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  #1  
Old 12-27-2006
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Question Diesel fume barrier for master berth?

The master berth in our 38' Kadey-Krogen sailboat is located directly over the Westerbeke diesel. Are there any secrets to creating a "fume barrier" to keep bedding from acquiring that awful diesel fume aroma? Once again, many thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge!
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Old 12-27-2006
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Been there. If there are no exhaust leaks or fuel leaks there should be very little odor. We had that problem and tracked it down to a small fuel leak. A little diesel fuel on a hot motor vaporizes and stinks up the boat. So I would look for leaks and fix them. Another strategy that we used was to run the bilge air blower while running the motor and for a little while after shutting if off to move a lot of fresh air through the engine compartment.

Those things either worked, or we got so used to it we couldn't smell it anymore.
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Old 12-27-2006
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Mike, in theory a properly operating diesel engine emits no fumes.

Fumes mean there is a diesel leak, or there is spilled diesel (like from purging the lines) that has seeped into raw wood, etc. under the engine. Or there is something like oil venting out from an open vent gap, bad o-ring on an oil fill, etc.

I'm not sure I'd ever think any engine could be maintained well enough to sleep over it. Any solid barrier (mylar, metal foil, lead soundproofing, roofing sheet metal, roofing elastomer, etc.) should block the diesel but a surgical cleaning and extreme attention to detail are the best way to start. Positive ventilation (a day-night solar vent) may also help.

I think most diesel owners make the mistake of not replacing the crush washers when they crack fuel lines to purge air. From what I've been told, you can get away with that but for a perfect seal, the crush washers really should be REPLACED every time. (Inexpensive by the dozen.)

Any raw surfaces (wood, plywood) should be throughly cleaned, dried, then sealed, preferably with an epoxy paint or sealer. If you can get a small steam cleaner, that's probably the most effective way to get everything off. And then, of course, you'll need to apply something else to any raw metal to prevent rust, because steam-cleaned raw metal likes to rust fast.
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Old 12-27-2006
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I'm about to repower my boat and am seriously considering the electric option, partly for the reasons discussed in this thread. I have been reading (and contributing) in the re-e-power thread and reading the other threads and this caught my attention.
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Old 12-28-2006
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Many thanks for the advice... looks like it's time for an early spring cleaning! Happy New Year to All.
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Old 12-29-2006
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The Servicemaster company, in the flood/etc damaged home business, has cleaning solutions and deodorizers that should work for you. I had call to clean up some home heating oil in a basement and their products worked well. If they, or a similar company, knows that they are not losing a job by selling them to you they'll probably be agreeable. I think they had me sign a waiver as the chemicals are for "pro" use only.
BTW, those crush washers, in addition to being too cheap not to replace, allow your setting torque to be more effective and so make removal the next time easier!
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