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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > my boat stinks
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-03-2003 12:25 PM
branda
my boat stinks

check out this link to eliminate stink!
http://www.sailboatowners.com/forums/menu.tpl?fno=451
11-21-2003 09:17 AM
Mr Jeepers
my boat stinks

Here''s a company that claims success in the area of bad head smells. This type of system has been successfully used in my neighbors cabin with great success. Check out the web site.
http://www.airheadtoilet.com/Air_Headx.html
Good luck.
11-03-2003 10:31 PM
thefantasea
my boat stinks

The small amount of seawater that remains in the bottom of the bowl is often the culprit. While it sits there from Monday to Friday with summertime temperatures, the tiny creatures present die and decompose -- with a predictable result.

Try this and see what happens. When you''re ready to leave the boat and have closed the seacocks, soak up that last bit of water with paper towels and leave the bowl perfectly dry. When you return, your nose will thank you.
10-24-2003 12:43 PM
kmeeks
my boat stinks

When I moved aboard my boat last year - it had just had a new head installed. During a trip to Catalina - I used it for the first time...using seawater to flush with...

Soon after I realized that there was a smell coming from the head...

Two changes have made a world of difference.

First - I pour fresh water into the head to flush. No more odors.

Second - I installed a solar powered vent fan. This eliminates any slightly musty odors as well.

10-21-2003 11:05 PM
peterpan2k
my boat stinks

I''m a live aboard. My neighbor accused me of having a smelly holding tank only to discover that his battery charger was boiling his batteries dry causing that horrible rotten egg smell.
10-21-2003 11:25 AM
Alchemist
my boat stinks

We had some foul odor aboard our ''02 320 our first season but at one point this season while I was cleaning I asked the Captain to just tighten up the screws on the hose clamps and that took care of 90% of the odor. We also managed to keep the head hatch open on its "catch" much of the time, which also helped. I would say we''re fairly pleased with this simple fix.
10-17-2003 11:02 AM
maxim_rfeld
my boat stinks

Here is very what I found on the net. Makes a lot of sense. http://www.tek-tanks.com/Pages/SG-odour_control.htm

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Odour Control

It really is possible to have a completely odour free system! .................honest !

You may have read or heard, that the key to odour control is the hose, that hose permeates with sewage and causes the system to smell which leads to the kind of advice about hose we mentioned above. That''s a half-truth. The key to odour control is in the installation of the entire system. What very few people in the marine industry have learned is the very nature of sewage itself and how it breaks down. Once you understand it and it''s so simple, you can do the same thing.

First of all, a marine holding tank must be exactly the opposite of a septic tank. Holding tanks stink when they become "septic tanks." Why does a septic tank stink? Because it is in an airless environment. So what keeps a holding tank from becoming a ''septic tankí? A sufficient supply of fresh air, in and out of the tank.

Sewage contains two type of bacteria: aerobic bacteria (which need oxygen), and anaerobic bacteria which thrive in an airless environment; in fact anaerobic bacteria can''t survive in an aerobic environment, why is that important? Because it''s the anaerobic bacteria in sewage which produce the foul-smelling gasses; the aerobic bacteria break sewage down, but do not generate odour. So as long as there is a sufficient supply of air to the tank, the aerobic bacteria thrive and overpower the anaerobic bacteria, and the system remains odor free.

A bio-active (live aerobic bacteria) holding tank treatment works with the aerobic bacteria in sewage, eliminating odor, completely emulsifying solids & paper, and prevent sludge from forming. We sell a Canadian product called Biologic, and is only available in this country from Tek-Tanks. Biologic comes in sachet form as shown on the right, or in bottle form, which is more economical.

Enzymes do little if anything. Chemical products only mask one odour with another odour, they kill anaerobic and beneficial aerobic bacteria, and therefore create more problems than they solve. Chemicals, unlike bio-active products, are also unwelcome in landside sewage treatment facilities.

The anaerobic bacteria in sewage produce a variety of sulfur monoxides and dioxides (which are the malodorous gasses), methane, which has no odour but is flammable, and carbon dioxide which also has no odor but creates the environment in which the aerobic bacteria cannot live, but the anaerobic bacteria thrive. Carbon dioxide does not rise or fall, it is ambient, like the atmosphere. Without a sufficient flow of fresh air through the tank to allow it to dissipate, it simply lies like a blanket on top of any pool of sewage (whether inside a hose or a holding tank), suffocating the aerobic bacteria and creating the perfect environment for the anaerobic bacteria to take over. The system becomes "septic," and the result is a smelly boat.

To prevent this, let''s start with the head: If at all possible, the discharge hose, no matter whether it goes overboard, or to a holding tank, should be installed, if at all possible, with no sags or low places where sewage can stand. When a marine head is not flushed sufficiently to clear the hose of sewage, that sewage sits in low spots in the hose. Bits of it cling to the walls of the hose. With no fresh air present the anaerobic bacteria thrive and create their stinking gasses. If sewage stands in a low spot, which gets no air, the smell will eventually permeate the hose. This is what has given rise to the myth that the "wrong" hose causes odour. Therefore, as we have already said, flush your head thoroughly enough to clear the entire hose of sewage and rinse behind it. And when you leave your boat to go home, flush the head thoroughly one last time, this time with fresh water. Until holding tanks came along, the hose was the source - but not the real cause of most odour.

09-30-2003 04:39 PM
Irwin32
my boat stinks

Check the vent hose fitting on the top of your tank. If it is not seated well, fumes can escape w/o there actually being a visible leak, since the liquid may not get to the fitting.
09-30-2003 06:57 AM
mcain
my boat stinks

As an FYI: all head hoses eventually will have the smells permeate the hose. However, some take much longer than others. PS did a study of head hoses and found that Sealand hoses do the best job of keep the smells contained inside the hose. They are white, smooth hoses--not the corregated like bilge pump hose. The black rubber absorb the smells from inside pretty quickly.
When I replaced mine, I used the Sealand and it has lasted OK for probably 3 years now. Available from West Marine.
FWIW.
09-30-2003 06:19 AM
nauticalrich
my boat stinks

Same problem here. The head has the heavier blace hoses leading to the holding tank.
However, and why the did this I don''t know.
The discharge hose is white plastic, sort of like vacume cleaner looking hose but stiffer.
There was an order in the boat when we bought it but it wasn''t too bad. So not knowing much about it we put clother over the pipe. It''s like a little clothes locker.
When we got to the last shirt that was sitting on the pipe, wholly sh##### did the shirt stink and the smell in the boat got worst. No leaks so it must be that white pipe. This winter I will takle the crappy job of replacing it.
By the way, I tried covering it in saran wrap but didn''t help too much.
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