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Old 12-01-2018, 11:10   #1
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Can staying aboard be saved?

My Tashiba-31 is located in Port Townsend and I've live aboard now for over 6 months. The experience has been great, until recently.

In December, I left for a 3 week trip to Minnesota visiting family. When I leave the boat closed up for pit it does get a bit musty and stale below. I was also concern that the wet weather might contribute to that, so I got a small jar of Tea Tree Oil gel and left it open on the counter.

I returned to the boat after 3 weeks away. Inside she seemed fine - a slight odor fro the tea tree oil was it. I spend a few hours stowing all my gear, then lay down in the v-berth. I normally sleep with the v-berth hatch open a crack and my main hatch is louvered, so I get pretty good ventilation.

Well, after being asleep for 2 hours I suddenly woke up with the intense feeling that I couldn't breath. The feeling was so bad I had to get out of the boat. Never had that happen before. I was so keyed up that I ended up staying in the cabin the rest of the night. I would still get that feeling, but not as intense.

After 3 days of this I hit on the idea that maybe I was having a reaction ot the tea oil. I tossed the jar as far away as possible and opened all the hatches for a good flush as the wind was up and it wasn't raining. That night I sleep almost normally, but still in the cabin.

Since then the problem is coming back. It's been raining, so I can't keep the hatches open as much. Now I'm wondering about a reaction to mold. I don't think I have a huge problem with it, but there are areas of the boat that don't get good circulation and have a definite musty smell.

The thing that I don't get is the timing of this. I've had the boat for over a year. In the first 6 months she spent a lot of time closed up between visits. During the visits I would stay onboard for 1-2 weeks at a time doing maintenance and cleaning. During the first of these visits she smelled a lot worse than she does now. So besides the tea oil, what else is new?

I'm going to do a stem to stern cleaning with vinegar this weekend. I'm also looking for someplace to clean my cabin cushions as they have a musty smell and I'm looking into a hepa-filter air purifier. I also have a Doctor appointment to look into what is going on.

Assuming this is a reaction to mold - do you think these actions will work? Any suggestions? Has anyone else had a similar reaction to tea oil purifiers?
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Old 12-01-2018, 12:01   #2
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

i bought a steamer which does excellent work on cushions and boat in general.
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Old 12-01-2018, 14:13   #3
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

Sorry to hear of your situation.
Think you are on right track, systematic cleaning/eliminating possible mold.
Possible help to making boat livable during and after your cleaning is a
product from our own cf member bene505 ...a "hatch dorade" its function
is to allow hatch to remain open in rainy, windy conditions with full ventilation.
Might be what the doctor ordered while removing problem.
Have one on order so have not used yet but looking forward to ventilation/air flow
at anchor while raining.
see hatchdorade.com 516 225 2723 also on you tube.
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Old 12-01-2018, 14:31   #4
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

An ozone generator may be worth looking into, it kills mold and many other odors quite quickly.
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Old 12-01-2018, 14:32   #5
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Can staying aboard be saved?

Go to Home Depot and get a gallon of Concorbian, it will be with the mold kill products. It really does work, vinegar works a little and for a very limited time until the PH returns to normal, which is pretty quick.
Home Depot should also have a fogging machine for the Concorbian so that it will get everywhere that is open.
Iím fighting condensation and moisture right now myself, not so much mold, but only because of the Concorbian.
I believe itís nothing more than Sodium Carbonate, baking soda is Sodium Bicorbinate so itís not the same, but Iím no chemist, but I donít think itís a dangerous chemical either.
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Old 12-01-2018, 16:56   #6
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

Sounds like you're having a reaction to black mold. Google it. It's really quite a bad health issue even though most boats have it, some people are more sensitive to it or get extremely sensitized to it due to over-exposure. In the winter, I am able to run a dehumidifier. Leaving the boat for a week with the windows closed helps with this. I try to get everything as dry as possible. Mold needs moisture, heat, and a food source to survive. If you bleach or chemically try to kill them, they will just go dormant and come back when the elements are there for them to thrive again. One thing that will help you is to keep a hatch/portlight open during the night where you're sleeping. The circulation of fresh air (even if it's cold and damp) will be better for your health though it's contrary to the killing of the mold spores.

Concrobium looks like a good product to kills spores (http://moisturecure.com.au/frequentl...ns-concrobium/). I use borax, which pretty much does the same thing, but you still have to get rid of the source of its food supply (moisture, heat, etc) or it will be an ongoing problem.
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Old 12-01-2018, 17:05   #7
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

Donít mess with black mold! Get rid of that crap as soon as possible, youíll get the cancer...
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Old 12-01-2018, 20:15   #8
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

Would the fog affect the engine if I applied it to the engine compartment and other stern areas?
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Old 12-01-2018, 20:24   #9
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

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Originally Posted by Boosted View Post
Donít mess with black mold! Get rid of that crap as soon as possible, youíll get the cancer...
Not likely to give you cancer (https://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm) but if you're waking up with a racing heart and a feeling of not being able to get air into the lungs, that's probably as close to dying as one should ever feel...
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Old 12-01-2018, 20:27   #10
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

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Originally Posted by dmksails View Post
Would the fog affect the engine if I applied it to the engine compartment and other stern areas?
FYI, solid metal surfaces could be easily bleached with a 10% solution. It's the wood grain and cushions that are near impossible to kill spores with any kind of chemical treatment. If you can't put them out in a hot sun, then try to get the humidity down.
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Old 12-01-2018, 20:45   #11
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

I'm told that clove oil in water, used as a spray, will kill the mold spores. However, they are airborne, so you have to treat repeatedly. It is not very expensive, and it smells nice.

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Old 13-01-2018, 09:39   #12
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

I am a big fan of using Lysol spray and the Lysol soap that I mix with water and then use a pressure washer on low settings to spray under all the berths, behind the water tanks and other inaccessible areas.

Skylark lives on the IJsselmeer in The Netherlands, which is freshwater and that seems to encourage mold, mildew and algae growing everywhere, especially on my teak. When Skylark was moored in the States in saltwater, this didn't seem to be as much of a problem.

I use a liquid called Borasol, which I think is a mix of boric acid and ammonia to treat my unvarnished teak and so far that seems to help.
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Old 13-01-2018, 10:05   #13
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

I saw mold and fungus killing aerosol bombs similar to bug bombs online before. Set them off leave for some amount of hours then return, ventilate and move back and in. We are fighting mold right now too, and may go the bomb route.
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Old 13-01-2018, 10:14   #14
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ottow View Post
An ozone generator may be worth looking into, it kills mold and many other odors quite quickly.
+1

Rent an industrial one. Place it on the boat, turn on and leave for a couple of hours (ozone irritates airways, poisonous etc). Careful when you return as you'll need to vent out the remaining Ozone well, which also breaks down quickly anyway. Highly effective at killing mold etc on surfaces, fabrics etc. Also gets rid of smells!

I did the same and left the AC circulating so I could pull ozone through the duct-work too.
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Old 13-01-2018, 10:34   #15
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Re: Can staying aboard be saved?

You don't mention anything about heating. Are you using any? I am wondering about CO2 building up.
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