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Old 18-04-2012, 09:39   #1
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Smelly Engine Bay/ Saloon

With the abuse our little boat surffered prior to us buying her, we are slowly getting there with making her sea worthy, however we dont plan on the internal rip out until we can afford to get it done properly, which leaves us with a problem, under the engine in the keel is a large knackered fuel tank which we had to pump out as it was full of sludge oil from careless oil changes, water and derv etc, having done this we still have a constant engine smell which gets into every thing including the cat its not a horrible smell but just one we would rather wasnt their....we do aim to rip it out, but to do this we will have to remove the engine. Just wondered if any one had any idea of any thing we could use other than bilgex which isnt seeming to work!!!!!
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Old 18-04-2012, 09:52   #2
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Re: Smelly Engine Bay/ Saloon

Is your hull wood or fiberglass? Wood boats will always have a certain musty/organic smell to them.


Try a pressure washer or a steam cleaner. It won't be a perfect solution but it should help.
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Old 18-04-2012, 09:55   #3
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Try baking soda and BioGreen Clean. It may take a few treatments, but it will work.
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Old 18-04-2012, 10:09   #4
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Re: Smelly Engine Bay/ Saloon

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianGullsway View Post
With the abuse our little boat surffered prior to us buying her, we are slowly getting there with making her sea worthy, however we dont plan on the internal rip out until we can afford to get it done properly, which leaves us with a problem, under the engine in the keel is a large knackered fuel tank which we had to pump out as it was full of sludge oil from careless oil changes, water and derv etc, having done this we still have a constant engine smell which gets into every thing including the cat its not a horrible smell but just one we would rather wasnt their....we do aim to rip it out, but to do this we will have to remove the engine. Just wondered if any one had any idea of any thing we could use other than bilgex which isnt seeming to work!!!!!
Unless you can get all of the debris and residue out, you will never get rid of the smell entirely. You can improve things, however, by making up bags of activated charcoal that will absorb much of the smell. We make these with cast-off nylon stockings and charcoal available at pet stores that carry acquarium supplies. The bags can be draped around hoses etc. and are good for a few months or more each. We use these in the heads and in the holding tank compartment and they really do improve things. People often comment that our boat is odor free save for a hint of orange/lemon (from the lemon oil we use on the woodwork polish and to defeat mold).

FWIW...
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Old 18-04-2012, 13:45   #5
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Re: Smelly Engine Bay/ Saloon

As a degreaser, could try using washing powder (for clothes) it's cheap and can get pumped out overboard (well, it can around here!), but unless you can scrape / scrub (no access?) and able to get fully clean - and then slap some bilge paint on, won't get rid of the smell. Odds are strong that the diesel / oil is inside at least some wood and / or some raw fibreglass, so won't ever scrub out.

Works with cold water (but probably better with hot!) and being able to agitate the liquid helps. as does leaving it soak after a few repeats.

As I said, it's cheap!
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Old 18-04-2012, 14:43   #6
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Re: Smelly Engine Bay/ Saloon

Boracay came with old engine oil sprayed everywhere.

The bilge cleaners that I tried were worse than useless.

What I ended up using was a $99 high pressure washer, oil collection pads and a beer fermenter.

I washed down everything oily with the pressure washer, pumped the resultant mix of oil water and sludge into the beer fermenter and put the oil absorbent pad into the beer fermenter.

Any clear water was disposed of responsibly through the tap at the bottom - the rest went to my local waste disposal depot at huge expense.

We now have council collection days for such material. You should have something similar in your area.
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Old 19-04-2012, 06:29   #7
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Re: Smelly Engine Bay/ Saloon

Thanks for all of your replies, I think I will try them all to a certain degree, I would love to get in the tank to pressure wash or steam clean it but access is very limited to an inch hole, I will report back after the weekend. Thanks again!!!!-)
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Old 19-04-2012, 08:54   #8
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Re: Smelly Engine Bay/ Saloon

Clean thoroughly with hot water/detergent. If there is a tank with a hole / etc. the area can be temporarily covered up with a patch glued in place. When you stop the air flow in out of the tank, you will stop the smell.

Our boat is 30 y.o. plastic, engine bay opens to the cabin, no bad smells whatsoever.

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