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Does your boat have BO?

Phil Herring

Dethroned Admin
Mar 25, 1997
4,847
Hunter 450 Bainbridge Island
Bilge Odor. It can strike at any time, sending your guests and crew screaming into the night.

We all wish it could be neutralized with Ice Blue Secret (Strong enough for a man, made for a boat?)... but no such luck.

How do you keep your bilge clean and smelling like a proverbial rose? Lotions, potions, scrubbing, or painting, what works for you?

secret.jpg
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,032
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Ours is always dry. The dripless shaft seal helps.
No one does number 2 on board. We're just lake cruisers so it's easy to enforce.
 
Mar 20, 2011
594
Hunter 31_83-87 New Orleans
Clean the bilge and keep it dry. Run a “programmable“ dehumidifier when at the dock to maintain moisture levels around 50-55%. regularly pump out the holding tank. And +1 on Peggy Hall’s book
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,032
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
No one does number 2 on board.
Toilet waste goes into a holding tank...any odor from the tank can only go out the tank vent. So how does a prohibition against flushing solid waste prevent bilge odor???
You left out the part about keeping the bilge dry. The rest was about "boat BO"
 

CarlN

.
Jan 4, 2009
578
Ketch 55 Bristol, RI
If the odor is diesel or sewage - something needs to be fixed not cleaned or covered up.

If the odor is mildew or "musty", spray and wipe with this inexpensive home-made mildew cleaner top rated by Practical Sailor. It doesn't stain or smell. The ingredients are very safe (they all are used in food products). If you mist a coat on after cleaning and let it dry it will retard mildew coming back. (and getting a dehumidifier will help even more) :

1 quart hot water
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons Borax
1 tablespoon TSP (available in the paint aisle at a hardware store)
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,664
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
In season, there is always some (an inch or two) water in the deep bilge of Xmas. But there is never an odor. I think that is the result of good ventilation which is a great cleaner.

During the off season we pull the garboard plug to drain the bottom of the deep bilge. Good ventilation again cleans the whole boat all winter long.
 
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Likes: jon hansen
Apr 3, 2015
7
Hunter 27 Chicago
When I got my boat it had been abandoned and filled with 18" of water for 5 years. After much renovation I still couldn't get the odor out. It was that wonderful blend of mold, sanitary hoses leaking, diesel and everything imaginable that could stink. The real stink to me was that I am 50 years designing, applying, installing and servicing home and building HVAC systems and all the tricks I tried weren't working to my satisfaction. Then my daughter bought me one of these:
https://www.amazon.com/Enerzen-Comm...home-garden&sprefix=enerzen,garden,163&sr=1-4
How on earth could my graphic designer child come up with a solution???
Now after an outing I turn this little gizmo on and lock up the boat returning a few days later and it is remarkable how well it works. I even kills mold. I have since found out big hotel chains use these things to clear odors from their rooms when they have problems. For me it has been very successful and inexpensive. We are on our 4th year of using it. During the winter when the boat is "sleeping" I bring it home to get rid of the funky odors in the basement of my 110 year old home. Works there also!
Now if I could just get the lingering odor out of the cushions all would be wonderful.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,146
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Now after an outing I turn this little gizmo on and lock up the boat returning a few days later and it is remarkable how well it works.
Gizmo is an ozone generator. A simple web search pops up this cautionary message

Whether in its pure form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs. Relatively low amounts of ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and lung irritation.Feb 17, 2016​
Allergy Clean Environments | › pro...
Problems with Ozone Generators and Ionizers that Produce Ozone ...
 
Apr 3, 2015
7
Hunter 27 Chicago
Yes the guy that does it for a living is well aware of all that. This is why you don't just sit in front of this puppy while it is on huffing the delightful vapors. It is best to turn it on and leave. Returning in a few days has allowed the ozone to dissipate to levels which are not harmful or irritating and realize the usefulness of the unit.
 
Jan 24, 2017
568
Hunter 34 Toms River Nj
two things,
1) wife broke a bottle of Victoria secret Perfume in the head few years ago still smell's pretty good.
2) bath and body works mini air freshener spray, they last fore hours.
⛵⛵⛵⛵⛵⛵
 

NYSail

.
Jan 6, 2006
2,742
Beneteau 423 Mt. Sinai, NY
Clean the bilge with soapy water and rinse. If there are areas you can't get to like weep holes, flood the bilge with warm soapy water, let it sit for a while, then empty, fill again with fresh water and empty then rinse and let dry.
 
Aug 28, 2006
493
Bavaria 35E seattle
When I got my boat it had been abandoned and filled with 18" of water for 5 years. After much renovation I still couldn't get the odor out. It was that wonderful blend of mold, sanitary hoses leaking, diesel and everything imaginable that could stink. The real stink to me was that I am 50 years designing, applying, installing and servicing home and building HVAC systems and all the tricks I tried weren't working to my satisfaction. Then my daughter bought me one of these:
https://www.amazon.com/Enerzen-Commercial-Industrial-Deodorizer-Sterilizer/dp/B00JAP7388/ref=sr_1_4?crid=65SNSQMIK2KP&keywords=enerzen+ozone+generator&qid=1580905974&s=home-garden&sprefix=enerzen,garden,163&sr=1-4
How on earth could my graphic designer child come up with a solution???
Now after an outing I turn this little gizmo on and lock up the boat returning a few days later and it is remarkable how well it works. I even kills mold. I have since found out big hotel chains use these things to clear odors from their rooms when they have problems. For me it has been very successful and inexpensive. We are on our 4th year of using it. During the winter when the boat is "sleeping" I bring it home to get rid of the funky odors in the basement of my 110 year old home. Works there also!
Now if I could just get the lingering odor out of the cushions all would be wonderful.
I've read that ozone generators are not good for electronics nor wiring. They should be used very sparingly. Wish I could locate an article right now, but check out the risks to electronics.