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Old 15-11-2021, 08:35   #1
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Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

Hello,
We will be leaving our boat at a private dock in South Florida for the next 2 months to head home for the Holidays and business. We have arranged for it to be washed every other week.
Other than tying it securely and closing thru-hulls, leaving Bilge pumps on, pickling the watermarker etc. What should we try and do in terms of ventilation? Stopping mold and mildew etc.
We have never tackled this before and would appreciate any sage advice that could be passed on.
Thanks all,
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Old 15-11-2021, 08:44   #2
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

A dehumidifier is your best friend. Iíve taken to running one anytime weíre not aboard.
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Old 15-11-2021, 20:15   #3
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

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A dehumidifier is your best friend. Iíve taken to running one anytime weíre not aboard.
Yeah. But those things must be drained if not plumbed to the outside. The small ones every few days, depending. Theyíll shut themselves off when the pan is full. Winter is the dry season in FL. Relative humidity is a little lower, but not much. Best thing pepople say is air circulation. Maybe install a ventilating fan in one of the hatches. Exhaust to the outside. I had one when our boat was there.
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Old 15-11-2021, 22:48   #4
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

he's right. bringing in outside air will guarantee high humidity and mold in the boat. either close the boat up or run a dehumidifier plumbed to a sink or the bilge. up to you.
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Old 15-11-2021, 23:15   #5
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

We used a 100 watt incandescent lamp turned on at night in winter to help prevent dew-point condensation generally by warming the air some. Also, put some damp rid about the boat. But those would have to be changed. Moving air helps reduce condensation on surfaces. Yes. Drying the air out (dehumidify) works too.
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Old 16-11-2021, 04:48   #6
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

Native Floridian here. Yes, winter is less humid than summer for sure, but south Florida can still be a pain. I like the idea of a light bulb, although I might be a little hesitant with it since it is a potential fire hazard.

I would suggest instead the "golden rod" style of dehumidifiers. Safer. Use that and button the boat up.

If someone is coming around to wash it weekly, they will want to open it up and check for drips and leaks anyway, or they should. You always get a few drops past the companionway and drop boards on most boats when washing them down, and they will need to be wiped up.
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Old 16-11-2021, 04:52   #7
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

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Yeah. But those things must be drained if not plumbed to the outside. The small ones every few days, depending. Theyíll shut themselves off when the pan is full. Winter is the dry season in FL. Relative humidity is a little lower, but not much. Best thing pepople say is air circulation. Maybe install a ventilating fan in one of the hatches. Exhaust to the outside. I had one when our boat was there.


Draining is easy. Ours drains to the galley sink. This is a dedicated through hull fitting thatís in phenomenal shape.

Iíd almost rather the boat sink than fill up with mold
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Old 16-11-2021, 05:04   #8
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

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Draining is easy. Ours drains to the galley sink. This is a dedicated through hull fitting thatís in phenomenal shape.

Iíd almost rather the boat sink than fill up with mold
Also got a dehumidifier in the galley sink.
Drilled a hole in the plastic reservoir so it will drain into the sink rather than shut off.

Got this unit:
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Old 16-11-2021, 05:47   #9
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Draining is easy. Ours drains to the galley sink. This is a dedicated through hull fitting thatís in phenomenal shape.

Iíd almost rather the boat sink than fill up with mold

this is the first summer I ran a dehumidifier (in North Florida) draining into the sink .. while away from the boat. no problems and the boat stayed at 50% humidity .. nice and dry as opposed to 90% or more outside.
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Old 16-11-2021, 05:56   #10
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

For just a 'couple of months' in Florida during this part of the year, a budget/easy/simple option might be a couple of big bags of cat-litter in trays/boxes/bowls around the boat; it worked well for us leaving a boat in both Florida and the even steamier climate of Trinidad
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Old 16-11-2021, 11:12   #11
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

You might also put some trays of vinegar around to help with mold and mildew.

Happy Holidays to you!
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Old 16-11-2021, 11:36   #12
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

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Also got a dehumidifier in the galley sink.
Drilled a hole in the plastic reservoir so it will drain into the sink rather than shut off.

Got this unit:
Lived in So Florida all my life. Mildew was a constant battle on my boat until I did exactly what CSY Man did. If your boat is larger you might need two of the little dehumidifiers.
Note that weíre both in South Florida.
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Old 16-11-2021, 11:41   #13
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

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Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
Also got a dehumidifier in the galley sink.
Drilled a hole in the plastic reservoir so it will drain into the sink rather than shut off.

Got this unit:
That's thinking outside the box.

I rigged a bilge pump, but your way is simpler.

I used cans of Damp-Rid until I got the dehumidifier.

The dehumidifier I use now keeps it at 30% to 40%, and no mold, or boat smell when I get back.

(and this one has a built in drain, and WIFI, so I can monitor it from my phone.)

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Midea-50...1QGR/315869075
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Old 29-11-2021, 19:19   #14
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

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The dehumidifier I use now keeps it at 30% to 40%, and no mold, or boat smell when I get back
Wow, your dehumidifier is rated up to 4,500 sq/ft..?
3 times the size of my house and 20 times the size of my boat's cabin.
(Overkill is good, but your machine goes way beyond)

I may upgrade to bigger unit on my boat, but so far, so good.

My tub has a built in 10,000 BTU air condition with a dehumidifier cycle, but
I hardly use it: Too much going on with 30 amp power, pumps and fans running
and it seems to do no more than my $40 Amazon unit.
(Got a humidity gauge in the cabin, easy to measure)
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Old 30-11-2021, 08:56   #15
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Re: Leaving a boat in FL for 2 months

It keeps my boat dry even in a hot muggy Florida summer.

And is just over a cubic foot in size, (fits over sink).

It pulls out several gallons a day.
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