Mold in Your Boat Can Cause Allergic Reactions and Asthma Attacks

Mold in Your Boat Can Cause Allergic Reactions and Asthma Attacks

Did you know mold can trigger allergic reactions and even asthma attacks in sensitive individuals?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): “Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.”

In addition, the EPA reports: “Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.”

These serious reactions to mold are why more and more boat owners, captains and yacht builders are having the RiteAire Marine™ Whole-Boat Dehumidification System installed in their yachts. The RiteAire system prevents mold from growing in hidden places like bilges and ducts, behind window treatments, wallcoverings and headliners throughout a yacht.

Mold spores need humidity to grow and thrive the way plants need to be watered. Humidity levels of 55% RH (Relative Humidity) and higher have been proven scientifically to create dampness and promote mold growth in interior spaces. As we head into the summer months, humidity levels will rise far above this level in many popular boating areas across the U.S. For example, in August, the average morning humidity is 92% RH in Corpus Christi, Texas; 91% RH in Mobile, Ala.; 90% RH in Fort Myers, Fla., and 89% in Charleston, S.C.

While air conditioning can reduce interior humidity, it is engineered to cool the air, not dry it. When the air is humid, your AC cannot lower the relative humidity inside to the EPA-recommended “Healthy Zone” of 30% to 50% RH – a humidity range in which mold cannot grow. The RiteAire Marine system works in tandem with your yacht’s air conditioning system, utilizing vessel’s own ductwork to remove moist air and distribute dry air throughout, lowering humidity by 30% per pass.

Over the years, hundreds of yacht owners, captains, dealers and service technicians have told us what a huge difference having a RiteAire Marine Whole-Boat Dehumidification System in a vessel, both to the indoor air quality and their respiratory health.

Newport, Rhode Island, site of the newest HMY location

The RiteAire Marine™ Whole-Boat Dehumidification System Is Now Available as a Standard Option for New Viking Yachts

The RiteAire system is listed under “Interior” on the Optional Equipment page of the yacht’s specifications.
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One of the Biggest New Boat Sales and Brokerage Firms in the U.S., HMY Focuses on Fulfilling Every Customer’s Individual Needs

On November 1st, 1979, HMY Yacht Sales was co-founded by 23-year-old yacht salesman and entrepreneur Steve Moynihan, who remains with the company as sole owner today. HMY started out with a single location – a floating office in Fort Lauderdale. Over the years, the sales force grew to more than 70 yacht sales professionals and dedicated team members, and the company added 12 more locations, all strategically positioned in major marinas along the U.S. East Coast from Ocean Reef in the Florida Keys to Newport, Rhode Island.

Newport, Rhode Island, site of the newest HMY location

Offering new and brokerage yachts from 14’ RIBs to 200’+ superyachts, HMY handles all aspects of yacht sales, service, charter, and yacht management for its customers. One of the biggest new-boat brands HMY proudly represents is Viking Yachts, along with its Princess cruising yacht line and Valhalla outboard-powered fishing boats.

HMY has been a Viking dealer now for 31 years starting in 1992. With territory from Northern South Carolina to the Florida Keys, HMY has built long-lasting relationships with clients throughout the Southeast by providing them with the finest sportfishing product in the market,” said Viking Brand Advisor, Logan Pryor. “In fact, the majority of HMY’s Viking clients are repeat customers and have purchased numerous Vikings over the years. Today, HMY’s relationship with Viking is stronger than ever with numerous builds in process from 33’ to 90’.

RiteAire Marine™, which has installed our Whole-Boat Dehumidification System in 112 Viking Yachts to date, met the HMY team through owners who asked HMY to order the RiteAire Marine system for their yachts.

“We were impressed by the way the HMY sales professionals took care of their clients before, during and after the purchase of their new yacht. HMY is also a very easy and efficient company to work with as an equipment vendor,” said RiteAire Marine Co-Founder Hector Escardo.

“Good air quality is imperative to many of our clients, especially if they plan on staying on board the vessel for an extended period. All of our clients who have RiteAire installed claim that they see a significant difference in the feel and smell of the interiors of their boats. This past summer, a 72, two 68s, a 64, and an 80 all had RiteAire installed. Overall, having this system is a low-maintenance solution to providing extra protection in air quality,” Pryor said.

