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Old 16-12-2012, 10:36   #1
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Old man winter: Raining inside my boat

Well cold rainy weather hit and trips to hang out on my boat diminished.

I went up to check on her and much to my dismay found out it was raining inside my boat! Not to be confused with a hatch left open or a leak here - the entire top of the cabin was dripping with water, not unlike if you take a peice of glass and hold it underwater level with the waterline and lift it out. Puddles of water everywhere, black mould on surfaces. Yuck!!!

Adding insult to injury, I part of the reason I went up there was to get the motor started (2 stroke 8HP Mariner outboard). It was so cold I guess that it wasnt getting fuel or maybe rained so much it wasnt getting air because the filter got wet even under the cowling. With all the mould to clean out I didnt have time to muck with the engine and figured I'd try it in warmer weather.

Bought a space heater and cooked the boat - I had to sleep on it because there was too much work to do in one day, had to scrub the bottom and get the slime off (brackish water - no barnacles thank goodness), get some bits of moss scrubbed off the sides so they didnt set in, and yarded 8-10 buckets of water out of the bilge (boat normally gets about 1/4 bucket per month sitting in the slip).

My sailing instructor suggested I get a dehumidifier and had an extra one I bought off of him. Set it up to drain out the hull and fired the heater at the dehumidifier to keep it from freezing up, set it to keep the interior at 20 degrees.

Cushions were damp and had mould growing on them, the stove had puddles of water everywhere.

All this despite that I super-duper aired out my boat and all cushions and lockers in hot hot weather (we had a very late summer this year) only just under 3 months earlier and it hadnt been opened since!


Now the boat is cooking at 20 degrees C (room temperature) with a dehumidifier running full bore dropped the humidity in the cabin from 85% down to 40% by the time I left probably lower now. Tarped the whole thing over to keep any more moisture from getting in through any minor leaks.

Took a bunch of the mouldy crap off board and followed my sailing instructors advice that I get every peice of cloth the F away from anything touching the exterior hull and put it in the centre of the boat. Closed up all the vents to let the dehumidifier do it's work.

Man it's fun owning a boat isnt it!


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Old 16-12-2012, 10:41   #2
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Re: Old man winter: Raining inside my boat

Keep some ventilation open in the winter and you won't get sweating on the inside of a stored boat. I have my regular summer ventilators in and some ports open that let in air but no rain, and the little circulator fan for the composting head runs 24/7. It keeps the air flowing through the boat. I used to make the mistake of sealing my boat up in the winter too.

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Old 16-12-2012, 10:55   #3
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Re: Old man winter: Raining inside my boat

I don't know what kind/size of boat you have but this is what kills boats. Once that deck core gets wet it a costly/labor intense job to restore. I'd suggest you put a tarp over the cabin area until you can re-seal all the deck fittings, if it's not too late already.
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Old 16-12-2012, 11:06   #4
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Re: Old man winter: Raining inside my boat

I dont think it was neccesarily from leaks. There is a small leak on either side porthole and a tiny drip from a halyard ring that got bent in a storm. I've spent nights in the boat in howling rain and there is no gush or horrid leak that I know of.

This was I beleive the result of the drop in temperature mostly, going from near zero at night to 10-15 during the day as we had a long indian summer. Condensing air against the hull like wildfire at night and taking in more moisture through the head vent that doesnt allow rain in by day, ad nauseum repeat with water vaporizing in the cabin on sunny days.

Like I said I've tarped over the whole cabin and its cooking at room temperature with the dehumidifier draining out the hull. Got humidity down from 85% to under 40% before I left her to return to the city.

I tightened all the deck fittings before I left ironically. Not overtightened or anything just checked for any looser bolts throughout the whole structure including bulkhead and got them snug.

She's tarped up now boom to lifelines everywhere but the foredeck and back of the cockpit, I cleared the cockpit drains to make sure there was no dirt in there.

Winter is hell. :-(
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Old 16-12-2012, 11:14   #5
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Re: Old man winter: Raining inside my boat

Originally Posted by mr-canada View Post
Man it's fun owning a boat isnt it!

Yes it is!
stop blowing smoke up my rear, blow it at the sails instead
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