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  #1  
Old 03-07-2011
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Mold & Mildew control

Trying to find out what everyone uses to control mold & mildew; The past 16 month here So Ca. has been quite wet ( not the typical So Ca. weather ), summer was about 3 mins long and as a result we ( and others ) are dealing with the M&M

I have relocated my wife to our other boat and I have spent the last week and half going from stem to stern with a mixture of Clorox and water washing down every surface that I can possible reach ( soaking those I can't )

I've checked into dehumidifiers but they're to large for a 37ft'er, I saw a product from Starbrite that is pellets in a container, but don't know if that will do the trick.

So, what do you all do to combat this problem
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Old 03-07-2011
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I have the same problem with "boat smell" and it sounds like you are in the right track.

I have just finished painting the galley cabinet on the inside and half the bilge down to the wet parts. I dried the wet parts this weekend and when it is completely dry I will paint that too.

I have found that cleaning with Clorox and then painting helps a lot. Beyond that if you have cloth cushions you might want to either clean or replace them.

Dry is of course best. We have kept a small heater on low while we are away, and that keeps the moisture out and keeps it dry. We used to come into the boat and find that there was moisture ready to drip from some of the lower places, but since we have run the heater that has not happened.

I have also read that an ionizer will help with the smells but I have not tried that.
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Old 03-07-2011
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Keeping the boat dry as possible is key to preventing mold/mildew problems. Good ventilation and stopping any leaks are key to keeping the boat dry. Having a dry bilge is very helpful too.

Having proper ventilation for the lockers is a necessity. If your locker doors don't have fairly large vents of some sort, adding or enlarging them is a good idea.

Wiping down the surfaces with vinegar or lemon oil will help prevent mold from re-occuring. For hard surfaces, 3M came out with a spray that will help prevent mildew/mold growth.

Keeping the air moving throughout the boat is a good idea. Installing small fans to push air through lockers will help keep the lockers and their contents mold/mildew free.

Finally, make sure that you get rid of any residual salt on surfaces and rinse anything that is sprayed or soaked with salt water. Any residual salt will draw in moisture from the air and help give mold/mildew a foothold. Storing fabric and clothing in the "spacesaver" bags helps save space and protect the contents from mold/mildew.
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Be careful, any ionizer that is strong enough to help with the smells is very likely to generate ozone and that can be damaging to rubber and plastic parts aboard your boat. Peggie Hall, IIRC, is not a big fan of using "ionizers" or ozone generators.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomperanteau View Post
I have the same problem with "boat smell" and it sounds like you are in the right track.

I have just finished painting the galley cabinet on the inside and half the bilge down to the wet parts. I dried the wet parts this weekend and when it is completely dry I will paint that too.

I have found that cleaning with Clorox and then painting helps a lot. Beyond that if you have cloth cushions you might want to either clean or replace them.

Dry is of course best. We have kept a small heater on low while we are away, and that keeps the moisture out and keeps it dry. We used to come into the boat and find that there was moisture ready to drip from some of the lower places, but since we have run the heater that has not happened.

I have also read that an ionizer will help with the smells but I have not tried that.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

óCpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 03-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Be careful, any ionizer that is strong enough to help with the smells is very likely to generate ozone and that can be damaging to rubber and plastic parts.
Yep, I've heard that, and that is a great point.

I also saw where one owner installed the cheap computer fans into some of the areas where air should be able to exit. That might be a great idea for circulation. You can find them at any computer store (Frys for $6) and install them in the corners where the area behind might lead to the bilge. A bit of design and planning might be needed, but circulation and ventilation is the name of the game. Did we all also mention KEEP IT DRY!
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Old 03-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poopdeckpappy View Post
Trying to find out what everyone uses to control mold & mildew; The past 16 month here So Ca. has been quite wet ( not the typical So Ca. weather ), summer was about 3 mins long and as a result we ( and others ) are dealing with the M&M

I have relocated my wife to our other boat and I have spent the last week and half going from stem to stern with a mixture of Clorox and water washing down every surface that I can possible reach ( soaking those I can't )

I've checked into dehumidifiers but they're to large for a 37ft'er, I saw a product from Starbrite that is pellets in a container, but don't know if that will do the trick.

So, what do you all do to combat this problem
There's a very straightforward 'process' solution to mildew control.
1. First THOROUGHLY Clean out every dark corner and 'undersurface' possible in the boat.
2. Dissolve the mold/mildew with a caustic based detergent ... but not on bare or oiled or varnished teak. If you use Tilex or Clorox, you will leave 'dead cells' and they will only be used as a nutrient for 'other species' of mold/mildew - OK to use clorox on painted varnished surfaces but you have to followup clean to remove the dead cells.
3. So, after a thorough CLEANING, then get some sodium silicate or other 'highly caustic' detergent and dilute it 1:1 with water and SPRAY but DONT WIPE it from all the 'under and hidden' surfaces. Let the caustic solution DRY and it will become the modern 'equivalent' of 'whitewashing' ... the process that our ancestors used for 1000s of years to control mold/mildew.