Viking 80 sister ship

As an example, he continued, “We had an 80 Viking that was completed this past July in which the client was very specific and particular about what he wanted. However, having a proper dehumidification system on board was of extreme importance to him since the boat would be traveling extensively in the wintertime when not in its home base of Palm Beach Gardens. Therefore, one of the first items that was chosen for the 80 was having a RiteAire System onboard, and in fact, the buyer would not feel comfortable staying onboard the boat without it.”

The HMY sales team attends the Viking VIP Boat Show in Riviera Beach, Florida, each year to support clients who are building new yachts or considering moving up to a different model. In addition, HMY sends team members to all of the major boat shows in the regions it serves, including the Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show, which is coming up on February 14-18.  

“At the 2024 Miami International Boat Show show, HMY will have our own brokerage display as well as our sales professionals working the displays of the new yacht manufacturers that we represent, including Viking,” said Derrico. “We look forward to serving our customers with all their yachting needs at the show and hope to see you on the docks.”

For more information about HMY Yachts, please visit

HMY’s dedicated Viking team at a recent boat show

RiteAire Marine Introduces RAM 3 Dehumidifier

Introducing the Next-Generation RiteAire Marine™ RAM 3 Whole-Boat Dehumidification System with WiFi and Touchscreen Control

RiteAire Marine™ rolled out the next generation of its Whole-Boat Dehumidification System at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) in October 2023. RiteAire Marine has reduced humidity in yacht interiors to healthy, comfortable levels by distributing dry air via the yacht’s own ductwork since 2013. Thanks to its advanced digital design, the new RiteAire Marine RAM 3 system not only automatically controls humidity on board, but it also offers an enhanced user experience, including WiFi capability and a new LCD touchscreen control panel.

The new RiteAire Marine RAM 3 System is based on the proprietary RAM 3 Dehumidifier Unit which features built-in WiFi capability, eliminating the need for users to control the system from a display panel mounted to the wall of the yacht.

“Now yacht owners and captains can operate their RAM 3 system remotely from their smartphone using the RiteAire WiFi mobile app,” said RiteAire Marine Co-Owner Hector Escardo. “The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play. It lets you monitor data from your RAM 3 Dehumidification System and adjust the relative humidity in your yacht’s interior right from your phone.”

Escardo added, “Even when the yacht is out of range of WiFi, if you have cell service, you can use your phone as a hotspot to power your RiteAire WiFi app. You also can adjust your RiteAire system’s settings directly using the new LCD Touchscreen Control Panel incorporated into each RAM 3 unit installed in your boat.”

Along with putting the power to control your yacht’s RiteAire Marine system in the palm of your hand, the new system’s digital WiFi connectivity enables a RiteAire tech to help you program and diagnose the system remotely, without having to make a service call. In addition, the app will send you a reminder when it’s time to make a filter change, ensuring that your RAM 3 system is always operating at peak efficiency.

The new RAM 3 Dehumidification System also offers another key benefit. While the original system included add-on thermal protection, that governor is now built in. Thermal protection shuts down the system when ambient temperatures inside the yacht exceed 95 degees in order to prevent the system from overheating. Thermal protection helps to extend the life of your RiteAire Marine Whole-Boat Dehumidification System, which works in conjunction with the yacht’s onboard air conditioning system to lower interior humidity on board.

Built-in digital connectivity and thermal protection make the new RiteAire Marine RAM 3 Whole-Boat Dehumidification System easier to install both for RiteAire technicians and boat builders. “Although it has roughly the same footprint as our original unit, thanks to these upgrades, there is less additional wiring involved with the next-generation system,” Escardo said.

RAM 3 Dehumidifier Unit with Ducting

The RAM 3 Dehumidifier Unit with ductwork that distributes dry air throughout the yacht’s interior

Spotlight on the Galati Yacht Sales Service Dept.

Please Don’t Call it “Service”

Galati Yacht Sales Provides Total Customer Support

For the Life Cycle of Your Boat

During the decade that RiteAire Marine® has been installing our custom Whole-Boat Dehumidification System in yachts, we have worked in many, many marine service yards. The family-owned Galati Yacht Sales runs one of the best-run service operations we have ever seen, delivering outstanding customer service.

But apparently, “service” is the wrong word to use to describe it.

“We don’t offer service. We are 100% a customer support team. We are here to support you,” said Mike Galati.

