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Old 11-08-2017, 08:31   #1
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That damp feeling...

I've recently moved aboard my boat and I love it - except one thing. My boat is dry, no leaks and no water in bilge. Not sure what the humidity is but it doesn't feel high. I always keep a few ports open all the time and get a good breeze thru the boat. I'm berthed in Port Townsend, Wa. That said, the sheets on my bed always "feel" slightly damp. Same with my cotton robe.

The cushions in the cabin do not feel damp. They are polyester. The sheets are cotton. I'm wondering what to do about this. Would microfiber sheets be better?
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:56   #2
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Re: That damp feeling...

Yep. I lived aboard for years here in the PNW. Sometimes, if we removed our mattress the underlying plywood panels would be so wet it had standing water you had to remove with a sponge. I think it's due to body heat sleeping and cold sea water creating the moisture under. We eventually cored the ply panels with round holes like swiss cheese. Then we put the Dri Dek vinyl squares under the mattress. This helped some. But wait until winter! it'll be really wet then.
I would think doing the above and then adding an in and out ventilation under the berth with a computer fan might be good.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:58   #3
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Re: That damp feeling...

We live in a damp area and just by virtue of breathing while on board you will be "creating" humidity. I run an electric dehumidifier on the boat and while I don't live aboard it does keep the inside feeling much drier. May want to give one of those a try
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:12   #4
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Re: That damp feeling...

I find that sheets washed with scented detergent and dried with dryer sheets always feel damp and clingy. Get rid of the smelly stuff if you use it and it may help.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:32   #5
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Re: That damp feeling...

moisture problem inside your boat and want to fix it?
https://forums.sailboatowners.com/in...fix-it.168459/
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Old 11-08-2017, 13:03   #6
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Re: That damp feeling...

Here's your solution, Cheechako... Froli Sleep Systems by Nickle Atlantic, LLC
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Old 11-08-2017, 13:49   #7
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Re: That damp feeling...

Here are some good tips from wr_wrangell's blog, they live in SE Alaska, & so know about onboard dampness. Denali Rose: Search results for froli
Oh, & the advice already offered is excellent, plus if you want more tips, do a search under condensation. And you might consider insulating your boat. I've written about it's virtues many times. Including doing a heat loss survey of your boat with a thermal imager, much as one does with a house.
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Old 11-08-2017, 14:02   #8
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Re: That damp feeling...

It's also about the fabric. 100% cotton will always feel damp, as it absorbs the moisture and attendant salt in the air (and the salt on your skin if you go swimming before bed without rinsing off in fresh water). Once the cotton is "salted" it will attract more moisture, and never be dry. Switch to sheets (and a robe) that have a significant synthetic component. It makes a big difference.
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Old 11-08-2017, 22:56   #9
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Re: That damp feeling...

Here is one more vote for electric dehumidifier.. if you can power it.
But don't bother with the tiny ones which do a half liter per day... You'll need 5-10 liters per day (that's for a 30'-50' boat in the tropics anyway).
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Old 12-08-2017, 00:21   #10
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Re: That damp feeling...

The best way to beat the damp in the PNW is changing the air. Cooking, breathing, showering all add moisture to the boat. Add a powered vent for the shower and a range hood that's vented and you'll eliminate much of the problem. Many people in the area use dehumidifiers. I like having a some type of combustion heater, like a wood or diesel stove. The fire draws inside air and it's replaced with outside air that usually has less moisture.
In the winter, I'm on the Columbia River near the coast and my sheets don't get damp, I don't have a robe anymore, but my clothes stay dry, cheap zippers and snaps don't rust.
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Old 14-08-2017, 15:30   #11
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Re: That damp feeling...

ventilation is mandatory.
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Old 14-08-2017, 16:02   #12
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Re: That damp feeling...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
I find that sheets washed with scented detergent and dried with dryer sheets always feel damp and clingy. Get rid of the smelly stuff if you use it and it may help.
+1

Use of conditioner on sheets and towels tends to stop the thread drying out properly. As a result they absorb moisture more readily and tend to act as a base for mould growth (stinky towel syndrome). Conditioner ultimately 'freys' the outer filaments of the thread/weave to create that soft/supply feeling but also doesn't wash out as readily as you'd think - holding moisture in the thread.

You can fix the sheets by washing with vinegar and then another wash with soda. That'll remove and latent conditioner and kill off any mould in the fibers.



...and as Zee stated, ventilation is mandatory!

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Old 14-08-2017, 19:49   #13
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Re: That damp feeling...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SFS View Post
It's also about the fabric. 100% cotton will always feel damp, as it absorbs the moisture and attendant salt in the air (and the salt on your skin if you go swimming before bed without rinsing off in fresh water). Once the cotton is "salted" it will attract more moisture, and never be dry. Switch to sheets (and a robe) that have a significant synthetic component. It makes a big difference.
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Old 14-08-2017, 19:55   #14
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Re: That damp feeling...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavalier View Post
+1

Use of conditioner on sheets and towels tends to stop the thread drying out properly. As a result they absorb moisture more readily and tend to act as a base for mould growth (stinky towel syndrome). Conditioner ultimately 'freys' the outer filaments of the thread/weave to create that soft/supply feeling but also doesn't wash out as readily as you'd think - holding moisture in the thread.

You can fix the sheets by washing with vinegar and then another wash with soda. That'll remove and latent conditioner and kill off any mould in the fibers.



...and as Zee stated, ventilation is mandatory!

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I heard a podcast once, so can't quote the source, that said people use way too much soap in their laundry, which is a food source for mold and that's why you get that dank smell. Add in cotton as the substance and you not only have a constant food source from soap, but a nice organic living space that mold loves. I absolutely love my fleece sheets! They never feel cold or clammy. I really need to get rid of my down comforters, too, but some things die hard
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Old 14-08-2017, 20:26   #15
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Re: That damp feeling...

i use cotton jersey sheets. love em. never feel damp. my boat is wet and i only use cotton, due to allergies. all natural fibers. i also have cotton flannel sheets i love. also never feel damp. \i donot use fabric softener, is an allergen. and i make sure all is rinsed at least twice.
i have lived on board boats since 1990, wet bilges, no dampness of sheets or bedding.
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