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OK, so our boat is now on the hard. And I have electricity. That's right, she is now plugged into a 30 amp service.

I noticed a lot of mildew on the ceiling in the forward stateroom. There was also condensation (droplets) on the inside of the hatches up front. The relative humidity was 84% according to the guage in the cabin.

I put up a temporary tarp so I could open one of the hatches. And I'm building a big, sailnet-inspired, pvc-framed tarp in the next few weeks.

Is there anything else that I can do to lower the humidity and keep the mildew at bay? I'm thinking about putting a small dehumidifier next to the sink, so that it will automatically drain out. (The hatches would then be closed.) Maybe a 110v fan would keep the air moving too.
 

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Bene505—

A big open tub of calcium Chloride would help. :) Also, ventilation would help. Moving air throughout the boat is always a good thing. Wiping down the surfaces with mildew killer, rinsing and then wiping them down with lemon oil or vinegar will go a long way to preventing mold/mildew.
 

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Moisture

When you built your tarp/cover, don't "hermitcally" seal it. What I mean is leave a small opening in the front, near the pulput, and stern. If you do it right, no rain or snow will get into or onto the boat, but you'll have enough area to get air flow which should help reduce moister. Shrink Wrapped boats often have a lot of moisture problems, because thy are too well sealed.

Also, when you put on the cover, some folks add a fender or two on each side the that cover goes over. This creates another gap for a small amount of airflow as the cover heats up (much like a chimney) from the sun.

Visit your boat open and open the hatches under the cover when you visit. Make sure the cover is flipped open a little when you visit so that fresh air can circulate. A fan will help, but the fresh air needs to be allowed to get to the move to move the stale air away.

Make sure all your bilge is dry and that you have just enough anitfreeze in the head to cover the seals. You don't need a full bowl. Same thing with the water tanks. Pump out all of the fresh water, then add non-toxic AF and pump it out until just enough is availble to fill the lines. NO need to have a full water tank of liquid.

I vist my boat every few weeks and after a huge snowstorm to check the cover. I like to broom off the cover of heavy snow so that the frame doesn't crush under the weight. I once forgot to do this and it poured rain a few days later and then froze making the huge and heavy blocks of snow and ice in some depressions that formed under weight.

DrB
 

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Because of some portlight leaks, I left the bilge with a good amount of antifreeze in it. All the bilges actually. Now that those portlights are coverd by a tarp, I'll pump out the bilges and mop them dry. They could use a good mopping anyway.

I'll also take your advice on the bowls, one of which is half full with pure antifreeze.

I'm a little reluctant to wipe things down with vinegar, but may try it.
 

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I (dutifully) seached the sailnet site for a dehumidifier and didn't find one. Maybe I didn't search correctly?

I'm thinking about going to Target and getting a 100v dehumidifier. My only concern is what happens when the drips of water that are going down my sink drain get to the spot where it's below freezing. There will be either stalactites outside the boat, stalagmites on the ground, or a frozen (possibly injured) seacock. Maybe all three.

BTW, since I have internet too (Can you believe this?), I'm thinking about rigging a simple webcam aimed at the temp, humidity, and atmospheric pressure gauges. And while typing this, I realized that the computer to run the webcam will use a few watts and have a fan too. This just keeps getting better. I guess I ought to post the URL on sailnet.
 

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i believe Paul is talking about a air dryer<TABLE style="FONT-SIZE: 11px" width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD align=middle width="10%"></TD><TD align=middle width="15%">1458</TD><TD style="PADDING-RIGHT: 5px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px; PADDING-TOP: 5px" align=left width="50%">DAVIS AIR DRYER 1000
DAVIS AIR DRYER 1000 Air-Dryr153; Mildew Fighter Say Goodbye to Mold, Mildew and Moisture 1458 Air-Dryr 1000. Handles up to 1000 cubic feet of living space. Draws only 1.1 amps,130 watts. Circular unit measu</TD><TD align=middle width="15%">List Price: <S>$68</S>
Click for price!
</TD><TD align=middle width="10%"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

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Bene505, you over thinking

I see you have your boat in New England, so is mine. In the winter, it's pretty dry here, so a lot of moisture in the air isn't really an issue.

Getting and keeping the water out of the boat is key. Keeping the decks of the boat dry is the job of the cover. Keeping the bilge dry, low water in the head and water tanks, coupled with a a few damp-x (calcium chloride) tubs, should be more than adequate. No need for active dehumidifier or webcams, etc. Visit your boat frequently and dry the bilge and wipe the walls for any condensate and you'll be fine. Make sure you remove all cushions , clothes, and other soft goods from the boat and sore them in a dry place.

When spring rolls around, spray bottle a weak bleach solution on the interior walls and surfaces and your done. You're going to get some mildew/mold in a boat over the winter if you store it covered outside. Starting dry and keeping it dry will significantly minimize the mildew in the spring.

DrB
 

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Glad I found Sailnet
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i believe Paul is talking about a air dryer<TABLE style="FONT-SIZE: 11px" width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD align=middle width="10%"></TD><TD align=middle width="15%">1458</TD><TD style="PADDING-RIGHT: 5px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px; PADDING-TOP: 5px" align=left width="50%">DAVIS AIR DRYER 1000
DAVIS AIR DRYER 1000 Air-Dryr153; Mildew Fighter Say Goodbye to Mold, Mildew and Moisture 1458 Air-Dryr 1000. Handles up to 1000 cubic feet of living space. Draws only 1.1 amps,130 watts. Circular unit measu</TD><TD align=middle width="15%">List Price: <S>$68</S>
Click for price!
</TD><TD align=middle width="10%"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>


That's just a heater, right? I thought heaters were a bad idea.
 

