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Old 23-09-2020, 23:22   #1
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Help - super funky smell

We just bought a 21 year old Cruisers 3075, and are having an issue with a pervasive and funky odor...musty, sour, dank basement smell. I thought cleaning and ventilation would fix it, but it's more than that.

We have stripped all fabric based items out, and are now resigned to pulling down and replacing the padded vinyl ceiling and wall panels because there is mold under everything.

We removed the galley cabinets and brought them home (to use as templates for new cabinets) but the funk is so bad that they stunk up our garage at home within 2 hours even after being left in the sun all day in the driveway.

Hoping to avoid replacing all interior wood (laminated plywood doors, hatches, wall and closet units), but the odor has permeated deep into everything.

So far we have tried various cleaners, air purifiers, fabreez, various moisture and odor absorbing gizmos, zep mold and mildew remover, two of the fast acting starbright NOSguard kits (left overnight), and plenty of ventilation.

It's bad enough that you can smell it 10 feet away from the boat and we can't stay below for long without active ventilation, even with all fabric removed...any tips on how to get the funk out of the remaining plywoods?

My next moves considered are renting an ozone generator for shock treatment (unoccupied, but concerned about damage to cables and such), or just paying a company like serve pro to try and do something with it.

Thanks!
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Old 24-09-2020, 03:47   #2
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Re: Help - super funky smell

Use the ozone generator for a few days, the short term exposure will do nothing detectable to your hoses, etc.
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Old 24-09-2020, 04:59   #3
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Re: Help - super funky smell

Open up tour floor boards and fill your bilge with soapy hot water..... maybe some raritan ko mixed in and let it soak. Then drain fill drain a couple of times..... vacuum / pump out and let it air dry...... Before you do this consider also replacing all hoses in the head. may be a combination of mold and Leaking poo.

Good luck!
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Old 24-09-2020, 05:20   #4
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Re: Help - super funky smell

We had similar (but maybe not so overpowering) smell with a prior sailboat - thought we checked and cleaned everything that could cause it, but did not replace any head hoses as they didn't seem to be source. Turned out to be from water collection (from overly-drippy stuffing box) under sole in areas we could not easily access - water was pooling up under and didn't flow well into bilge pump area.
Took a long time to accept that the funky smell could be generated from standing lake water (fresh water great lakes) and clean well, but that was it.
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Old 24-09-2020, 05:40   #5
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Re: Help - super funky smell

Thanks all!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Use the ozone generator for a few days, the short term exposure will do nothing detectable to your hoses, etc.
Sunbelt rentals has the big unit (3-12 grams/hr output) as well as the small one (3,000 mg/hr). I was thinking a couple of hours with the big unit would do better than a few sessions with the small one - both in terms of killing off the organics causing the smell and doing the least amount of damage to components. But that assumes component damage is more of a result of exposure over time, and not concentration levels. I do have prior experience dealing with VOC's, and understand the safety precautions that come with the higher concentration levels.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NYSail View Post
Open up tour floor boards and fill your bilge with soapy hot water..... maybe some raritan ko mixed in and let it soak. Then drain fill drain a couple of times..... vacuum / pump out and let it air dry...... Before you do this consider also replacing all hoses in the head. may be a combination of mold and Leaking poo.

Good luck!
Should be easy enough now that we are down to the gelcoat in most places - will get some raritan ko for the mixture. Wife is already onboard with replacing head hoses for good measure based on her research.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jc1409 View Post
We had similar (but maybe not so overpowering) smell with a prior sailboat - thought we checked and cleaned everything that could cause it, but did not replace any head hoses as they didn't seem to be source. Turned out to be from water collection (from overly-drippy stuffing box) under sole in areas we could not easily access - water was pooling up under and didn't flow well into bilge pump area.
Took a long time to accept that the funky smell could be generated from standing lake water (fresh water great lakes) and clean well, but that was it.
We're on Lake Lanier in Atlanta, and I have no doubt that water can get rank fast...how did you solve your issue (or did you accept and learn to live with it)?
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Old 24-09-2020, 05:54   #6
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Re: Help - super funky smell

We cleaned the water and entire bilge area under floor, and fixed the stuffing box - still had lingering 'sweetish' odor. Never used ozone treatment but that was going to be one of next steps. Had cushions cleaned, etc. Unfortunately the smell really put my family off from going to the boat, even when it was much better. Became the 'smelly boat' and hard to shake that perception. (on the flip side, I think helped to get everyone aligned to buy a new boat...).
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Old 24-09-2020, 06:10   #7
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Re: Help - super funky smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damage View Post

but concerned about damage to cables and such
If ozone was anywhere as much damaging to rubber and electrical, why don't the machines just fall apart with use as nothing gets more exposed than the machines?

