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SV Glossa 10-23-2012 04:29 PM

Dehumidifier in wet/rain PNW?
We are a family of 4 living on a 30ft, we just moved on a few months ago - we have the two kids each in a quarter berth. We are moored on Puget Sound, and let's just say that the rain has begun.

We are looking into getting a dehumidifier and I am trying to figure what will work for us best. When I look at the 30 pt models - well, they look HUGE. I seriously don't think we would have any place to possibly put it. I can see 1 pt and 4 pt models on line, but can't see them in person anywhere.

Both of the kids are getting 'rained on' in their berth while sleeping - we are having other water condensation issues. We have put up insulation.

I just wonder if anyone has any experience with the tiny models of dehumidifiers - will they work? Will it not be big enough and another source of frustration? Is there something between 1pt and 30 pts that will be a great addition?

Faster 10-23-2012 04:56 PM

Re: Dehumidifier in wet/rain PNW?
We tried the tiny compact ones (not living aboard, just trying to keep the moisture down) and ultimately they helped, but didn't work. We're now using a 'standard' Sears unit, about 2 feet tall (20l, I think).

With multiple breathing humans on board the majority of the time the load will be greatly increased. I think you'll need a 20/30 pint style, but it will be a bit of a PITA to work around in a liveaboard situation. Despite that, your boat will thank you.

I know all our paper is dry and crisp all winter.. and the boat feels great running a dehu at 50% setting.

SV Glossa 10-23-2012 05:26 PM

Re: Dehumidifier in wet/rain PNW?
Is it possible to set a 30pt dehumidifier on a cushion while it is running? How easy would it be for one person to move it from counter to table to floor etc. etc. etc.?

And/or if we made a ledge by covering up our sink in the head - would it still get the water from the kids breathing in the quarter berths? They sleep with their heads toward the back, and our head is right in front of the front V berth where we sleep.

Faster 10-23-2012 05:36 PM

Re: Dehumidifier in wet/rain PNW?
We leave our dehum. running in the head with the doors open and it seems to keep the entire boat 'dry'.. but we don't live aboard. We also don't generally run it when we are aboard, and have noticed the RH below go from 50/60% in the evening to near 80% overnight from two people breathing and the boat closed up. We primarily use it to keep the moisture at bay this time of year.

One thing you might to is find a place (below a table perhaps?) and rig a hose so that it automatically drains into a bilge sump (or on a counter and drain into a sink) so you needn't worry about filling the reservoir.

They are a bit bulky and heavy.. ours weighs about 20 lbs or more, I reckon.. it's a chore to pack it to the car for off season sails...

miatapaul 10-23-2012 07:42 PM

Re: Dehumidifier in wet/rain PNW?

Originally Posted by SV Glossa (Post 937662)
Is it possible to set a 30pt dehumidifier on a cushion while it is running? How easy would it be for one person to move it from counter to table to floor etc. etc. etc.?

And/or if we made a ledge by covering up our sink in the head - would it still get the water from the kids breathing in the quarter berths? They sleep with their heads toward the back, and our head is right in front of the front V berth where we sleep.

Now you say you are "moored" do you have shore power? Dehumidifiers pull a lot of electricity. I don't think you could run one off of batteries. Basically they pull the same amount of AC as a good sized air conditioning unit. If you are at a mooring, I think you will need to look at a very dry source of heat to try to dry the boat out like a bulkhead heater, or a forced air/hydronic furnace.

jrd22 10-23-2012 09:04 PM

Re: Dehumidifier in wet/rain PNW?
Miata beat me to it. If you are living on the boat I assume (hope) you have some form of heat which should keep the boat dry. What type of heat do you have?

SV Glossa 10-23-2012 09:27 PM

Re: Dehumidifier in wet/rain PNW?
We do have shore power. My understanding is that we have two circuits, both at 30 amps of shore power right now. Like I mentioned in the original post - we just moved on a few months ago, this is our first 'fall/winter' and up till two weeks ago the weather was AMAZING.

So anyways - we just put up insulation (the silver supper bubble wrap type stuff) in the roof of the main cabin and the roof and sides of the V berth.

For heat we have been running a West Marine Model 9200 electric space heater that runs on shore power. We have a toaster over, dorm sized fridge, and an electric burner that we plug into shore power to cook with. So far, we have pretty much only been using it on setting '1' while we are awake and at the boat. It seems to be holding up for now, but if anyone has better ideas I am all for it.

