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Old 12-29-2015, 11:46 AM   #1
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Mould/Mildew Remediation

Just got back from a trip to New Bern, looked at a Prairie 36 & a Gulfstar 39 Sailmaster (best interior layout I've ever seen, but I'll speak of no such boat here ).

Time was short so I didn't get a chance to wade neck deep into an inspection on the Prairie, but over all she seemed like a solid, albeit slightly-if-ever upgraded since the 80's, boat with potential. Only found structural issue was some rotten floor in a closet. There is a leak into there, from somewhere

Biggest known issue, which was brought up by the broker AFTER I drove 3 hours down there. . .is mold & mildew. While the boat didn't look like a petri dish inside, the dead air portions of the boat had the powdery gray fuzz coating. Some of the curtains had black spots.

I had planned on replacing any old carpet regardless, and washing fabrics/linens (or new) are a given, really it comes down to scrubbing the boat down stem to stern with bleach and/or vinegar. . .BUT, is this an issue that can be beat? Or would I be buying into an ongoing battle, now matter the deal I might be bale to swing?

Thanks!
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:52 AM   #2
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A bleach based cleaner mixed with lots of elbow grease can beat it. Then good ventilation and cleaning practices can keep it away.

Sorry we missed you down here, I, or I'm sure some of the other locals would have been glad to have taken a quick look before driving all the way down here. Where are these boats, exactly?
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Old 12-29-2015, 12:07 PM   #3
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A bleach based cleaner mixed with lots of elbow grease can beat it. Then good ventilation and cleaning practices can keep it away.
Like he said. It is on ongoing problem, and can never be solved. It can only be kept at bay. Bleach is your friend, and eternal vigilance is the price . . . or something like that.
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:08 PM   #4
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I would bale on this boat if you value your immune system. The mold and mildew you can see is only the tip of the iceberg. It's in any porous items like decking, bulkheads, etc and in inaccessible places where the sun don't shine.
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:21 PM   #5
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I would bale on this boat if you value your immune system. The mold and mildew you can see is only the tip of the iceberg. It's in any porous items like decking, bulkheads, etc and in inaccessible places where the sun don't shine.
Have you seen the boat in question? If the extent of the mildew is "really bad", your point is well taken. If not, I'd be more concerned if this is a symptom of neglect and lack of care in general.
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:36 PM   #6
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There are pros who can remediate mold and mildew problems. It could be worthwhile to hire one if you buy the boat.


They can also recommend ways to keep it from coming back.
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:43 PM   #7
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I would bale on this boat if you value your immune system. The mold and mildew you can see is only the tip of the iceberg. It's in any porous items like decking, bulkheads, etc and in inaccessible places where the sun don't shine.
You may want to stay away from boats.....period.

Whilst cleanliness, ventilation and dehumidification can help keep mold to a minimum, it's there on the waterfront......every where. And it's in ALL boats.

Don't believe me? Leave a we towel in a bucket in a non ventilated lazaret for a few weeks.....

If a boat has more than the average, it can be cleaned up. Bleach and fresh dry air are your friend. No, you will never get it all. No one will.
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:57 PM   #8
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If there is rot in a closet and mould etc everywhere else, it may be a red flag for a structural issue. If there is rotten wood you will have a hard time getting rid of the smell without serious remediation. Buy a boat with other problems(!).
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Old 12-29-2015, 02:11 PM   #9
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Whilst cleanliness, ventilation and dehumidification can help keep mold to a minimum, it's there on the waterfront......every where. And it's in ALL boats.

If a boat has more than the average, it can be cleaned up. Bleach and fresh dry air are your friend. No, you will never get it all. No one will.
Yeah...Mine get's the "fuzz" every once in a while (and I'm in the same geographic area as you). That Prairie looks like a nice boat for the money... A good clean-up and maybe an Ozone generator treatment should deal with that issue.

