I pulled out the kids bathing suits the other day and discovered that they were already wet. Eew. Warm boat, cold ocean, hello moisture. Over the past few days Alex and I have gone through every cabinet on the boat looking for signs of condensation.
The below floor level cabinets are the worst offenders, no surprise. They are the coldest and least used. We emptied, dried, repacked everything in plastic, and plotted. We needed to limit the temperature change, keep everything off the floor, and absorb moisture. We have solutions for that.
First solution, purple foam insulation board. We bought a stack of two foot by two foot squares at Home Depot and started cutting. We backed all the cabinets that touched fiberglass to reduce the temperature difference.
Second, we purchased plastic grid flooring mats to hold things up half an inch off the bottom of the cabinets (we went with Dri-Dek, the type of thing you would floor a fishing boat with.) We cut it to size and used it to floor below waterline cabinets. Even if the moisture continues, these should hold everything up enough to encourage circulation and keep things from sitting in puddles.
Then, the bilge itself. Due to additions after the initial boat design (hot water heater, I’m looking at you) the bilge doesn’t completely drain. The last half inch of water can’t make it past the mounts for the hot water heater and sits in the forward bilge, rather than flowing aft to the sump where the pump is. A day or so after each rainstorm we have to pull up the floor and pump out about a gallon of water by hand. Not a huge deal but certainly a nuisance when we’re trying to limit the extra moisture aboard.
Finally, we bought a ridiculous number of desiccant packets to keep in every cabinet aboard, to absorb the extra moisture from the air that little bit more.
Our strategy from here out, to borrow from Harry Potter, is, “constant vigilance!”
- Joy Weiss