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Old 18-12-2011, 07:12   #1
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Dampness and Odors

My wife is threatening to bail unless I get rid of some areas of dampness on the boat? What do I do? I've purchased a dry air dehumidifier and hate to have to buy one of those big honking ones. Is there another way? The damprids work when we're not on the boat but I've heard they are not safe to use when on the boat. Any help would be appreciated. I could turn the air conditioner on but hate to use it since it is nice and cool at the present time.
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Old 18-12-2011, 09:16   #2
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I've had good luck running a couple of small fans to keep the air circulating. Also I have no leaks unless I leave a salon window or hatch open and it rains.
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Old 18-12-2011, 09:31   #3
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Re: Dampness and odors

do you shut the boat up tight when ye leave her??/ if you do-- stop that and leave an overhead hatch or something open somewhat to minimize the build up of condensation and humidity that comes into boat. also go thru all lockers and CLEAN out the smell by using white vinegar to rid boat of old mold. use some kind of bilge soap for ridding the bilges of odors and flush water thru the head until it no longer stinks. then you will enjoy a nice clean odor free boat.
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Old 18-12-2011, 09:52   #4
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A boat shouldn't smell or be damp with proper circulation of air and elimination of leaks. Do you know where the odors are coming from? The Head Mistress Peggie Hall wrote a book on this subject. Does your boat have a hull liner (carpet stuff glued to inner hull area)? Is he boat leaking? What type of ventilation do you have if the boat is closed up for a week? SC
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Old 18-12-2011, 10:01   #5
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Re: Dampness and odors

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
do you shut the boat up tight when ye leave her??/ if you do-- stop that and leave an overhead hatch or something open somewhat to minimize the build up of condensation and humidity that comes into boat. also go thru all lockers and CLEAN out the smell by using white vinegar to rid boat of old mold. use some kind of bilge soap for ridding the bilges of odors and flush water thru the head until it no longer stinks. then you will enjoy a nice clean odor free boat.
As Zeehag said we don't have heat or stuff aboard during the winter, just lots of ventilation, then more ventilation and finally some ventilation. I think there are 6 overhead vents plus a grill in the wash boards which work well. It is cold on board but dry.

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Old 18-12-2011, 10:34   #6
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Re: Dampness and odors

If you leaving the boat for a long period of time in a very hot & humid location (eg, a couple of months on the Rio Dulce) you might even consider an ozone generator. After scrubbing down everything we could reach with both vinegar and clorox (separately of course), that's what it finally took for us to get the last of the mildew smell out of the bilges. Just be careful and don't run it one too long, ozone can be pretty destructive.
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Old 18-12-2011, 10:54   #7
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Re: Dampness and odors

What everyone else days plus... it all depends on where the boat is and how it is left... I have had good success with febreeze for the smells. Track down the leak if possible. Anything closed up for an extended period will have smell.
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Old 18-12-2011, 14:48   #8
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Re: Dampness and odors

The boat is in Florida and had been closed up for a while. Damprids were used while the boat was not being used. It was fine until we took them out and are back on the boat. Just can't seem to get the damp smell out. Boat is dry no leaks. I think it's just humidity here. Will try fabreeze, that's the second time someone has mentioned it to me so that must be a worthy product.
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Old 18-12-2011, 15:07   #9
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Re: Dampness and odors

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Originally Posted by edbulmer View Post
My wife is threatening to bail unless I get rid of some areas of dampness on the boat? What do I do? I've purchased a dry air dehumidifier and hate to have to buy one of those big honking ones. Is there another way? The damprids work when we're not on the boat but I've heard they are not safe to use when on the boat. Any help would be appreciated. I could turn the air conditioner on but hate to use it since it is nice and cool at the present time.
Let her bail. Get another woman and tell her to get rid of the dampness.
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Old 18-12-2011, 15:08   #10
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Re: Dampness and odors

Ha Ha. Very cute. I'll tell that to my wife and hope I don't get hit by any flying objects LOL.
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Old 18-12-2011, 15:45   #11
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Re: Dampness and odors

Don't mention it. Feel free to call on me for marital advice anytime.
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Old 18-12-2011, 16:45   #12
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Re: Dampness and odors

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The boat is in Florida and had been closed up for a while. Damprids were used while the boat was not being used. It was fine until we took them out and are back on the boat. Just can't seem to get the damp smell out. Boat is dry no leaks. I think it's just humidity here. Will try fabreeze, that's the second time someone has mentioned it to me so that must be a worthy product.
yeah I swear by febreeze..it gets a LOT Of smells out.. otoh.. IF you can take all the cushions off.. wash them in whatever soap you use and add a cup of 20 mule team borax will remove all smells in a heart beat.. take the cushions themselves and set in the sun each day for a few days that will help with the smells as well. Musty odors are a no go in my book. Any bedsheets left on the boat wash those as well with the soap and borax.. I use it all the time in stuff and it keeps any smells at bay and kills the ones that are there before washing. I also add it to water that I am washing walls with, its just good stuff and all natural.
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Old 18-12-2011, 16:49   #13
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Yikes vintage. Something we keep going during the winter is two of these:
http://shop.sailboatowners.com/prod.php?926

I don't know how they'd do in FL though. During the summer we just make sure our solar vents are working and keep the fans on.

Here is a good article from Don Casey as well:
http://www.boatus.com/boattech/casey/31.htm

Get her involved in trying to solve the cause and help her get invested (not cleaning) in the boat. I suspect you have inadequate air exchange.

SC
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Old 18-12-2011, 19:19   #14
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Re: Dampness and odors

I've always wondered, does Febreeze actually kill the odors, or does is kill your nose's ability to detect them??

Just wondering...
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Old 18-12-2011, 20:39   #15
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Re: Dampness and odors

I fought mildew in my cabin for years. No amount of passive ventilation would stop it. I was going to install powered vents but decided to try one of these first:
Amazon.com: Eva Dry EDV-1100 Thermo Electric Peltier Dehumidifier, 16 Oz Removable Water Tank, Effectiveness 1,100 Cubic Feet: Kitchen & Dining
The one I have is about the size of a loaf of bread. The problem is that it would fill it's little tank in just a day. I drilled a hole in the tank and stuck a piece of 1/8" vinyl hose in it. I led the hose to the sink drain and the problem has gone away. I've been using these Peltier Effect dehumidifiers for several years. The fans seem to last about a year and then I buy a replacement fan at a computer store for about $12.
I'm located in Miami so humidity is very high in the summer.
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