Which Dehumidifier For Your Boat?
Sports & Recreation

Which Dehumidifier For Your Boat?

Do Boat Dehumidifiers Work?

Will fitting a dehumidifier on our boat prevent mould, damp and condensation? That was certainly the big question for my fishing boat, and probably the same for yachts and even small cruisers. I love going out on the lake to fish and I find it a great way to chill out and relax.

Real life does not allow me to do that as often as I would like. As a result my small boat spends more time than I would like being docked. Like any good boat owner I cover it up as best as I can to prevent damage from the weather and the various elements it throws at us.

That sadly causes the dreaded moisture and condensation problem so I wondered if a dehumidifier would help alleviate that particular problem for me. I initially noticed those horrible little black spots of dark mould and I also noticed the inside of my boat cover was pretty heavy with condensation. There was a slight musty smell but thankfully nothing too bad.

Even so, it was time for me to take action, so I began my investigation into boat dehumidifiers. This is what I found and I have shared this below.

What Can Dehumidifiers For A Boat Work On?

More Uses Than I Had Initially Thought Of

The Wide Ocean There are a few different options for heating, ventilating and generally dehumidifying your boat. What I found is that these are also useful for the Home, the office, RV s, Motor Homes and different sizes of boats and yachts. They also help to stop pipes from freezing so can be useful for that purpose as well.

I have a very good friend in Canada and his hobby is restoring old cars and returning them to their former glory. He does this in a couple of large garages close to his home. He uses these to help keep the moisture down and have a certain amount of heat and warm air circulating.

Other people use them for keeping their motor cycle gear dry, some people use them in their closets and many people with older solid brick homes use them in areas that are prone to being damp. So as you can see they have a wide range of uses depending on your own particular needs.

I guess a concern for most people, and it was certainly one for me, was the risk and associated dangers of over heating and fire. Any appliance that heats up is something that I am always aware of including hair driers, heating irons or anything of that nature.

I am glad to say however that there is no risk with this particular appliance. It only uses about 1 amp and generates 130 watts of power. That is still enough to do the job very efficiently and effectively, but minimizes the risk of any over heating.

Choices Of Dehumidifiers For Boats and Yachts

There are a number of dehumidifiers that would suit so I have tried to focus my attention on the one that I bought, while at the same time, also telling you about the other options. Let me start by telling you about the one I got and why I bought that particular one.

I took several factors into account which included the cost, the running cost, the quality and low maintenance. I wanted a dehumidifier that would tick all of these boxes. After quite a bit of research, reading about these on the different boating forums and checking with other boat owners I opted for one made by Davis Instruments.

They do two in particular called:

  • The Air Dryr 500
  • The Air Dryr 1,000

The Air Dryr 500 one can deal with 500 cubic feet of living space and the other option can deal with 1,000 cubic feet of living space. So it just depends on the space size you need to keep dry. For me the smaller one was just perfect and it works great. I have it set on a timer and it works well for me. The principle is simple in that it heats the air and then natural convection does its stuff

Davis Instruments Air-Dryr 500 Dryer

Great for boats, motor homes, garages and even closets


Davis Instruments Air-Dryr 1000 Dryer

No more pipe freezing and works great for larger boats and spaces

Video On How To Protect Your Boat, Caravan or Car In The Winter Time

This is a good little video from Chris Michael that offers up some very good tips that I learned a thing or two from.

Some Tips For Preventing Damp, Mould and Mildew

I thought I would add a few tips I picked up along the way for dealing with problems caused by condensation and too much moisture. The main thing that will help is ventilation and good air circulation. When leaving your boat for any length of time always leave any doors, cupboards, locker lids open to allow the air to circulate.

One great tip and one I now do regularly is to remove any old clothing, water boots and any food as that will greatly reduce the risk of musty smells. My wife also removes any of the softer furnishings like cushions as if these are left, they will start to get damp.

I changed my own winter cover as the one I had was a cheap one that I had bought second hand. It had been patched up a few times and there was little or no ventilation holes left in it. That alone made a huge difference and was worth the investment for sure.

Many boat owners use a simple heater to make sure they have enough warmth in their boats. Oil filled radiators are a popular choice for that purpose as they are cheap to buy and to maintain and run. It just needs to be on a low setting to keep the air warm inside. A couple of boat owners who also happen to be gardeners used a greenhouse heater and they swore by those.

Boating Ventilation and Heating Options

I have listed some good appliances below that were discussed by many of the boat owners.

Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Propane Heater

The type of heater the two boat owners discussed with me that they used in their green houses


DeLonghi EW7707CB Safeheat 1500W ComforTemp Portable Oil-Filled Radiator – Black

And the oil filled radiator option that is popular with many boat owners.

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