SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Boat Review and Purchase Forum (
-   -   mildew (

neophyte2006 09-04-2006 06:50 AM

My wife and I are looking to buy our first boat. We started working with a broker in the great lakes area. He only had 3 boats in the 30-34 ft. range for us to see.All were1982-1986, Catalinas and others. 30k-35k range

All of these looked pretty beat. All had exterior wood that was completly exposed from wear , decks were yellowing, and the interior on all looked trashed. Cushions worn out and all with bad mildew smells. Both my wife and I have asthma. How easily can the mildew smell be eliminated? And am I expecting too much from an 1986 boat?

Great site! I'm learning alot. Thanks.

eryka 09-04-2006 08:04 AM

Clorox or white vinegar wipedown will get rid of mildew on hard surfaces; you'll have to be vigilant or it'll recur (humid environment, obviously). If you're very sensitive you may want to factor the cost of replacing the upholstery into your offer price. Keep your boat ventilated and keep air moving will help. My gut feeling is that those prices are too high for the condition you describe; you might want to broaden your search somewhat or make lowball offer. Good luck.

sailingdog 09-04-2006 01:16 PM

Eryka's suggestions on clorox or white vinegar are good, lysol also works fairly well to help prevent mildew from returning.

However, the real thing that is necessary is ventilation and preventing water intrusion. Without proper ventilation, nothing will prevent mold/mildew from recurring. If the boat is tight and well-ventilated, there is little chance for the mildew to take hold. If you have leaking deck fittings, chainplates, weeping throughhulls, and no ventilation, then there is no chance of preventing mold and mildew. Even if the boat is 100% watertight, as mine is, ventilation is still key. The heating and cooling of the boat caused moisture to settle out inside the boat unless the air is circulating. Hot air, when the boat is heated during the day, holds a lot of moisture, and then as it cools, a lot of the moisture will settle out into the boat, unless the air is moving and replaced with cooler air.

Gene T 09-04-2006 02:01 PM

Keep looking, it is possible to find boats that are well cared for. There is a huge difference in conditions of boats. We recently sold our 1978 boat and are having a very difficult time finding a newer boat in as nice a condition. Most recent was a 1997 that I couldn't believe could be so poorly cared for. You can clean and redo all the cushions, but it is difficult or near impossible to clean the mildew out between the hull and liner in most of these boats.

hellosailor 09-04-2006 02:11 PM

The best way to get rid of mildew is to remove ALL cloth and upholstery from the boat. The cushions can go out for professional cleaning (they steam right through them) or if they are that old, it is probably worth replacing them outright with new. If there's a headliner, it needs to come down.
Bleach rinsing all over the interior will kill mildew, but it will come back if the boat is not keep dry and ventilated. About the only way I know to assure that is to install the solar vents, which will do a better job than leaving open anything else.
Remember, you don't want to get rid of the mildew SMELL, you need to get rid of the mildew itself, then the smell will also go away. Once you've got it as clean as you can, you might want to close up the boat and run an ozone generator in it for a week or two. The ozone will penetrate every space and kill the rest of the mildew. Concentrated ozone also isn't good for human beings and it makes rubber and plastic brittle after extended contact, so you'd want to do that as a one-shot and then use something like ArmorAll on all the plastic afterwards, to counteract some of the damage.

There are also mildecides and "quaternary" (sp?) agents that will prevent mildew from coming back, but if you keep it well ventilated you shouldn't need them.

jswwrites 09-04-2006 02:41 PM

mildew hater
Mildew is one of my biggest hot buttons, living in the South. HATE IT. ugh. :mad: Obviously, ventilating is the main key, but even that won't cut it here. One has to go on the offensive...!

3M has a great mildew remover product. I wouldn't use it on cloth or wood, but it's great on fiberglass, vinyl, and I just used it on our deck furniture and umbrella with great results. They also have a product to help prevent mildew, after you've gotten rid of it. On wood (where it does grow down here in the humidity!), you can use a bleach or vinegar solution, or even the 3M product if you get it off in the time it says. A stiff brush and mild bleach solution are probably best, though.

For upholstery, if your cushions are in OK shape (after cleaning), you can get a moisture barrier put on the foam (what they do for outdoor cushions for your home). You can also use Sunbrella fabric to slipcover, which can be thrown in the wash with bleach a hundred times (even the colored stuff) and come out looking great. I had 2 couches covered Sunbrella, one white, one white with green stripes, when my kids were little and dogs were shedding, and they looked great way longer than the couches held up! We will be redoing all the cushion upholstery in our Newport 33 this fall, and I will be using 100% Sunbrella with wrapped foam inserts.

Good luck!

sailingdog 09-04-2006 03:10 PM


It would be nice if you could tell us what 3M product you're recommending. ;)

Fidelity 09-21-2009 12:50 PM

Mildew - New Upholstery
Has anyone noted major mildew problems with Ultrasuede?

ElMysterioso 10-17-2009 05:21 PM

You might be in trouble, any mildew will eventually disengrate Ultrasuede.
Spots will darken then weaken. Maybe try sealing it with ScotchGuard.
Good luck.

Biker7Sailor 11-11-2009 03:05 AM

Severe Mildew/moisture/condensation
Have had severe condensation and therefore mildew problems on my 28 Hunter. Hopefully, I got rid of the mildew/mold by lots of cleaning and the liberal use of an ozone generator. Now to the source of the problem....condensation on the underside of the deck. There are no other sources of moisture...bidge is bone dry.

I do have 2 nicro solar/battey ventilators and I will replace the batteries but........
After extensive research, I see that there are 2 theories about eliminating condensation and mildew.
1. First idea is massive ventilation..equalizing moisture between in/out resulting in no condensation. Lots of flowing air.
2. Second idea is humidity reduction via: chemical absorbers, light bulbs, heaters, dehumidifiers..resulting in a dry boat.

Are these conflicting ideas. Does one work better than the other. Is it better to seal up and dry the boat, or ventilate it???

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:02 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome