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Old 21-10-2009, 16:17   #1
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Smelling Like Diesel

Hi all.

I'm curious as to how others deal with the wonderful new perfume that comes with some boats....i.e. diesel. I dropped off my kid at school today and bent down to hug him and noticed his head smelled like diesel. It occurred to me that until we leave in April and are among others like us, our invitations to non boating activities may dwindle due to our distinct odor (second thought, that may not be a bad thing)
But seriously, we've changed most of the carpet but do have a bit more to do. I've Fabreezed EVERYTHING. Any other tricks you guys have thought of?
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Old 21-10-2009, 16:22   #2
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Personally I'm all for it, but I think there's probably laws against flipping kids upside down and using them to swab the engine room. But when there are no kids available I use Simply Green to wipe down areas where diesel has spilled. Seems to take care of the odor issue for me.
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Old 21-10-2009, 16:26   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply, but maybe I wasn't clear....it's simply the act of being on the boat...no leaks, no spills. It's the same smell my husband used to come home with after being on a Navy ship for any length of time (well, maybe not that bad).
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Old 21-10-2009, 16:27   #4
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Vinager wipe everything down. Mine doesn't smell.. except in the engine room. Do you have a diesel stove or heater?
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Old 21-10-2009, 16:28   #5
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I mentioned this in another thread on diesel smells: Orange-glo cleaner removes diesel odors in clothes, hard surfaces, etc. A citric-based engine cleaner will remove diesel and its smells from engines and hard surfaces.

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Old 21-10-2009, 16:40   #6
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Thanks...I'll try it on my kid too
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Old 21-10-2009, 16:42   #7
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Sorry, I was writing when you explained that it was a general odor and not specifically a spill or point source. Might work on the kid though...

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Old 21-10-2009, 16:52   #8
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I think it's actually probably in some of the old carpet that we haven't taken out yet, but if I use the orangeglow on all the surfaces, fabreeze the fabrics and shower regularly, then maybe it will be deminished a bit.

I actually think maybe some of you have been on your boats so long you don't realize you stink??/
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Old 21-10-2009, 17:03   #9
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Simple, only hang around with boaters, we all smell like that so won't notice.
Why would anyone want to be around non boaters anyway? What on earth would there be to talk about.
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Old 12-01-2010, 13:54   #10
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Other things you might think about or might try:

- Make sure you have a good seal between the engine compartment and the living space everywhere that air can flow between the two. We found that although our fridge is separated from our engine compartment, there is a bit of air flow through an access panel around the outside of the fridge and flow from the lazarette around the fridge box. Then there is a small vent for the fridge into the living area. In the winter, when the boat is more shut up/less well ventilated and the fridge unit doesn't need extra air, we put a ziplock behind this vent with good tape. It made a big difference.

- Citruscent is a completely citrus based product that smells like someone grated orange peels right under your nose. It does for air what orange glo does for surfaces. We love it because strong chemical sprays make both of us sneeze, especially in the small space that is a boat We found it online at pet supply places and prefer the orange over the "citrus blend".

- Finally, we keep our sheets and towels in dry bags so they come out smelling like dryer sheets, not like boat. We keep our clothes in Mountainsmith packing cubes for the same reason.
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Old 14-01-2010, 00:56   #11
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i used to keep a small bottle of eucalyptus oil, lid undone, in the galley. friends would often say they could smell it from their dinghies and it helped keep the mozzies away.

a useless recommendation if you dont like the smell of eucalyptus!
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Old 14-01-2010, 04:58   #12
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I know you said there is no leak but to be honest I think there likely is. I am on diesel powered boats all the time and most have no smell whatsoever. If your odor problem is that noticeable I am betting you have a leak somewhere. If you want to get rid of the smell find the leak.

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Old 14-01-2010, 05:56   #13
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I agree with sailvayu. You can be sure the wealthy people on the big motorboats don't smell of diesel. Those have huge engines, tons of fuel and lines, etc. They're just not leaking.
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Old 14-01-2010, 08:36   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monica View Post
Hi all.

I'm curious as to how others deal with the wonderful new perfume that comes with some boats....i.e. diesel. I dropped off my kid at school today and bent down to hug him and noticed his head smelled like diesel. It occurred to me that until we leave in April and are among others like us, our invitations to non boating activities may dwindle due to our distinct odor (second thought, that may not be a bad thing)
But seriously, we've changed most of the carpet but do have a bit more to do. I've Fabreezed EVERYTHING. Any other tricks you guys have thought of?
IF your boat smells of diesel, you have a leak. Fix it. With diesel even the smallest, hardest to find drip will over time make the interior smell. My Cape Dory does not smell of diesel for example. After sitting in the hot Texas sun for a week or so, when the companion way is opened all you smell is the sweet aroma of teak. It was not always that way. When I bought Seraph she would have a tell tale smell of diesel and head. Two problems found. The holding tank inlet hose needed replacing as it wouldn't seal due to very very small cracks under the two clamps. The diesel smell was from a very very small weep at the fuel filter. All new fuel lines fixed that. Take a white glove/rag and wipe every fuel line connection and see what you find. If not sure, clean every connection until nothing shows and wait and repeat the white glove/rag wipe down. Good luck with your diesel smell hunt and cure.
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Old 14-01-2010, 09:56   #15
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I thought there was a diesel smell in our used boat but it turned out the be either head or mold and the smell went away when I fixed those two things. Nothing had to be done to the bilge or engine/fuel system to get it smelling good again. Just remove the old holding tank/hoses and the wet refrigerator insulation. But I, and others, would have sworn it was fuel.

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