Very odd odor - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 32 Old 01-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Very odd odor

One of our charter boats has a strong onion like smell,we have searched every possible location for the source and can find nothing. It seems to be thoughout the boat and not just one location. No matter what we do,wash or spray the odor remains.

Anybody have any clues, this is a new one on me

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post #2 of 32 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Very odd odor

No clue what your smell is but smells are not permitted on our boat (re: Admiral). We have an ozone generator that eliminates all odors.

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post #3 of 32 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Very odd odor

It has literally been decades but back in the late 80's an acquaintance had a RV camper that had a similar issue. the kitchen area started smelling like onions. The odor emanated from all of the cabinets both above and below the counter. It was the smell of a bag of onions not rotten ones. After a couple of months they proudly stated they had found the cause and were able to remove the smell. The rubberized cabinet liner that they were using had become chemically damaged when all of them had been wiped down with a white vinegar/soda solution. Apparently if you throw vinegar on certain rubber it will cause it to break down a little releasing more smell the more it breaks down. Not sure if you have any rubber in the bilge or have poured any vinegar onto it if you did, was just interesting that you mentioned the same smell.

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post #4 of 32 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Very odd odor

Funny that someone named Poopdeckpaddy is having an odor issue.
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post #5 of 32 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Very odd odor

Actually vinegar will not decompose rubber and is actually good for removing mold and mildew from rubber... it's compatability with rubber is good (see the chart)... so the smell of onions might be a pesticide residue that may have decomposed over time leaving that smell... chemical odorant MOCAP.... most likely... it has an onion smell... you can look it up but many other sources could be the source of the smell.
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post #6 of 32 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Very odd odor

[** Post redacted as to not upset too many people about the state of the current public educational system **]



PS: I miss the 70's and 80's educational system.

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"I am of the mind that anything with a proper sail attached to it has the potential to profoundly alter ones concept of the world."

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post #7 of 32 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Very odd odor

First thing that comes to mind for 'onion smell' (without physical onions) is a fungus, either S. Brevacaulis or one of the Aspergillus varieties. S. Brev. is a cause of VERY nasty foot fungus infections ... so carefully assay the head/shower area and its drainage into the bilge ... AND the bilge especially if the shower water dumps directly to the bilge.

Both of these are 'pathogens' --- 'nasties'. S. Brevacaulis, reportedly is especially very nasty with 'corneas'.

If you smell 'onions' and subsequently find a 'black or blackish mold', return the boat and let someone else clean it, properly, and with proper caution (go to CDC website ---> cleaning 'black mold').

Last edited by RichH; 01-24-2013 at 06:01 PM.
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post #8 of 32 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Very odd odor

Once had an odor that smelled exactly like urine. Turned out to be vitamin-B that I was storing in a plastic storage bag.
Try this: open your vitamin B bottle and take a whiff.
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post #9 of 32 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Very odd odor

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
First thing that comes to mind for 'onion smell' (without physical onions) is a fungus, either S. Brevacaulis or one of the Aspergillus varieties. S. Brev. is a cause of VERY nasty foot fungus infections ... so carefully assay the head/shower area and its drainage into the bilge ... AND the bilge especially if the shower water dumps directly to the bilge.

Both of these are 'pathogens' --- 'nasties'. S. Brevacaulis, reportedly is especially very nasty with 'corneas'.

If you smell 'onions' and subsequently find a 'black or blackish mold', return the boat and let someone else clean it, properly, and with proper caution (go to CDC website ---> cleaning 'black mold').
Thank you Rich.... an intelligent response instead of attacking our Public School System which by the way is pretty decent! My wife is a Elementary Special Education Teacher and the schools couldn't be much better (at least in our neck of the woods)!

I grew up in the 60's and 70's public school system and got a very education... led to a scientific career... not bad for us techies of today... kids are just as smart today... but that's another thread for another day.

Nick
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post #10 of 32 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Very odd odor

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Originally Posted by poopdeckpappy View Post
One of our charter boats has a strong onion like smell,we have searched every possible location for the source and can find nothing. It seems to be thoughout the boat and not just one location. No matter what we do,wash or spray the odor remains.

Anybody have any clues, this is a new one on me
Onion smells often grow in the fresh water system. The hot water tank can be an incubator. I don't know what the bug is but it will grow in the water tanks. Drain and then use Peggy Hall's recommended fresh water tank freshener program.

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