You of course need to find and fix you "funk" source first. It is amazing how much "funk" a small seawater leak can cause as it drips water with "stuff" into your boat.
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Old 24-09-2020, 06:13   #8
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Re: Help - super funky smell

Stale water sitting in a poorly ventilated area of the bilge can definitely get quite stinky. Even as bad as a nasty sulfur smell, etc. that would make you think the issue is far worse than stale water.
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Old 24-09-2020, 06:15   #9
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Re: Help - super funky smell

Ozone is a super strong oxidizer. You can kill almost every microbe with it.
Mold and spores are like tanks...hard to kill. Ozone works well but it has drawbacks. Several.
It will attack rubber especially old rubber which has cracks...your call but Iíd renew old hoses anyway.
The real issue is anything electrical. Anything. Good by...itís toast.
Lastly, itís nothing to fool with. It can kill you. Your lung tissue is very delicate.
Please read up on this. Itís a very dangerous gas.
Happy trails to you.
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Old 24-09-2020, 06:23   #10
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Re: Help - super funky smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by jc1409 View Post
...Unfortunately the smell really put my family off from going to the boat, even when it was much better. Became the 'smelly boat' and hard to shake that perception. (on the flip side, I think helped to get everyone aligned to buy a new boat...).
Which is what we are on the verge of...having it become the "smelly boat"...and we just got this one last week, so need to try and fix it

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
If ozone was anywhere as much damaging to rubber and electrical, why don't the machines just fall apart with use as nothing gets more exposed than the machines?
I have seen you reply with this same statement on several ozone related posts on this board...and I appreciate the common sense thought process that goes into it. Your views on this in past threads have helped the "should be safe" side of my internal dialog on the subject.



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Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
Stale water sitting in a poorly ventilated area of the bilge can definitely get quite stinky.
Thanks - will hopefully address this as well!
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Old 24-09-2020, 08:47   #11
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Re: Help - super funky smell

I have found a good spray down with Clorox (1/2 cup per gallon) works wonders in keeping down mold, bacteria, and any germs as well as their lingering odor. I use a spray bottle and hit every surface. You can send it down the head as well. Just wear old clothes when you spray as any drops will quickly take the color out of your clothes.
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Old 24-09-2020, 09:03   #12
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Re: Help - super funky smell

We had a lingering smell when we bought our boat. It was boathouse kept all it's life, including running engines with the rear slider open to the prevailing breeze. We have since replaced the baby blue shag, washed and re-dyed all the curtains, change all upholstery and mattresses and changed out the sani hose. The backs of the cabinetry are exposed plywood, and the glass in areas not seen was just resin. I paint with Fisherman's friend gray paint(the stinky stuff) whenever I get to a place that has been untreated, washed out and repainted all bilge areas, and we have virtually eliminated any smell. The last piece will be the soft side fabric glued to the hull for aesthetic reasons. A love for the boat s the only reason I would have gone this far, but considering that, at 25 cents an hour, it got done pretty economically. And the 25 cents per hour was only because I got a raise!
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Old 24-09-2020, 15:18   #13
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Re: Help - super funky smell

It sounds to me as though they did not use the right plywood. Marine ply has to have either urea formaldehyde glue--or better still phenol formaldehyde glue. This will not usually decompose if it gets damp, but it will grow mold.

There is an easy way to test it--just boil up a piece of it. If it delaminates, they have used ordinary furniture grade plywood. It has to be at least structural grade waterproof glue.

I treat mold by spraying it with benzalkonium chloride. Magic stuff.

In a way I am glad it seems to be in the furniture and not the hull material which is decomposing. Osmosis has a different kind of smell--and telltale blisters full of a mixture of water and decomposing resin.
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Old 24-09-2020, 15:59   #14
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Re: Help - super funky smell

Re the sideline chat regarding mould - Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite, Chlorox etc) does not actually kill the mould spores, but it does bleach them so you can no longer see them. The real problem there is the residual acid it leaves behind.

Best treatment for mould is to use Oil of Cloves. A few drops mixed in water in a spray bottle will kill mould. Spray and leave, then wipe down. In Aus, we have a wonderful source of cleaning tips, Shannon Lush. She has several books with all manner of remedies and fixes to stains etc, she is a chemist and art restorer by background so really knows her stuff.
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Old 24-09-2020, 18:04   #15
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Re: Help - super funky smell

I have used a bleach solution in a garden sprayer. It was amazing how much nasty stuff came out of areas that the sprayer head could reach but other means could not. I followed up with a strong rinse from a hose. It was messy but effective. After everything drains down leave a dehumidifier running for several days. Clorox sells a soap bleach solution that is good for this kind of situation.
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