Mildew prevention -- running a small air hose to the bottm of each locker - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 18 Old 09-22-2010
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A little cedar in the lockers wouldn't hurt to keep things smelling fresher.
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post #12 of 18 Old 09-22-2010
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Any dehumidifier recommendations?
Just check out Consumer Reports (online subscription is priceless).

I went from having all kinds of hatches and vents open on my Catalina 36, to just having one Nicor Night and Day solar vent and one passive vent open. With the dehumidifier the boat stayed dry, and fresh. We also put a small fan in the forward V-berth to make sure there was adequate air movement there.
The dehumidifier has a fan on it that does a pretty good job of moving air in the main cabin.

10 months out of the year, it is very wet here. The dehumidifier worked great. One thing to consider however, is that you have to do something with the water it produces. They have small containers for collecting the water, but unless you are down at the boat every few days, it will fill up and then the dehumidifier will quit. They are also setup to be able to connect a hose to the dehumidifier. You can run this to the bilge and have your bilge pump take care of it, or if you trust your thru-hull and hoses, you can run the hose to a sink drain and leave that thru-hull open. That is what I did (after thoroughly checking out the hose, clamps, and thru-hull. Risky I know, but I've forgotten to close thru-hulls on the boat lots of times in the past and have been fortunate to not yet have the boat sink at the dock.

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post #13 of 18 Old 09-22-2010
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A dehumidifier is basically either a heater or a chiller. The chiller units are more powerful, i.e. for home basements, where they run a small freon compressor and humidity condenses on the coils to be pumped/dumped out as cold water.

The less expensive units are heaters, like the "goldenrods". Even a small amount of heat warms the compartment up and dries it out. You *could* use 12V light bulbs on the dump load but they waste a lot of power as light. (ha) You could probably use a couple of surplus "dog bone" wire-wound ceramic resistors or other 12V low-power heating elements on the dump load to accomplish the same task.
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post #14 of 18 Old 09-22-2010
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A dehumidifier is basically either a heater or a chiller. The chiller units are more powerful, i.e. for home basements, where they run a small freon compressor and humidity condenses on the coils to be pumped/dumped out as cold water.

The less expensive units are heaters, like the "goldenrods". Even a small amount of heat warms the compartment up and dries it out. You *could* use 12V light bulbs on the dump load but they waste a lot of power as light. (ha) You could probably use a couple of surplus "dog bone" wire-wound ceramic resistors or other 12V low-power heating elements on the dump load to accomplish the same task.
I was talking about the true dehumidifiers, which as you mention, work just like an AC unit. Coils are cooled and the air is drawn over them with a fan. The moisture condenses on the coils and is collected. This is why any AC units you have in your car or home drip water.

The heating units, like the goldenrod or dry air units, simply warm the air up. This doesn't dry the air out, it simply raises the air temp and allows the warm air to hold more moisture than cold air. In essence, you then get warm, wet air that will hold onto it's moisture better than cold air.

I used both. We would hang a Goldenrod in a locker or compartment that would tend to be wet, this helps any moisture in that are to stay in the air. Then with adequate air flow, that moisture laden air is then dried out by the dehumidifier.

Also, the dehumidifier won't make your boat colder. It is essentially a wash. It runs like an AC unit, but the excess heat isn't being vented outside, but recirculated in the cabin.

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post #15 of 18 Old 09-22-2010 Thread Starter
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Simply fantactic input gentlemen. Anyone know a good 12 volt humidified? The one Puddinlegs linked to looks good, but I'd have to power it through an inverter. (But the wattage looks good.)

Separately, I'm wondering if a dump load that kicks on at, say 14.1 volts (gel cells) will stay on for a few minutes. If I use a 300+ watt dehumidifier, when it get's powered-up, the dumping load will lower the voltage at the battery terminals pretty quickly, thereby shutting off the dump load. I need it to stay on for 5 minutes or more, otherwise the dehumidifier will just be a big heater (the coils will never get cold).

Do the Xantrax C60s and other dump load "controllers" keep the dump load active long enough, or will it provid constantly flickering power. (In which case I'll have to design and build something that keeps the power on for a minimum length of time.)

Regards,
Brad

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post #16 of 18 Old 09-22-2010
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Simply fantactic input gentlemen. Anyone know a good 12 volt humidified? The one Puddinlegs linked to looks good, but I'd have to power it through an inverter. (But the wattage looks good.)
You don't want to try and run a dehumidifier from your battery bank. I am fortunate to be able to moor at a slip so I have shore power available. If you are at a buoy, then I'd concentrate on passive and solar venting.

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post #17 of 18 Old 09-23-2010 Thread Starter
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You don't want to try and run a dehumidifier from your battery bank. I am fortunate to be able to moor at a slip so I have shore power available. If you are at a buoy, then I'd concentrate on passive and solar venting.
I'm planning to use it in the summer as the dump load for the wind generator (up to 300 wats to dump in strong winds), and then on shore power from November to April.

I'm thinking about designing something that uses naturally absorbent material in a more efficient, power conserving, and reusable way. Got some ideas but nothing solid yet. I suppose there'd be a market for that, or at least I'd want one, which isn't always a good indicator.

Regards,
Brad

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post #18 of 18 Old 09-23-2010
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Brad,

I have a few comments.

It's important to know the root cause of your mildew. One cause that few here acknowledge is that if your boat is in cold water then you could get condensation on the inside of your hull below the waterline. In this case more ventilation of your lockers could make the problem worse, not better. I discussed it in this thread, though met with some skepticism. However, since I insulated my lockers with bubble wrap (and leaving them closed with cushions on top while in the dock), I have had NO moisture in my lockers:

Using bubble wrap to minimize moisture in settee lockers?

Rather than ventilate the humid summer air through my boat, I chose to keep the cabin sealed and run a small dehumidifier off of shore power. The little one I found runs off of a 12v power brick, so could be easily adapted to run off of your wind generator. It is sized properly for my little boat, but you would need a few of them for your larger boat:

Tiny Dehumidifiers

As for moisture absorbent material, the "Damp Rid" products offer a disposable alternative. If I can't get a small power line while on the hard this winter I will be using them instead.


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