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Old 11-24-2020, 09:36 PM   #1
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Odor Eater

I get to visit my boat, on average, at four to six week intervals for a few days. (Just back from a week, mostly spent [pleasantly] in the marina).


Every time I arrive, that initial opening of the cabin door, there is a "boaty" smell which hits one right in the face. Not specific to this boat, I remember it from my others. A bit of mold, petroleum products, perhaps just a soupcon of urine, just "boat". Does anyone deploy some sort of deodorizing product or device, or do we just open all the windows and/or adapt?


I don't think I'm looking for Lysol <tm>, or cover-up fragrances, more like an "odor-eater."


Peggy?


Sniffin' in Seattle
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:31 PM   #2
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Get air vents and pump air through the boat. Look at some solar vents. They will run day and night so the boat has air flowing through it all the time it is shut up. I had one in the bow taking air into the boat and one in the stern exhausting air out.
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:53 PM   #3
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Get air vents and pump air through the boat. Look at some solar vents. They will run day and night so the boat has air flowing through it all the time it is shut up. I had one in the bow taking air into the boat and one in the stern exhausting air out.
Might be the solution, but you need to realize that in Tacoma, "solar-power" is an abstraction.
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:00 PM   #4
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Maybe get one and test it before you install it and see if it works there, if not take it back.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:01 PM   #5
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We always kept a few plug-in air fresheners going all the time, usually 5-6 spread throughout the boat. Always kept it smelling nice.

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Old 11-25-2020, 12:13 PM   #6
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Nothing really works until you find out where the water and or oil is sitting. A clean bilge just does not have that boaty smell.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:16 PM   #7
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As we are full time cruisers, we don't seem to have this issue.

As stated above air flow is the key. Make sure all spills are cleaned up and don't let things like oil rags lay around. I found that I get a lot of mold on the underside my bridge canopy. I treat it with a mold killer, then I run a fan 24/7. It helps but the mold returns after about 2 months instead of every other week.

Move the air.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:42 PM   #8
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I have used a small Amazon Ozone maker with good success with the last boat. It always had that same smell. I bought some of the super pro bilge cleaner and scrubbed away. Then ran the Ozone maker for about 3 hours. After that it was fresh and clean smelling. I kept a small 6” fan running on Med all of the time. In the winter I always use a small dehumidifier that drains right into the shower stall.


Read the warnings on the Ozone maker.
It’s not good for people/pets/rubber. Using them to much will ruin anything rubber.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:44 PM   #9
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Read the warnings on the Ozone maker.
Itís not good for people/pets/rubber. Using them to much will ruin anything rubber.

WOW didn't know that. Thanks for sharing. Learn something everyday on TF!
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:45 PM   #10
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Yes, an ozone generator can attack the rubber hoses in the boat. I would just clean the bilge well and then get air flow through the boat.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:58 PM   #11
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We always kept a few plug-in air fresheners going all the time, usually 5-6 spread throughout the boat. Always kept it smelling nice.
Initially pooh-poohed this idea, but I see fragrances like sandalwood or fresh linen, and I'm intrigued.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:09 PM   #12
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Pureayer sprayed on everything before you leave, and you can inject it into long time boat smelly cushions and pillows. After wiping up any spilled or dripped diesel, I spray the surface - diesel odor GONE. I can give no better praise.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:11 PM   #13
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I have a wood boat and power vent the bilges with bilge blowers run at a very low speed. Speed is controlled by a rheostat. So the flow is in thru the deck cabin, down the stairways to the lower deck, into the bilge areas, and out. My boat smells like a house.

It's a small draw on the charging system if you're on shore power. And it could probably run off a couple solar cells. I'm near Astoria in the winter and it works here.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:18 PM   #14
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Itís not good for people/pets/rubber. Using them to much will ruin anything rubber.
If you can smell the ozone, you have too much. Adjust so you have less ozone generation.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:00 PM   #15
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If you can smell the ozone, you have too much. Adjust so you have less ozone generation.
The one I have has a simple timer. When I used it I set it for 20-30 min. And left the boat for the day. I would not use something like this when I was on the boat. It is way too strong/harmfull. It did take the Cigar smell right out of the carpet though !
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:31 PM   #16
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I recently read a review in Practical Sailor that describes a "home made" spray that helps with the growth of mold or mildew (even on soft surfaces). They gave it a fairly high review (praise). Instructions were to lightly spray it on, and let it dry. Keep your bilges as clean and dry as you can, and run a dehumidifier. Try this spray.

