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Old 02-04-2015, 12:18 PM   #1
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Interior Mildew

While shopping for our next boat -- probably a semi-displacement trawler -- we found one that we like a lot. But, the vinyl (or whatever material it is) on the interior bulkheads and ceiling have a lot of small discolored spots that I can only assume are mildew stains. There is also some evidence of mildew around some of the interior panel joints and around the window -- not real bad but it is visible. This is almost a deal killer for the wife. The boat is 8-9 years old.

Can these stains be removed somehow? Has anyone had any success getting rid of these? Is so, how and what product did you use? The broker mentioned that he heard of a product that can be sprayed on vinyl -- essentially "painting" the vinyl -- to cover up spots/stains. Any idea what he's talking about and whether that is a viable solution?

Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:22 PM   #2
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if you see stains on the front side. what do you think is on the back side ?
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:53 PM   #3
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No.

Find another one.
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:51 PM   #4
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I would really be concerned why that is there. I looked at one sailboat one time that was sunk and rebuilt. New engine and all interior soft goods. All wood varnished and so on. Sounded really good and a great deal. When I looked at it you could still smell the mold. The seems of the wood had mildew coming out. Needless to say I did not get it.
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:07 PM   #5
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The boat is in S. Florida. I'm assuming a combination of humidity and the boat sitting unused for extended periods without any air circulation in the cabin was the cause. I don't think it's anything sinister like having been sunk or that there is a ton of mold or mildew lurking in the shadows. Anyways, I'd hope that is something that would come out in a good survey. The boat appears to be a good deal, even with the stains, just as long it isn't a sign of a major problem.

I was just wondering if that is something that could be fixed. Maybe replacing the material is the only option .
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:16 PM   #6
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Not necessarily....

My vinyl overhead of often gets mildew on it and is dry on the other side.

Just wiping with a Clorox wipe or sponge with a little clorox/soapy water cleans it right up.

If in doubt...look behind the spots...large areas that are obviously saturated are a different story.
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:18 PM   #7
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The boat is in S. Florida. I'm assuming a combination of humidity and the boat sitting unused for extended periods without any air circulation in the cabin was the cause. I don't think it's anything sinister like having been sunk or that there is a ton of mold or mildew lurking in the shadows. Anyways, I'd hope that is something that would come out in a good survey. I was just wondering if that is something that could be fixed. Maybe replacing the material is the only option .
For a Florida boat, the preventive fix is running the AC 24 x7 and/or having a dehumidifier. The maintenance fix might require some form of bleach product.
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Old 02-04-2015, 04:10 PM   #8
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MrJim: In Florida mildew happens. I wipe down the bulkheads regularly -- it's not a problem in the summertime when everything is wide open and it's breezy. This time of the year however the humidity and differences between inside and outside temperatures almost mandate mildew.

Bleach works (that new Clorox spray) and so too does hydrogen peroxide. The vinyl and gelcoat interiors are relatively easy to clean.

What concerns me is the mildew you saw under windows and at panel joints. That could/might be a far bigger issue than simple cleaning can take care of -- be aware.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:27 AM   #9
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In S. Fl all that is required is better ventilation.

AC or dehumidifiers can run $1.00 to $5.00 per day , so are seldom left on a boat for 5 or 6 months while the owner is gone.

We remove a hatch or the companion way doors and build a box with a house rooftop turbine vent .

This will usually remove enough moist air to not have green growth.

Before leaving the vessel scrub every surface as the green stuff eats grease .

The boat must have no deck leaks etc. for ventilation to work.

Yes most paints will stick well to plastic wall or overhead covering.

Some success has been had with buttoning the boat as air tight as can be done and mixing up a couple of bottles of home brew Mustard Gas , leaving an uncapped wine bottle in each cabin.

I would give the formula (everything is probably under your sink) but dont want to end up on the NO FLY list.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:08 AM   #10
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In S. Fl all that is required is better ventilation.

I would give the formula (everything is probably under your sink) but dont want to end up on the NO FLY list.

