Eliminate all mold and mildew with Bilgebuster? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-03-2009 Thread Starter
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Eliminate all mold and mildew with Bilgebuster?

We have an older boat and that has that "old" air smell that just makes me sick. I was thinking of getting this Bilgebuster appliance that I guess uses ozone to mask/eliminate the odor. Had anyone tried this? If it would eliminate the musty smell in our cabin I might be tempted to try it. It ain't a cheap appliance but I really do hate that bilgey/old smell. It promises all kind of things - like so many of my old girlfriends...

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post #2 of 11 Old 06-04-2009
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If you have a mold problem, it is usually because you have inadequate ventilation. I would recommend installing solar-powered vent fans before resorting to something like the bilge-buster. Also, if you have any constant leaks/drips, they really need to be addressed before you can fix the odor problem.

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Yes, patching up the leaks is definitely the first order of business. That will probably improve the other issue. I do have one of those solar fans but it doesn't seem to move much air. Perhaps time to replace that too.

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I do have one of those solar fans but it doesn't seem to move much air. Perhaps time to replace that too.
If the thing is turning at all don't replace it. They either turn at, or close to full speed, or not at all, if they are discharged or in the shade.
Not being high power or high volume they need all the help they can get from natural convection. I only have 2 Output 24/7 solars way up in my pilothouse roof but I have 2 dorade vents down low up front to feed them. On my previous 4 boats I mounted an Input solar in the forward hatch and 1 or 2 Output solars as high as possible in the main cabins or head. Big difference in the air quality. In case you or someone else reading this is not aware - Input or Output just means flipping the fan blade around.

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post #5 of 11 Old 06-05-2009
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If the thing is turning at all don't replace it. They either turn at, or close to full speed, or not at all, if they are discharged or in the shade.
Replacing the battery with a better one helps alot.
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Not being high power or high volume they need all the help they can get from natural convection. I only have 2 Output 24/7 solars way up in my pilothouse roof but I have 2 dorade vents down low up front to feed them. On my previous 4 boats I mounted an Input solar in the forward hatch and 1 or 2 Output solars as high as possible in the main cabins or head. Big difference in the air quality.
The ones I have move quite a bit of air, but they're the 4" Nicros that are no longer made that used a metal screw-in deckplate.

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In case you or someone else reading this is not aware - Input or Output just means flipping the fan blade around.
Actually, on the Nicros, it is switching to a different blade altogether. reversing a blade does very little to change the air flow direction, since the blades are usually symmetrical or close to it.

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post #6 of 11 Old 06-05-2009
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Certainly tackle the venitlation issue but you might want to also hang a couple of Damp Rid bags when you leave the boat. We noticed the musty smell starting to rear its ugly head two weeks ago. Since no one was on board and no one was going to be on board, I hung a bag each in the fore and aft cabin. Boat was locked up for a week and when it was opened, no smell.

You will NOT get the usual 60 day use out of these bags though. Fortunately, they are cheap so the fact that we will only get maybe two weeks use out of them is not a big deal.

Edited to add- Saw that West Marine has them for $6.99 a piece. I got a box of three from Home Depot for $7 and some change...

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The ones I have move quite a bit of air, but they're the 4" Nicros that are no longer made that used a metal screw-in deckplate.
If the metal deckplate is a big deal to you then that's a problem, but they most certainly still make the 4" Nicros. Except for 1 instance in the small head hatch of my C320 where I used a 3", I've used the 4" of a couple different flavors in the other 9 installations.

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Actually, on the Nicros, it is switching to a different blade altogether. reversing a blade does very little to change the air flow direction, since the blades are usually symmetrical or close to it.
Yup, sorry for the incorrect statement about flipping the blades. Sometimes sitting here the memory fades As for the "new battery" issue on the 24/7's it has seemed to me more of a - How long will the fan run after dark, more than the actual speed of the fan. But of course a new battery every year will help - I'm just too cheap and lazy

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post #9 of 11 Old 06-05-2009
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The "ozonators" can do a pretty good job of minimizing a host of nasty smells, like smokers' reek and others, they can often be rented for a couple of days or so. Not sure you'd want one running all the time - the heavy duty ones warn not to occupy the boat while it's running.

But if you can't eliminate the source of the odours then the effect will be temporary. Ventilation is key, as noted above, and we've been running a Sears dehumidifier set at 40% RH all winter, and find as a whole the boat feels better and smells better than previously.

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The major difference is that the metal deckplate version is easily removed and replaced with a bronze deckplate, in case of sailing in really nasty conditions.
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If the metal deckplate is a big deal to you then that's a problem, but they most certainly still make the 4" Nicros. Except for 1 instance in the small head hatch of my C320 where I used a 3", I've used the 4" of a couple different flavors in the other 9 installations.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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