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View Full Version : Winterization - Under Cover Mold Prevention



jelmhorst
11-02-2015, 10:41 AM
For those that can't store the boat in a garage all winter, have there been any tips or tricks you've found to keep your boat from growing mold/mildew when stored outside over the winter? Last winter I bought one of the huge RV DampRid buckets thinking it would absorb the moisture but alas mold still managed to grow under the cover and tarp with the condensation that was created with the temperature swings. Nothing like getting the boat sparkling at the end of season to open the cover months later and the need to scrub it down again. The seats get removed so that's half the battle.

I can run power underneath the cover so I'm thinking of buying a small oscillating fan and throwing a 75w lamp sans shade to help with the air flow and keep it warmer under the cover to slow the temperature swings that force condensation on the glass. In essence, just trying to replicate the warm air circulators that are being sold. May or may not throw timers on those. Still going to use the DampRid. I think a big towel over the sunpad last winter prevented some buildup there.

Has anyone had any luck with a mold prevention spray, I haven't seen any labels yet so not sure how those chemicals would play with the vinyl. Any tips or tricks or products you've tried and learned over the years? Much appreciated!

sivs1
11-02-2015, 11:01 AM
This happened to me with my Stingray. Basically I had it wrapped to tight and it was not able to breathe. Mid winter I ended up moving it into the garage so I could take care of the mold problem. I use the damp rid buckets every year now, my LSV is in a garage though so I can leave the cover off, I like the idea of the fan and light, maybe setup on a timer so they are not running 24/7. It's all about proper air flow.

trayson
11-02-2015, 11:36 AM
Interesting thread. Subscribed to hear what everyone has to say...

sivs1
11-02-2015, 11:36 AM
Interesting thread. Subscribed to hear what everyone has to say...

especially based on where you live!

trayson
11-02-2015, 11:42 AM
especially based on where you live!

Yep, this is where I do my boating...

http://i3.cpcache.com/product_zoom/1015860723/pacific_northwet_tshirt.jpg?height=250&width=250&padToSquare=true

wolfeman131
11-02-2015, 01:39 PM
friends in FL swear by these. Description states that it is designed for continuous operation.

http://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-marine--air-dryer-with-fan-dehumidifier-120v-ac--7867518

5:00
11-02-2015, 01:58 PM
I have had some serious problems with this over the years. We have a lot of temperature variations in Northern Virginia. The first year I had it wrapped and got two different kinds of mold, the back deck turned pink. That was a waste of money.
I stored it under the full Moomba transport cover and I have added three vents with a pole in the rear part. With a total of five vents it still wasn't enough. I add the Damp Rid buckets and they didn't fill for the first time last season as I keep trying different things.

This year in addition to all of that I added the West Marine air dryer. I wanted one for a couple of years but they aren't cheap for a fan with heater. It was on a one day sale about a month ago. Getting desperate for a solution I grabbed one. I put the boat away after being out and a good bit of water was in it from kids. I had to leave and threw this thing in the middle of the floor with seats up and cover on.
I came back and to my surprise it was almost dry a week later, everywhere. No Damp Rid yet so it was all the fan and vents. There was no smell and nothing I could see on the vinyl. I am away for it for two weeks and can't wait to see what it is like. I am guessing it will be fully dry with no smell.

Can't swear by it yet but so far but I am expecting with all of this I should be good for the first time this winter fingers crossed.

As for the DIY version I would worry about it. I wouldn't want an exposed bulb and a non marine heater going in there. It could get too hot or worse. For $100 it is a good safe way to go also.

I will be keeping an eye on this threat for sure!

trayson
11-02-2015, 02:03 PM
friends in FL swear by these. Description states that it is designed for continuous operation.

http://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-marine--air-dryer-with-fan-dehumidifier-120v-ac--7867518

Interesting. I would imagine that in FL the "less than 100w" heater would be sufficient to keep condensation away with the warm winter temps that you get. I can't imagine that it'd be sufficient for the PNW when we're getting below freezing at night. And I would think that a fan with a 100w lightbulb would provide the same effect for a fraction of the cost.