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I would think the yard won't allow 24/7 power flow to stored boats.

I've never had electricity on my stored boat. Bought some of the damp rid stuff along with some mildew gas bags. No problems. Actually I did have a problem once when I didn't put some cushions on edge. Mildew grew under the cushions sitting on the bench. Other than that no problems.
Prop up all cushions, open all lockers. Since you have a cover, crack a vent or two.
 

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I would think the yard won't allow 24/7 power flow to stored boats.

I've never had electricity on my stored boat. Bought some of the damp rid stuff along with some mildew gas bags. No problems. Actually I did have a problem once when I didn't put some cushions on edge. Mildew grew under the cushions sitting on the bench. Other than that no problems.
Prop up all cushions, open all lockers. Since you have a cover, crack a vent or two.
I'm half expecting to drive up and see that the boat's been unplugged. That's one reason I want to run a 110v fan instead of turning on a 12v one. I don't want the battery drain that would lead to low battery voltage and then a frozen battery!

It's a find if it lasts. In reality I'm focusing on the passive things like a tarp, with a secondary (backup) tarp over some open portlights.

Thanks to davidcw's suggestion, almost everything (literally) is off the boat and in a nice warm and dry basement. He and the November '08 BFS crew helped with a "bucket brigade" of wine, pillows, cushions, beer, cans of food, etc. And KelebD helped with all the books and magazines. I actually can't wait to thoughtfully assign places for things as they go back in.
 

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And as an extra plus you'll know where you put the stuff and not have to ask defrich where it went.......that sure was fun
 

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Yes, great fun. "I have a toothbrush with metal bristles." <I'm cracking up right now as I type this> One of the funniest moments of my life.

I still haven't found my multimeter.
 

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Roadkillibus Texanis
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Bene505—

A big open tub of calcium Chloride would help. :) Also, ventilation would help. Moving air throughout the boat is always a good thing. Wiping down the surfaces with mildew killer, rinsing and then wiping them down with lemon oil or vinegar will go a long way to preventing mold/mildew.

I’m no chemist by any means and may likely be wrong here . . . . . . . but I don’t think calcium Chloride (Oxidizing gases) is a good idea under a closed tarp due to the fact that oxidizing gases will cause hydrocarbon materials (Gasoline, diesel, oil, grease etc.) to ignite or explode my merely being in the vicinity.

I like the wipe down with tarp off and the ventilation with tarp on idea.


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I remember some water in the bilge. Not much but some. Even a little water in the bilge seems to make mold worse when the boat is on stands.
 

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Boat shore power on the hard is a bad idea. A faulty ground or even a poorly performing ground, a little moisture creating a ground fault or a ground fault in an appliance could result in your appendages, bonded thru hulls, etc becoming energized enough to zap someone.
 

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Umm... don't think that there's much danger there... DampRid, which is commercially sold for this same purpose is mainly calcium chloride IIRC. If it was really any danger, they wouldn't be able to sell it. IIRC, calcium chloride + water vapor = Calcium Chlorate... no dangerous gases given off.

BTW, if you've got gasoline or diesel leaks, or are leaving oil/grease in open containers, you've got serious problems other than the humidity.
I’m no chemist by any means and may likely be wrong here . . . . . . . but I don’t think calcium Chloride (Oxidizing gases) is a good idea under a closed tarp due to the fact that oxidizing gases will cause hydrocarbon materials (Gasoline, diesel, oil, grease etc.) to ignite or explode my merely being in the vicinity.

I like the wipe down with tarp off and the ventilation with tarp on idea.


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Boat shore power on the hard is a bad idea. A faulty ground or even a poorly performing ground, a little moisture creating a ground fault or a ground fault in an appliance could result in your appendages, bonded thru hulls, etc becoming energized enough to zap someone.
How is this different from in my house?

And where is the moisture coming from if I've been removing it so dutifully?

Wouldn't it be better to fight the moisture in the first place, than to get zapped when connecting up the boat at a later visit, when the moisture is there from not taking appropriate steps earlier?
 

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How is this different from in my house?

And where is the moisture coming from if I've been removing it so dutifully?

Wouldn't it be better to fight the moisture in the first place, than to get zapped when connecting up the boat at a later visit, when the moisture is there from not taking appropriate steps earlier?

The house is grounded at the source (right where the utility line come in). The boat would be grounded wherever the boatyard electrical system is grounded. This requires you to place all your faith in their wiring AND your shore power cable & associated connectors AND your boat wiring. This would be like removing your house's ground rod and running a ground wire to the power company. There are a lot of potential points of failure there... Moisture in your shorepower inlet, or salty residue on any of your fixtures can conduct current. Or simply a faulty China-mart electrical appliance. Too many possibilities. It is equivalent to using an old chassis grounded power drill in the rain.

Is this common practice in the boatyard? I would feel okay about an extension cord (from a proper 15 amp circuit) running to a bilge heater, but not tieing in your boat to the AC grid.
 
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