The RiteAire Marine™ Dehumidification System’s
Thermal Protection Control
Adds Peace of Mind When Your Boat Is Out of the Water
There comes a time in the life cycle of just about any boat when it needs to be hauled for service. The project might be a fresh coat of bottom paint, a new propeller, or a more extensive repair, but chances are the vessel will spend some time “on the hard” – often without a cooling tower to keep its water-cooled air-conditioning system running. And, if this takes place during the hotter months of the year, especially in Florida or on the Gulf of Mexico, temperatures inside the boat are going to climb.
The RiteAire Marine Dehumidification System is designed to operate in conjunction with a boat’s air-conditioning system in a temperature range of between 55 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, switching on and off automatically to lower the humidity in the vessel’s interior to a healthy 45 to 50 RH (Relative Humidity). If the temperature rises above 90 degrees, however, it can cause the RiteAire system to operate continuously and potentially to overheat, putting a strain on the system that ultimately might cause it to fail.
In 2019, commercial boat-builder Metal Shark Boats in Jeanerette, Louisiana, approached RiteAire Marine about installing a RiteAire Marine Dehumidification System aboard the 38’ Defiant Fire Rescue Boat model it was constructing for the Fire Department of Orange Beach, Alabama. The only problem we foresaw with this project is that when not in use, the Fire Rescue boat would be stored daily on a lift out of the water and without air conditioning. Instead of turning the job down, however, RiteAire Marine Co-Owners Ted Reese and Hector Escardo saw it as an opportunity to improve their patented system.
“We determined the solution was to add a controller to the RiteAire system that would prevent it from overheating in the first place,” Hector said.
Ted drew on his engineering background to research the market for a Thermal Protection Control that would be compatible with the RiteAire system. The unit he selected incorporates both a thermal sensor and computer. When the unit senses the temperature has reached 90 degrees, the computer automatically switches off the RiteAire Marine Dehumidification System. Then, when it senses the boat’s interior has cooled down to 85 degrees, it switches the system back on.
The Thermal Protection Control also shuts the RiteAire Marine Dehumidification System off if the temperature inside the boat drops below 55 degrees, which is too cold for the system to operate efficiently. “That provides an added value for boats located in the north,” Ted said.
He continued, “Once we added the Thermal Protection Control to the RiteAire system for the Metal Shark boat, we realized all boats could use it, especially when they are hauled for service.” As a result, starting in 2020, the Thermal Protection Control became standard equipment on all RiteAire Marine Dehumidification Systems.
While the new control has been operating as designed ever since, Ted recently put it through a lengthy trial in his own boat, the Viking 61 Cadence, in a service yard on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
“My boat was out of the water for painting for seven months with only shore power connected, but no air conditioning,” he said. “I monitored both the temperature and humidity on board the entire time it was on the hard and witnessed the Thermal Protection Control at work firsthand. When the temperature rose above 90 degrees inside Cadence, MarCELL humidity/temperature monitor I set up on board showed that the relative humidity level also rose, indicating that the RiteAire system had been shut off. Then, when the temperature went back down to 85 degrees, the humidity level in the boat dropped back down to 50 RH. I witnessed firsthand just how reliable this system is multiple times.”
With the Thermal Protection Control installed as standard equipment, yacht owners never have to worry about their RiteAire Marine Dehumidification System being forced to work outside its normal operating parameters.