Mould is the curse of winter in the higher latitudes. As the temperature falls and the moisture starts to condense on the windows and drip on the walls, letting the cold air in is the last thing on your mind. Mould will grow in any damp confined space but boats, being small water-tight vessels where the dampness can’t easily escape, are the ideal environment for those little spores to get down and party!
The only way to prevent mould from growing in all your little nooks and crannies is to keep the humidity as low as possible and a dehumidifier is the best option. The size of dehumidifier you need depends on the size of the space you are trying to dry but the terminology is a bit confusing. For our 45’ sail boat we selected a 14L (30 pint) dehumidifier, the volume being the amount of moisture it can remove over a 24 hour period (not the size of the tank which collects the water!). I suggest buying one which can be fitted with a hose to drain directly into the sink and can be left to keep your boat dry while you are not around. Also make sure you get one with wheels as these things are quite heavy to lug around!
We have had several dehumidifiers over the years, the first one which we bought in New Zealand about ten years ago was made by ExpertAir. We turned it on, directed the drain hose into the sink and left it to it. Five years later it was still working, the boat was dry and mould free! What a little trooper – I’d strongly recommend it but I don’t think they make them anymore! We still have it on board and it still works but being 230V we cannot use it in USA/Canada.
On arriving in Alaska last year the first thing we bought was an 115V Westpointe dehumidifier. This time we chose a 45 pint unit because we would be living on board and generating plenty of hot, moist air! We struck lucky again – I couldn’t believe how much water it extracted from the air, it was filling the 10 pint water tank in about six hours. This was a truly excellent piece of kit! I still get weepy when I remember the day I plugged it into the 230V system! It didn’t flash or bang, itt just stopped and never worked again. I was devastated!!
Our third dehumidifier is a Classic 45 pint appliance and was a bad choice. I could have bought another Westpointe but this one cost about $100 less and had all the functionality we were looking for. Unfortunately the amount of water it removes from the air is pathetic; in 24 hours it produces less than 10 pints. It is a major disappointment after our previous two outstanding performers but maybe with dehumidifiers you get what you pay for.
Get more details about the stellar Westpointe dehumidifier by clicking one of the link to amazon.com and if you decide to buy please remember to use our links!