Once you have mildew unless you clean out ALL the dark and hidden places where the mold is growing ... and is forming SPORES !!!!!!, and THEN chemically 'whitewash' those under surfaces, etc. you will have the mildew, etc. under control. You have to kill the 'spore forming areas' to prevent or retard further outbreaks. No sense in attacking 'visible' mildew until you Clean out and 'whitewash' the hidden areas and 'undersurfaces' where its growing.

Caution: do not spray diluted caustics on varnished, oiled, 'finely' painted surfaces ... its going to LIFT/'bubble' the coating; on BARE teak it will extract the tannins from the teak.

Special Caution: Never ever clean 'dry' mildew, always 'spritz' it before scrubbing. Only clean/remove wetted (can be clorox to wet-out) mildew. Wear respirator .... you 'build-up' additive toxicity to mildew.

Dark and hidden places:
1. the VENT exit area of your water tank
2. undersides of flooring and 'pan' liners
3. behind cabinets and hull liners.
4. behind ceiling panels

In the special case of Ty37's, etc.:
Under the 'flooring' where the batteries are located under the cockpit - unscrew the flooring to check/clean.
The bilge area under the engine
The Cavernous Locker under the cockpit
The void area in the stern behind the steering quadrant
The Anchor chain locker ... under the 'false flooring'.
Inside the Dorade boxes !!!!!
The damn seat locker in the shower stall and under the shower stall floor pan.
Behind the 'fascia' for the chainplates ... and especially if the chainplates are 'dribbling' - UNDER the flooring under the settees.
Anywhere the bulwark is leaking down into the hull.
The area UNDER the fridge where the fridge drain hose exits into the bilge !!!!

'whitewashing' .... just thoroughly clean and spray on and let dry any 'caustic based' detergent ... I prefer Tuff-eNuff by Wallace and Sons (Florida) -used to be carried by WM so they can probably special order it - expensive. Stuff is good for mildew/fungal removal (those teeny black spots) on woven dacron sails. Other 'sprayables': VERY very diluted lye solution, diluted TSP solution, etc. Mildew spores will not 'activate' on a 'whitewashed' (caustic) surface.

Special: if the boat is closed up for long periods of time - get some Paraformaldehyde crystals (read instructions/cautions carefully as this stuff is not compatible with human lung tissue) hold your breath and sprinkle onto large plastic containers before you leave and close the boat ... when it 'off gasses' it attacks mildew cells. When returning to the boat HOLD YOUR BREATH, rush inside and open up any port-lite, hatch, etc. while holding your breath until you are forced to go outside. Open all possible openings and then let the boat air-out for ~30 minutes before you go back in (holding your breath) to put any remaining ParaF crystals into plastic bags. Youll probably have to 'smuggle' ParaF in to Kalifornia, etc. Commercial form of Paraformaldehyde: "MildewGaz", etc. --- only way to kill the mildew spores during a long term closed-up boat.

;-)

Last edited by RichH; 03-07-2011 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 03-07-2011
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Yea, and like he said.
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Old 03-07-2011
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Ok, it looks like I'm headed in the right direction, I will add some small fans, that's a good idea and also replace some weak portseals

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH
In the special case of Ty37's, etc.:

Under the 'flooring' where the batteries are located under the cockpit -Check
unscrew the flooring to check/clean. Check
The bilge area under the engine Check
The Cavernous Locker under the cockpit Check
The void area in the stern behind the steering quadrant Check
The Anchor chain locker ... under the 'false flooring'. Check, including rode
Inside the Dorade boxes !!!!! Didn't think of that one
The damn seat locker in the shower stall and under the shower stall floor pan. Check
Behind the 'fascia' for the chainplates ... and especially if the chainplates are 'dribbling' - No fascias but got the lockers
UNDER the flooring under the settees. Check
Anywhere the bulwark is leaking down into the hull. Check
The area UNDER the fridge where the fridge drain hose exits into the bilge !!!! Ha, another good one

And the whitewashing I would have never thought of, I have lots of TSP, so I'll try that


Many thanks to all of you
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Freedom comes when youíre ready to sail away. True freedom comes when you donít have to return


Cut off from the land that bore us, betrayed by the land we find, where the brightest have gone before us and the dullest remain behind, .......but stand to your glasses, steady,.......tis all we have left to prize, raise a cup to the dead already, hurrah for the next that dies
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Old 03-08-2011
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I've used stuff that claims to "prevent mildew and mold" but it just doesn't work. Like the others have said, a really good cleaning is the only thing that really gets it out. No idea on how to keep the inside of a boat dry.. I look forward to other responses here.
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Old 03-18-2011
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I used a dehumidifyer on my 28ft boat, it pumped out 16 pints of water in some days, it worked GREAT.
you should get this.
Frigidaire FAD504TDD Dehumidifier - 50 Pint Capacity, Energy Star Rate
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