household unit that I can set up to drain into the sink? Something small enough to put in my car while away from the dock would be best.

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Mold and moisture

I don't know about small dehumidifiers but I am wondering about the source of all of that moisture. How dry is your bilge? If you have water down there, that would be a big source of your mold / moisture problem. Drying that up would clear up the other problem. Usually, providing ventilation is sufficient to avoid moisture and mold. Maybe a Nicro solar powered vent in the cabin?

Good luck,

Tod
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Old 09-04-2012
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Red face Re: Mold and moisture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladrags1 View Post
I don't know about small dehumidifiers but I am wondering about the source of all of that moisture. How dry is your bilge? If you have water down there, that would be a big source of your mold / moisture problem. Drying that up would clear up the other problem. Usually, providing ventilation is sufficient to avoid moisture and mold. Maybe a Nicro solar powered vent in the cabin?

Good luck,
Tod
I'm votin' with Tod; that's a good summing up.
We have virtually no mold/mildew in our boat nowadays. Not so when we bought it. Note that once those spores get established in all the damp and hidden places -- some almost beyond your farthest reach-- it's really hard to get rid of them. Hard cleaning work, but it really pays off.

Having said that, what you need to do is use any standard cleaner/disinfectant to really clean up all reachable surfaces. And, I mean all. Pull out everything from under settees and everything from the bow stroage and all (!) lazarettes. Scrub and clean and towel dry.

From that time forward you Absolutely Must keep the interior DRY. Yup, capital letters, as in 'shouting on the internet'.

If you have deck or cabin leaks, cure them. If there's any water in the bilge, find out where it's coming from and put a halt to it.
Equally important, ventilate the boat by allowing inside air (usually damp air) to exchange to the outside. Then, even more important, establish ventilators for EVERY hidden area under ALL the settees and other areas that are enclosed now. Your below-waterline hull areas will (!) support condensation and if there's no way for that moisture to move into the air, circulate, and exit, it will feed new mildew outbreaks all over the place.

Our boat was a virtual mold farm when we bought it. (It had sat closed up for three years.)
We had to launder all the cushion covers three times and put new foam in 'em.

I added two Beckson ss ventilators for the aft cabin and aft head. Good news is that our Lewmar hatches have a latched "vent" position and that's where they stay unless a storm is in the offing.
Equally important, I added a total of ten plastic/ss vents under every part of the interior that had formerly been isolated from air turnover.

In the mid-90's I changed out the old stuffing box for a PSS shaft seal. Bone dry under the engine ever since.

We are in a Very damp climate here, almost year 'round. We also have a boat with a keel stepped spar, so there's a quart of rain water in the bilge after any decent storm. I use a "turkey baster" to remove that water each week.

When I roll back the hatch and open up the interior there is NO "boat smell". I like it that way, and more important, the Admiral likes it that way!

Last edited by olson34; 09-05-2012 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Mold and moisture

Likely sources of water are the stuffing box, mast boot and windows. If water collects in the track on the bottom of the windows they are leaking. Also check the weep holes to make sure water is flowing down to the pump and not getting trapped in a compartment either forward or aft of the pump. Even with a dripping stuffing box and leaking window my P28 never had mold issues, so you must have a significant leak somewhere. Fix the problem, not the symptom.
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Mold and moisture

Mold spores exist everywhere. It is when relative humidity constantly above about 70% or more all the time when you get mold. Try to get the boat dry then clean everything with white vinegar and try to get it ventilated in some way. I would do this before adding electrical devices that could cause a fire. Although the fire would get rid of the mold.
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Mold and moisture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladrags1 View Post
I don't know about small dehumidifiers but I am wondering about the source of all of that moisture. How dry is your bilge? If you have water down there, that would be a big source of your mold / moisture problem. Drying that up would clear up the other problem. Usually, providing ventilation is sufficient to avoid moisture and mold. Maybe a Nicro solar powered vent in the cabin?

Good luck,

Tod
It only takes a 2 degree temperature difference to get condensation. So the only ventilation which will eliminate it, is enough ventilation to make the inside temperature within 2 degres of the outside temperature. Not a good solution here in BC winters. Only adequate insulation can make a boat liveable in BC winters, lots of insulation; over everything which connects to the outside.
I and friends tried lots of ventilation . Doesn't work in these lattitudes. Only insulation works, in eliminating condensation. .
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Mold and moisture

Get a couple of boxes of "Bounce" dryer sheets and spread sheets liberally into every conceivable inaccessible space, especially inside drawers and under cushions.
Why?
Because they contain chemical compound known as dodecyl benzene quaternary ammonium chloride, a powerful germicide as well as an antistat. It is also the active ingredient in "Cepacol" throat lozenges.
Button up the boat as air tight as possible and in time all the mold will be dead.
As a side note I stupidly put a teaspoon of the above compound in the condensate drain of my home air conditioner and that was enough to shut down my septic tank!
I use those sheets inside my travel trailer also and mine is the only camp ground trailer that smells fresh and clean.
Dick
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Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Mold and moisture

Yea. The electric bilge pump is out, we have a leaky window, and the fresh water tank leaks. Sounds like I have plenty of moisture problems to deal with before moving on to ventilation or dehumidifier ...

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 09-05-2012
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Re: Mold and moisture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
It only takes a 2 degree temperature difference to get condensation. So the only ventilation which will eliminate it, is enough ventilation to make the inside temperature within 2 degres of the outside temperature. Not a good solution here in BC winters. Only adequate insulation can make a boat liveable in BC winters, lots of insulation; over everything which connects to the outside.
I and friends tried lots of ventilation . Doesn't work in these lattitudes. Only insulation works, in eliminating condensation. .
Condensation is not about temperature difference as much as it is about humidity and dewpoint. When air at a given temperature is at 99% Relative Humidity, then yes it is possible that a surface that is only 2 degrees colder may form condensation. If the air is only at 50%RH then a surface will have to be quite a bit colder in order to bring the air that comes into contact with it below it's dewpoint, thus causing condensation. If you don't want condensation, you must remove the moisture from the air. Don't get me wrong; insulation will help, but you can't easily insulate every potentially cold surface!

My boat, does not have a mold problem, nor does it have a condensation problem. We run a small heater in it over the winter but that is it. We have plenty of uninsulated surfaces but the heater is enough to keep the RH to a manageable level. I have a friend who runs a dehumidifier in the winter, on a race boat with no insulated surfaces. Again, no mold or condensation problems.
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Re: Mold and moisture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybyknight View Post
they contain chemical compound known as dodecyl benzene quaternary ammonium chloride,
Dick
That sounds like something I want to breathe in high concentrations.....
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