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How To Make Rain

December 18, 2011

How to Make Rain:

Step 1: Cover a large space with a thermal greenhouse film

Step 2: Wait for the temperature to get really, really cold

Step 3: Fire up a space heater (we used a Reddy Heater)

Step 4: Wait a few minutes for the air to begin heating up. Condensation will naturally occur, causing rain to fall inside the structure, everywhere

This was impressive, and fortunately, we didn’t do something even dumber, like turn the heater on and head inside for an hour waiting for things to ‘warm up’. We were right there, and suddenly, it started raining. I might not be bright enough to see that my actions are about to produce such a disastrous outcome, but at least I was bright enough to figure out what was happening, once it started raining. The solution was simple – turn the heater off, keep the doors open for a while and wait for the temperature to equalize. I’m not sure, now, what is going to happen when the sun shines and warms up the interior naturally. This greenhouse film is ‘special’. We paid a few extra hundred dollars to get film that thwarted interior condensation. I know that yesterday’s rain was self-induced, but I’m suspect that when the same air temperature differential manifests on a sunny day, we could be dealing with rainy weather inside again. Not a good plan for bright work or re-canvasing the house tops. The interior rain isn’t an issue for the refastening or re-planking, except that we’ll need to wear foul weather gear, but it seems unfortunate.

So the plan is to clean out one bay of the garage, and keep the heater in there. We’ll create a bit of a ‘shop’ in the garage, and be able to prep planks and strip varnish in there, with some heat going. I’ve tried stripping the skylight inserts in the room with the wood stove, and the stripper does an amazing job, but the smell of varnish overpowers the rest of the house, so being in a relatively warm space which is separated from the house will be a good thing.

On the inside of the boat, we have found that using a small, ceramic heater does an amazing job of keeping things warms and dry below. The balancing act is this: we’re trying to keep things from being damp and musty, while simultaneously trying to avoid drying out the hull any more than it is already dried out. Perhaps if we can make it rain on demand, we can create enough moisture on the exterior that we can create the best of both worlds: dry on the inside and wet on the outside.

This will be a balancing act, for sure.


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