A member of the second generation of his family to work for the 53-year-old company, Mike leads the Customer Service (Support) Team at Galati’s yacht service yards, which currently employ more than 80 people.

Galati Yacht Sales operates three service yards on Florida’s Gulf Coast, located in the towns of Anna Maria, Tampa and Destin. Galati also is a new-boat dealer for Viking, Valhalla, Cruisers, Princess and Prestige Yachts, as well as selling pre-owned yachts out of 14 different locations across the U.S., in Mexico and Costa Rica. Dedicated to providing complete customer support throughout the life cycle of the boats purchased through Galati Yacht Sales, the service yards primarily work on customers’ yachts.

“We service the brands we sell,” Mike said.

Galati’s yards provide a wide range of parts, maintenance and repair work. Mike and the other service (support) managers won’t sign off on any job that doesn’t meet the family’s exacting standard of quality.

RiteAire Marine Co-Owner Ted Reese, who recently had the galley of his Viking 61 updated at Galati’s Anna Maria service yard, can attest to this. “We had new appliances and matching hardware on the cabinetry installed. When I got back on the boat, it was perfect. The result is beautiful, and they did it all in-house,” Ted said. “When I take my Viking to Galati, it’s like taking it to a ‘health spa”’ Now, my boat is ready for another season of fun and fishing.”

No customer request is too small for Galati’s Customer Support Team to handle. “We ship parts all over our large territory and wherever our customers travel. It’s a relationship. When you are part of the family, you are part of the family,” Mike said.

RiteAire Marine Co-Owner Hector Escardo’s relationship with Galati dates back at least 20 years. “We call Hector a ‘MacGyver’. You give him a task and he will figure out how to make it happen,” Mike said. When the RiteAire Dehumidification System launched in 2013, the Galati team recognized its value for their customers right away.

“I have been a big fan of RiteAire. It keeps boats crisp and fresh. It keeps the boat fresh throughout for its whole life. What’s more, the RiteAire team installs the system behind the scenes, and you lose very little real estate on board,” Mike said.

Knowing that the RiteAire Marine system can prevent the ill effects of excess humidity on yacht interiors, including mold growth, sagging headliners and “wilted” furnishings, from ever happening, Mike believes a new yacht should have RiteAire installed from the beginning.  “Our goal for the Galati Yacht Sales team is to see more vessels with the RiteAire system,” he said.

Seven Years Later, Viking 66 Owner Says RiteAire Marine™ Whole-Boat Dehumidifier System Is Still “a Life-Saver”

Princess Lily

Seven Years Later, Viking 66 Owner Says RiteAire Marine™ Whole-Boat Dehumidifier System

Is Still “a Life-Saver”

In February 2015, Dawn and Mike Samuels, avid anglers from the Palm Beach, Florida area, took delivery of a brand-new Viking 66 Enclosed Bridge that they named Princess Lily. Dawn is very sensitive to excess humidity and the allergens and decreased air quality it can contribute to inside a yacht. She had struggled with health issues when she spent extended periods of time in their previous 10-year-old boat and was determined to prevent that from happening with the new one.

“Our captain maintained our former boat very well, but we had to put air fresheners around because it smelled musty, and we also used air purifiers. I could stand a weekend on board, but five days was my limit. After that, I would get a sinus infection and come down with a 103-degree fever,” she said.

Dawn and her husband had a RiteAire Marine Whole-Boat Dehumidifier System installed in their new Viking 66 a few months after taking delivery. As soon as the RiteAire System lowered the humidity in Princess Lily below 50 degrees RH and kept it there, the Samuels and their captain, Mike Hunter – who also is sensitive to high humidity – noticed the difference.

“I admit, I was skeptical at first, but immediately after the RiteAire Marine was installed, I felt the difference immediately, and so did the owners,” Capt. Mike told us in 2015. “In no time at all, RiteAire Marine took the excess humidity out of the boat without affecting the inside temperature at all, something air conditioners alone cannot do. It also took away my watery eyes and runny nose. I was amazed.”

Ready for a tournament

For Dawn, the true test of the RiteAire Marine system came a couple of years later, when they took Princess Lily to the Dominican Republic for marlin season. Staying aboard for weekend trips as well as week-long fishing tournaments, she didn’t experience any health problems.

