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Old 29-11-2010, 10:30   #1
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Condensation at its Worst . . . Summer vs Winter

For you liveabords when is condensation most problematic...when its cold and you need to heat...when its hot and humide?

how do you deal with it?
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Old 29-11-2010, 10:45   #2
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We generally find more condensation during the colder months on our sailboat. It is worst when we are anchored out, boat gets cold during the night, we light the fireplace or stove during the day and it causes condensation. In the summer it may get humid and sticky, but generally not condensation..
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Old 29-11-2010, 11:17   #3
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I've found the outer decks are soaked every evening just after sunset with condensation if the air is still. In winter, this just gets replaced by rain!
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Old 29-11-2010, 12:09   #4
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Mine also winter,in summer usually open.marc
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Old 29-11-2010, 12:14   #5
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In California it's the winter when the ports get closed during a storm and are not reopened promptly. But now in the tropics I'd have to say Summer....because it's always Summer. It's the deck and hull cooling in early evening that is the problem - open those hatches...
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Old 29-11-2010, 12:57   #6
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i donot close my boat even in a storm--i use tarping so i can go out on deck in rain. i have the outdoor kind of wet--nothing inside ever. i use my oil lamps to heat and i use my stove a lot--no condensation EVER inside my boat--havent since i learned to keep ports OPEN while using the lights--i like my air.
i had a worse problem with condensation when i had my boat on a dock, evvenh with the constant using of electricity and heaters, i still had inside condensation-- that stopped when i relocated to anchoring and mooring instead of docking.
the more ventilation you have, i found the less condensation you get.
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Old 29-11-2010, 13:07   #7
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i donot close my boat even in a storm--i use tarping so i can go out on deck in rain. i have the outdoor kind of wet--nothing inside ever. i use my oil lamps to heat and i use my stove a lot--no condensation EVER inside my boat--havent since i learned to keep ports OPEN while using the lights--i like my air.
i had a worse problem with condensation when i had my boat on a dock, evvenh with the constant using of electricity and heaters, i still had inside condensation-- that stopped when i relocated to anchoring and mooring instead of docking.
the more ventilation you have, i found the less condensation you get.
Do you think it matters if the hull is corred or not?
my boat has solid glass without core on both hull and deck...why I am wondering if she will be prone to condensation?
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Old 29-11-2010, 13:16   #8
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Solid certainly condenses sooner. But both heat and cold get thru a cored hull after a while. My balsa cored deck doesn't provide much insulation.
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Old 29-11-2010, 13:41   #9
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i will NEVER own a cored hull boat. i love my 2 inch thick solid hull- can -ride- a- week- on- a- breakwater- in- a- bad- locale(sta barbara) formosa. NO condensation EVER. try THAT in cored hull boat(riding the breakwater wasnt done in my ownership of her--i learned that bit after i purchased her for 10k!!).. you will have nothing left. coring is great for racing but sucks for cruising--reality is-- something will hole the outer hull and the core will wet. sorry.
there has never once been condensation inside my formosa nor in my ericson 35mII. both are solid hull. both are old. both were and are living aboard capable and have been used in such manner. both sail and are functional-- formosa will be fully functional after 3 repairs-2 fairly major and one minorish. all important. i didnt have condensation in my islander 26 when i lived on her , either. i keep ports open and i use oil lamps in winter to keep warm. you NEED to keep ports open to prevent condensation. mine are ALWAYS open even in storms. i use a tarp over house so to keep down any tendency to condensation occurring. makes a difference. the islander 26 had doubled ports--the large ones were doubled with stained glass inserts as the inner window-- that makes a difference, also--makes the boat stay warmer and it makes less condensation factor. the 2 larger boats--ericson and formosa--never had a problem with condensation inside. outside is another story, as we have a wide diurnal range of temp. i have resided on board since 1990--only my pos clipper marine i had for a couplafew months had the condensation problem as it wasnt really a boat--was a pos. choppergun hull 1/8 in thick and aluminum poprivets holding hulland deck together--eeew--only boat rendered unsafe and unfit for any body of water including a bathtub--by uscg. that is in writing somewhere-- i saw it but i cant remember where that tidbit was found. i read tooo much! the deck on my ericson is balsa cored--makes n0 differende--i have wood house on formosa--is wonderful. also wood masts.
try tarps and try opening your ports when using heat making devices--both work.
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Old 29-11-2010, 14:06   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jobi View Post
For you liveabords when is condensation most problematic...when its cold and you need to heat...when its hot and humide?

how do you deal with it?
the only times we tend to have trouble with condensation is when we get into a winter storm pattern where another front moves through every third day on so. A few weeks of that and things can get pretty nasty on a boat.

We've developed numerous strategies over the years. These include using computerized muffin fans to keep air circulating throughout the boat (I leave mine on 24/7/365.) We switched from a hydronic diesel furnace on the previous boat to a forced-air diesel furnace on the current boat, and that helps considerably. When we're in the marina we also use a dehumidifier in the cabin where we sleep.

If you cook and shower on the boat, as we do, it helps to consider the timing of how you do such things during storms. For example, if we know we're in for three days of rain, instead of boiling pasta on the stove we'd bake a casserole in the oven.