We left the boat for about 48 hours and I was amazed by how 'dry' it was when we returned since it had been raining and their was no heat that entire time. I really feel like a big part of our problem is that we have 4 people sleeping full time on the boat - we all have to breath.

Also, if it makes a difference, we only have an outboard motor now, the inboard diesel went bad and was removed by the previous owner.

Jgbrown 10-23-2012 10:38 PM

Re: Dehumidifier in wet/rain PNW?
There are two great dehumidifiers, both made by Eva-dry. They're peltier cooler powered(fewer moving part, cheaper but higher power draw).
I use the EDV-1100, the smallest available in my Alberg 30(liveaboard with 2 people/continual construction site and some leaks.) Paid 45$ on amazon, and it's been running 24/7 ever since.
I have considered upgrading to the edv 2200 if I can find the space for it, the water extraction rate is 3-4x better, for 2x the footprint and power draw however at this point I'm not sure if I need it, my RH seems to sit around 50%.

My edv100 draws 2.5 amps.
Positioning makes a big difference, I've tried all over.
It needs:
-warm air, the extraction rate drops by half in cold air.
-space. I had it in a shelf with only about 2" of space over top for a week, I emptied it only once and it wasn't close to full, normally I empty it more regularly and full.

The only modification I've made so far was to remove the fancy grate on top where it exhausts, it moves a lot more air without the grill, and seems to extract a lot more water without it too. On the one hand I was concerned that the air moving faster would mean that it wouldn't spend long enough in contact with the cooling element to dry it, but the increased air movement was a bonus so I figure it evened out. Non-scientifically, I think it fills up less with the grate in, so it was a win in all regards except for being a bit more of a pain to clean some day I guess.
I have considered swapping the fan out for a quieter computer fan, and or looking online to find a very energy efficient peltier cooler, and using a high quality computer heat sink(more surface area) to make a better version of my own.
If I make my own, it will duct the air from cabin top to floor, the warm air at the top has the most moisture, and recirculating warm air to the floor is a very efficient way to make the boat stay warmer longer(you lose heat upwards, so keeping the warmth distributed in the air space helps, and increasing the temperature at the floor level makes the biggest difference in comfort). I would have the warm side of the peltier exposed with a small fan on it as well, this way 100% of the electricity used will be heating the cabin effectively.

I can't recommend one enough. The first month I had it on board I was emptying it all the time, now it fills up so much more slowly.
I had initially planned to have it in the galley and then drill a hole in the tank and let it drain to the sink but since it fills so slowly now I just dump the tank in the head occasionally. You can find ways to stay warm, but damp is much harder to beat.

You can buy the marine version(same specs including energy consumption as the Eva dry models) for close to 1000$, but I figure i can replace my 20x, and with no difference in energy consumption I see no benefit at all to going with the marine model.

The best change I made to my boat was buying those cheap brightly coloured interlocking foam tiles at Home Depot designed for kids play areas. We noticed a difference within an hour, no more cold feet on the floor, and the air around your legs is much nicer when warm.
They have two additional benefits.
1. they essentially seal the bilge off from the cabin, preventing the air/heat/moisture exchange that normally occurs.
2. The bright colours make it much easier to find the small parts when I drop them, and the foam prevents it from going down the holes into the bilge.

tmiller1116 10-24-2012 11:04 AM

Re: Dehumidifier in wet/rain PNW?
we are also in the PNW and on a 30' live aboard, but there are only 2 of us... we use the Soleusair 30 pt model ($180 through home depot online) and it sits under the dining table to the back of the seating. Yes, it is a little large.. you might have trouble seating all 4 of you at the same time while it is there... and we only run it at night since during the day the entryway is usually open so would be a waste to try and dehumidify the entire outdoors... it pulls 1-3 quarts of water out of the air each night for us.. manual says it uses 420 watts 3.8 amps.

be advised, you don't want this sitting right next to someone trying to sleep, it alternates pushing out warmish to cool air out the top depending if it is dehumidifying or running the fan waiting to pull more water out of the air. Will drive you nuts trying to decide if you are freezing in your sleep or baking :)

the only place that seems to not stay 100% dry during the night this way is the extreme front end of the V berth where blankets bunch up at our feet... but it is not bad. If you stayed buttoned up more and ran the dehumidifier longer each day it may not be an issue.

AdamLein 10-24-2012 02:16 PM

Re: Dehumidifier in wet/rain PNW?
For those of you who run a dehumidifier on your boat, do you keep your boat as air-tight as possible? If not, don't you worry about trying to dehumidify the outside atmosphere?

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