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Old 01-06-2014, 13:25   #1
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first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

... drove an hour to the marina.. spent 4 hours crawling inside the VERY hot cabin.. cleaning up after the previous owner. It seems he was much more interested in drinking and partying on the boat than cleaning and maintaining it. He left us with a disgusting mess.. I got half the cabin spic and span! scrubbed away tons of black looking mold and white mildew and general filth.. threw away tons of garbage... blech!!!! Then it frankly got way too hot... Will finish up the inside next weekend.

First thing I noticed, is that despite cleaning.. I continue to track EVERYthing back into the cabin.. any tips on keeping the filth OUT of the cabin to begin with? I was thinking of installing some of those "drainage mats" in the cockpit area to keep the wet and dirt off our feet.. but what about in the cabin.. do rugs work? to trap dirt? What do you all do to keep stuff from getting dirty in the first place?
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Old 01-06-2014, 13:47   #2
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

I like to use cocoa mats. When you get serious after the getting most of the gunk out, then go barefoot. Bucket of soapy water on the deck is not a bad idea as well.
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Old 01-06-2014, 14:33   #3
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

Scarlet,

Sorry your boat was left filthy for you. That's pretty yucky.

Capt.58 has the right of it. First, clean off the outside. Once that's done, there's somewhere clean to put *stuff*, and you won't track in more dirt.

Open the hatches when you work, and maybe make a windscoop before you go back to improve ventilation. The cushions will need their covers washed, and themselves to be aired. There are some CF threads archived about how to deal with smelly, moldy cushions, and on a thread called "smelly water", a contributor called weavis (a doctor) recently published how to sanitize the water system and the pipes, that have grown contaminants.

Read up on it before you go back, and you'll be in a better position to handle it next week.

If your new boat is one you will sleep on, you will want some way to keep mildew from happening under your bunks. We bond a 1/4" layer of closed cell foam to the cushions and have not had a problem; also, we used seagrass door mats, loosely tied together, to raise the cushions for air circulation, and that also worked okay for us, but it's not as humid as FL here.

Hope this gets you started. In fact, the act of cleaning it will make the boat feel more "yours," and is time well spent.

Ann
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Old 01-06-2014, 14:59   #4
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

Scarlet,

If you have electric service available at your boat, consider buying a "Blue Blower" fan. There are other, similar, models available. It really puts out quite a volume of high velocity air. Ours made being down below bearable on many hot days. It's also quite useful for drying out things down below if you get dampness from leaks or whatever.
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Old 01-06-2014, 16:15   #5
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

Scarlet, I have to say that 4 hours is not bad. I spent practically a full week cleaning my boat in what sounds like a pretty similar condition. It stunk for months but if the mold is killed (and not just covered up with bleach), and then all sources of food and moisture removed, this can be reversed. In the meantime, I've gotten neurotic about keeping the boat clean. I sweep or use a wet towel to wipe down the sole boards. Many people use carpets on their sole. I have a small carpet at the companionway steps, but then use house shoes for inside the boat. I use boat shoes when I'm topside. Street shoes need to come off right away and I'm not a fan of bare feet because they leave an oily residue. I have a floor mat to wipe feet to get on the boat. I have also used a drainage mat in the cockpit but a lot of dirt and hair collects underneath it, and it slides around when you're sailing, so I'm not as enthused about that. When the topsides are dry, walking around is not so much of a problem, but if it's wet, you could wipe down the footprints with a wet sponge or just wash it down at the end of the day. If the dirt sticks, you might need to have a wax job done. If you really want to go full hog, have everyone take off their shoes when they come onboard. Anyway, you'll find what works for you.

(Post Script -- After re-reading this, I feel a disclaimer is necessary. I assure you that my methods sound more neurotic than they really are. Really!! Though I do get a lot of compliments on a super ship-shape boat....)
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Old 01-06-2014, 17:07   #6
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

[QUOTE=gamayun;1554418]Scarlet, I have to say that 4 hours is not bad. QUOTE]

It was just a start..

We have a very tiny boat, and are just learning to sail.. but, this is the time when good habits start.

What did you mean about kill the mold.. not just cover it up with bleach? I thought bleach killed mold and mildew? We've used it around the house for years to do just the trick...
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Old 01-06-2014, 17:18   #7
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

Bleach and mold?

Oh, no, like another "anchor wars" thread.

Do a search on MOLD on this or any other boating forums and you'll get various opinions.

Or buy Peggie Hall's book and read about all boat odors:

Get Rid of Boat Odors

Congratulations on your new boat. Shameful of the PO to leave it in that condition, although unless part of your purchase deal, what can any of us say?
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Old 01-06-2014, 17:22   #8
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Bleach and mold?

Oh, no, like another "anchor wars" thread.
Oh no... didn't realize it was a hot topic... sorry about that.. I will just figure it out on my own..
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Old 01-06-2014, 17:26   #9
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

Scarlet,

Try using clove oil, a natural product that kills and prevents mold from forming.

Cleaning Benefits of Oil of Cloves - LifeStyle HOME

Highly recommended.

Cheers
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Old 01-06-2014, 17:27   #10
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

What? That's not how you dreamed of spending your days aboard? Welcome to the wonderful world of boat ownership! ;-)
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Old 01-06-2014, 17:39   #11
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
Oh no... didn't realize it was a hot topic... sorry about that.. I will just figure it out on my own..
I'll take the as you really smiling. I did give you the answer in the link I provided. Right?

Don't want to get into any misunderstandings.
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Old 01-06-2014, 17:45   #12
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

Most of the boats for sale I've inspected here need loads of that. In some cases I would sooner look for a boat in the rubbish tip. Some sellers don't get it.
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:52   #13
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

[QUOTE=gamayun;1554418]but if the mold is killed (and not just covered up with bleach),

I do wish for some clarification on the 'kill the mold, not just cover up with bleach' from a biologist who might be on this forum.


I have this problem in my home, too.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:08   #14
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

There is one other thing I can advise, if you have shore power, you might want to consider an ozone generator, inside the vessel with the boat closed up. Go away for the day and then come back and air it out, it will help with bad odors.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:17   #15
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Re: first official day on my first boat... Cleaning..

Buy a 24" box fan ($8) for each hatch...some blow in some out...after you get the dirt off the deck. Then everything out that is not attached...
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