For us, it's just beginning. With the arrival of fall means the arrival of the need for heat aboard and with heat comes the dreaded word that is the bane of every liveaboard's existence - condensation. You may remember this concept from high school physics - when the air temperature outside is colder than the air temperature inside and heat rises and creates moisture it will create condensation also known as rain inside the cabin! Boiling water for pasta, moisture in the bilge, even Toby panting (which he does a lot since he's rather nervous when the boat sways) can add to the problem substantially.
Now we'd been dealing with the dripping windows above our bed for a few weeks now (nothing like waking up to a cold drip on your face at 4am), naively thinking it was just wet at night and then it would dry out in the day once we opened up hatches - silly us! Because what does condensation cause when allowed to fester in closed spaces? MILDEW! This weekend as we were preparing the boat to go sailing on a GORGEOUSLY warm sunny Saturday we lifted our aft cabin mattress to find horrendous mildew stains, Jill's bottom pillow was 50% black with mildew, the walls around the window hatches had spores of mildew...it had attacked us! Granted it had rained for 6 days straight, we'd been forced to keep hatches closed and we were heating at night causing warm air AKA condensation. But still it wasn't good. We quickly realized this had to be dealt with and fast. Jill's allergies + a dank smell + just plain nasty = a Saturday spent bleaching, airing out, sunning, bleaching some more.
|The contents of our bed laying out in the sun drying|
|These now appear in every corner of our boat|
We have been posting and reading the volume of opinions and tips on the message boards - as I said this is the bane of every live aboard's existence. The options range from completely gutting the boat to install insulation between the hull and the inside walls to setting off a "mold bomb" and vacating the vessel for days.
What we have realized is that it is an intricate combination of insulation, moisture prevention AND ventilation. The boat needs to breathe! And like it or not it truly is a constant battle. Quick fixes like opening the companionway hatch when we cook and lifting up the mattress off the bed when we get up in the morning to more involved (read: expensive) things like installing a dehumidifier and mattress mats are now in the works.
|Bought this book today|
But there's something great about that - it seems like in modern adult life it's often rare that we are learning something new ALL THE TIME. Or rather we don't give ourselves the chance to do it, we don't allow ourselves the vulnerability to try something new, something we're not good at, something that we struggle at, something we could risk failing at. We are trained to master everything - our positions at work, our skills at home, our abilities in life. We don't often open ourselves up to failure but it's in inviting that vulnerability that we end up succeeding far more than if we hadn't. So Tim and I have really opened ourselves up here, we are very much living life with the "trial by error" mentality and hoping it doesn't result in disaster or frostbite!
Any condensation tips? We are sponges right now - both literally & figuratively!