SailNet Community banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to visit my boat the other day and noticed that there is condensation built up inside the cabin on the ceiling, i also had to empty the bilge pump since it was nearly full.... Im assuming the warmer weather up in NY is the issue as well as the recent rain.. Does anyone have this problem?

PS i have not tarped the boat yet... I'm betting on a mild winter but it appears i am taking on water somehow... maybe the angle the boat is on land... If you have any advice please let me know

cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
I went to visit my boat the other day and noticed that there is condensation built up inside the cabin on the ceiling, i also had to empty the bilge pump since it was nearly full.... Im assuming the warmer weather up in NY is the issue as well as the recent rain.. Does anyone have this problem?

PS i have not tarped the boat yet... I'm betting on a mild winter but it appears i am taking on water somehow... maybe the angle the boat is on land... If you have any advice please let me know

cheers
Do you have a heater running inside your boat?

We have horrible problems with condensation. It is way worse the colder it is outside when the temp between outside and inside are so different.

It isn't near as bad when the temp outside is closer to the temp inside. We have to use a propane "Mr Buddy" heater when we are anchored out and not hooked up to shore power. Propane makes the condensation way worse than electric heat.

If your boat isn't heated, I don't know why you'd have condensation.

We have lots of moisture build up under the cushions. The hull seems to sweat horribly inside. We have to keep everything sealed up in plastic bags.
 

·
██▓▓▒▒░&
Joined
·
13,641 Posts
Could be water running down the mast into the bilge, creating enough moisture to make excess condensate. A small bilge pump with small tubing, to "suck up the last bit" might help with that. Also, solar vent fans to circulate air and draw off the moisture before it condenses.

You'll get condensation any time the thermal masses and the moisture levels are right, and all you can do is heat, ventilate, dessicate, or wipe it up. A couple of buckets of "dry rid" or something similar might do the trick for you. That doesn't need power or moving parts, just replacing every once in a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,071 Posts
An installed garboard drain (a keel 'plug') and OPEN windows and portlights (can be covered to prevent snow rain, etc. from entering) is probably your best bet. An 'open' boat with a dry bilge and emptied tanks will quickly thermally equalize with the outside air due to the constant 'change of air' (convection). if you have thermal equilibrium due to air being able to rapidly 'change', you will have the least amount of 'condensation'. Ask yourself - why dont 'rowboats and dinghies' have problems with 'condensation'.

The goal is to keep the 'inside temperature' equal to the 'outside temperature; closing a boat up tight results in a 'time lag' for the temperatures to 'equilibrate' or become equal inside vs. outside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,213 Posts
Also think about ventilation. In the winter or cold even when on the boat I leave all the dorades wide open. May get a few drops on the port lights if we are on the boat with heat on ( you expel a surprising amount of insensible water loss.) But with heat off dry as a bone. If you don't have adequate dorades figure out some other way to ventilate the boat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
845 Posts
grampian,
You haven't tarped your boat yet? In NY? It may be to late as it's 10 degrees at your place now. Condensation i would say is normal in NY as the temperatures cycle above and below freezing from day to night. If it is well tarped you can crack your hatch for air flow. Before i put mine up for the winter i clean all surfaces with a cleaner with bleach in it. It inhibits mold growth through out the winter. I leave my hatches cracked as well. Investing in a quality tarp will be worth it in the end run.
Like outbound said. ventilation is everything.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,112 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,833 Posts
I run a dehumidifier, one of the big ones from Lowes, in mine all of the time when she's at the slip. I just run the drain hose to the bilge so the auto bilge pump can take care of it.

It really makes a difference. Especially down here with the high humidity. Without it, mildew will quickly form on everything.
 

·
Tundra Down
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
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.
Mike,

Did you install the foam? I am planning to do that to my Islander. I have used the "kits" before. My headliner needs to be replaced so I decided to spray foam the inside and replace the ceilings everywhere. At least down to the wl. My plan is to attach blocks to attach ceilings to and spray. Level the result and then attach the new ceilings. A big job but if the "headliners are going it doesn't make sense to put something up without insulating. Your thoughts?

Down
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,485 Posts
Down.. I'd look at closed cell foam panels rather than spray on esp as a retrofit. Seems it would be hard to control the depth of a spray, esp overhead.

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
This would be on how to manage condensation and you don't have a dehumidifier and need to do something right now. This comes from a grade school science project and modified for this purpose.

Plastic attracts moister and dead air space is the best insulator. If you take a piece of plastic tarping, like 4 mill and secure it to the ceiling, I know this will not be easy to do, but if you dry an area and use duct tape, it should hold. It needs to be air tight. Now pitch the plastic with weight on top of the plastic. like a bolt or a small fitting, not too heavy, but heavy enough to pitch the plastic to that point. Yes this will need to be done before sealing the plastic.

Now here is the theory, you are adding a layer of insulation (dead air space) to the ceiling, helping with heat loss and moving the condensation to the underside of the new, tarp, ceiling. The water will condensate here and run down to the weighted point and drip off into...sink or bucket.

I know this is OT to the OPs post, but I thought it might help others here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jimgo

·
Tundra Down
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Down.. I'd look at closed cell foam panels rather than spray on esp as a retrofit. Seems it would be hard to control the depth of a spray, esp overhead.

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.
Faster,

That is good advice and I may decide to do it with Ensolite. I have used the spray and it is tricky and messy. The timing is important, too. It would almost need to be a "one and done" operation which means the entire interior gets trashed at once. Ensolite would allow it to be done in smaller stages. I appreciate your observations. Thanks.

Down
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,112 Posts
Brent,

Does the insulation stop condensation on the hull below the waterline?

Neil
Yes absolutely. She is foamed right down to the floor boards. It is not wise to go below the floor boards, or it will act as a wick. Insulating the bottom of the floor boards works well, as does putting a carpet down for the winter, That reduces condensation in the bilge by over 80%. Pulling out enough interior in a plastic boat to sprayfoam the interior, then putting it back after, is a huge job. But your improvement in comfort level from that point on is equally huge.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,112 Posts
Mike,

Did you install the foam? I am planning to do that to my Islander. I have used the "kits" before. My headliner needs to be replaced so I decided to spray foam the inside and replace the ceilings everywhere. At least down to the wl. My plan is to attach blocks to attach ceilings to and spray. Level the result and then attach the new ceilings. A big job but if the "headliners are going it doesn't make sense to put something up without insulating. Your thoughts?

Down
I hired a sprayfoamer to do it, in a couple of hours. Friends have used the kits, and had no problem with them, but they are not really that much cheaper than having someone do it for you. Friends, who tried sheet foam ,found it a huge amount of work, and no cheaper than having it sprayfoamed. Sprayfoam can also eliminate the little bits of fibreglass or steel poking thru, each of which will drip condensation like a leaky faucet.
 

·
Tundra Down
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
I hired a sprayfoamer to do it, in a couple of hours. Friends have used the kits, and had no problem with them, but they are not really that much cheaper than having someone do it for you. Friends, who tried sheet foam ,found it a huge amount of work, and no cheaper than having it sprayfoamed. Sprayfoam can also eliminate the little bits of fibreglass or steel poking thru, each of which will drip condensation like a leaky faucet.
Thanks Brent. I will see if it makes sense to foam. There are spaces that sure would be more effectively insulated with a spray application. I have applied a small kit to another boat so I am familiar with the application problems. My biggest concern as a retrofit is the complete "insult" to the interior it will require. Your point about uninsulated places providing "drip sources" is a good one. I have decided I need to replace this boats ceilings (headliner) and that will require a lot of disruption anyway? We will see.

Down
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top