6 Best Dehumidifiers for Sailboats

6 Best Dehumidifiers for Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

November 18, 2020

Owning a boat comes with various benefits. Unfortunately, keeping mold and mildew at bay is a constant battle that requires serious commitment. So if your sailboat is smelling a little off lately or you've been noticing mold or mildew in your boat, going for the best boat dehumidifiers might just be the right solution.

Whether you're cleaning the deck or just going about your business of enjoying the winds and lounging on the deck, it's important to take a pause and worry about high humidity and moisture that are quite natural on the waters. Imagine the high costs of restorations that you might incur if you neglect your boat even for a few weeks and your gorgeously-designed cabin becomes moldy.

In essence, excess humidity in your boat will most certainly lead to excessive mildew and mold and the costs of damage caused may be quite high. It can even become fatal if you or your loved one suffer from serious allergic reactions to certain types of mold. The best thing to do is to get a good boat dehumidifier that can prevent mold and mildew from building up in your boat.

Of course, there are hundreds of boat dehumidifiers out there on the market. But selecting the best one for your boat can be pretty much overwhelming. Again, several factors must be considered when selecting the best dehumidifier for your sailboat. For example, you have to consider where you will be sailing, the level of humidity in the area, the climate zone, the size of your vessel, how to maintain the dehumidifier, among many other things.

So if you're still wondering how to get the best dehumidifier for your boat, we want to make it a lot easier for you. In this article, we'll highlight the best dehumidifiers for sailboats and factors to consider if you want to purchase one. At the end of this read, you'll be informed and better placed to choose the right dehumidifier for your boat.

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Importance of Having a Boat Humidifier

Even though we love sailing and always want to keep our boats in tiptop conditions, the negative effects of humidity on your boat's beauty and efficiency can be devastating. And because marine environments are naturally humid and can cause serious mold and mildew that might damage your boat and even cause serious sickness to those using the boat. That being said, here are a few reasons why you should get a good boat dehumidifier for your vessel.

  • Prevent mold, mildew, and bacteria
  • Improve air quality
  • Remove humidity from the boat's cabin
  • Make your boat's cabin comfortable
  • Protect your wooden-trimmed cabin from damage
  • Dry condensation on the windows
  • Prevent the growth of dust mites

Types of Boat Dehumidifiers

There are various types of dehumidifiers. The one you choose generally depends on the type of environment that the boat will be used in. For instance, a dehumidifier that's appropriate for dry or tropical environments might not be the best for winter environments.

Compressor-driven Dehumidifiers

This works in the same way as a normal air conditioner. It cools air over the coils and the resulting water condenses while dripping into a bucket. This means that you'll have to empty the bucket and this is a serious thing to consider if you've decided to go with this type of dehumidifier. Alternatively, you can have the bucket fixed with a hose to ensure continuous drainage.

Desiccant Dehumidifier

These types of dehumidifiers use chemicals such as Zeolite or Calcium chloride to absorb moisture. They're structured with a fan whose main function is to suck air into the dehumidifier before sending it past a wheel that holds the chemical so that the air can get dried. 

Thermo-electric Dehumidifiers

Such types of dehumidifiers do not necessarily have any moving parts. Instead, they're designed with a small but powerful fan that circulates the air. This happens when an electric current is passed between two different metals. The heat is transferred from one metal to the other during this process.

Well, it sounds like secondary-level chemistry but it's a simple process that doesn't involve the use of a defrost cycle or humidistat. As such, you don't have to worry about various parts breaking down. The fact that it doesn't have a compressor makes it quieter and more cost-effective than most models, though it can be slower in dealing with moisture.

Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Dehumidifier for Your Boat

Generally speaking, boat dehumidifiers have almost the same features as the standard dehumidifier in your home or basement. However, you can use the one in your basement because it doesn't have marine-specific features. As such, here are things to consider when choosing the best dehumidifier for your boat.

