You don't have to put up with that smell. It's a sign of either present or past maintenance
issues and sometimes neglect. The smell can give some people headaches and add to nausea from sea sickness
Unfortunately, it can be hard to get rid if the smell in an old boat.
After you have ensured there is no spillage anywhere, no fuel leaks, no oil
rags hidden somewhere you then need to check that no exhaust
is coming back into the cabin
, or worse leaking from inside the engine bay. If your exhaunt overboard
is particularly smelly or oily then you need to follow that up. With mine just having the injectors serviced helped a lot.
Next step is a good cleaning with a suitable soap and water
Talcum powder left in areas is good to suck up fumes and can be sucked up in a vacuum cleaner later. Vanilla essence is good for wiping down items.
IF you still have a problem, it's almost certainly in the foam,and bedding, curtains and other materials. Wash all that you can in a washing
machine or get professionaly dry cleaned. Replace cushions and mattresses you can't wash.
That should take care of it. If like mine however there is still a faint sign of diesel, then it could be ingrained in old wood such as the floor linings and wooden and rotten bulkheads. That's where mine was and in the mattresses.
Hope that helps.