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Old 28-02-2017, 17:21   #1
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Keeping clothes dry

I've a Tashiba-31 sailboat and the v-berth has one hanging locker and 5 storage drawers. The boat seems pretty dry, but I'm fairly new to her and haven't had a chance to see what happens in a rain or how she fairs with someone on board 24x7 sleeping, cooking, etc.

I expect to be doing some extended cruising this summer in the Pacific Northwest and I'm wondering what people do to ensure their clothes stay dry and mildew free. I've been considering vacuum bags for the clothes that are not worn frequently.

I also do not plan to take a great quantity of clothes - probably 4 changes with additional items for layering. (I've gone on weeks long motorcycle rides and know how to make things last)

Any suggestions?
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Old 28-02-2017, 18:37   #2
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

Will storage totes fit in the drawers? Also, in the hanging locker, trash bags around the hanging clothes works pretty well. Use damp rid in the drawers and lockers for the general moisture.
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Old 28-02-2017, 18:48   #3
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

If you can keep the inside of the boat dry and warm, your clothes will stay dry. That means the bilges too.
Use of propane radiate heater will add moisture but exhaust stack heaters are ok, or diesel. I use an electrical heater with a tipover breaker, which works well but expensive if full time. On the hook the stack heaters are best. Their exhaust just needs to be well designed for off shore protection

Ventilation is another plus. Stagnant areas will hold moisture. Open storage areas often. Do not use cardboard boxes to store anything. Use plastic for clothes and wood for other stuff up out of the bilge areas, except metal. Keep tools in bagies with WD-40 well out of lower areas.
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Old 28-02-2017, 19:49   #4
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

The biggest issue(s) are moisture from condensation producing mildew. So that if you keep things warm & aired out you'll have zero issues. To that end, good insulation helps a huge amount. As does not stuffing your draweers & closet full to the brim. Pllus you need to regulary wear everything/take it out of the drawers. But there aren't any real tricks to this, & I've never had problem one.

In my v-berth there are shelves which run the length of the berth along the hull sides, maybe 2' above the level of the bunk. And I put in some nice looking netting which spanned the distance between the shelf & the deck, in order to keep the clothes on the shelf in place. Which worked great. And I used that room for t-shrts, polos, underwear & socks. Leaving the drawers mostly for the girlfriend.

The other mod was that I picked up some cedar tongue & groove planks, & lined the back of the hanging locker, up against the hull, after I pulled out the cheap headliner carpeting in there.
This too worked well, in that it provided some insulation in the locker, as well as making things smeall nice. Plus it was a small touch of class for the boat.

You can also add ventillation holes in various places via your drill. And I've seen all kinds of nautical hole patterns. Sometimes to include cutting the patterns with a jigsaw or scrollsaw. Along with adding louvered panels in various places.

And of course fans help too, even in the winter months, or when it's perpetually damp. Plus there are some great tips from wr wrangell, who are members here that live onboar in SE Alaska, where it's always chilly & damp.
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Old 28-02-2017, 21:03   #5
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmksails View Post
I've a Tashiba-31 sailboat and the v-berth has one hanging locker and 5 storage drawers. The boat seems pretty dry, but I'm fairly new to her and haven't had a chance to see what happens in a rain or how she fairs with someone on board 24x7 sleeping, cooking, etc.

I expect to be doing some extended cruising this summer in the Pacific Northwest and I'm wondering what people do to ensure their clothes stay dry and mildew free. I've been considering vacuum bags for the clothes that are not worn frequently.

I also do not plan to take a great quantity of clothes - probably 4 changes with additional items for layering. (I've gone on weeks long motorcycle rides and know how to make things last)

Any suggestions?
I use "Damp Rid" (Calcium Chloride crystals) in my boat and it seems to work pretty well. One of these containers in the hanging locker will soak up a lot of moisture, and then maybe one or two others int he v-berth and salon.
https://www.amazon.com/DampRid-FG90-...words=damp+rid
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:08   #6
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

We also use many of the strategies mentioned above, including the Damp-Rid.
Something else, related to the action of Damp-Rid and salts absorbing water, is the caution to keep any fabrics exposed to salt spray out of the boat. Once a film of salt is present on a surface below, than material will continue to remain damp until it is washed and rinsed. Hatches need to be dogged down with any spray on deck and weather gear">foul weather gear should be rinsed.

We spend much time in water that is warmer than your cruising area and we conserve fresh water by bathing in the sea. This requires a fresh water rinse. If you let the salt water dry on your skin, then you will take the salts to bed and your sheets will remain damp.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:28   #7
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

Summer in the PNW isn't that different from England. The key things are ventilation, heating of some sort and a good wet locker.. Heating with forced air diesel heating is ideal, its dry, warm and replaces damp air inside the boat with fresh air from outside. Easy to fit and cheap to run.

