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-   -   Stubborn Boat Odor-HELP! (https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s3/stubborn-boat-odor-help-33274.html)

meridian 07-30-2017 08:04 PM

I had a shower sump with a false bottom. The pump was mounted with screws that went through. After cutting it open two gallons of 30 year old shower water ran out.

HopCar 07-30-2017 08:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoWhat (Post 578259)
Peggie sounds like she has dealt with odors before. I'd start with her protocol.

Peggie literally wrote the book on it! https://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-B.../dp/1892399784

A friend had a freezer full of bait go bad. I went to help him clean it up. I threw up ten feet from the boat. The smell permeated the insulation. He ended up throwing out the freezer.

cappy208 07-31-2017 06:18 PM

Stubborn Boat Odor-HELP!
 
Fresh water (as opposed to salt water) has its own smell and issue with growing stuff in bilges. Although salt water can smell bad too.

Where does your shower and sink drain go? You also describe shower/sink drain issues. If a drain line is cracked and allowing a 'fresh' supply it can cause this also try pouring a splash of bleach in shower drain. Then sink drain to see if it changes anything. Try one at a time. To eliminate sources.

dphillips 07-31-2017 08:21 PM

Thanks to everyone for all of the suggestions. Thanks to you, we have some new things to try.

Legend 07-31-2017 08:51 PM

Stubborn Boat Odor-HELP!
 
We had a Sabreline 36 with similar smells. Drove us crazy. We had coffee beans in bowls in every place possible. Before we sold it, for other reasons, our next step was to rent an ionizer. You may want to check on that. Works at the molecular level.

Lou_tribal 07-31-2017 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cappy208 (Post 578578)
Fresh water (as opposed to salt water) has its own smell and issue with growing stuff in bilges. Although salt water can smell bad too.

Where does your shower and sink drain go? You also describe shower/sink drain issues. If a drain line is cracked and allowing a 'fresh' supply it can cause this also try pouring a splash of bleach in shower drain. Then sink drain to see if it changes anything. Try one at a time. To eliminate sources.

I was about to post the same question about your shower drain.
where does it go? as you do not mention it I suspect it can be a source. from my own experience if you do not clean the bilge that receives the shower waste regularly it gets a bad odour (normal after all it it a sewage!).

L.

johnma 07-31-2017 09:29 PM

We had a similar issue when we bought our boat in 2007 (2003 Mainship 390). Went crazy cleaning the bilge and everywhere else to no avail. Checked all hoses from the head and they were fine. But we definitely had a sewage odor. I found that the previous owner had installed a filter in the vent line from the holding tank. I removed the filter, pumped and flushed the holding tank and the odor went away. The filter was stopping fresh air from entering the tank.
John

ranger42c 08-01-2017 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnma (Post 578617)
I found that the previous owner had installed a filter in the vent line from the holding tank. I removed the filter, pumped and flushed the holding tank and the odor went away. The filter was stopping fresh air from entering the tank.


Sometimes this might not have been completely about the fact a filter was there; instead could have been that it was an OLD filter.

Our vent filter was a factory installation. Needs changing every so often (ours last about 3x-4x longer than the filter maker would have one believe). The symptom in that case, though, is mostly outside the boat. You flush, and your neighbors drop dead.

:)

-Chris

bayview 08-01-2017 12:20 PM

one boat I owned had a smell I finally traced to a spot in the bilge that was hidden from all angles. This low spot only showed up when I Used a camera to view what I Couldn't see from all openings. Eventually I cut out a new opening sucked it dry with a shop vac and covered the hole with a metal piece since it was under carpet.
Seems the hull lowest point was well hidden.

Traced the leak to a well hidden rudder packing.

cappy208 08-01-2017 01:10 PM

Bay view brings up a good point. Not ALL leaks flow all the way down into the 'pumpable' bilge. Often an odd shape above, between or under a longitudinal or between limber holes will accumulate liquid. If you have a leak above such a crevice it may hold liquid (of any source) until it overflows to the bilge. People use dye markers to test for hose, drain and cockpit scupper integrity. Amazon. There're pretty cheap to use one in this case. Just don't do it in a confined harbor with a -0- discharge policy!!!

Comodave 08-01-2017 02:57 PM

On a previous boat it had a hollow keel that has 30+year old water in it. Cut it open and cleaned it out several times and no more smell. It was a horrible almost rotten onion smell.

David Kimmel 08-01-2017 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pgitug (Post 578237)
As a course of normal operation we always have a plastic tupperware pan of white vinegar in each bilge space. It kills mold and eats odors. After you take care of the source you may want to do this on your boat especially since you found sitting water in your bilges. [emoji41]

Great tip, never knew vinegar kills mold without apply to surface.

ABfish 08-01-2017 05:51 PM

You might want to check your refrigerator. Most have a drip pan under the doors, which catches liquid from the defrost cycle. It also catches liquid drainage from the freezer in an extended power outage.

If the meltwater is from meat or seafood, the odors can be eye-watering. (I experienced this after a hurricane-induced power outage, where the house was unoccupied for three days.)

