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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Does your boat stink?
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Thread: Does your boat stink? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-03-2007 04:26 PM
Giulietta
Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
I cant remember where I got this tip...probaly here.

Cut and onion in half and place in a bucket of water. Leave it in the cabin for a few days, hatches, ports, etc. closed.

I did this in the spring and it worked??? I have no idea why but it did.

BTW...this tip is in no way a subsitute for a good cleaning.

Changing the head hoses should have been the first thing I did to the boat, makes a difference.
I posted that last year...see here
08-03-2007 04:06 PM
SanderO Shiva has no odors from the head for several reasons.

Large forward facing hatch
The entire head is our shower and get a complete wash once a day when we shower. We also wipe the walls each time so no scum can accumulate.
Our bilges are completely dry
Our upholstery is only a few years old.
We vacuum and and clean the interior regularly

We do get a slight musty smell when the boat has been locked up for 4 or 5 days in the summer and there is no ventilation. As soon as we open up the hatches and fresh air comes in the boat has no smell.

We also use come cedar scented spray occassionally.

Stinky boats are very unpleasant

jef
sv shiva
08-03-2007 03:49 PM
RAGTIMEDON Ionize the air? I bought a thing called a "Bilge Buster" a year ago. It is a 12 volt ozone generator. Look at "Ozone gererators" on Google and you will find several. Ozone is O3, an ion of O2 which any chemistry student will tell you is oxygen. This thing not only cleared up the smell on my boat, it took the residual stink out of the clothes that had been in a drawer near my holding tank. After replacing the hoses on my holding tank, using the buster, and cleaning everything we could reach with chlorox, smells are gone. Remember that chlorox will eat up aluminum tanks, rubber hoses, gaskets, etc, and ozone will also destroy rubber, so use both with caution. Coffee grounds are safer, but slower.
07-21-2007 03:43 AM
SailorBC Another source of smell can occur if the anchor locker drains into the bilge. If it does, consider a modification that allows the anchor locker to drain overboard, instead of the bilge. The result is less sea water and grime in the boat bilge the better... kind regards J
07-21-2007 02:56 AM
mawm 2 things:-

1 Aerate the holding tank which allows aerobic bacteria to breakdown the waste. It's the anaerobic bacteria which cause the smell. You don't need all the other cr@p.

2 Fresh water in the heads intake hose. The salt water that most heads flush with, if left to stand, creats the most horrible smell - rotting eggs!

I have an old boat that has the hand basin discharge connect to the heads intake. I used to wonder why. Since I have flushed fresh water through it and into the heads intake hose at the end of a cruise all my smells have gone. These old boat builders knew a lot about boats.
07-20-2007 01:01 PM
T37Chef
Onion

I cant remember where I got this tip...probaly here.

Cut and onion in half and place in a bucket of water. Leave it in the cabin for a few days, hatches, ports, etc. closed.

I did this in the spring and it worked??? I have no idea why but it did.

BTW...this tip is in no way a subsitute for a good cleaning.

Changing the head hoses should have been the first thing I did to the boat, makes a difference.
07-19-2007 11:23 PM
brak I just bought a really old boat (not quite as old as that but close) that was used as a liveaboard by an old guy with very very questionable hygiene. In fact, we found a few small dead mice when taking stuff out!!!

One thing that really makes a difference in smell is a VERY thorough cleaning of things that don't seem to matter on the first look. We removed everything from the boat - all items, cushons etc. But that is not enough. Older boats tend to have a convenient constructon in that there is no cabin liner and almost everything is potentially accessble. So, I actually removed teak battens that cover both walls of the V-berth. It was amazing how much dirt, hair and sheer disgustness can hide behind them. A few buckets of water, pine-sol and a good brush get rid of that, though. And now there is no smell in V berth - with a hatch open and a light breeze it is actually kinda nice

I also took apart the entire galley cabinetry, same deal there. The toilet took a bit more work, part of the problem was the entire disgusting old system (old tolet, flexble tank, old white rigid hoses) - that went to trash first thing.
07-19-2007 09:53 PM
sailingdog SchoonerMistress-

I'd love to take credit for that, but I have to give credit to Peggy Hall, the dean of marine plumbing... for the idea.
07-19-2007 11:01 AM
camaraderie Bleach is not good in a holding tank since it kills useful bacteria that will break down waste and thus you end up with tanks that smell even more. That assumes you pour it in through the deck fill.
Instead of killing bacteria...suggest adding some to enhance the breakdown process and reduce smell. There are lots of these products sold for RV's so you don't have to buy the "marinized" products!
Example:http://naturalenviro.com/rv.htm

You should NEVER use bleach in the head itself as it will degrade the rubber parts & valves...this includes the use of products like clorox bowl cleaner that contain blach. BonAmi is the cleaner of choice.
07-19-2007 10:32 AM
SchoonerMISTRESS Sailingdog says, ...by soaking a cotton towel in hot water and wrapping it around the hose, and then when the rag has cooled, taking it off and sniffing it. If it smells, then the hoses need replacement.
__________________________________________________ ___
Now that is a really neat trick. I’ll have to remember that one.


Surfesq says, When you pump out...fill the tank back up with fresh water and then pump it out again. Then put one cup of clorox brand bleach into the holding tank.
__________________________________________________ ____________
Be careful of bleach, many heads say not to use it because it does like to eat through things. That’s how we broke the last head.

Alanl says, Vetus make an air-ionizing device that is fitted into the holding tank vent line. but it is costly and it would be good to know if anyone else has had success with this or similar unit.
__________________________________________________ __________
Skip and I are also interested to know if anyone is using this product. We have been using vinegar, but still, on occasion get some smell in the cockpit when under sail.

Kathleen
Aboard
Schooner MISTRESS
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