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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2011
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Gas,
I also have a boat right down the road from you in Seabrook and July/Aug/Sept will be brutal in the marina.
The air dryer from West Marine wont help you much in the summer because it actually creates a small amount of heat (which you do not want). It works by keeping the inside temp just above the dew level I think. I have one I leave on when we are not staying on the boat and it does help keep the moisture down.
I also have an 8000btu portable ac from Commercial Air. It was an xmas present from my father in-law but I think its around $350.00.
It draws 8.5amps. In the middle of summer on an 34' Oday, it will keep it just bearable in the main salon during the day and quite comfortable at night.
I would hold onto my $70.00 for the air dryer and put it towards a portable AC unit if at all possible. It will mean the difference between living well or just barely surviving.
That, combined with the boom tent type tarp, should put you in comfort.
The tarp itself is something you will want to do for living aboard...it will make a big difference.
For the exhaust hose outlet; I cut a board the size of my bottom drop board for the companionway....cut a hole for the exhaust hose to slip into...set the unit in the quaterberth and sit back and chill.
BTW if you are worried about your wiring and you cannot take care of it right now...install a smoke detector on your inside cabin top that will wake you if something does start to cook in the middle of the night.
(nobody understands a Texas gulfcoast summer until they have lived it)
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2011
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Tarps can lower your temp by at least 10 degres. They really help us on both our boat and our camper.
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  #13  
Old 02-25-2011
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I grew up on the gulf coast. 94 deg and 98% humidity was the norm for most of the summer. There several things that you learn to do to cope with the humidity. First, fans! Second, Cotton! Third, no Cold Drinks! Last, Shade!
So why? Fans keep you cool and keep the bugs moving. Cotton is the most comfortable material (learn to walk slow and move slow). Cold drinks only make you hotter in the long run and they leave rings of water on the table that will never evaporate. Shade! Get and awning cover or something else.
If you possible, A/C is great, but if you live on the gulf you will still need to learn the basics of living in 98% humidity.
Bath towels have to be dried every day (hang 'em out in the sun). Potato chips, crackers, etc will go stale in 5 min. Give 'em up.
Finally, everything will rust quickly -- but now that i live on a boat in the mid-atlantic, everything will rust on a boat "." I think everyone that has a boat slowly learns to cope with high humidity no matter where they live.
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Old 02-25-2011
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You won't have any trouble sleeping at night once you get used to the sweat pooling in your belly button. Before you get used to it, the trick is to turn on your side regularly to drain your belly button.

You will need fans and, depending on which marina you are in, you will need screens to keep the mosquitoes from draining you.
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  #15  
Old 02-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTB View Post
If you read my post, I covered that - This unit has auto evaporation, so no need to empty water from the unit

I have never had to drain the unit except when we put it away for the winter. There is a drain plug, and the instructions say to drain the unit if not being used for an extended time.
And if you'd read MY post you'd see that I was referencing the dehumidifier listed in the original post, not your air conditioner.
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Old 02-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabreeze_97 View Post
And if you'd read MY post you'd see that I was referencing the dehumidifier listed in the original post, not your air conditioner.
Gotcha. Must have been the previous 7 posts that threw me. Sorry. In that case, the dehumidifier is definitely a waste.
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Last edited by RTB; 02-25-2011 at 09:02 PM.
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As to the air cond, unless you want to go primitive all the time, you gotta have a real AC, be it a window unit, a portable, true marine, or an RV unit blowing through a hatch. Self evaporation is a handy feature, but you can get one without that and save a couple amps, but even those portables (the bigger ones) still slug 10-12 amps. Non-evap units will need a water drain. I am on-the-fence as to what I'd do in your situation, but I think for the least intrusion, I'd look at the RV unit blowing into a forward hatch, though a little 3 amp window unit would be the least costly and easiest. You don't wanna try to do without it.

Last edited by seabreeze_97; 02-25-2011 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 02-26-2011
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One thing to be careful of is the current draw. If you use an appliance that draws more than 12 amps on a 15 amp circuit breaker for long periods of time, you run the risk frying the breaker. Most circuit breakers are only rated for 80% of nominal capacity for extended use.

Having spent a portion of an unseasonably hot spring/early summer down in that area, I'd say that a/c is not really an option, but a necessity, especially if you're planning on overnighting on the boat very often. Further from civilization, where there is less of a heat island effect, you might be able to get away without having a/c, since lying to an anchor allows your boat to swing head to wind and then the hatches and windscoops become quite effective...but at a dock, you need A/C.
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Old 03-10-2011
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We spent four summers in the Sea of Cortez and one in El Salvador aboard our boat without AC -- temps were usually in the high 90's, sometimes over 100.

If you decide to go without an "electrical" solution, a four-way wind scoop will help a LOT -- particularly at anchor where you won't be lying head-to-wind and don't want to be constantly adjusting a wind scoop.

Secondly, lots of fans are necessary -- the Caframo 12-volt fans move FAR more air than anything else for the amps (we were at anchor and power was a concern). We had 7 on a 37' Tayana: several with clip bases that we moved as we sat in different places, one in the galley, one in the head (important) and two in the V-berth. We only ran one or two at a time, depending on where we were sitting.

We honestly didn't find it awful to live on the boat in those temps with sufficient ventilation. And no, there isn't much breeze in the Sea of Cortez in the summer, but those 4-way wind scoops will pick up even the slightly puff. However, if you use a lot of tarps, you'll have to be careful not to block the airflow or they'll do more harm than good. We gave our full boat cover away when we realized that we got zero airflow when we put it up.

I've written more about our summer ventilation and what we did to make things better on my blog if you want more info:

The Boat Galley -- Ventilation
The Boat Galley -- My Favorite 12-Volt Fans

If you go with a dehumidifier, just remember that it won't do any good if you don't close the boat up, since you'll just keep drawing more moist air into the boat. And closing it up will make it REALLY hot if you don't have AC.

Good luck!
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  #20  
Old 03-10-2011
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One more thing -- instead of using a terry cloth towel, get a good microfiber "travel" towel -- they dry out much faster and will have less problem with mildew.
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