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Old 22-12-2016, 16:20   #1
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1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

Hi all,

I just bought and have been staying on my first boat/sailboat in Stuart Florida. It seems like I am constantly fighting moisture on board; not like visable moisture from a dew at night, but a constant wetness in fabrics etc. I can spend all day with the windows and hatches open, sheets and cushions drying on deck in the sun, fans running with the lockers open, but when I put everything back together at night EVERYTHING IS MOIST! Everyone else at the marina spends thier days sipping margaritas on shore while i spend the day trying to dry the boat out, so i assume they either dont have the same problem or what Im dealing with is normal and i hould accept it. Being from Minnesota I am used to dryness, so it may just be me. Is this just Florida climate, what its like to live on a boat, a combination of both; or do i not have something figured out?
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Old 22-12-2016, 17:03   #2
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

It would help to know what type of boat you have. Sometimes a steel hull boat will produce condensation inside the hull if the water temperature and air temperature are right, kinda like how a glass of water with ice will get droplets on the outside.
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Old 22-12-2016, 17:17   #3
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

That's high humidity and the dew point you are experiencing.

Ventilation and dehumidification are what you need.
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Old 22-12-2016, 17:19   #4
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

Or maybe a boat with single surface all around to the outside. Olds boat with solid glass deck, no inner liners.

Air flow is less in a marina, better at anchor.

I'm on the other FL coast, same latitude. Cored deck, inner fibreglass liners, at anchor. No dampness issues, except only occasionally a throw cushion might feel damp. And the hatch lenses may sweat. Only on crazy muggy days with no wind.

A fellow on a stripped out old Chriscraft powerboat has the OP's issues.
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Old 22-12-2016, 17:35   #5
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

Thanks for the repsonses. The boat's an Endeavour with a solid glass hull, so perhaps its condensation on the hull that evaporates to the interior of the boat.
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Old 22-12-2016, 17:41   #6
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

It is likely that your interior fabrics have been salt water soaked. When salt water evaporates it leaves the salt so the normal moisture of breathing, cooking, general high humidity will make them feel wet again. The left over salt absorbs the moisture. That is why washing clothes in salt water and then putting them away leads to a disaster. You could try taking all of the fabrics out and giving them a good freshwater wash and see if it helps. I suspect it will. Check the foam ( I dont know how other than taste) to see if it is salty. Good Luck. _____Grant.
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Old 22-12-2016, 17:41   #7
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

If you're sitting in a marina with shore power, go get yourself a cheap dehumidifier at Megamart, plug it in, and close up. We keep one running under those conditions, and particularly when we're off the boat, and no longer have musty mildewy problems.
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Old 22-12-2016, 17:57   #8
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
It is likely that your interior fabrics have been salt water soaked. When salt water evaporates it leaves the salt so the normal moisture of breathing, cooking, general high humidity will make them feel wet again. The left over salt absorbs the moisture. That is why washing clothes in salt water and then putting them away leads to a disaster. You could try taking all of the fabrics out and giving them a good freshwater wash and see if it helps. I suspect it will. Check the foam ( I dont know how other than taste) to see if it is salty. Good Luck. _____Grant.
This ^^^
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Old 22-12-2016, 18:04   #9
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

I think gjordan's comment have merit.

My throw cushions spent windless hot summer days absorbing moisture from me. And sometimes exhibit the dampness issue now.

My cushions have a coarse weave fabric and breath well. Also get the fabric zipped off and a fresh water handwashing a couple of times per year. No issues there. Clothes get carried to the laundrymat.
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Old 22-12-2016, 18:31   #10
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

Gjordans and fouwinds comment make much sense. While i do not cook in inside and make sure to wipe up any trace of dripped water, somehow the fabrics seem to draw moisture, just like my plugged up salt shaker.

Another source of moisture, which i just found, was a loop placed in the vent for the composting toilet which had accumulated enough "moisture" to prevent air flow, thus venting inside. Removed the loop, drained and now it vents to outside properly.

I appreciate all of the help. Tomorrow i will be washing EVRYTHING, including the fabrics as advised.
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Old 22-12-2016, 19:38   #11
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
It is likely that your interior fabrics have been salt water soaked. When salt water evaporates it leaves the salt so the normal moisture of breathing, cooking, general high humidity will make them feel wet again. The left over salt absorbs the moisture. That is why washing clothes in salt water and then putting them away leads to a disaster. You could try taking all of the fabrics out and giving them a good freshwater wash and see if it helps. I suspect it will. Check the foam ( I dont know how other than taste) to see if it is salty. Good Luck. _____Grant.
This also. Our boat was like this when we got it. Had a number of deck leaks and was delivered through a storm. Even with the dehumidifier going the carpets felt damp all the time. Took them out and washed in fresh water - problem solved.
Congrats on the new boat - lot to learn but it'll be good for you.
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Old 22-12-2016, 22:07   #12
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

You've got enough answers now to point you where you need to go, but for what its worth...
Salt is evil!

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Old 23-12-2016, 04:47   #13
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

Do you cook below? Make coffee? Hot showers? Also, try keeping your bilge absolutely dry. Shop Vac is your friend. If you are at a dock most of the time, run your air conditioner. Don't have one? Build a foam and fiberglass scoop for your fore hatch and stuff a cheapie window unit in there. That's what I do. Redneck Engineering 101. It's ugly and its no good at sea, but it is cheap and it just works. Dehume is good, but the AC does it pretty much as good. Be sure it is tilted back enough that condensate doesn't just drip into the boat. Ask me how I know about that some time...
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Old 23-12-2016, 04:53   #14
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

Built-in ACs often have a setting for blower (fan) only... so if you don't have the ACs in aircon mode, at least you can be using those systems for air circulation. A portable fan in each of the major areas can help with air circulation, too.

Some ACs have a dehumidify mode, too. That setting usually run the aircon system for a short period every so often.

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Old 23-12-2016, 05:02   #15
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Re: 1st time on a boat, whats up with all this moisture?

In addition to the above, are the bilges dry and clean?

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