Capstan 08-02-2017 08:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FF (Post 578277)
Plan B is an ozone generator.

It will remove cigar stench and most everything else including mold..

Marine ones are made , or you can borrow one from a friendly used car salesman who uses a unit far larger than the boat units. .

Odor Removal from Boats - Ozone Machine for Odor Removalhttps://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/d...RBhh2/1u5rQAA7


www.odorfreemachines.com/boat-odor-removal/


Boat odor removal with the OdorFree is easy and our ozone generator will keep boats smelling fresh and clean for years to come. Moisture inside marine ...

A word of caution using Ozoners. If contemplating using read up on proper use. When I was contemplating using for the Bad Monkey the
Island engineer said if ran too long they can have a detrimental effect on different types of hosing.
I didn't use and found our smell was from build up under the false bilge.
The above Ozone machine may help and sounds like designed with boats in mind but I would much rather find the cause of the problem first!

bayview 08-02-2017 10:38 AM

Vinegar, ozone etc are a waste to time until you find and eliminate the cause.

HopCar 08-02-2017 01:05 PM

I tried an ozone generator on my boat to prevent mildew. It did that but I had to ventilate the cabin before I could go in and I think it damaged the foam behind the head liner. Ozone will also damage hoses if they are exposed to it long term.

HeadMistress 08-02-2017 02:10 PM

Ozone in any concentration strong enough to do any good is not only a health hazard, it's also HIGHLY corrosive and destructive to rubber, neoprene and flexible PVC-in other words, every seal, valve and hose on a boat.

According to the EPA, "Available scientific evidence shows that, at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone is generally ineffective in controlling indoor air pollution. The concentration of ozone would have to greatly exceed health standards to be effective in removing most indoor air contaminants. In the process of reacting with chemicals indoors, ozone can produce other chemicals that can be irritating and corrosive."

As for how well the portable ozone generators work when it comes to getting rid of odors… yes, people who've bought them rave do about how well they work. And, yes, the manufacturers do assure you that the ozone concentration is well below that which can present any health hazard (but they don't tell you that's because it's required to be) But if that's true, they can't deliver enough ozone to destroy the sources of any odors. If they did deliver enough ozone to destroy the sources of odors, it should only be necessary to run one occasionally. But among all the people you know who've bought ozone generators, have you ever met anyone who has one who's ever been able to turn if off without having odors return?

That should be enough to tell you that ozone generators are only very expensive air fresheners, because they don't deliver enough ozone to be anything else. Save your money and get rid of the SOURCES of your odors. Eliminating the source is the only thing that really works.

Steve91T 08-02-2017 04:26 PM

OP, I'm glad you posted this. We have a couple of things going on with out new to us 1996 31' Mainship. When we bought the boat, no bad smells. The first time we topped off the fuel tanks, the starbord tank's fuel sender leaked. Obviously dangerous. I changed the gasket and the leak stopped, but the damage was done, there is a faint smell of gas only when the AC is on. We have cleaned and fabreezed the filters with no luck.

On top of that, the last time we left the boat, apparently I turned off the breaker to the fridge. The once frozen chicken in a 90 degree fridge 4 days later was disgusting. The fridge still has that smell even though we have cleaned everything.

Apparently odors are really tough to get rid of in boats.

HeadMistress 08-02-2017 05:54 PM

Apparently odors are really tough to get rid of in boats.

Not really if you know what works and--most importantly--how to use it. And since you, along with several others are fairly new around here, I prob'ly need to say again that I'm not in any way associated with any product or equipment manufacturer, nor do I receive any compensation whatever for recommending any product or manufacturer. My opinions are my own and my recommendations are based on my own experience and that of boat owners over several decades. And I've included most of it in my books (see link in my signature).

Now that we have that out of the way.....

There's a product called PureAyre PureAyre that will get rid of every trace of the residual odor in your fridge(fwiw, the same thing happened a couple of times on my own boat) ...it even eliminates diesel and smoke odors...and it's rated for use around food, so it's safe to use in your fridge. Amazon has it...so do pet stores...Walmart may have it. If you only have to treat the filters and the fridge, you prob'ly only need the spray bottle size, although it can't hurt to have a gallon hand 'cuz you'll never know when you'll need it again. It's the best thing I've ever found to get rid of any residual odor. The "household" version is the least expensive and works just fine on boats.

Assuming that you've already thoroughly cleaned every surface, nook and cranny in it, take everything out of it and spray PureAyre onto every surface, nook and cranny in the freezer and door too...don't just aim it at the inside of the fridge, carefully coat every milimeter of it with a fine mist that coats everything..Then prop the door open so air can circulate and let it dry overnight. Wipe it all down with a clean damp rag and stick your nose in...if you can smell anything, you missed a spot.

I don't know whether your HVAC filters can be saved or not...but you have nothing to lose by spraying those with PureAyre too. Again, cover every square milimeter from both sides, then put 'em outside in the fresh air to dry. If that doesn't work, you'll have to replace the filters.

Peggie
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein


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