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Old 20-11-2017, 21:00   #1
PHR
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Chula Vista, CA
Boat: 2008 Hunter 49
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Mold and health problems?

Hi. I have a 2008 Hunter 49, and it's nice, but I have a question about mold, and if you have time, I'd appreciate any comments. Here's the deal:

Just recently bought this boat. I have been sleeping in the forward cabin. Turns out, night after night, I have been waking up with welts and hives all over my back and torso, and itching terribly. I washed everything, but it did not change the skin lesions and itching.

I am assuming it is now mold.

Have you dealt with a situation like this? Have you dealt with bedding and mold?

Great sleep is a big reason to be on a boat.

Peyton
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Old 20-11-2017, 21:42   #2
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Re: Mold and health problems?

The mold I've dealt with caused respiratory problems for my wife, but no skin problems. Sounds like your sharing the bed with something that likes to bite.
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Old 20-11-2017, 21:50   #3
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Re: Mold and health problems?

Look up "Bed bugs"

If that's what's you've got, you are at war.
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Old 20-11-2017, 23:23   #4
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Re: Mold and health problems?

I have had bug problems on the boat which permanently damaged my health. My solution now is "KILL EVERYTHING". Get the Raid Fumigators at Home Depot, and make sure you fumigate the whole boat. It will kill everything, but if there are eggs that hatch out, you may have to repeat the process later on. Read all the instructions and be liberal in the number of canisters that you use.
We do this every summer when we move onto the boat. We set the canisters off, and then go shopping for about 4 hours. When we get back, the toxicity is gone, but we use a couple of 20" fans to really air out the boat. That includes walking on top of foam mattresses to get any of the residual gas out.
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Old 21-11-2017, 10:29   #5
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Re: Mold and health problems?

Bedbugs are a possible culprit, but you also should check for fleas. So many people keep their pets on board with them that it would be the most likely reason, IMHO.
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Old 21-11-2017, 11:33   #6
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Re: Mold and health problems?

If you use bug bombs, don't over do it. Three propellant in those things is flammable. I'm aware of a guy who set off nine bug bombs on his sail boat. The propellant ignited and it blew the deck off.

I agree worth the other posters that suggest bugs, though. If it turns out to be beg bugs, hire a pro. They are tough to get rid of.
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Old 21-11-2017, 12:00   #7
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Boat: 44'8" North Pacific Pilothouse Trawler
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Re: Mold and health problems?

If you are positive it's mold, I suggest Mold-Off available online.

Clean every surface: bilge, lockers, teak, walls, windows and window wells that collect moisture, portholes, door jams, ceiling, sole etc. It's a job and not a fun one, but you will be happy.

I strongly suggest that you toss the mattress, and whatever coiled surface upon which it sits as well as washing all bedding, including pillows, and drying in commercial laundry. Then go buy a foam mattress until you decide what you want to do for a permanent mattress.

Yes. This is a lot of work. Because you do not have to wash the Mold-off from the surface cleaned, all this work will keep you in good shape for a while (depends upon your weather and temperature.)

Put a household dehumidifier on your boat and leave it running twenty-four seven, for as often as you possibly can. Constantly.

Once you actually own your own boat, keeping the mold at bay is pretty easily done. ( I must say, however, it sounds like bugs to me.

The mattress is not going to be cheap, the Mold-off is not cheap, the dehumidifier will be the best money you have spent. maybe ever, on your boat; the labor is not cheap (even if you are the labor).

This is a lot of work, but it's a boat! There are some places on our boat where mold has never reappeared (wells beneath windows) huge locker beneath sole under bed, canvass covers, etc.

Good luck, a boat upon which you cannot sleep is really not all that. Ya gotta love it.
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Old 21-11-2017, 12:07   #8
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Re: Mold and health problems?

When I bought my boat it had been sitting at least 3 years on the Columbia River and there was mold everywhere. Every surface covered.
I got an Ozone Generator ( the ones they sell to clean the air in your house) and ran it in the boat for 3 days.
It killed everything.
Then I opened all the cupboards, floor hatches to the bilge, drawers, and anything else that would open and ran it for another week.
No more mold on he Boat. Period.
Ozone kills everything. Will kill bugs too.
Be cautious when re entering the boat full of Ozone. Vent it completely.
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Old 21-11-2017, 12:11   #9
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Re: Mold and health problems?

