Mailport January 2013 Issue

Mailport: January 2013

Preventing Mildew

In regards to your article on chemical desiccants (PS, November 2012): I have been mooring-out a boat in Puget Sound since 1995 and turned to calcium chloride products to combat dampness due to the absence of AC power. I have used Dri-Z-Air (, DampCheck (, and DampRid ( My selection of refill material has always been dictated by price and availability, always purchased at a military commissary, and frequently with a coupon. However, I found the Dri-Z-Air dehumidifier ďpotĒ to be my holder of choice as it presents more of the calcium chloride to the surrounding air, giving a greater moisture recovery.

I used one aboard my San Juan 28 for 11 years and now use three aboard my Tayana Vancouver 42, located high in the galley, saloon, and forward berth. I empty the pots during my boat-checks and before sailing; this has succeeded in controlling mildew.

What does PS recommend to minimize mildew during long offshore passages? My recent research found two incidents of boats sailing from Hawaii to Alaska and Washington incurring unacceptably high levels of mildew on their interiors.

Mike Hirko

Destiny, Tayana Vancouver 42

Gig Harbor, Wash.

Offshore, proper ventilation and hull insulation are the keys to keeping mildew at bay. If you allow humidity belowdecks, and there isnít enough solar heating to keep the boat interior warmer than outside temps, mildew will happen. In cooler weather, heat helps a lot, but thatís often not practical underway.

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