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Old 16-12-2010, 08:04   #1
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Dehumidifier: Worth it ?

Heading for the carib. Guy a few boats down offered me his dehumidifier as he got a new one. Is it necessary or a worthy item? its old ,big heavy.Probally sucks a ton of juice but wildly enough has a 2 gallon catch tank on back of it.I'm wondering if it could be a emergency watermaker.obviously need to clean and boil etc .....
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Old 16-12-2010, 08:12   #2
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So long as you've got the power to run one while on the hook, i's say they are essential!

I'm connected to shore power most of time so that isn't an issue but a boat's biggest enimy is damp and condensation. It's not always practical or comfortable to ventilate all the time so one of these will do you well.

As for 'emergency watermaker', interesting idea! Certainly the water they put out is 'fresh' so if used in conjunction with a water filter (you can get those jug type ones very reasonable) and / or boiling, why not? You'll only get a litre or two a day but be silly to waste it.
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Old 16-12-2010, 08:15   #3
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When I was a livaboard they were very nice when it rains and your boat gets humid inside. That was in So California. Your dockmate had it and apparently used it and is updating with a new one. I'd say that's a pretty good testimonial for one. You can take that one, find out for yourself how worthwhile it is and go from there.
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Old 16-12-2010, 09:09   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadlaroche View Post
... I'm wondering if it could be a emergency watermaker.obviously need to clean and boil etc .....
No way, no how!
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Old 16-12-2010, 09:17   #5
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if you have the electrical power to run a dehumidifier, why not just buy a air conditioner which is more valuable to both cool and dehumidify the air in the boat.
- - Before leaving North America buy a couple or one of the cheap window air conditioners - 5K BTU or 8K Btu and store it away. Then you can put it over a cabin hatch and run it off your generator or Honda EU2000 or marina dock power. They are much more efficient than built in air conditioning and a fraction of the cost.
-- You need to get them in North America as the window units are no longer sold in the Caribbean. They only sell the split units for houses with the compressor outside and a blower unit inside the house.
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Old 16-12-2010, 09:20   #6
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Anyplace where you have enough shore power to run a dehumidifier you'll have water. We get by with our cabin heater; it vents externally and does a good job of drying the boat out. You can do the same with a little 120ac space heater.
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Old 16-12-2010, 09:40   #7
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I have a dehumidifier. You don't need to boil the water out of it, but a backcountry filter is kind of nice it takes anything out that might have fallen in.

Keep in mind for making water it uses about 10x the power a watermaker would use, but it's way cheaper, and it heats and dries.

I can run it off a wind generator in a storm, or off solar panels, but I normally don't need it when it's sunny.
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Old 16-12-2010, 09:42   #8
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I think you're missing the point, he's not asking IF he should get one, he's asking if they're any good as his mate has already offered him his. Sure, you can buy combined freestanding aircon/dehumidifier units that will not take up much more space. If he was spending money i'd reccomend one of those, again, if you've got the power to spare.

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Anyplace where you have enough shore power to run a dehumidifier you'll have water. We get by with our cabin heater; it vents externally and does a good job of drying the boat out. You can do the same with a little 120ac space heater.
Are you seriously suggesting that you run a cabin HEATER in the Carribbean? On a warm humid night, it would turn the boat into an oven!

Yes of course there is no point useing the water if you're on the dock, a hose is much quicker after all BUT on the hook, it's still possible to use mains devices don't forget. Like I said in my post, if you have the power (ie wind, solar, genny, etc.) then why not?
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Old 16-12-2010, 09:43   #9
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No way, no how!
Please elaborate, GordMay.
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Old 16-12-2010, 10:10   #10
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DON't DRINK DEHUMIDIFIER CONDENSATE!

Dehumidifier condensate (the water that the dehumidifier produces) can be loaded with biological contaminants and metallic residues that are not safe to drink. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, stagnant condensate can harbor biological contaminants, including mold, mildew and algae, especially if the collection bucket isn't cleaned regularly. The condensate also contains significant amounts of bacteria, viruses,
household chemicals, fibers, dust and dander. Moreover, the condensate can contain lead and other metal residues from the component parts of the dehumidifier.

Theoretically, you can work with condensate. Recycling this stuff, as well as
urine, is commonly done in space vehicles. It takes several steps and sophisticated filtering and processing to come up with a useable end product.

As a starting point, some processing methods include, gentle distillation
(discarding the early and late distillate), filtering through filter grade
diatomaceous earth, exposure to sun light or strong UV, hydrogen peroxide
treatment or aeration. There are other treatments, as well. Essentially you
are working with a kind of pond or “grey” water. Some of the off-the-shelf filters at the camping equipment stores are very good at mechanically filtering out the biological components, but I would still recommend gentle distillation as a first step.

Carbon filtering is a good end-treatment for removing some chemicals and odours. However, carbon filtering doesn't work at all well when there are a lot of biological components in the water; the carbon then just becomes a nice bed for bacterial and mold growth.

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I have a dehumidifier. You don't need to boil the water out of it, but a backcountry filter is kind of nice it takes anything out that might have fallen in...
As above, I couldn’t disagree more!
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Old 16-12-2010, 10:28   #11
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Are you seriously suggesting that you run a cabin HEATER in the Carribbean? On a warm humid night, it would turn the boat into an oven!

Yes of course there is no point useing the water if you're on the dock, a hose is much quicker after all BUT on the hook, it's still possible to use mains devices don't forget. Like I said in my post, if you have the power (ie wind, solar, genny, etc.) then why not?
No, I'm not telling someone use a heater when it's hot; I think that's sort of obvious. My point is that there's a lot of different ways to get moisture out of a boat beyond an electric dehumidifier. And it just seems a little unpractical to supply enough power to something like that.
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Old 16-12-2010, 10:57   #12
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Fair enough but A, hes already got the unit so hes not asking for alternatives and B, hes asking how good/usefull they are. Sorry but dont understand how suggesting he use a cabin heater is helpfull.

Also, i'd much rather power something like that for FREE by either wind/solar charged batteries and inverter then waste valuable fuel useing the heater (im guessing you ment either propane or diesel as an electric heater would use even more power than a dehumidifier anyway). I'm sure he wouldn't even bother asking if he didn't have sufficient elec' on board.
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Old 16-12-2010, 11:31   #13
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No way, no how!
Can it be used in your lead acid batteries in lieu of distilled water?
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Old 16-12-2010, 12:27   #14
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dehumidifier--inefficient. swimming fodder or trash . uses more electricity than you can afford. i have never used a dehumidifier in my years of living aboard--since 1990. have no use for them.ventilation is more important than a dehumidifier..LOL>... i figger if boat gets enough water inside to need a dehumidifier, there is a leak that needs to be addressed. and/or a gross lack of ventilation. or both. i have disposed of more than 4 different types of them and each boat i have bought that had one needed to have rebedded stanchions or ports or something to let in water. this formosa needed to have wedges placed at the entry through tthe decking for the chainplate that was replaced..among other things. look for the reason for the need then fix and no need for a dehumidifier. jmho
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Old 16-12-2010, 13:54   #15
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Jeez....

He's being offered a free unit so he can find out.... for free.... if there is something he finds worthwhile.

His neighbor and plenty of other folks see value in them. Folks I know use them and love them.

Take the thing... for FREE and if you don't like it, make a buck off of it because somebody tied to a dock will say "I wish I had one".
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