It helps to have a good space to dry out wet foulies, et cetera. The designated wet locker is not always the best space for this, at least not without modifications to promote circulation. We also have a pretty cool drying locker for dishes, one that has its own muffin fan.
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Old 29-11-2010, 14:45   #11
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I just leave a 100w light bulb on in my boat at the dock, never had a condensation problem.
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Old 29-11-2010, 15:10   #12
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i will NEVER own a cored hull boat. i love my 2 inch thick solid hull- can -ride- a- week- on- a- breakwater- in- a- bad- locale(sta barbara) formosa. NO condensation EVER. try THAT in cored hull boat(riding the breakwater wasnt done in my ownership of her--i learned that bit after i purchased her for 10k!!).. you will have nothing left. coring is great for racing but sucks for cruising--reality is-- something will hole the outer hull and the core will wet. sorry.
there has never once been condensation inside my formosa nor in my ericson 35mII. both are solid hull. both are old. both were and are living aboard capable and have been used in such manner. both sail and are functional-- formosa will be fully functional after 3 repairs-2 fairly major and one minorish. all important. i didnt have condensation in my islander 26 when i lived on her , either. i keep ports open and i use oil lamps in winter to keep warm. you NEED to keep ports open to prevent condensation. mine are ALWAYS open even in storms. i use a tarp over house so to keep down any tendency to condensation occurring. makes a difference. the islander 26 had doubled ports--the large ones were doubled with stained glass inserts as the inner window-- that makes a difference, also--makes the boat stay warmer and it makes less condensation factor. the 2 larger boats--ericson and formosa--never had a problem with condensation inside. outside is another story, as we have a wide diurnal range of temp. i have resided on board since 1990--only my pos clipper marine i had for a couplafew months had the condensation problem as it wasnt really a boat--was a pos. choppergun hull 1/8 in thick and aluminum poprivets holding hulland deck together--eeew--only boat rendered unsafe and unfit for any body of water including a bathtub--by uscg. that is in writing somewhere-- i saw it but i cant remember where that tidbit was found. i read tooo much! the deck on my ericson is balsa cored--makes n0 differende--i have wood house on formosa--is wonderful. also wood masts.
try tarps and try opening your ports when using heat making devices--both work.
Thanks for your input...needles to say my boat is in no way comparable to your fermosa...however its hull is way thicker then contemporary yacht...I havent sailed her yet and have not slept in either...the last time I whent to see my boat she had alot of condensation under the berths and in the top and bottom V-berth section...I think this was from being closed and no ventilation...also some water infiltrated via the chain pip...I am sure this boat will do well for me and I really love its nice interior.

right after I optained my hinterholler someone offered me his Cheoy lee at a very good price...the interior ronde salon seates and wonderfull woodwork just blew me away...thos the owner is in no rush and said to me..you sail that hinter a full year and if shes not what you need I will sell you my boat...the boat is such an outstanding piece of art that I cant get it out of my head...somtimes I feel like I am trying to find problems with my hinter just to give me a reason and get the cheoy lee befor someone els.

I remember while sitting in a modern 32ft plastic...someone telling me dont wory you will get a larger boat soon enough...and me thinking id never change any modern boat for my hinter (shes perfect) but your boat and that cheoy lee wow dose it get any better then this?
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Old 29-11-2010, 16:28   #13
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placing towels under cushions works well. dri deck under mattress work. i use a thermarest pad under my berth -- has air and foam-- works to remove the lumps for the princess and the pea syndrome....i got that.....
i cant think of a plastic fantastic as a boat--i like so much the looks of the older clipper bow beauties...so much art in them-- so much tradition...i was taught sailing on a 1903 herreshoff built gaff rigged sloop which is registered as a national historic treasure...was occupying a branch of the family tree--i cant do plastic -- ericson 35mII was as close as i could get-- 1976-79....formosa is a 76, and ericson is a 79. newer than that is, to me, not pretty. i was lucky to find this one at the pricing i needed.
cheoy lee is a beautiful boat also--the clipper is a work of art. there just arent many boats anymore with this kind of character and look.
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Old 29-11-2010, 16:39   #14
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Hi - from 3 winters liveaboard in the UK and five years on and off in the Med, the cold is always worse below decks because your warm exhalations settle on the inside of the cold hull. (Yes there can be heavy dew on deck on a summer morning in the hotter areas, but hey, that's not like all your clothes going moudly!)

Zee is right that this is about ventilation, ventilation, ventilation. And a little bit about insulation and a little bit about your sources of heat. But keep ports open, companionway cracked etc. We have a big cockpit cover for winter and wet clothes get hung up up there. Cold but dry. Use your dorade vents etc. Also insulate. We have 9 mm closed cell foam stuck all over the inside of the hull to below the water line, covered by headlining or automotive carpet. This makes an enormous difference. We have also stuck this stuff underneath the locker lids under where we sleep, which has helped. Making sure your clothes lockers are ventilated, eg by using rattan in the panels. Yes use dehumidifiers, even the small 12v ones make a difference.

We heat through electric (if the electricity is reasonably priced or included) or with a diesel powered hot air blower (eberspacher). Both of these are reasonably dry heat, compared to some other sources. Some gas heaters, for example, produce a lot of condensation of their own. We have found a little oil filled radiator invaluable for keeping the chill off and the temp up just that little bit overnight in our sleeping cabin.

The details will vary for your particular boat, so you do need to experiment with your own comfort and what works for you.
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Old 29-11-2010, 16:42   #15
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in florida you cannot leave ports open in the summer and be able to sleep at night. but you still need a dehumidifier or an air conditioner. an awning helps. no condensation.. instead we have mildew.
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