Wet gear and condensation


P1010537One of the tougher parts about winter sailing for me is that our cozy home transforms into a collection of places to dry wet clothing. We have two outlets on our forced air diesel heater – one beneath the nav station where we throw wet gloves, hats and socks and another near the v-berth that we have added some flexible hose to for the winter so we can use it to dry underneath the v-berth or warm the v-berth or, in the case of this picture, dry shoes that are soggy from hiking in the snow.

P1010538When we first started living aboard our bed kept getting wet underneath the mattress which is hugely gross. We read and all people suggested was ventilation or to buy one of the products that go underneath the mattress like Hypervent which we bought.

What *actually* worked was the following. At the dock we put a small West Marine UFO looking “dryer” under the v-berth (in the storage area) with the cord poking out a vent hole, plus an electric blanket under the mattress but over the hypervent. At anchor, we use a piece of flexible hose stuck into the vent hole to warm underneath the vberth and we turn on a fan at night which is at the foot of the vberth to keep our breath from making the area damp. There are other things that we could do, but they involve more effort or more amps – and hey, we’re headed SOUTH.


  1. a few things we did to easy the wet gear/condensation issue aboard:

    1. fit a piece of 1" SS tube as a rail across the forward end of the companionway below the sliding hatch, with stanchion bases on either end. when we come below we can hang wet gear there on hangers.

    2. fit closet pole ends on the forward and aft bulkheads of the head, with a drop in piece of 2" dowel so we can move the wet gear to the head to dry when it gets in the way in the companionway.

    3. fit a battery/solar exhaust fan over the v-berth to exhaust our breath at night.

    the combination has done wonders for comfort below.


  2. I agree - the best solution to your condensation problem is a significant reduction of latitude.



  3. Hi Rob - Thanks for the tips. We have two small solar outlet fans forward. Our companionway doesn't seem large enough of an area to get a rail anywhere that wouldn't block our entry. Do you perhaps have pics? We have a few hangers in the head which we use as well. It's a great wet space. L

  4. Livia, Happy birthday a day late!! Doug

  5. Similar to Rob's solution, we put a closest dowel across the tall portion of the port quarterberth so that opening the door is like opening a closet. We strung a nylon fabric curtain in a u-shape to keep the bulkheads and quarterberth dry, which folds out of the way when not used.

  6. the rail I mentioned is at the very leading edge of the companionway opening, on our boat the hatch will not even slide that far forward. it does not block entry or egress at all. hanging wet gear there really works underway, keeps it right at the place you want to put it on and does not bring water further into the boat. less attractive at anchor.

  7. Hi Sam, We have a coat hook there and a bag for wet stuff but nothing as well set up as your arrangement.

    Thanks Rob - I don't think we could get inside if we had clothes hanging from the leading edge of our hatch. It would block the ladder.



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