Or a cheaper version of the above: http://www.wholesalemarine.com/davis-air-dryr-marine-dehumidifier-38109.html?gclid=Cj0KEQiAsNyxBRDBuKrMhsbt3vwBEiQAd RgPsgOSkqG8CaDV__QzMVA4IJVWe746dqKEmSvu4ANGBAIaAqI 08P8HAQ


I would think that if the goal is to reduce moisture, then a real dehumidifier would be the ticket...

jelmhorst
11-02-2015, 02:22 PM
I bought the nearly identical Caframo Limited Stor-Dry Warm Air Circulator off Amazon last month and had it in place for a few weeks but the fan and heater for that matter don't seem to be operating very well, could be a defective unit. I figured a 8-12" oscillating table fan and a light bulb/worklight could provide better performance for my money. I wouldn't do a heater or a de-humidifier simply as that would seem to be overkill.

5:00 if you should be around the boat at all I'd be curious how fast and warm the air is that your dryer pushes out. Not sure what my expectations are but mine seemed to be slower and cooler than I would have expected.

5:00
11-02-2015, 03:11 PM
Jeff,

It doesn't push out much air or heat AT ALL. It pulls from bottom to top. You can see the blades go around but it is MUCH slower than a typical fan. The air that comes out is warm, not hot at all. I can't even hear the thing run at arm's length. Like the turtle slow and steady. I didn't think it would work seeing how weak it was but it seemed to work. Not sold on it yet as it is only one week in but I have high hopes on this one.

5:00
11-02-2015, 03:13 PM
Anyone know anything about this technology
http://www.amazon.com/Eva-dry-Electric-Petite-Dehumidifier-Edv-1100/dp/B000H0ZDD2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1446494747&sr=8-3&keywords=eva-dry

Claims to dehumidify without a compressor. Sounds really simple and is getting good reviews. $50 and low current consumption. You could put in a drain on the bucket and exit it through the transom drain plug.

sivs1
11-02-2015, 03:53 PM
its based off your typical small home dehumidifier that sell for under 200. We used a $200 one in our basement in NY, held about 2 gallons of water and had to empty it at least once a day during hot humid summers.

the one above only hold 16oz. when it is full it shuts off, so you'd have to check it all the time to empty.

jrobb
11-02-2015, 10:38 PM
I live in the PNW 15 miles north of seattle. I use the turbo dryer fan from west marine every year when i winterize and put it away. It will not completely protect from mildew but it cuts it down about 80%. Makes for much less clean up come spring.

beat taco
11-03-2015, 01:52 AM
I've had great luck and no mold by tarping over my boat with a tarp large enough to go over the tower and cover the trailer, and tie it to my trailer. I tie a 20" house fan to the tower, if you don't the rain in the great PNW will literally condensate buckets inside the tarp. Obviously I also have my Mooring cover. At first I would replace the tarp every year, but found you could easily get a couple of years out of them. This has kept my boat dry and mold free.
On V drives I found you need to keep the tarp from touching the engine and storage compartment covers or it will condensate and cause mold. I remedied this issue with two 3" 90* fittings and a length of 3" ABS pipe. I slide the 90*'s over my guide poles and run the tarp over the top of the pipe, keeping the tarp off the back of the boat.
You can put a couple of Dri-Z-Airs in the boat for extra piece of mind, they will pull some water but I didn't find the necessity to be religious about it. I made sure to put them inside a larger plastic container.
The only time I have to babysit it is when it snows, I make sure to brush it off as frequently as possible.
I went to this after my tarp carport from Costco got shredded in a windstorm for the 4th time. Got my money back :)

gregski
11-04-2015, 10:32 AM
Have you cut a deck plate/access hole in your center locker? If not, I would. Otherwise there is a high probability that you have a bunch of trapped water in the hull and that would be a long battle of drying it through air evaporation and the air would be very high humidity until it was all dry.

zabooda
11-04-2015, 12:46 PM
I keep my boat outside all the time and I have never had mildew/mold problems. I keep the drain hole open and partially blocked to keep out critters and prop (only word I can think of) everything inside open.

trayson
11-04-2015, 01:37 PM
I keep my boat outside all the time and I have never had mildew/mold problems. I keep the drain hole open and partially blocked to keep out critters and prop (only word I can think of) everything inside open.

