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Yes, at times there has been a bit of condensation in some of the bilge areas. I believe it is coming from the topsides, not below the waterline. The water is still 48°F/9°C. The air has been down to 13°F/-10°C (last night; I would expect to see only a few more days all winter at that temperature or colder). I haven't seen any sweating directly on the surfaces exposed to water, but I have seen the occasional drop run from places higher up which I can't see directly. I am indeed measuring the humidity at table height... I will put a sensor in the bilge and see what it says. I keep the boat heated to a minimum of 50°F/10°C (I think it got down to 48°F in the engine room last night, which is not actively heated). I have been vigilant at wiping up water when I see it, but I can't do it 24/7. With the ambient humidity being so low, I haven't seen any condensation at all in a few days. With my old boat, it was usually just a few weeks in the fall and spring where I would have condensation, and most of the winter it was dry enough that it wasn't an issue. If the online calculator I found is to be trusted, the dew point inside the boat should be right around freezing right now, so there won't be condensation on most surfaces (and if there is, it would be frost). I am confident the panels are in the right locations and orientations as they perfectly span the bulkheads (ribs?) beneath the sole and the rubber lines line up with the rest of the sole. I'll try out the feeler gauge... I've been looking for an excuse to buy one for years.
Obviously, I need to sail south next winter!
SM 233 Iteration
Boston, MA, USA
On Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 11:00 AM, James Alton lokiyawl2@...
Well I don’t know about that… I personally really enjoy the warmth of the varnished wooden panels in my Amel….
Wood has no place in a boat.
Is there any moisture at all present in the bilge area where the panels are becoming tight? I would check the hull surfaces and the underside of the floor. Are you taking your humidity readings at the level of the floor or higher up in the cabin? I am guessing that you are heating the boat to well above the current temperature of the water? If the instrument that you are using to read off the relative humidity is well above the floor then the relative humidity in the bilge could be much higher. For instance, if you are reading 20C and 53% relative humidity in a location several feet above the floor level, that same air when cooled to 10C in the bilges from the cold water will be at saturation. (100% relative humidity) I am confused as to why drying the panels did not seem to help but perhaps the floor itself has swelled enough to create the fit problems? This is a hard problem to troubleshoot from a distance but in general I usually find that when wooden parts fit properly when the wood is known to be dry begin to become tight that moisture/swelling of the wood is usually the culprit. Perhaps the reason that the panels are the tight only in the main cabin is because the cabin sole is because the athwartship dimension of the total panel is the greatest in this area of the boat hence more total swelling. I assume that you have checked to be sure that the panels are being inserted into the correct location?
It might be worth taking a feeler gauge and checking to see where the panels are actually binding since that might provide a clue as to what is going on. See if there is a pattern that repeats when comparing the Port and Stb. side. I don’t know how long your lift out panels are but if wood swells unevenly you can end up with a curved shape that might show up from taking a few measurements. The feeler gauge will also show you the tight areas that you will need to trim if it comes to that...
Best of luck,
SV Sueno, Maramu #220
I removed all the floor panels and dried them out by propping them up around the saloon for 4 days. The temperature never went below 50°F/10°C and humidity was never above 50%. It doesn't seemed to have changed anything. They're just as hard to fit as before, to the point where I'm afraid to jam the last one in; I might need to use a crowbar to get it open again. So I have the one at the forward end of the saloon sitting 90 degrees off from where it belongs... there's only a minimal risk of breaking an ankle.
Any other ideas?
SM 233 Iteration
Boston, MA, USA