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For most people, there comes a time when the boat must be put away for the season, the cabin locked up and all is left to fend for itself through the slumber of the winter. In most locations, you will use a boat cover or store a small boat in open or unheated storage. Larger boats will be secured to the dock or hauled out and winterized. The number one thing that people complain about is the smell when you get back to the boat in the spring. Go2marine is here to offer you some understanding about what happens during the winter with moisture and what can be done to protect your boat.

If your boat is small, you should first get a boat cover to protect the topsides and interior from weather and reduce moisture coming in from the environment. If your boat is large, you will need to seal it up well; yet still supply some form of ventilation. The number one enemy of the interior of boats in the off season is moisture.

The Problem(s)Fungi

Fungus (Fungi) consist of molds, mildews, yeasts and more, in this unique Kingdom that is neither animal nor plant. Fungi are part of the natural environment and operate primarily by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees. Indoors, fungus growth tries to break down dead matter (wood, cotton, rayon and other organic materials) as well as pseudo-organic materials (like foam, polyester). Fungi reproduce by many means, including tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. The more commonly recognizable mold and mildew may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and few of them will grow without water or moisture. This Kingdom makes up the most diverse life on the planet with worldwide distribution and some 1.5 million species. Fungi also has the ability to become an allergen, irritant or significant pathogen to humans.

Fungi gradually destroy the things that they grow on. Ultimately Fungi thrive as a  result of a high level of moisture encouraging their growth; rather than trying to just treat the fungi to kill them, resolve the moisture issue to prevent the problem that encourages Fungi growth.

The Solutions

Requiring Power – For boats that are left within the reach of an extension cord or dock cord you can help keep moisture to a minimum with a number of heater or dehumidifier options.

GoldenRodGoldenRod Dehumidifiers offer inherent safety features like no fan, simple installation, constant heat output and simplicity. They eliminate dampness, mildew, condensation and humidity with size options for areas from 100 to 500 cubic feet.

XtremeExtreme (Xtreme) Heaters takes a higher tech, more active approach to keeping moisture in control. The XtremeHeater Boat Heater is a heating element that is self-regulated at a pre-set temperature and automatically varies its wattage in order to maintain that pre-set temperature.

Non-Powered – If you leave your boat and there is no means to power anything, you still have several options.

solar ventHard mounting vents are are installed in the cabin top or on hatches and used when leaving your vessel for the season, while it is uncovered but still weather-tite. The big news here is solar vents that have the advantage of a fan without leading power wires.

DriThere are a variety of moisture control devices that rely on a ‘salt’ like Calcium Chloride to draw moisture from the surrounding air and can be used in nearly any location, onboard or under cover. The most common of these is the Dri-Z-Air Dehumidifier.

vent and poleLastly, if you have a boat cover, a vent with support pole can help in any season with moisture control. This system is easily installed with a pair of scissors and your hands for a clean vent installation.

Ocens WeatherNet Service, GRIB Explorer Software and MetMapper Software

Grib explorerHeading offshore with sail or power? Do coastal cruising year ‘round? Fish in stormy Alaska or the hurricane wracked Gulf? 

Ocens carries some truly spectacular weather software and services. What was once information available exclusively to International shipping firms, around the world sailboat record setters and large scale commercial fishing is now available to the average person in an easy to use format.

You will need some way to communicate, be it Satellite phone, Cell phone, SSB (Single Side Band), WiFi or landline. Ocens WeatherNet service allows you access to a colossal amount of weather, sea and environmental information. Ocens GRIB Explorer software provides you to access to WeatherNet’s GRIB information. Ocens MetMapper software combines all WeatherNet data into a viewable GRIB style display.

For a reasonable annual fee and a prepaid services amount ($75-1000), you get to access to WeatherNet, designed to optimize the download of weather and ocean data products via wireless connections. The service offers highly compressed text, images, charts, buoy data, radar, GRIB files, and many more formats. With over 20,000 continuously updated weather products, WeatherNet is the largest most comprehensive source of weather data in the world.

Where to start? Ocens products at Go2marine!