And you don't think just the above statement will put you on "the list "?

Just remember big brother is watching.. especially the internet



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Old 02-06-2015, 06:38 AM   #11
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AS A life long Conservative , I am already on the IRS list for civil rights denial.

With a Carry Permit , I am on the list for gun confiscation,

Being X military ,on the list for roundup and re education ,, same as for being Christian ,

As a property owner I am already on the list for confiscation , and death taxes.

The No Fly list would only be a problem If we could not sail out in time.
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:45 PM   #12
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Haha, a carry permit, no such thing here in NJ.

Oh mildew, yes you have good advice in previous posts that bleach will get rid of surface mildew. IF that's all it is great! You did not mention how the boat smelled, which maybe a clue as to the extent of the mildew. I would suspect a boat with extensive mildew would smell like it?
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:51 AM   #13
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It is a rare boat that doesn't developed mildew in dead spaces below decks...such as between the hull and the back of cabinets, drawers, etc.....

If the boat has enough air circulation in the cabins...they can be pretty fresh smelling...mine always have been...but if I look behind and under things...there's mildew.

The trick is to figure out if it is a nearly permanent problem from saturated p,aces on the boat and nearly unfilled leaks due to design errors...or just stuff that reoccurs but can be wiped away.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:10 AM   #14
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Dead spaces behind mounted items is common and on some boats will cause rot.

The only reason for this is either rotten design or poor construction .

Herrishoff published how to install the ceiling and joiner work over 100 years ago.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:21 AM   #15
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Dead spaces behind mounted items is common and on some boats will cause rot.

The only reason for this is either rotten design or poor construction .

Herrishoff published how to install the ceiling and joiner work over 100 years ago.
OK...but none of the trawlers today...or for that matter any boat Ive been on lately comes near one of his designs.

What's funny the more expensive the boat, the tighter it is usually and more prone to issues unless the AC/heat/dehumidifier runs full blast with every opening open and powerful fans blowing.

Reality is...most boats have dead spaces where mildew can be found unless like bridge painting, you start at one end....and repeat the process continuously.

The other reality...big deal unless you are extremely allergic or you can't keep it out of living spaces and you knock it back every once and awhile to keep it under control.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:08 AM   #16
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I just bought a34" marine trader that sat un covered for 3 years it has allot of mold issues I'm using bleach on the nonporous surfaces and A solution of BORAX dissolved in warm water (1 cup BORAX to 1gallon water) on porous surfaces


it is working .spray then wipe off the spots don't rinse the borax off it continues to fight the spores that are in porus materials like wood and fabric
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:10 PM   #17
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It is a lot of work to get rid of the mold milder and its smell. It will be in all the hidden spaces as well. First a clean dry bilge. Then wiping all surfaces with dilute bleach. I have had luck borrowing an ozone generator but a non stop dehumidifier plus a small fan for circulation and tea tree gel containers spread around this stuff over months seemed to kill off or stop regrowth. After all that stuff my boat had no old moldy boat smell.


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Old 02-07-2015, 04:23 PM   #18
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Condensation on interior hull surfaces does my boat in as far as mildew in dead spaces....

On my boat it has nothing to do with dry bilge....

I'm guessing totally insulated boats with no standing water and low interior humidity can avoid it or close..but most boats sweat in some places whether the bilge is dry or not. So be vigilant even with a dry bilge.
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:18 PM   #19
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As to the "paint" the broker was speaking about, it's vinyl spray dye. You can get it at many auto parts store and of course at automotive paint supply stores. It does more than just lie on the surface of the vinyl like most paints do.

As to the mildew or mold, as others have said it may not be that big a deal. Just dig a bit deeper and see.

You could also call these guys to check it out. http://bluestarmarineinc.com
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:35 PM   #20
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Thank goodness, the only mold I've seen recently is over-ripe fruit in the refrigerator and old bread. Otherwise, bleach on inorganic surfaces sounds good to me if there is plenty of ventilation during the application.
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