Capt. Mike has maintained the RiteAire System in Princess Lily by regularly changing the filters per the instructions in the owner’s manual. Today, seven years after taking delivery of the boat, Dawn said, “We still don’t have to have air fresheners on board. Any other boat you go into has plug-ins. We don’t need them. The air smells really fresh all the time.”

Unfortunately, she still experiences health problems from time to time when she spends extended periods time on other boats. “I’ve noticed that when there is no RiteAire system on board, I am still sensitive to the allergens,” she said.

She added, “We’ve even convinced several friends to sign up to get RiteAire installed in their boats.”

Bad Odors on Boats-RiteAire Marine Has the Solution

What’s That Smell?

The Science Behind Mold Odors on Boats – and How to Prevent Them

Photo by Benzoix on

“My boat stinks!”

That’s the first thing a boat owner from the Gulf Coast said to us when she stopped by our booth at the 2022 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. She was interested in learning how the RiteAire Marine™ Whole-Boat Dehumidification system could cure her boat of its unfortunate smell.

Dank, musty odors in boat interiors are a common problem, especially in humid areas like Florida and along the Gulf Coast. “Boat funk” is what one service manager we’ve worked with calls it. There are a number of causes for bad odors on boats, but one of the most common – and difficult to eradicate – is mold. 

Mold growing on board a boat releases microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs) into the air. MVOCs can have strong, unpleasant aromas, and, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “…they can be the source of the ‘moldy odor’ or musty smell frequently associated with mold growth.”

Mold gradually destroys whatever it grows on. While this can be beneficial in nature, where mold breaks down dead organic matter like fallen trees, it can ruin a boat’s furniture, soft goods, wallcoverings and overhead panels. Mold also can cause health problems. It produces allergens, irritants and mycotoxins, which are potentially toxic to humans. Sensitive individuals frequently have allergic reactions to mold with symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and/or a skin rash. Mold also can cause people to have asthma attacks.

While they are not as well researched, MVOCs also can have adverse health effects. The EPA says, “…exposure to mVOCs has been linked to symptoms such as headaches, nasal irritation, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea.”

Mold reproduces in the form of spores that are so tiny they are invisible to the human eye.  Mold spores float through the air and are commonly found in indoor as well as outdoor areas, although they only start to grow when they land on surfaces that are damp or wet. According to the EPA’s A Brief Guide to Moisture and Your Home, “There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.”

Mold can be remediated or cleaned up, but it’s impossible to eliminate all the mold spores from the air. If damp surfaces remain in a boat’s interior, after the remediation takes place, mold is likely to start growing on them again.

The EPA states:

Humidity is a major cause of moisture in boat interiors, in the form of condensation and dampness. Often, humidity-induced moisture occurs in hidden places like inside overhead panels. The best way to prevent mold growth and the odors it emits inside boats is to reduce humidity on board.

The EPA says, “If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50

percent) relative humidity.” This is the humidity Healthy Zone that the RiteAire Marine™ Whole-Boat Dehumidification System maintains in yacht interiors. Simply set it at 45RH and the RiteAire Marine system automatically keeps the boat free of mold and its odors.

In fact, RiteAire Marine not only eliminates mold odors in boats, but by reducing humidity on board, the system also can help to reduce other bad smells in boats such as those caused by diesel exhaust and marine sanitation systems. “Humidity traps odor, causing it to travel farther and linger longer,” states Dr. Laura Haupert, Ph.D., OMI Industries chief scientific officer.

With RiteAire Marine, every time you walk into a boat’s cabin, it will smell fresh and clean.

Thermal Protection Control_Original

The RiteAire Marine™ Dehumidification System’s
Thermal Protection Control

Adds Peace of Mind When Your Boat Is Out of the Water

The RiteAire Marine Mobile Workshop between two yachts out of the water at Viking South

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.

Rite Aire Marine™ Hits the Big-Game Tournament Circuit in the New Viking 80 Convertible Factory Demo Boat

Rite Aire Marine™ Hits the Big-Game Tournament Circuit in the New Viking 80 Convertible Factory Demo Boat

If you see the brand-new Viking 80 C factory demo boat competing on the tournament circuit this summer, you will know its interior is fresh, dry and sweet-smelling even if it’s an extremely humid day outside. That’s because it has a custom RiteAire Marine Dehumidification System installed on board.