Boat Size

It wouldn't make any sense to purchase a small dehumidifier if you have a large boat with a hugely-sized cabin. As such, you should always consider the size of your boat and go for a model that can perfectly serve your boat's cabin.

Material Content

Keep in mind that various materials react differently when exposed to water, salty seawater, or any other thing in the sailing world. The material used to make the dehumidifier can be of great importance in terms of the durability and efficiency of the unit. This is essentially one of the main reasons why you should avoid dehumidifiers that have metallic components as they're prone to rust when exposed to saline water.

Moisture Extraction Rate per Day

A dehumidifier should be able to cope with the demands of the marine environment in terms of the level of moisture that it can extract in a day. You should choose a unit that can extract large amounts of water from the air at a sensible rate.

Safety Features

Of course, your boat dehumidifier should be safe and protected against corrosion or electrical damage.

A hose or vent

Instead of doing things manually by emptying the water that has been condensed into the bucket, you should make sure that your boat dehumidifier has a hose, vent, or any appropriate drainage system so that the moisture can be automatically drained to.

Fastenings

The dehumidifier should have fasteners that can be used to fasten it so that it doesn't roll or move when the boat is in motion.

The Best Dehumidifier for Your Sailboat

Here are the best boat dehumidifiers you can find in the market today. 

Pro Breeze Electric Mini Dehumidifier

Bring to the fore superb features and an incredibly high amount of moisture collection rate from the air in the atmosphere, this unit is unquestionably one of the best for your boat. Its small size makes it very portable so you won't need manpower should you decide to move it from one part of your boat to the other.

This unit integrates the Peltier technology to ensure that it is very quiet and goes about dealing with humidity without much fuss. It comes with a water tank that's large enough to carry about 52 ounces and is designed with a drainage hose to save you from the stress of having to empty it yourself.

In essence, we're talking about a unit that can extract 18 ounces of water daily to ensure that mold and mildew are never a problem in your boat. It can cover a wide area and is quite perfect for most boat sizes. Despite these marvelous benefits, we have to note that it doesn't work well at low temperatures and also uses lots of power, which can be a real turn-off, especially if you're on a budget.

Pros

  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Covers a large area
  • It has a large water tank capacity
  • Auto shutoff and drainage
  • Comes with a one-year warranty
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not perfect for very low temperature
  • Consumes lots of power

 

Iviation IVVADM35 Powerful Mid-size Thermo-electric Dehumidifier

Known for its excellent effectiveness especially in a very moist environment, this unit is specifically designed for small enclosed areas and has incredible features just to ensure that it never disappoints you. This dehumidifier unit is designed with the Peltier technology to ensure that it can work effectively without the inclusion of moving parts that can lead to high costs of maintenance.

As such, this unit comes with a very low cost or maintenance and is very portable, and can fit into some of the smallest spaces. The Peltier technology is also essential in ensuring that it is ultra-quiet to give you the utmost comfort and peace of mind both during the day and at night.

The fact that it can cover a wide area of up to 2,200 cubic square feet makes it an ideal choice for a wide range of boat sizes. That's not all; this is a powerful unit that can extract up to 20 ounces of water daily without feeling overworked. Speaking of the water tank, it has an incredibly large water tank that can hold up to 2 liters and will shut down automatically if it's full. Even though it requires a power supply to run, it is very popular with most boat owners as it consumes very little power.

Pros

  • Very quiet
  • High moisture extraction rate
  • Auto shut off
  • Affordable
  • Covers a large area
  • Full tank light indicator
  • Consumes very less power

Cons

  • Depends on a power supply

 

Homelabs Small Space Dehumidifier

As the name suggests, is ideal for mitigating humidity levels in small and confined spaces measuring about 150 square feet. This unit is quite small and portable as it measures about 8.5 inches off the ground and 5.3 inches wide.

This dehumidifier comes with a water tank that can hold up to 16 ounces of water, which is just enough for any small cabin. It can extract up to 9 ounces of moisture daily depending on the atmospheric condition.

