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Old 09-28-2011
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On my topside teak, unfinished including decks, I use TSP when mold or mildew starts to appear. If it becomes irritatingly frequent I treat the decks with Boracal, a mildewcide.

Mold and mildew hasn't been a big problem below. I use Murphy's Oil Soap to clean the woodwork a couple of times each year and wipe with a Swiffer pad in between. Any growth anywhere gets hit with vinegar.
sail fast and eat well, dave
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beware "cut and paste" sailors.

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Old 09-28-2011
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Anyone use a mini dehumidifier in their boat?
Merit 25 # 764 "Audrey"
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Old 09-28-2011
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You can try and use the old road salt in a bucket trick. Just put a bucket of road salt inside another bucket making sure the bucket with the road salt in it has some holes in the bottom to let water through. This will dehumidify while the boat is closed up.

You can use smaller ones in areas normally shut off.
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Old 10-26-2011
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Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
Anyone use a mini dehumidifier in their boat?
Here in RAINOPOLIS.... I have one that is a 30 pint unit. It is on 24/7. I get at least 2 gallons a day easily. Columbia 45, lots of space below.
I am looking at the smaller ones that only do about 2 pints a day. 12DC, emergency back up watermaker, in case the membranes fails... Might get a couple of them. They are not too much of an energy hog.
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Old 10-27-2011
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I've been using Murphy's Soap to clean on the interior. Then a wipe down with fresh water. When dry a wipe down with white vinegar. This seems to be keeping the little mold devils at bay in the tropics.
Paul L

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Old 10-27-2011
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Amazon's mold cleaner took the mold off my interior teak and it has yet to return.
Their inflatable boat cleaner is also magical.
Usual disclaimers apply.
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Old 10-27-2011
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Mold propagates from spores ... found commonly in the atmosphere.

To control mold you must
1. remove the mold from ALL places from where its propagating ... including all the hidden spaces, all the space UNDER and behind whats 'visible'. You have to clean/kill/remove the 'fruiting bodies' that produces the 'spores', its the spores that cause to 'spread'.
1a. Mold has to be REMOVED not just 'killed' as successive invasive species (other species of mold, mildew, bacteria, etc.) will use the 'dead' cells as their nutrient source . Mold is 'best removed' by dissolving it using caustic products to break-up and liquify the cells. My favorite 'boat caustic' is Tuff'eNuff a sodium silicate based detergent - common in boat chandleries on the East Coast but can be special ordered from WM, etc. - EXPENSIVE!.
Mold shouldnt ever be 'disturbed' when dry ... as that will only 'broadcast' spread the spores. You MUST wet-out the mold (spritzing, etc.) before 'disturbing'. Some mold species and spores are VERY dangerous/toxic when in contact with your respiratory tract - you MUST use a mask or respirator, and mold or mildew that is 'black' should be under extreme suspicion of being VERY DANGEROUS.

Cleaning includes the VENT of your water tank - a most ideal container for the growth of mold and its spores.

2. Prevention .... mold spores will NOT propagate on 'caustic' or alkaline surfaces. Our ancestors covered 'everything' possible in white-wash and hardly ever had a mold/mildew problem. A modern form of whitewashing is to 'spritz'/spray highly-caustic detergents on those chemically compatible (non painted / non-bare wood / non-varnished) surfaces and simply let dry.
2a. Avoid oil based wood finishes and 'soaps', etc. ... simply FOOD for mold.

3. When closing up the boat for long term storage, consider to use ParaFormaldehyde Crystals --- sprinkled into a heap on a glass plate. The crystals will develop into a
gas that will prevent spores from 'activating'. ParaF gas is also VERY toxic to human lungs ... so you need to hold your breath and thoroughly air-out the boat before removing the crystals. ParaF will certainly not be available in areas where the 'environmental' activity is high.

You can temporarily keep mold under control by wiping painted/varnished/bare wood, etc. surfaces with vinegar, clorox .... but must be repeated 'often' to keep the surface 'acid level' higher than what will produce mold/mildew growth - although molds/mildews prefer slightly acidic surfaces, etc. for accelerated growth. A good 'killer' is Tile-X but may 'bleach' some surfaces or 'raise' some paints, etc. if left in long contact.

If you want to control and prevent mold, you must return the entire boat including all the hidden and inaccessible spaces to a sanitary and 'hygienic' state (good luck with that if your boat is 'pan' or 'molded liner' construction).
Someone mentioned oxyclean + peroxide is OK; but, there are stronger and more effective 'killers' ... but you really need chemical and chemical safety expertise to use them (mixtures of peracteic acid + peroxide, quaternary ammonium compounds, etc.) You must either know or have to remember that fungals have a quite similar cell structure to humans/animals so what kills/dissolves mold/mildew can also do the same thing to human tissue/cells, etc.

Complete 'Hygiene' is the solution - you eventually and periodically have to clean/scrub every damn inch inside the boat. Mold thrives on exfoliated human skin cells and each human body sheds 'zillions' per day.
Wear your 'mask' or respirator.

hope this helps.


Last edited by RichH; 10-27-2011 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 10-30-2011
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Prevention is better than cure, I have lived wooden boats for years and the last thing I want is any mold of any type, the way I combat it is ventilation when ever it has been raining, as soon as it stops I open all vents,ports,hatches,ect but leave the heating going on low, this helps lift the warm damp air out of the boat and drys it out well.
A electric fan heater is a great form of dry heat
If you have oil lamps don't use them when the boat is shut up Kerosine, gives of a lot of water vapor when it is burned, also if you I don't know how you cook or heat the boat, but Propane also gives of water vapor.
When you are not on the boat, vent it as much as you can, as temp changes between the outside of the boat and the warm air stuck inside the boat it will condensate, and provide a great home for the mold
I find Lysol great for mold
Hope this helps
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Old 10-30-2011
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i find mold stays away when i use vinegar once per year on my overhead. love it. very easy.

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formosa 41 and ericson 35mII
cruising tropical mexico at present, working my way southward

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Old 10-30-2011
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Ozone will also kill mold/mildew. It will also eliminate odors. A complete cleaning like Rich suggested combined with a Ozone treatment for 24 hrs and your boat should be fine.
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