Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Musty boat smell under floor
I've been tempted many times to chlorinate the bilge, however, that just has to be bad for the bilge pump, hoses, and anything else submerged.
About twice per year, I turn the bilge pump off, fill the bilge with water and Starbrite citrus bilge cleaner and go out for about 30 mins of tacking and jibing. Let the foam settle and pump it all overboard. Then do one more rinse, by filling the bilge again and pumping and let it all dry.
Sitting water is a odor maker, so try to be sure it has a way to get to the pump, if possible. If you want to drop some real money on a solution, they make pumps with pickups you can put all over to be sure every nook and cranny is dry.
I think the most likely cause of bilge smell is condensation drip from refrigerators. It seems like it is just water, if you didn't spill anything. But milk containers, etc, usually have trace amounts of stuff on them that wash off and accumulate. A little chlorox and water down that drain, which follows whatever path to the bilge pump can help. Be sure to flush with a lot of fresh water.
Of course, a leaking holding tank would do it too, but there wouldn't be much question over what is causing it, if that's the culprit.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.