When it comes to using this unit, you have to ensure that you clean it at least once a week to remove the allergens and dirt that are sucked alongside the air. Like most units in this list, it is designed with the innovative Peltier technology to ensure that it is very quiet. It also has a certified ETL adapter to prevent it from overheating.

The auto-shutoff feature and indicator light are also available to show you that the water tank is full. This is an incredible unit that is perfectly suitable if you have a very small boat.

Pros

  • Very quiet
  • Auto shutoff
  • Comes with a limited two-year warranty
  • An indicator light when the water tank is full

Cons

  • Ideal for small boats only

 

Eva-Dry E-500 High Capacity Renewable Wireless Mini Dehumidifier

Designed with an odorless silica gel, this unit is unique and different from the rest. It applies a very different mechanism in dealing with humidity levels and is very portable such that it won't take much space when fitted into your boat.

Using the silica gel, which has excellent high moisture-absorbing properties; this unit can extract humidity from your cabin until it's completely saturated. Unlike most units, you can easily recharge this unit into a power outlet. This means that you do not need a constant power supply for the dehumidifier to operate. Needless to say, this makes it a good fit if you want to go for long-distance sailing escapades.

That's not all; this is one of the quietest units on the market since it doesn't have a moving motor or fan. The only noise that you might hear is a calm popping sound that it makes when it is charging. The only downside is that it only covers a small surface area.

Pros

  • Very quiet
  • Very unique
  • Very durable
  • Doesn't require a constant supply of power
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Offers a small area of coverage and not perfect for large vessels

 

Damprid FG83K Hanging Moisture Absorber Fresh Scent

Another very unconventional dehumidifier on this list, this unit works by absorbing moisture. All you have to do is fix it at the right place within your boat and it will absorb moisture. In other words, this is a simplistic unit that absorbs all the moisture and humidity and the only thing that you have to do is dispose of the saturated moisture.

Even though this unit may not be as effective in absorbing moisture as other units on our list, it brings to the table other benefits. For example, it's more durable and a lot cheaper than most units and can serve you just well if you're on a budget. As such, you can consider using it as a supportive dehumidifier to the primary dehumidifier.

Pros

  • It's very cheap and durable
  • Doesn't need electricity to operate
  • It's portable
  • Its mechanism is very simple

Cons

  • It's no rechargeable
  • Doesn't have automated features
  • It is not ideal as a primary dehumidifier

 

Meaco Zambezi DD 8L Desiccant Dehumidifier

This is an outstanding desiccant dehumidifier that does an excellent job of dehumidifying almost all moisture for your boat's cabin. It has some of the best features in the game including a digital display and daily timer.

Designed to look modern and appealing, this unit is lightweight and very portable so it's unlikely that installing it in your boat will be a problem. While most desiccant humidifiers do not have a digital control panel, the Zambezi offers an intuitive digital display that allows you to view the current humidity levels and how the unit is operating.

It also has an anti-bacterial filter to keep the air in your cabin clean and fresh. Its water tank is also big enough to ensure that you don't have to continuously empty it. In essence, this unit is one of the best desiccant dehumidifiers that will ensure that mold and mildew are never a bother in your boat. 

Pros

  • Excellent water extraction
  • Daily timer and digital display
  • You can easily set your humidity target using the humidistat

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Not energy efficient
  • Very loud

To this end, it's important to note that humidity and sailing go hand in hand. And even though humidity isn't dangerous it can cause dampness that might damage your boat's cabin and this may cost you lots of money to repair. So if you want to avoid these costs while making your boat's cabin very comfortable, you should consider going for the best boat dehumidifiers.

Unfortunately, selecting the best dehumidifier for your sailboat can be a minefield, especially if you don't know factors to consider when choosing an ideal dehumidifier. That's why we've highlighted some of the best boat dehumidifiers currently available in the market to make the process enjoyable and for you to make an informed decision.

6 Best Dehumidifiers for Sailboats

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