The purpose of this safety message is to state that if you are using a dehumidifier on your boat at any Yacht Haven, you must only use a well-maintained, CE certified 'desiccant dehumidifier' that has been designed to run unattended 24/7 and at low temperatures.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are the only type of dehumidifier suited for boats in the UK where temperatures regularly drop below 18°C, compared to a 'compressor dehumidifier' which can freeze in low temperatures resulting in the unit overheating and becoming a major fire risk.
A recent investigation into a boat fire discovered that a domestic compressor dehumidifier had been setup to drain permanently into the bilge. The coils within the dehumidifier froze and subsequently overheated.
Insurers are now increasingly incorporating a requirement for dehumidifiers to be rated for marine use as a condition of cover. As a result, boat owners must only use 'desiccant dehumidifiers' onboard their vessels, and to follow these general safety tips:
- Avoid 'compressor dehumidifiers' as temperatures below 18°C (65°F) can cause the coil to get too cold and freeze up. A frozen coil is a known cause of compressor overheating. A 'desiccant dehumidifier' that has been designed to run unattended 24/7 and at low temperatures is the only type of dehumidifier suitable for boats moored in the UK where cooler temperatures can prevail.
- Ensure that the unit is operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Most units will have a requirement that they are only used on a level flat surface and are well-ventilated.
- Be aware that in strong winds boats will heel over and there is the possibility for your dehumidifier unit may fall over and create a major fire risk, particularly if ventilation becomes obstructed as a result. Consider fixing your unit in place to prevent.
- Before plugging in to a pontoon electricity supply, please check that the dehumidifier is upright and well-ventilated, particularly if you have been to sea or been lifted for a scrub/dry storage etc.
- Ensure any filters the dehumidifier may have are regularly cleaned.
- Ensure your chosen dehumidifier comes with the 'CE' mark. This signifies that the product has been assessed to meet high safety requirements as part of the European Economic Area.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your local Yacht Haven.
Many thanks for your understanding.