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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Mildew
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Thread: Mildew Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-27-2008 06:28 AM
Idiens I keep a de-humidifier running over the winter months. It has the facility to drain into the galley sink, but I go on board often enough to empty its 1 gallon container. It works very well even though the boat is otherwise closed up and in a very humid climate.

You could rig a wet and dry vacuum cleaner on a timer plug to suck your bilge dry once a week. But you would have to visit the boat often enough to empty its container. It might reduce the evaporation surface area.
05-26-2008 08:30 PM
TrueBlue My last boat has always been shrinkwrapped during winter lay-up, resulting in no leaks to the cabins or bilges. The masts (ketch rig) were deck stepped, so no issues there.

The boat I had prior to that however, was covered with a tarp in the off-season. That boat always accumulated some water in the bilge over the winter. After one season too many of discovering fuzzy spores in the cabin - come spring-izing, I started using a trick that was the permanent cure to all cabin dampness. I repeated this process on the following boat as well.

Depending upon the size of your boat, gauge these quantities accordingly. For my Nauticat, prior to each winter season, I bought 5 lbs of DampRid, a 5 lb bag of clay cat litter, and three shoebox sized plastic bins from the dollar store. Mix the ingredients 50/50 and fill the bins equally. Disperse them around the cabins with covers off, and your boat's interiors will be dry come springtime.
05-26-2008 06:45 PM
SwanseaJack In my experience the water in the bilge makes no difference (there is always some water in my toilets anyway. The real answer for me was to run a dehumidifier for the winter months (assuming you are in a Marina). I also have had huge problems with condensation underneath the mattresses so I know make a point of making sure they are standing up in the cabins and not on the bunks

David
05-26-2008 04:53 PM
teshannon I always have a bit of standing water in my bilge and have no mildew issues. I have 5 large dorades and while it's not practical to add them to most boats it does prove to me that good ventilation, however you achieve it, is the answer to mildew issues.
05-26-2008 03:24 PM
sailingdog Pouring chlorine bleach into your bilge for a week is a really bad idea if you have any metal in the bilge. Chlorine bleach will aggressively attach aluminum and stainless steel. It can also attack a lot of the plastics and rubber used in a boat..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leland View Post
I had this problem in my boat. I couldn't stand the smell of it because of the mildew. I poured bleach into the bilge and let it sit for like a week then I pumped out the water. it smells like bleach for a little while but the mildew is gone. When I went down to help out in mississippi after hurricane Katrina we would do this to the houses. Gut it and then spray all framing down. Thats where I learned that from.
05-26-2008 02:49 PM
Freesail99
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
Freesail 99, No I haven't checked, but I can check.

I thought ventilation wouldn't do anything if the boat has standing water in it, because it would always be moist ? Are you all saying that even with standing water the ventilation is going to stop the mildew, or better control it ?
What I am saying is with two solar vents one on in take and the other on out take you will keep the air moving, which should slow or stop mildew from forming.
I use it on my boat and it has cut that smell you get when you first open up the boat to just about nothing.
05-26-2008 02:47 PM
Leland I had this problem in my boat. I couldn't stand the smell of it because of the mildew. I poured bleach into the bilge and let it sit for like a week then I pumped out the water. it smells like bleach for a little while but the mildew is gone. When I went down to help out in mississippi after hurricane Katrina we would do this to the houses. Gut it and then spray all framing down. Thats where I learned that from.
05-26-2008 02:33 PM
knothead
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
I do have shore power, a de-humidifier is an option. Will that do the trick ? The boat is sealed, essentially, so if the de-humidifier needs some kind of an outlet to the outside world I will have to create one. Same for any kind of ventilation, if there has to be outside air involved I'll have to create some way to get to it.
Maybe you could set it up to drain into the galley sink.
05-26-2008 02:27 PM
wind_magic Freesail 99, No I haven't checked, but I can check.

I thought ventilation wouldn't do anything if the boat has standing water in it, because it would always be moist ? Are you all saying that even with standing water the ventilation is going to stop the mildew, or better control it ?
05-26-2008 02:11 PM
Freesail99 Adding more ventilation has to help stop the mildew. Have you thought about adding a couple of solar vents ?
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