PS
After all the mold was dead, I wiped the dead mold off all of the surfaces with vinegar. Using paper towels I could just throw away.
Where I couldn't reach I just left it.
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Old 21-11-2017, 12:17   #10
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Re: Mold and health problems?

YES, we dealt with the same mold issue on our 1998 Hunter 450, which drove us to purchase a commercial ozone generator machine. The problem we had was that the mold was under the cabinetry and inner liner, so totally unaccessable. At the time, I was very sensitive to black mold, and could feel it in my breathing even outside the boat. The ozone machine helped for about two weeks at at time, but raised other issues such as the ozone eating away rubber hoses.

Between the mold and smelly waste hoses... we don’t miss that boat very much.
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Old 21-11-2017, 13:40   #11
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Re: Mold and health problems?

mold is a huge problem,some people more than others. rehabed a pearson, a floating petrie dish. scrubbed from keel bolts to the overhead, trashed all cushiones, rewashed with mold killer, painted interior with kilz and two finish coats of semigloss. made new cushions, and what a relief, no coughing. ps. added a new jib and main and a yanmar diesel color me gone...😍😎🍸
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Old 21-11-2017, 14:46   #12
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Re: Mold and health problems?

When I’ve had mold problems I’ve used the chlorine dioxide bombs.
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Old 21-11-2017, 20:24   #13
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Re: Mold and health problems?

I sprayed everything with benzalkonium chloride. (alkyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride) No more mould problems--I repeat it every so often. It is not cheap but it is good. You can get it from shops selling swimming pool equipment, or sometimes hardware stores where it sold to remove mould, moss and lichens from roofs and driveways. For smell-nice you could add some oil of cloves, which is not cheap either, but most pests HATE it.

Condensation is a huge cause of mould--and it grows initially on dust adhering to the hull, bulkheads and ceilings--then can attach itself to the paint itself.

A dehumidifier works fine too--once you have killed the mould. It is the spores that cause the problems--and some moulds are seriously dangerous.

I adapted my small dehumidifier to run over a sink when I am not aboard--and it runs from its own 12 volt battery which is charged by a solar panel and a mains charger.

It is quite astonishing just how much water is in the volume of air in a boat. My air conditioner also has a dehumidifier setting--and this used mains power and lots of it--but dries out the vessel in a few hours. If I am not aboard, the battery powered one does its thing.

Moulds can make you itchy--some fungi readily attack shin. Ask anyone with tinea--
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Old 21-11-2017, 22:50   #14
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Re: Mold and health problems?

I thought I brought back bed bugs from Asia. The itch turned out to be shingles....〰️〰️〰️
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Old 21-11-2017, 23:26   #15
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Re: Mold and health problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHR View Post
Hi. I have a 2008 Hunter 49, and it's nice, but I have a question about mold, and if you have time, I'd appreciate any comments. Here's the deal:

Just recently bought this boat. I have been sleeping in the forward cabin. Turns out, night after night, I have been waking up with welts and hives all over my back and torso, and itching terribly. I washed everything, but it did not change the skin lesions and itching.

I am assuming it is now mold.

Have you dealt with a situation like this? Have you dealt with bedding and mold?

Great sleep is a big reason to be on a boat.

Peyton
Peyton,

In my opinion, you should go for allergy testing. Hives and welts are symptoms of allergic reactions. Once you and the allergenist determine what sets off your skin reactions, then you will have an idea of what you need to change on your boat, and in your life.

In my experience, molds generally cause respiratory symptoms, not skin reactions, so I'm thinking there may be more than one thing going on that you could address.

If it should turn out to all be due to mold, you may want to change boats, because, as Kenomac pointed out, some of it is inaccessible. You will want (depending on budget, of course), a boat that is not liner built, but one that you can gain access to all the surfaces to keep them clean.

Good luck in finding a solution, it's a difficult problem.

Ann

PS.
Some people swear by clove oil for killing mold and mold spores.

If the cushions have mold spores in them, replace them. Polyurethane foam can be washed in the bathtub in soapy water with bleach, but it is a real job to get them dry, taking days in hot dry weather. Covers be washed with chlorine bleach in the water, depending on what they're made of. Also, curtains, if your boat has them. Those dry pretty fast.

It is just possible that your skin reaction may be from something the bed linens were washed in. But we could guess and guess, and I really think it will be better for you to find out what is causing it.
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