Surviving a Gulf Coast summer without A/C - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 27 Old 03-10-2011
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Having endured the heat at Kemah in the summer, What? 80 degrees that is winter time. I had a miserable sleepless night. I use a bigger model of these.
DP: Dry Pal Dehumidifier

Ideal for boats, campers, and RV units - 250-350 cubic feet
Mermaid's Dry-Pal Dehumidification units are an ideal addition to any vessel, camper, or RV, where dehumdification is a must. This product can be used instead of using your air conditioning system. Manfufactured out of 304-18 gauge polished stainless steel.

The Dry-Pal is available in 110v or 220v applications. This product is designed to dehumidify an area 250-350 cubic feet. It will dehumidify larger areas, however, optimal humidity levels will be more accurately achieved within the units parameters. Non-skid rubber feet are installed on each unit for the security of not damaging counter tops or tables. Ideal location for the unit is in an area where no air obstructions can occur. It is preferred on or near a sink or table where a drain can be utilized. The condensation that is accrued needs to drain to either an overboard thru-hull or a sump pump. Dry-Pal is protected with the security of a one-year warranty. 6 feet of clear 1/2 condensation hose provided.

DP Base Price: $499.00

The downside, it generates gallons of water, (5 gals or more per hour), and won't keep up with a sweaty body.
I have two 16000BTU AC units running full time, when one broke it couldn't keep up and the boat got TOO hot to sleep. I replaced it imediately.
I use the humidifier, the compressor type for when I'm not on the boat, and the two AC units on Generator when I am.

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post #22 of 27 Old 03-10-2011
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Question Staying cool....

I am reading this thread with extreme interest as I intend to move to Florida and retire on an old 30 footer this year. I am chunky, take the sun poorly and will need to develop methods to cope with heat in marinas and at anchor. I know that losing weight will help.

The statement that a portable AC of 8000BTU draws 15 amps is suspicious, I believe that number was just the requirement for a 15amp rated electrical outlet. The condensate disposal system I have seen on portable AC units is a small float-activated pump that forces water through an atomizing nozzle which causes it to be swept up and out the exhaust hose as mist. This feature is low current draw.

There is a product sold on the website that is a nice looking hood that fits over a deck hatch. It allows use of the inexpensive window type portable AC units that sell for as little as $100. This item enables the same results you get with the heavy and expensive marine hatch AC units. By the way - I have seen many used AC units starting at $50 on the Craig's List site for Florida. Also the marine hatch AC units start at $200 used.

Would like to hear from anyone who has seen the freshwater misting systems used on boats. Maybe they only work in low humidity meaning Baja but not the Gulf region.

Fans - the marine products are mostly overpriced. Pay particular attention to the current draw specs for the 12 volt fans and don't buy one without the spec info. Hella brand, German made I think, have extremely low current draw so you can sleep better knowing the fans won't drain batteries overnight. About 2/10 of one amp rated. For what it's worth, I have a marine electronics degree. There is also a fairly new category of fan design that originated in the RV market that is very power efficient. They are sold at Walmart and various RV or camp supply stores. They use a 10 to 12 inch turbine style fan with many small blades - very quiet.

On the topic of passive cooling with deck shade tarps - This is smart but I think it is going to cause a Chinese fire drill any time the wind suddenly picks up. I have been researching sources for sunscreen mesh, have seen sailors using these large woven reflective blankets draped over their decks. Some just looks like white screening and some looks like coarsely woven shiny mylar tinsel. I think a major advantage is they allow good air movement from all directions and are not vulnerable to wind damage or rain puddle damage, no frame needed. Possible disadvantage is no rain protection. A major supplier is which sells all sorts of livestock/chicken coop protection. Their prices are nothing like marine pricing. The solar screening products are listed by percentage of filtering - 10 to 90% sun shielding. They sell huge unfinished rolls of this fabric but also have extremely reasonable prices on custom sized tarps with edges that are nylon taped and grometed. You could order two tarps that would drape over your entire boat right out over the lifelines. I am also thinking I will experiment with side panels for the cockpit bimini that will cut the low angle sun glare that causes sunburns while permitting some visibility and creating almost no windage. Since it is permeable to wind and water it need not be a high strength installation.

Please share your thoughts on any of the above ideas or any experience you have with sun screen fabric. Have a good summer!
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post #23 of 27 Old 04-15-2011
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Those wet towels will increase the humidity in your boat. Let your towels dry on the lifeline. With the hatches open I use two small fans to direct the air thru the boat and it is cool enough for me.
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post #24 of 27 Old 04-15-2011
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Silver tarp to shade the deck

Serious BIG windscoop.

Carframo or Hella fans if you are off the grid.

But if you have a shore power I think a window a/c unit is the way to go Walmart have a 5000 btu Frigidaire for $120 - fit that into a dummy washboard or a box that sits on your fore hatch and sleep cool!
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post #25 of 27 Old 04-15-2011
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Originally Posted by CapnBilll View Post
The downside, it generates gallons of water, (5 gals or more per hour), and won't keep up with a sweaty body.
The upside to that is that you could replenish your water tanks with it, but at the expense of a lot of power, not sure it would be a good idea.

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post #26 of 27 Old 05-14-2011
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It is for me been doing it for 3 years in swfla right now it 1245am 75 outside .solar vents work great for keeping the air moven plus a fan also a good boom tent dose keep the inside 10 dreg cooler 6 opening ports and a foward hatch with wind chute all on a 26 foot boat but I like the heat and realy dont care for ac at all

Last edited by 26bombayexpress; 05-14-2011 at 12:30 AM.
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post #27 of 27 Old 06-17-2011
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Try to remember this, when humidity sits in an area for a long time it can yes be uncomfortable and start the MOLD process. When you add a fan that circulates the air and have a few windows open in those state rooms it can actually remove some of the humidity by circulating it threw the open windows. The temp can drop as much as 5-7 degrees. Noticeable when some of the humidity is gone.
Some portable a/c units will draw high amps for a boat and if you go with one remember, just because they say when it removes humidity and your left evaporator condensation the water is not always gonna evaporate, you should check the hose and or the pan to make sure the water is gone and no critters get in there and backed up the drain line (use a vacuum).
I live in Florida and have been in a/c for 7 years. First try fans and maybe some bigger fans at best. Keep some humidity bags around your closets and what not (walmart, etc). It will help with the developing of MOLD. If you keep humidity circulating 9 times out of 10 you should not have a MOLD issue. Heat is one thing but humidity is another try fans first and see if it helps. If your wife and you are still uncomfortable, then I would choose a smaller a/c unit and yes put the condenser heat outside. It does not take much to cool a boat your size and you will not have to run it that long. Some portable a/c units have temp timers. When it reaches desired temperature it will shut off.
Portable a/c units, keep them as far inside the boat as you can with the condenser heat tubes going outside. The air will travel towards the back of your boat, and with added 12 volt fans with it, you should notice a big difference. Another thing, if you get a bigger fan you can also put that in the front (bow) as it will push the heat back outside...
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