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Old 14-01-2013, 13:35   #1
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Condensation in VBerth

I bought my Catalina 38 last summer, we are living aboard for our first winter, The vbirth is all fiberglass except for wooden boards in the center that allows access to the freshwater tank. I pulled the cushions up today and found that the bottom of them that sits on top of the wood is SOAKED! Nothing else is wet. Is it condensation?? Does it gather on wood vs fiberglass??? What can I do???
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Old 14-01-2013, 13:51   #2
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

Its condensation. Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate. During the day, flip the mattresses up on their sides. That will alleviate the problem

Then ventilate the boat
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Old 14-01-2013, 14:06   #3
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

You can drill holes in the wood to allow air to circulate but the best thing is a series of slats or you can buy a product that will allow air to circulate under the mattress while you are sleeping. Then do what carstenb says. A fan blowing air into/out of the v-birth area will also help but you need to keep air circulating under the mattress while you sleep.
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Old 14-01-2013, 14:37   #4
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

Put a layer of HyperVent from Defender under the cushions. This layer of material is designed to let air circulate. Expensive, but cheaper than new foam.

"birth" is what babies do when they come out into the world. "berth" is where sailors sleep.
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Old 14-01-2013, 14:45   #5
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

If the boat is buttoned up tight and you're not running much heat, a dehumidifier can be a good idea too.

Also, it sounds like the only ventilation to the tank compartment is through the mattress. It is also likely that there is a cold spot there. Placing some thin water proof insulation on top of the wood, sealed to the fiberglass with duct tape, might be very effective.

Is the water tank compartment dry? Does the tank have an outside vent? Things to check.

You will have condensation anywhere humid air meets a cold surface.
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Old 14-01-2013, 14:49   #6
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

I've found these fibre filter media, under the mattress, to be of help. You could also use something like Dri-Dek mats but they're expensive, and the commercially made under mattress things like Froli are phenomenally expensive.

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Old 14-01-2013, 14:50   #7
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

If you are sleeping in it , it is condensation. If not and the hot water heater is not under it, you have a leak somewhere. If sleeping on it, consider Dri-Dek tiles under as well as multiple cored holes in the ply covers, then a mini fan to circulate the air under the Vberth.
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Old 14-01-2013, 15:46   #8
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

wingNwing, thanks for the reminder for the name Hypervent, and the spelling lesson.
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Old 14-01-2013, 15:52   #9
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

Agree with everything above.

I would also sleep with the hatch cracked open a bit and the door open.

The first I went sailing on a cruise and learn in March in the PNW, we awoke to water dripping on us.
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Old 14-01-2013, 16:38   #10
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

great info! Thanks for asking that and for the replies.
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Old 14-01-2013, 16:46   #11
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Thanks for all the great advise. There is no vent in the tank so we are going to add one.
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Old 14-01-2013, 17:18   #12
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

Another vote here for Hypervent!
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Old 14-01-2013, 17:19   #13
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

I could not find it to give you a link but will try to describe the product I used under any thing that was prone to condensation under it ! It was the plastic/ rubber mesh panels that came in 1 foot sections that linked to gather to form larger panels that were about 1/2 inch thick and were easily cut
These were nice and not very expensive and worked great for under cushions in sail lockers
under anchor rodes any where you wanted air flow I will continue to search!
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Old 14-01-2013, 17:20   #14
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

Quote:
Originally Posted by sartorst View Post
I could not find it to give you a link but will try to describe the product I used under any thing that was prone to condensation under it ! It was the plastic/ rubber mesh panels that came in 1 foot sections that linked to gather to form larger panels that were about 1/2 inch thick and were easily cut
These were nice and not very expensive and worked great for under cushions in sail lockers
under anchor rodes any where you wanted air flow I will continue to search!
It's called DriDek
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Old 14-01-2013, 17:35   #15
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Re: Condensation in VBerth

Do you have condensation elsewhere, such as the ceiling? We spend 2-3 nights per week on the boat, and winter months are brutal with respect to the condensation. We often had walls and ceilings of the v-berth dripping with water whether or not we were on the boat. The underside of our mattresses and bedding fell victim to it as well.

We solved the problem in two ways:

First, we placed two 50 watt incandescent bulbs in the v-berth: one pointing at the bow and the other pointing in the opposite direction. The bulbs are constantly on while we are not at the boat. You can use Goldenrod dehumidifiers with the same amount of wattage as my bulbs. A 36 inch unit should do the trick. I have a 28 foot cabin cruiser; and I have seen the v-berth in a Catalina 30. They are about the same size.

We use clamp lights like this one.



Second, we use a small 200 watt ceramic space heater when we are at the boat. The heater is hung in our v-berth and operates continuously while we sleep and through most of the morning. It keeps the v-berth from getting uncomfortably cold and pushes moisture out through the various openings on the boat. It does what the light bulbs do, but with no annoying light depriving us of sleep.
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