Hopefully the boat has lots of vents, we have 5 permanently open deck vents on our 31ft yacht. Thin cheap perspex temporary washboards for the evenings help keep the heat in but allow some draft too.

Do you have a wet locker for wet gear? if not use the heads.

Do you have a sprayhood and side dodgers to give some protection to the cockpit. Also consider a bimini. Ours is cheap and chearful, give protection from the occasional strong mid day sun but also a dry area in the cockpit to leave wellies etc. A full cockpit enclosure would be great but they are expensive. A sheet over the boom allows saloon deck hatches to be left open too.

Hudson force's comments on salt below are also worth re-iterating.

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Old 01-03-2017, 08:44   #8
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

neighbors have a little--under 35 --ft boat they use damp rifd.
i have a 40 with wet bilges and use the new ziplok large and extra large baggies which ar ehuge enough to stow blankets and bedding. excellent invention.
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:19   #9
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

If you have perfect insulation your problem is solved.

Avoid over stuffing lockers. They need airflow to avoid the buildup of moisture.

We have a mix of insulation, venting and frequent removal and restocking.

Once you spend a winter in the PNW you'll know all the problem areas.

We've just experienced our first PNW winter living aboard. Most of the condensation occurs under the deck and against the hull above water. Especially at the hull to deck interface.

We avoid having anything abut these areas. We've also added extra insulation and small computer fans to vent certain spaces.

We have a small oil heater and we run our espar when needed. The espar is great for getting the interior temp high enough to remove most condensation
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:27   #10
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post

We've just experienced our first PNW winter living aboard.
I sailed up here last summer.

W sure picked some winter for starters, eh?
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Old 01-03-2017, 13:03   #11
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
We've just experienced our first PNW winter living aboard. Most of the condensation occurs under the deck and against the hull above water. Especially at the hull to deck interface.
I'm currently doing the winter thing here too ... and this is where I see most water inside too ... but I was assuming that it was leaking stanchions and other fittings.

Are you suggesting that this might actually be mostly condensation, and not snow-melt working it's way through old deck fittings, or the hull-deck joint? I still ought to rebed the fittings, but this would change the priority of that job.
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Old 01-03-2017, 13:38   #12
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

Hullmaster,

The moisture you exhale, is about 400ml per day. Other moisture is simply contained in the air. If you insulate the boat, you can eliminate most condensation if you can supply dry heat and circulate that dry air around.

If your clothing is getting damp, you can make a cheap "raincoat" our of large trash bags, just pierce a small hole for the hanger hook to go through, to keep them dry. Of course, this will not work if they're already wet!

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Old 02-03-2017, 21:08   #13
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

You will be surprised how much moisture your breath has. Anytime I sleep in a confined boating space I always find water dropplettes on any cooler surface when I wake up. Not to mention the light mist / fog that is often on the water.

So agree that heat/ventilation are key to trying to keep your clothes feeling dry and not damp.

Now, if I go out for a weekend or maybe a week I just deal with the dampness. Any longer I try to add heat and ventilation.
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Old 02-03-2017, 23:03   #14
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

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Originally Posted by Kelkara View Post
I'm currently doing the winter thing here too ... and this is where I see most water inside too ... but I was assuming that it was leaking stanchions and other fittings.

Are you suggesting that this might actually be mostly condensation, and not snow-melt working it's way through old deck fittings, or the hull-deck joint? I still ought to rebed the fittings, but this would change the priority of that job.
If you believe that, then you own a submarine with a screen door.

This, too, is my first winter up north. But it's also my 30 year old boat's first encounter with snow. The water is 47F. The relative humidity could be anywhere from 0 to 100%. When first it snowed, coincidentally on my birthday on Dec. 9th, I had not yet received my new heater as a present. I went up to the boat a few days later and found it raining inside. The cold snow on the decks and in the cockpit, compared to the warmer water and humidity down below, created condensation.

While I'm an HVAC engineer by trade, one need not need that background to remember the old saw about "why does your gin & tonic glass "sweat" in the summer heat?" Same concept.

By all means, repair your deck fittings if need be, but they could well not be the cause of that major amount of internal moisture. And remember, too, please, that all the talk of condensation from breathing simply did NOT occur in this example. I wasn't there.

Good luck.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:18   #15
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Re: Keeping clothes dry

My gf picked up a tip off of a Pinterst post. I keep sheets and towels and some clothing in totes with a couple of Bounce sheets thrown in. Seems to inhibit the bad effects of moisture, and smells nice too.
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