In PBO’s best boat dehumidifiers group test, the Meaco DD8L Junior won the best buy award – and Meaco have now produced an additional model with improved features, writes Alex Bell.
With the same model number, it carries the Zambezi brand to distinguish it from the other two models (DD8L and DD8L Junior).
Besides the addition of more control features, the condensing coils on the Zambezi have been redesigned to help prevent dust build-up. I found the Meaco DD8L Zambezi controls less intuitive than on the other models, but soon mastered them.
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A central On/Off/Enter touch button is surrounded by four arrows: the Left/Right arrows cycle between different functions (eg fan speed) while the Up/Down arrows select the settings.
A rectangular LED display indicates all the functions. Additional features include percentage relative humidity and temperature display, plus the ability to set the dehumidifier to start and stop at different times with a daily run timer.
The great strength of these dehumidifiers is their ability to bring the humidity down to a pre-set level, then go into sleep mode for 30 minutes. The machine will then switch itself on and sample the air for three minutes.
If humidity exceeds a set amount the machine will stay on until it has brought the level back down, then it will go back into power-saving sleep mode.
Similarly, in laundry mode, if the humidistat detects that the air is getting drier it will reduce the power consumption to 350W or fan-only level.
Styling-wise, the casing is more rectangular than the other models but benefits from a folding handle. The exit air louvre can be set to a preferred angle. The 3lt tank is removed from the front, but lacks a rear sight glass to assist with reading the tank level.
For every Zambezi sold, £2 is donated to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation to help save elephants in the wild.
We ran the Zambezi in parallel with the Junior model in the ship model tow tank laboratory at Southampton Solent University. The dehumidifiers ran for three hours: we then measured the water collected and power consumed.
Test conditions: air temperature 19°C, relative humidity 72% (at start).
The Zambezi represents an improvement over the other DD8L models in terms of extraction rate and increased functionality, and is worth a look!
First published in the March 2016 issue of Practical Boat Owner magazine.
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