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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Condensation inside sailboat...
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Thread: Condensation inside sailboat... Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-29-2014 09:48 PM
travlineasy
Re: Condensation inside sailboat...

I have a couple 72 mm computer fans that draw next to nothing, about .04 amps if I recall, and really move lots of air. I'm installing one in the battery compartment this spring and one in the head. I also use one for my swamp cooler air conditioning system, when needed and it cools the entire cabin very quickly. Those things are pretty amazing and I paid about $7 each for the fans on Ebay.

Gary
01-29-2014 09:40 PM
vega1860
Re: Condensation inside sailboat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
I have a solar powered fan in the head, one that provides a continuous flow of air throughout the boat. Never have a prolem - NEVER!

Gary
There you go.

We lived aboard for two and a half years in the Pacific Northwest and are now on our second winter in SE Alaska. Insulation helps retain heat. I am not a big fan of dehumidifiers but we run one that is basically a small electric heater with a fan when we are off the boat.

The key, and the only way to really control condensation on a boat, is ventilation. Gary's solar fan is fine on an unoccupied boat but we have not had good luck with solar powered fans during winter in the high latitudes - Just not enough sunlight.

We use DC computer fans for circulation and exhaust because we need a bit more flow than is possible with a solar fan. We live aboard our warm, dry boat in Alaska...which, at the moment, is warmer than Florida

Details HERE
01-29-2014 07:21 PM
Pearson796
Re: Condensation inside sailboat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
I have a solar powered fan in the head, one that provides a continuous flow of air throughout the boat. Never have a prolem - NEVER!

Gary
We have two of those solar fans. One above the galley and the other in the head. But we still have lots of issues.

Does this only happen in cold climates or is this going to be a problem for us no matter what the temps?

We don't seem to have any issues in 50+ temps.
01-29-2014 07:09 PM
Classic30
Re: Condensation inside sailboat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
I'm planning something similar. We have a couple 12v coils previously used as a wind genny dump load. I figure I can use extra solar power to warm the cabin and run a fan too. IMHO, heat creates a temperature gradient between inside and outside that drives moisture away.
Computer fans work well: they're cheap, 12V and practically noiseless.

Installed in hard-to-reach areas at the bottom of lockers or bulkheads they make a huge difference to the air-flow through your boat.
01-29-2014 08:38 AM
downeast450
Re: Condensation inside sailboat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
If you insulate, you have to consider an possible gap between the insulation and the hull. You may keep condensation from forming in the cabin, but you don't want it in hidden places either. Spray foam naturally avoids this problem, or you must fully glue down foam insulation to eliminate that void.
That is my issue! Do I go to the trouble to strip the interior and spray or insulate for warmth with Ensolite!

Down
01-29-2014 08:29 AM
ggray
Re: Condensation inside sailboat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post

I've used Ensolite in the past for this, glued in place, there are some newer less volatile contact cements now too that may not 'eat' foams, and as a inexpensive option the closed cell sleeping pads tenters use can do a decent job too. I don't think you need a lot of thickness for simple condensation prevention.
As well as "regular" contact cement dissolving foam, the fumes are very noxious.

I have successfully used water based contact cement made by 3M. Costs twice as much, but goes twice as far. And non hazardous fumes.
01-29-2014 05:20 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Condensation inside sailboat...

If you insulate, you have to consider an possible gap between the insulation and the hull. You may keep condensation from forming in the cabin, but you don't want it in hidden places either. Spray foam naturally avoids this problem, or you must fully glue down foam insulation to eliminate that void.

In the end, I could not possible imagine a retro fit that would properly insulate our boat. Dehumidifier is the only practical solution.

In the winter, knock on wood, I haven't noticed a problem. We are covered with a Fairclough cover that breaths and keeps her dry. We pull a thru hull near the mast of the mast, so incoming rain water has a place to go. While I think it just makes me feel better, I spread about 8 refillable Damp Rid containers around the boat. After a winter, they will each have about a cup of water in them. For months of use, either the boat is unnaturally dry to they don't really take much out of the air. I also keep them over sinks, etc, in the event the water freezes and breaks the container. I also put Kanberra Gel around to control mold. They freeze and stop working when not needed at those temps, but thaw and begin to dissipate when temps rise along with moisture levels. I think, from a couple of years experience now, they work best in the closed environment of winter storage.
01-28-2014 11:16 PM
Bene505
Re: Condensation inside sailboat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
I have a solar powered fan in the head, one that provides a continuous flow of air throughout the boat. Never have a prolem - NEVER!

Gary
I'm planning something similar. We have a couple 12v coils previously used as a wind genny dump load. I figure I can use extra solar power to warm the cabin and run a fan too. IMHO, heat creates a temperature gradient between inside and outside that drives moisture away.

Some people use a small 60 watt heater during the winter to help create a temperature gradient.

We have a Home Depot dehumidifier that we use on the hard. It drains into a plastic covered container with a small hole in the side at the top. When the small container get full, water leaks out and down the sink drain. I occasionally pour the container's water into a bottle so I have some water on the hard, for cleaning, etc.

When your ceiling is dripping wet, remember to use the occasion to clean the cieling. Like dirty dishes, soaking can only help get it clean.

Regards,
Brad
01-28-2014 11:01 PM
Bene505
Re: Condensation inside sailboat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
I have never had a condensation problem on my boat in any weather , thanks to an inch and a half of spray foam, despite living aboard in all weather in BC winters. Insulation on everything is the key. A friend ,living on a cement boat, had condensation problems, until he installed a dehumidifier. It took 5 gallons out of the air in ,the first few days, then it tapered off and things began to dry far more quickly. It takes only 2 degrees of temperature difference between the temp of a surface and the air, for condensation to form.
Brent,

Do you have any pictures you can post of the spray foam insulation? Curious to sse what it looks like and whether I ought to do something similar.

Regards,
Brad
01-28-2014 08:23 PM
travlineasy
Re: Condensation inside sailboat...

I have a solar powered fan in the head, one that provides a continuous flow of air throughout the boat. Never have a prolem - NEVER!

Gary
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