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Old 25-01-2012, 19:40   #1
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Condensation in Colder Climates

I've been trying to come up a with a solution for condensation in my boat. I'm in the pnw and have a total of six hatches, all of which drip condensation.
Today I think I may have come up with a good idea but would like some feedback, if anyone cares to add their two cents.
It seems to be that the source of the condensation is not the window part of the hatch at all but the metal frame that it's in.
So I'm thinking, if I take some 12v rope lighting, (assuming they make such a thing) and nestle it up inside the hatch opening, against the metal frame and cover it with a dark strip of canvass, that should keep the metal warm and the canvass would both keep the warmth from escaping and block the light so it could be left on continuously.
So what do you think? Good idea, or am I dreaming?
Does anyone have any other solutions?

Thanks and Cheers!
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Old 25-01-2012, 19:57   #2
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Re: Condensation in colder climates

We have a 110 v dehumidifier that we leave running on low. It is sitting in the sink and drains overboard from there. Works great.
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Old 25-01-2012, 20:04   #3
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Re: Condensation in colder climates

I use an air dryer & a dehumidfier. Also a small light bulb w/ a fan turned on low to circulate the air will take care of your problems. Standard on the Oregon coast...Michael..
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Old 25-01-2012, 20:22   #4
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Re: Condensation in colder climates

Depending on your hatch set up you might be able to use 3M window insulator kits on the inside of the hatch. If you are just sitting at the dock you can build a frame from 1x4's with plexiglass sealed to the top and weather stripping on the bottom edge. Place and secure over the outside of the hatch. Both have worked for me but, as stated already, you will probably still need the dehumidifier to keep things really dry.
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Old 25-01-2012, 20:30   #5
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Re: Condensation in colder climates

If you're sitting at the dock with 110VAC you can use a dehumidifier. They won't do much for you on the hook or out at sea, though. The best approach to curing condensation is insulation which is sealed against the metal being insulated, ie there is no air gap allowing humid air the chance to contact the cold metal and condense.

If insulating your hatch frames isn't practical there is a company - do a web search for them, it'll show up - which sells insulalting micro beads for adding to paint. They look like a white powder. You mix it in your paint of choice and apply to the hatch frames. I haven't used it yet, but have heard good reports from a number of those who have, and have not heard a single negative report.
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Old 26-01-2012, 05:46   #6
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Re: Condensation in Colder Climates

Hey this sounds very interesting...
All About Ceramic Insulation
This must be the stuff you're talking about eh Pauls?
What would be the best type of paint to use it with on the interior of a live-aboard boat in salt water?
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Old 26-01-2012, 06:02   #7
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Re: Condensation in Colder Climates

Thanks everyone, I'm more or less looking for a solution that either doesn't involve the use of a dehumidifier or at least would reduce the size of dehumidifier necessary. The disadvantages of using a dehumidifier are cost and space and the need for 110v. The disadvantages to my idea would be the additional load on the 12v system and that it would only address the hatch issue.
The insulating paint additive is very interesting but I could find no reference to its R-value.
I will definitely keep digging though.
Does anyone have any recommendations for a good 12v dehumidifier?

Thanks
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Old 26-01-2012, 06:15   #8
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Re: Condensation in Colder Climates

In cold climate whatever you do you need warm to keep places dry. Now here
70degN it's cold enough all condensation turns ice instantly..
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Old 26-01-2012, 06:25   #9
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Re: Condensation in Colder Climates

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeddyDiver View Post
In cold climate whatever you do you need warm to keep places dry. Now here
70degN it's cold enough all condensation turns ice instantly..
Yes I've been on the Arctic Ocean and you have no humidity problems there in the winter.
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Old 26-01-2012, 06:30   #10
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Re: Condensation in Colder Climates

Capt Wraun,
When i lived aboard in New York, (on the Hudson River, Stony Point, NY) I built "storm hatches" for my 38 ft center cockpit Irwin. I made a box frame of wood, about 3 inches high, the bottoms cut to accomodate the contour of the deck wher the hatches were located, and wether striping glued to the bottom edge to help seal the gaps. A plastic sheet cut to cover the frame was fitted to the top edge. This served to create a "dead air space" which would prevent the drastic temperture differential (75F inside, and down to -10F outside) This kept the aluminum hatch frame from condensing and still allowed in light.
Made for a comfortable, dry interior!

Fred
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Old 26-01-2012, 06:36   #11
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Re: Condensation in Colder Climates

Another good idea!

Thanks 465
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