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How to clean under the floor pan...a thought

Discussion in 'Marine Plumbing and Sanitation' started by Dan_Y, Jun 22, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Dan_Y

    Dan_Y

    Joined Oct 13, 2008
    438 posts, 41 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Hampton
    As seems to be with other Hunters, there is thin/cosmetic floor pan covering the unfinished hull in the bottom of every locker, cabinet, etc., that all have holes and drain into the hull and eventually into the bilge through weep holes. I scrub the bilge occasionally and try to mop up nusience rain and salt water that finds its way in to keep it dry.

    With warm weather back, I notice a funky smell on the hot days when we open the boat that I wouldn’t associate with sanitation. My thought was to mix up a few gallons of either SCOE X10 or K.O., and dump several quarts in every floor pan that has a drain hole when we are taking a day sail to make sure it gets sloshed around in the hull before it drains into the bilge. Maybe I read this in Peggy’s 1st edition?

    Is there a downside to this approach?
    Thx
    Dan
     


  2. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,814 posts, 509 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    Unfortunately when it comes to cleaning a bilge there is no substitute for manual labor. But you can minimize it with a power washer.
    --Peggie
    "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
     


  3. smokey73

    smokey73

    Joined Oct 26, 2010
    576 posts, 102 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US Beaufort, SC
    Peggie, I don't think it is cleaning the bilge that he is talking about. From his post I think he has that pretty well done. It seems he is talking about "hidden" areas under the floor pan that all drain (slowly and probably not completely) to the bilge through weep holes between the various hidden areas and eventually to the bilge. Its those hidden pockets of water that he is trying to "freshen" or at least "defunk". Any ideas on that one?
     


  4. Allan12210

    Allan12210

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    1,397 posts, 142 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Alameda CA
    I have used a power washer in that interstitial gap between the hull liner and the hull. I find every hole where things pass through and blast away in all directions. Eventually crud appears in the lowest part of the bilge as water drains out the various limber holes. I blast through them as well. It does help with odors as well. I switched to a dripless seal years ago so my bilge and inter layers normally stay dry.

    BTW, that liner is quite important in the strength of the hull. It has the molded stringers that give rigidity to a rather thin hull thickness.
     


  5. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,814 posts, 509 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    Yes...a power washer. It's the only thing that can get detergent and water into those areas of the bilge to flush it out into the rest of the bilge where it's easy to flush out. Just "freshening" and/or "defunking" is like taking a bath with your clothes on and only washing exposed body parts....plus, you'd have to do it a LOT more often than actually CLEANING it.
    --Peggie
    "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
     


  6. smokey73

    smokey73

    Joined Oct 26, 2010
    576 posts, 102 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US Beaufort, SC
    Sorry Peggie, I wasn't thinking of those areas as part of the bilge but I can see the error of my ways. The power wash into the area between the liner and the hull seems like the way to go. Would it be advisable to put in some sort of soap, cleaner or deodorizer into the space first and let is slosh around before the pressure washing.
     


  7. Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Peggie Hall HeadMistress

    Joined Dec 2, 1997
    6,814 posts, 509 likes
    - -
    US LIttle Rock
    Yes, but detergent only. When those areas are clean you won't need any deodorizers.

    A somewhat more drastic step might be to install a hatch in the sole above that area. Boat builders put far too few hatches in boats because a hatch costs more than just more flooring material. The cabin sole isn't structural, so there's no reason not to open it up to gain access to parts of the bilge that need cleaning. My last boat was a "project" boat I bought from an estate. I had 3 hatches installed when I replaced the 1970s shag carpet (!) with teak parquet. It wasn't expensive--just required cutting out a rectangular hole, binding the edges of the hole and the hatch and putting a recessed ring pull in the hatch. Definitely made cleaning the bilge forward of the engine room a whole BUNCH easier! And I could leave the hatches open which helped it dry out faster and more completely.

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


  8. GorillaToast

    GorillaToast

    Joined Sep 2, 2011
    1,010 posts, 50 likes
    Hunter 27 Cherubini
    US Alum Creek State Park
    Forgive my ignorance, but how do you manage to get the wand of a power washer into those small areas?
     


  9. Dan_Y

    Dan_Y

    Joined Oct 13, 2008
    438 posts, 41 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Hampton
    Was concerned about power washing due to the potential for exposing any plywood areas. But found this video from 2007 on the building of Hunter Marine boats. At 3:54 and 4:40 it shows the structural grid and then the grid being bonded to the hull. Looks like fiberglass only in that space. Will still snoop around with my inspection camera. I’ll have to make a custom wand for my power washer though...or try a hose and nozzle. We have great pressure at the marina.
     


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