Over the years, a number of Viking 80 owners have requested RiteAire Marine for their boats, so installing it in the big new Viking Yachts Demo Boat was an easy project. One RiteAire Dehumidifier unit is mounted in the bilge in the chiller bay, and the other is on the flybridge, under the brow. The yacht’s own air circulation system, combined with RiteAire Marine’s proprietary ductwork, distributes dry air throughout the yacht’s interior.

RiteAire Marine Co-Owner Hector Escardo, known as “The Tuna Tube Guy,” also installed his popular Escardo Marine Tuna Tubes on the Viking 80 to help its angling team keep their baits alive and catch more fish.

The Viking 80 Demo Boat has a busy summer schedule. It will fish five tournaments in Bermuda, including the Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Tournament, then return to the U.S. for the White Marlin Open, the Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament and the MidAtlantic Tournament.

Tight lines to the Viking Yachts team!

The Viking 80 Demo Boat

Installing the RiteAire Marine Marine™ Dehumidification System on One-of-a-Kind 78′ F&S Sportfishing Yacht Big Ben

Installing the RiteAire Marine Marine™ Dehumidification System on One-of-a-Kind 78′ F&S Sportfishing Yacht Big Ben

Over the years, the RiteAire Marine Whole-Boat Dehumidification System has been installed in more than 17 different brands of yachts and commercial vessels ranging up to 130 feet. Word of mouth by owners and captains of these boats has spread that the RiteAire Marine system is a proven solution for lowering humidity and preventing its many negative effects in yacht interiors, including mold growth; bad odors; soggy headliners; damp towels, sheets and carpets, and some even health issues.

Colin Page, the new captain of the cold-molded-wood 78-foot F&S sportfisher Big Ben, had heard good reports about the RiteAire Marine from his fellow sportfishing captains and realized it could have an additional benefit for his boat.

“Wood boats are more susceptible to moisture damage than fiberglass boats,” Capt. Colin said. As a result, Big Ben was scheduled to receive a RiteAire Marine Dehumidification System this May.

The one-of-a-kind, fully custom sportfisher was delivered in 2017 by F&S Boatworks as Special Situation. Flagship of the F&S fleet, it is the first, and so far, the only 78-footer to launch from the Delaware boat builder’s yard. Late last year, the yacht was sold to a new owner who has since renamed it Big Ben.

Big Ben in the water at Willis Marine

RiteAire Marine Co-Founder Hector Escardo and his assistant, Mike, installed the RiteAire Marine system onboard Big Ben at the new Willis Marine boatyard in Stuart, Florida, where the yacht was undergoing refit work prior to joining the big-game tournament fishing circuit.

Big Ben is a jewel box of a boat, filled with beautiful, book-matched teak woodwork. Curves are an F&S hallmark and there are very few right angles to be found anywhere in the yacht’s interior. Since this was RiteAire Marine’s first F&S, it presented a new challenge for Hector to determine where to locate the two RiteAire units and the system’s proprietary ductwork on board. After thoroughly examining the boat’s layout and probing into its hidden spaces, he had his answer: Behind the pantry.

“The F&S is a very fast, light boat. All the wood panels are lightweight and honeycombed, which made the installation easier for us. The part of the project that took the longest was working out a custom design for the RiteAire system on board, since this is a unique model we had never seen before,” Hector said.


New hatch in the pantry with RiteAire Marine unit and ductwork tucked behind it

The F&S 78 has a large pantry behind the bulkhead on the main deck, which is split in two by the companionway. After presenting the plan to Capt. Colin and getting his approval, Hector created a new hatch in the back of the starboard-side pantry and installed one RiteAire unit in the machinery space behind it. The second RiteAire Marine unit is tucked behind the wall of the port-side pantry. Testament to Hector’s cabinetry skills is the fact that he created new access doors, and vents for the RiteAire system that seamlessly match Big Ben’s existing woodwork.


New vent Hector created for the RiteAire Marine system on Big Ben

Removing excess humidity from a boat with cold-molded wood construction is a significant benefit. In the cold-molded production process, the wood is coated to protect it from moisture. By reducing the humidity to a normal range of 40 to 50 percent will further reduce the likelihood of future moisture issues with the wood,” said RiteAire Marine Co-Owner Ted Reese.