Product Review: Meaco Dehumidifiers

William Crockett / Sailing Magazine
 July 10, 2017
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Sailors are always trying to keep the insides of their boats dry to avoid funny smells. Either that or the serious racers are trying to get every last drop of water out of the boat before racing! Dehumidifiers have become commonplace on yachts from your average cruising day sailor right up to large grand prix racers.
I tried out the Meaco DD8L dehumidifier on board one of the yachts I race on in Cape Town. The boat is generally very dry, automatic bilge pumps are used and sails are stored outside the boat, however, there is always some water in those various hard to reach places that are overlooked or forgotten. That, coupled with a bit of water making its way below decks when washing or raining are exactly the reason we have a dehumidifier in the first place.

'Different from all other dehumidifiers that I've used'

The Meaco DD8L, as the name surreptitiously suggests, has an 8-litre holding tank. In truth, we found this a bit small, but it is a large boat, and I imagine will be more than sufficient for most people. However, there is an outlet to allow for continuous drainage, so one could leave an outlet pipe running out of a sink or something similar.
The Meaco DD8L is different from all other dehumidifiers that I’ve used in that it is a desiccant’ dehumidifier, rather than using a compressor to do its job. This means lower power consumption as well as quieter operation. Something that may well be useful for people spending the night on board. For those that are spending the night, the DD8L also heats the air that comes out, which would take the chill out of a cold Cape Town Winter’s evening.
The unit is rather light, only 6kgs. While we’d never consider sailing with it on board, it does make it easier to move around than our compressor version; and is therefore easier to handle for anyone who is on their own.
For the power-conscious among us, the DD8L consumes far less power than a compressor driven alternative. This will add up to decent savings over the course of the year, in terms of power consumption. The unit is also cleverly designed, with an ‘intelligent control system’. This means that when the target relative humidity is reached, the DD8L goes into ‘fan only’ mode for 5 minutes, before going into full sleep mode for 30 minutes. It wakes up every 30 minutes and checks the humidity, if fine,
it will go back to sleep. Again, this intelligent control system sees power consumption drop significantly.
The fact that it is a desiccant dehumidifier also means that there is far less that can go wrong with it mechanically. We’ve been through plenty of dehumidifiers due to them corroding or rusting, or the compressor just gives up. So while a desiccant unit is more expensive initially, the DD8L retails for about R4 970, the increased lifespan, coupled with the cheaper running costs means it’s a better investment over time. The Meaco range of dehumidifiers can be bought from the distributor www.solencosa.co.za - and I even I found them at reasonable prices on Takealot.

A Brilliant Concept with Endless Possibilities

We were also sent the Mini Dehumidifier, which retails for about R349. This is a brilliant concept. The mini dehumidifier has a rechargeable battery, and is also very compact. This means that one can easily leave it running inside a chart table that may have become wet, or under a floorboard that’s impossible to lift. We used it to dry out two towels over a few hours, and it worked like a charm, with the towels being dry in a couple hours.
It’s small size and rechargeable battery make it extremely versatile and useful; the possibilities are endless. And with a very reasonable price tag, every boat or car should have one on standby for when something unexpected happens.
Overall, we were happy with the way the DD8L performed. As mentioned, the small-ish water tank saw it fill up very quickly, but I don’t see that being a huge issue for most users. Other than that, there was very little to complain about.
(Page 20, May 2017, Sailing Magazine, www.sailing.co.za)

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William Crockett / Sailing Magazine

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