I am sure you would agree that your cold/dry eastern WA weather is less apt for these problems than those of us on the west side of the mountains with milder and WETTER winters...

zabooda
11-04-2015, 04:25 PM
That is confirmed. We are much dryer but we do have period of days with damp weather but for some reason it doesn't condense. I attribute it to air exchange under the cover but I'm not sure how that occurs since I have a cover similar to the Evolution covers with no air vents and sealed along the gunwale.


I am sure you would agree that your cold/dry eastern WA weather is less apt for these problems than those of us on the west side of the mountains with milder and WETTER winters...

bsharer
11-04-2015, 08:12 PM
I posted this on the supra forum a while back. I do the same thing in the winter.

I remove or move seat bottoms around, take out the tube and life jackets. I put a small squirrel cage fan in my boat on the port side floor in front of the back seat. Point it slightly up and aimed at the helm and walkway to the bow. Put the boat cover on and cinch it up. I leave the fan on 24/7 on med or high in the summer, low to medium in the winter. My boat gets really wet with all the kids climbing in and out, stuffing the wet tube back in, etc. Never any musty or mildew smell, never any mold. Keeps the air flowing around everywhere and I'd like to think it's cooler in there. I store outside and there is no roof over it, and it can be 105+* in the summer.

5:00
11-05-2015, 11:47 AM
From reading all of these it sounds like the best methods and tips are to keep air (heated or not) moving one way or another and open up what you can (seats, engine compartment) so it can all get the circulation. Throw in some Damp Rid buckets also.
Probably need ventilation to the outside or a breathable cover as well or it just stays in.

brad460
11-05-2015, 07:44 PM
I have found that you can do just about everything mentioned above and you will still have mold if your boat is not 100% dry before putting it in storage....Make sure every drop of water is out of the boat and add a couple desticant bags and you will be fine.

kaneboats
11-05-2015, 08:53 PM
Your cushions are made of foam so they are like big sponges so it looks like the boat is dry but there is moisture trapped under the vinyl. You have to have air flow to keep removing this moisture as it releases over time or you will get mold/mildew.

moombadaze
11-06-2015, 03:52 PM
Make sure every drop of water is out of the boat and add a couple desticant bags and you will be fine.

ive heard of using the old school style knee high tube socks filed with kitty litter will work--no personal experience with it

bergermaister
11-06-2015, 07:50 PM
Gotta be dry before tucking it away or it'll just fester when the conditions are right.

I use 2 portable can lights with 60 watt bulbs - one under the engine, one up toward the front of the cabin. Have one of those cutesy little overpriced airflow fans (earlier in the thread) up near the bow. And a good old 20" box fan in the main cabin on high. I used to pull all the cushions and keep them in dry storage but the last couple years have left them in, but prop them up with a pool noodle chunk to keep a gap for air circulation into the storage areas.

Since getting all new upholstery and carpet I've been extra paranoid about keeping it looking new and this little combination has worked for me. No dry-eze buckets or cat litter. Just a continuous windstorm with a little heat under my cover.

5:00
02-29-2016, 10:23 AM
I finally took the cover off the boat after a crazy winter. For the first time ever after storage it didn't smell moldy and there was no visible mold at all on the vinyl. The two Damp Rid containers are about half way full. The only change I made this year was adding the West marine air dryer http://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-marine--air-dryer-with-fan-dehumidifier-120v-ac--7867518
After seeing this I will have to say it made all the difference and seems to have solved my problems. Winter isn't over but I am not worried about nastiness forming in the boat during storage. Keeping that air moving made a lot of difference.