I see why you like the Sailmaster....That is a pretty boat and nice layout..
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Old 12-29-2015, 03:03 PM   #10
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Oscar,

We are in Oriental with our boat (Senator 35) plugged in all of the time it is home. We have had some mildew issues especially lately with all of the rain, warm temps and lack of sunlight and open ports to let a breeze through the boat. I have been running two fans 24/7; one forward and one in the aft cabin. Some HVAC units have a dehumidify setting. For clean up I spritz an old hand towel with X-14 diluted and just wipe things down. The headliner is generally the worst. If I didn't tell you you would not know though. I would take a closer look. If you like the boat try cleaning an inconspicuous area but best bet...this is your next boat. As far as the rotted deck area, we had some in a locker. The A/C drain leaked and over time messed it up. I cut out a section, epoxied the board and then epoxied it back in, put a good drain on the new HVAC and all is right with the world.
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Old 12-29-2015, 03:27 PM   #11
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I might just point out, by the way, that mold and mildew are not identical, although related. My own experience is that what is on a boat is usually mildew, or at least in this humid part of the country anyway. I think that mold is worse than mildew insofar as health issues, although I may be wrong.
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:00 PM   #12
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Yes, rot and excessive moisture with the accompanying mildew/mold are a flag to go looking for intrusion. I have run dehumidifiers in the past. Noisy and ugly, but very effective.

BTW, I'm not the one looking at this boat..... the OP is.
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:21 PM   #13
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I have run dehumidifiers in the past. Noisy and ugly, but very effective.
They're getting better. I use an Eva-Dry 4000 on my boat, which seems to work very well. Quiet and uses less electricity than the noisy kind. Not quite as effective, but just for running 24/7 to try and keep the moisture down, it seems to work pretty well. I notice that they are selling for $219.95 from Eva-Dry right now. A dehumidifier and some fans keep the beast at bay on the inside. The outside of the boat is a different story, and calls for detailed scrubbing at least twice a year, and preferably more often. And lots of bleach.
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:49 PM   #14
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Wow, first "mini" dehumidifier I've seen! Yes, much better.

Almost makes you want to take the guts out of the plastic and plumb it into the ducting.....
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Old 12-29-2015, 07:10 PM   #15
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Libraries used formaldhide candles years ago b/4 putting musty/mildew books into their collection, they put them in a chamber (metal box) with the candle and letting it burn out each day. Sometimes it took weeks but always worked.
Of course cleaning what you can see and get to first.
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:17 PM   #16
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Shannan Lush, Sydney author on cleaning issues (yes, there are books on it, yes that`s her name, yes some people take cleaning very (too?) seriously) says bleach merely removes the color from mould without killing it, but oil of cloves diluted in solution does. I used a few drops of cloves oil mixed in baby oil on a leather jacket, it worked. On boats? Who knows?
If you figure out a way to kill the mould when others can`t and are put off, you might bag a bargain.
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Old 12-29-2015, 09:19 PM   #17
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Had 9' of water in my house for Katrina. The professionals used boracide to treat it with the side effect that I never saw any roaches or mildew after that treatment.
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:10 PM   #18
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There are pros who can remediate mold and mildew problems. It could be worthwhile to hire one if you buy the boat.


They can also recommend ways to keep it from coming back.
Any offer I made on this boat would be conditional on successful professional remediation.
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:33 PM   #19
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Sorry George I have not seen the boat CoolBeans referenced, but his remark about "driving three hours" and not having the broker mention the mold and mildew problem led me to believe they where not happy.
True mold and mildew is every where and a problem waiting to happen on boats or homes. One like OP described would be a non starter for me and I would be hesitant to use the broker.
CoolBeans, scrubbing from "stem to stern with bleach and or vinegar" might be alright with the vinegar but please google " Dangers of Bleach" with regard to using this in a closed interior space of a boat.
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:36 AM   #20
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I run a couple of oil filled heaters 24/7 in the winter , they keep the air dry and create air movement, we never have Mildred or mould on the vessel. In summer because the vessel is used a lot and opened up there does not seem to be any issue.

Chris D Liberty Sydney Australia
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