Friday, March 16, 2012

Recognize this?

 Any fellow sailors recognize this?

 With the exception of New Zealand, almost all our sailing experience has been in the tropics.  Bill and I do not like cold weather.  The one time we visited a ski lodge neither of us ventured outside.  

So this is our first experience of winter weather while living aboard a sailboat.  Granted, we are docked in a marina with shore power and have 3 electric heating units to keep us warm.  But yet we still complain about the cold (especially Bill). 

I tolerate the cold better than Bill, but there is one thing about this winter weather that is driving me batty.......condensation on the aluminum frames of our hatches and side ports.

Every morning we wake to droplets of water dripping down off the angled hatch on the rear wall of our aft cabin.  I dry off the aluminum frame before we go to bed each night.  And in the morning it is dripping again.  I can find no solution for this, so if anyone has any ideas please pass them on to us.  One friend suggested insulated hatch covers on the outside to help with the temperature variance between interior and exterior.  But with the high winds common to this area during the winter, I am afraid that exterior hatch covers would be blown away regardless of how securely they are tied.


Okay, so all you northern climate sailors --- how do you keep condensation from forming on the interior of your hatches and side ports?


  1. Hi Judy,
    Your problem is a though one. While we were cruising down in Pantagonia, South America, we battled the condensation too. If you can tape pastic, shrink wrap, or your kitchen plastic wrap to the underside of the hatches and over the ports, it will help. Also, leaving the hatch a tiny bit open will sometimes eliminate the condensation. When both are not practical, wrapping dish towels around the metal frame to absorb the moisture overnight I found useful. Hope you'll get an early spring! ;-) best wishes, Marlene on Diesel Duck

  2. Hi Judy and Bill. Warm air can contain more moisture than cold air. When warm air is cooled down,(touching metal-frames or windows), it reach the dewpoint and water is condensing on the surfaces. The moisture in the boat is from 1)crew (2 gallons of moisture/day), 2)bathroom, 3)cooking 4)wet clothes. This is a problem to be solved quickly, or you will get problems with fungus, rotting wood and microscopic insects. Fist thing do do, is to sleep with some ventilation to the bedroom.Next you should ventilate the boat throughly twice a day. Then you need to bring down the humidity in the air. The cheap solution is to buy calcium chloride in the marine shop. The bag of CC shall be placed over a bucket, where you collect the condensated water. For you I will recommend buying an Air Dehumidifier. Prices start somewhere around $200.
    I envy you Texans who never experience ice, fog and fungus on your boat.
    If you find fungus in the boat or on the sails, you can use a 10% solution of 5-15% Benzalkonium Chloride and 5%<nonionic tensides. This is sold under different names as "Fungus Remover".
    S/Y Freya (A Hanse 400) is leaving Copenhagen in June for the Canary Islands.
    Best wishes Kjeld

  3. Thanks very much to Kjeld. The dehumidifier sounds like a great idea. Since we will always have shore power during cold weather it won't be a problem powering it. We will buy one on the next trip to the south side of Cyprus. Wishing you pleasant voyage to the Canaries in June.


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