Belowdecks & Amenities

Can Dehumidifiers and Wood Boats Mix?

As I was doing research, I was looking at potentially installing a household Honeywell dehumidifier in a 58-foot wooden boat (vented from outside) while connected to shore power, for use in New England where temps this weekend dropped into the 20s F. The water outside obviously is colder than the inside air and the outside air is freezing. However, the boat is well designed with good ventilation and two stoves to keep the cabin warm. The builder, a wise sea captain, told me he would not install a dehumidifier in a wooden boat. In a fiberglass boat, yes, because they sweat and start to smell of unpleasant things. This is a wooden boat, but I’m not sure ventilation alone will be effective. My concern that the dehumidifier would dry the oak planks out and possibly open up the seams. If the boat was in San Francisco Bay, I would not be so concerned, but the cold New England temperatures are a worry.

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