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Old 30-06-2013, 05:20   #1
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How to leave

When locking up the boat for a few weeks, or a few months.....how many of you leave ALL dry foodstuffs on board without air-conditioning? (including spices)
Also, are lotions, and medicinals, left aboard for months without air-conditioning?
Curious minds want to know.
Thanx in advance!
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Old 30-06-2013, 05:27   #2
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Re: How to leave

Irene, we seldom are gone for months but are often gone for a week or two. I think the answer to your question depends on where the boat is located. A very damp and humid climate would not be good for leaving anything that is not in sealed watertight containers. If the boat is in a drier climate it would not be a problem. How it's stored makes a difference to. On a boat, most of these things should be stored in watertight, sealed containers even when your on the boat. Chuck
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Old 30-06-2013, 05:55   #3
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Re: How to leave

Thanx, Chuck....

The biggest concern is of the heat possibly breaking down
the composition, and quality, of the medicinals and food.

Blue skies.
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Old 30-06-2013, 06:27   #4
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Re: How to leave

We don't leave medications on board when away. Over the counter stuff is either in ziplock bags or plastic containers with watertight lids, even when we are on board and using air conditioning. Boats are a damp environment, no matter what, Even at anchor we run the AC and the generator, but under way the boat is open. Spices, etc that have glass or plastic container with sealing lids aren't a problem. With salts and a few other things in shakers, we add grains of rice to absorb the moisture. Chuck
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Old 30-06-2013, 06:30   #5
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Re: How to leave

There is a book from the Pardey's called The Care and Feeding of The Offshore Crew, it can be found on Amazon.com, and has some great info that might answer a lot of your questions and give you some good ideas. Chuck
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Old 30-06-2013, 07:05   #6
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Re: How to leave

Silica gell works really well for medicines. Food? Naw, doesn't work for Cheerios either.
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Old 30-06-2013, 07:17   #7
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Re: How to leave

Spices will degrade pretty quickly if it's hot on the closed-up boat. Flour, sugar, baking powder (and anything containing any of them) have to be TOTALLY sealed from moisture in the air as well as from bugs. The bug infestatation with dry goods is actually the biggest concern . . . and be sure to leave ant and roach traps out.

So much depends on the climate -- if it's going to be really hot and the boat is closed up, chances are that the food will degrade more than you'd like. If it's really humid, different things will go bad. Even canned goods can degrade quite a bit if it gets really hot on the boat when it's closed up.
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Old 30-06-2013, 07:27   #8
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Re: How to leave

When in Kuwait, we'd leave all foodstuffs, tinned and dried on the boat for years on end with no A/C. No problems. But the containers are all airtight - soI guess it depends how well you have stored them.

Here in Oman, where it's a little more humid, we haven't had any problems yet, apart from with the garlic powder which sort of congealed into a big blob!
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Old 30-06-2013, 08:02   #9
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Re: How to leave

If you don't have air conditioning you don't have to worry about leaving it on.
Life is simple.
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Old 30-06-2013, 09:17   #10
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Re: How to leave

Another option is to make some changes to the boat. On the underside of the deck, you can install sections of 1/4" Reflectex, a mylar and air-filled bubble wrap insulator. I attached mine with one-inch squares of double-stick tape. It immediately dropped the internal temp about 10-15 degrees. Then cover it with headliner.

Another solution is to install ACTIVE air circulation. That means having plenty of venting for air coming in AND going out. Moving air carries away humidity and heat, reducing mold and mildew and smells. Install computer muffin fans to augment the flow at these vents.

Ensure that all cabinets and drawers get the best air circulation possible. Either leave the doors and drawers open, or actually modify them for improving air flow: vent holes or rattan cane covers built in, pegboard drawer bottoms, holes drilled in the drawer sides and covered with fiberglass window screening, etc. Leave floorboards and mattresses ajar to ensure air gets to everything. But take precautions against small furry rodents who would otherwise make this a nightmare.

Above decks, install a boom tent that allows PLENTY of air to circulate beneath. Darker is better, as white tarps allow radiant heat to penetrate and keep the cabin top too toasty. Rig up air scoops to channel air in and out of the boat to keep the air inside drier and cooler. It really works, even in the tropics. Insulate and ventilate!
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Old 07-07-2013, 14:19   #11
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Re: How to leave

Ditto what Waterway Guy says plus this suggestion: Make up a portable meds kit just as you each probably have a personal toiletries kit for travel, use on board and trips to the marina showers. That way you'll always have meds with you, not going bad on the boat. Expiration dates are only a partial help because heat ruins some meds, whether in date or not.
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Old 08-07-2013, 00:06   #12
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Re: How to leave

Speaking from nutritional standpoint (and not knowing the temperature and humidity conditions you face) even dry foods should not be left longer than 1 month. They get stale and lose nutritional value. Personally, I would eat, compost, throw away, or donate / give away the rice, pasta, dals (legumes), flour, etc. Ditto for herbs and spices. They become stale. Sugar and honey last longer. Canned foods often rust or the can degrades after 2-3 months.
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