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Old 01-11-2013, 11:38   #1
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Oil or Vinegar? Wood prep in tropics.

OK. So this isn't the first time we've left our boat for hurricane season, but it is the first time we'll leave it in a HEAVY rain area.

I've been doing heaps of research from others who have done this habitually and the overwhelming consensus is to wipe all surfaces down with vinegar to eliminate oils and other things that molds like to grow on. We do this regularly anyway.

However, our beautiful wood paneling looks like it is in need of a good wipe down with some wood oil (we used Old English before).

Does this sound counter productive? Should I wait on the oil? We'll be gone for 6 months and I want to keep my wood nice and rich and shiny like it is now.

Cheers.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:06   #2
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Re: Oil or Vinegar? Wood prep in tropics.

I live in a high-humidity area. I haven't left the boat for long like you posit. That said, though, mildew is a constant concern

The best results (longest term) so far have been with two things:
--one is a product called "Concrobium" which is available in the US but I don't know about in Oz
--the other is tea-tree oil. I mix the tea-tree oil with water, a spoonful or so of oil per cup of water, and spray that all over the boat. I like the piney smell, too.
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Old 01-11-2013, 15:26   #3
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Re: Oil or Vinegar? Wood prep in tropics.

Haven't tried this ourselves, but have been told that Clove oil mixed into water makes a good anti-mold wipe.

And I agree that fresh oil is likely to attract mold and mildew... that's why we stripped and varnished all the below deck timber on our previous boat, and carefully maintain the varnish on Insatiable II. When the inevitable mold does appear, it wipes off fairly easily.

Do your best to maintain fresh air flow through the accommodation... that definitely helps.

Good luck,

Jim
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Old 01-11-2013, 16:12   #4
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Re: Oil or Vinegar? Wood prep in tropics.

Good continuous ventilation is the best solution and I like vinegar. I live in a VERY humid climate and it works when I leave the boat for awhile.
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Old 01-11-2013, 16:42   #5
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Re: Oil or Vinegar? Wood prep in tropics.

oil of cloves, teaspoon per litre of water, wipe on, let dry.

the oil refined from clove leaf has more of the ingredient that kills mould. sellers on ebay sell oil targeted at mould. or stuffoflife.net

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Old 01-11-2013, 18:15   #6
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Re: Oil or Vinegar? Wood prep in tropics.

The latest issue of Practical Sailor (Vol. 39, No. 11) has a test of these materials. If you use vinegar, let it dry on the surface. They also have some home-brew stuff that works well. Elite Marine Shield was the big winner (Goldshield Industries). The closing paragraph of the article states:"...dehumidification or ventilation-keeping things dry-was far more effective than any product we have tested".
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:16   #7
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Re: Oil or Vinegar? Wood prep in tropics.

Thanks all. We're in Fiji... so no commercial products... no eBay... won't be on the boat for 6 months so no real way to ventilate or dehumidify.

Cheers for the tips anyway.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:59   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Haven't tried this ourselves, but have been told that Clove oil mixed into water makes a good anti-mold wipe. And I agree that fresh oil is likely to attract mold and mildew... that's why we stripped and varnished all the below deck timber on our previous boat, and carefully maintain the varnish on Insatiable II. When the inevitable mold does appear, it wipes off fairly easily. Do your best to maintain fresh air flow through the accommodation... that definitely helps. Good luck, Jim
We use clove oil mixed with vinegar, about 1 x teaspoon of oil of clove to 750ml of vinegar. Works brilliantly!!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:23   #9
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Re: Oil or Vinegar? Wood prep in tropics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie_Sequoia View Post
Thanks all. We're in Fiji... so no commercial products... no eBay... won't be on the boat for 6 months so no real way to ventilate or dehumidify.

Cheers for the tips anyway.
Do not despair, for a cheap taxi ride you can get to Lautoka. Buy as many computer fans as you can run off your solar panels while you're gone. Set them up so that they'll ventilate the boat all the time. That much can be done. While you're in Lautoka, see if you can get the oil of cloves from a pharmacy: sometimes it is sold to quiet the pain in children's gums when they're teething. The hospital pharmacy might be able to sell you some. If (sorry, but it's a big if) you can find some, then wipe down with the above water plus clove oil mix, and hope for the best. I've been told that the clove oil penetrates better than vinegar and its residue kills mold spores for a while, don't know if that's true. Failing the clove oil, use vinegar.

Also, before you leave, carefully spray your dock lines with surface spray, and around all openings to your boat, and use as long-lasting cockroach baits as you can find, put bug netting over all the vents; and don't forget rat guards on your lines.

Frankly, if it were me, I'd take the boat back to NSW, a lovely trip and you'll wind up out of the cyclone belt, but do understand that the trip back is harder.

Good luck with it,

Ann
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Old 05-11-2013, 16:01   #10
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Re: Oil or Vinegar? Wood prep in tropics.

Sporicidin.

They make a product you can wipe on and it leaves an anti-mildew / anti-mold layer. We used it in our bilge and throughout the vessel during the refit. We are told by the yard workers that we are the only boat they have been on that does not smell like mildew.

FYI - this is what was predominately used after Hurricane katrina.
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Old 05-11-2013, 16:33   #11
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My father was a Dentist, back in the day oil of cloves was used on cotton after a root canal to help get rid of the infection before the tooth was filled later with Gutta Percha, so it must have some anti-bacterial properties. I'm not talking 1800's, just twenty or so years ago. I'm a cave diver, we use a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and alcohol to dry and disinfect our ears and our catherter tubes on our dry suits. The alcohol mixes with the water and the mix dries very quickly, but has little disinfectant qualities, the vinegar surprisingly is the disinfectant. It doesn't kill bacteria directly, what it does is wack the PH out so much that bacteria simply can't grow in that acidic environment, so vinegar is cheap, readily available, I think environmentally friendly and a surprisingly good mild disenfectant.
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