Here in the Pacific Northwest
(where they say people don't tan, they rust) I have a precise list that I need to stick to in order to keep smell and mildew at bay:
1. Start with a perfectly clean boat! Bilge
, lockers, carpet, etc. Over the summer I find that a surprising amount of salty water
makes its way below. Not from waves or leaks
per se, but just from your shoes and clothes. All that salt
, which has now rubbed off onto the carpet and cushions
, attracts moisture. If you want any hope of getting ahead of mildew, etc, those salty things need to be washed.
2. It isn't an option for everyone, but I always bring my cushions
home for the winter season.
3. It's been said - but ventilate, ventilate, ventilate! Not just passive, but some sort of fan to keep things moving. If you don't have power while away from the boat, I suggest one of those low-energy fans that run off D-Cell batteries or the solar
option already mentioned.
4. At the end of each cruise
, I always flush tapwater (ie chlorinated) through the head
to get rid of as much biology as possible in the pipes. There is an incredible difference when you return and make that first use of the head
. My buddy, who does not rinse his head out (exact same setup) stinks up the whole DOCK
when he does that first pump! And no, it isn't due to a #2!!
5. I used to spray all the fabric
items with the anti-bacterial Febreeze, but read an article about how these were not exactly healthy products for us. So now, I just wash the cushion covers each year with Tide free and Borax, giving them an extra rinse cycle.
Best of luck!