Formula B combined one quart hot water, two tablespoons baking soda, two tablespoons Borax, and one tablespoon TSP.

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Old 11-25-2020, 03:57 PM   #17
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Don't even THINK of resorting to Stickups or any other air freshener...they're just proof of neglected maintenance due to sheer laziness! There's only one way to eliminate odor(s): eliminate the source, which requires doing a little <GASP> manual labor occasionally. If it's a pervasive "boat odor," clean the bilge--really CLEAN it instead of just dumping some bilge cleaner into it to slosh around and turning on the bilge pump(s). If it's a sewer odor, the source is most likely permeated sanitation hoses. If it's a musty odor, wipe down all interior surfaces with a mild mixture of bleach in water. Put cushions, musty foulies and other soft goods out on deck to sit in the sunshine for a day. Clean up--instead of just "wiping up"--oil and diesel spills. Install what's needed to have fresh air circulating...leave locker doors open and drawers pulled out a little so that air can circulate through them while you're away from the boat. And yes, use PureAyre...but only AFTER you've removed the source(s) of the odor(s).


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Old 11-25-2020, 04:25 PM   #18
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Don't even THINK of resorting to Stickups or any other air freshener...they're just proof of neglected maintenance due to sheer laziness! There's only one way to eliminate odor(s): eliminate the source, which requires doing a little <GASP> manual labor occasionally. If it's a pervasive "boat odor," clean the bilge--really CLEAN it instead of just dumping some bilge cleaner into it to slosh around and turning on the bilge pump(s). If it's a sewer odor, the source is most likely permeated sanitation hoses. If it's a musty odor, wipe down all interior surfaces with a mild mixture of bleach in water. Put cushions, musty foulies and other soft goods out on deck to sit in the sunshine for a day. Clean up--instead of just "wiping up"--oil and diesel spills. Install what's needed to have fresh air circulating...leave locker doors open and drawers pulled out a little so that air can circulate through them while you're away from the boat. And yes, use PureAyre...but only AFTER you've removed the source(s) of the odor(s).


(Whew!)







--Peggie
Wifey B: Whew.....ewe.....double whew and Amen to all she wrote. And no, no,, no, no, no, no to plug in air fresheners. They're very toxic.

Don't cover odors with other odors. Remove the cause. Use bamboo or PureAyre or other safe items after that. Also, careful with ozone. Don't mask odors, remove the source.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:19 PM   #19
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You mean my purchase of 400 of those hanging Christmas trees thingies was a bad thing?
I haven't had to shower since I bought them AND I got an award for having a Christmas tree farm too.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:33 PM   #20
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Don't even THINK of resorting to Stickups or any other air freshener...they're just proof of neglected maintenance due to sheer laziness! There's only one way to eliminate odor(s): eliminate the source, which requires doing a little <GASP> manual labor occasionally. If it's a pervasive "boat odor," clean the bilge--really CLEAN it instead of just dumping some bilge cleaner into it to slosh around and turning on the bilge pump(s). If it's a sewer odor, the source is most likely permeated sanitation hoses. If it's a musty odor, wipe down all interior surfaces with a mild mixture of bleach in water. Put cushions, musty foulies and other soft goods out on deck to sit in the sunshine for a day. Clean up--instead of just "wiping up"--oil and diesel spills. Install what's needed to have fresh air circulating...leave locker doors open and drawers pulled out a little so that air can circulate through them while you're away from the boat. And yes, use PureAyre...but only AFTER you've removed the source(s) of the odor(s).


(Whew!)







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Yes ma'am... errr... No ma'am....
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