Mold on the boat

Hcard

Member II
I notice i have white dust on certain parts of my boat an my daugher started caughing. I assume is mold..please see pics . cam anybody recommend how to deal with mold on the boat please? Many thanks...
 

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Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Florida? Yep... mold and mildew.
Others in the deep South should some cleaning and surface preserving ideas.

Up here in a colder climate, but with a lot of winter damp, we varnished out our interior. Lot of work, but we are pleased with the look and function. Lots of other correct answers, tho.
 

goldenstate

Member III
Blogs Author
I will be interested to hear what others say, but what I have been told and what makes sense to me given my experience with mold in other contexts is as follows:

Mold thrives in damp, dark conditions. Your best means of battling mold is to keep your boat dry (and light too, if possible).

1. Where is moisture getting in? Fix your leaks.

2. Keep the air inside the boat moving and warmish if possible. I have two fans the I leave running inside my boat (berthed with shore power). The moving air helps to keep things dry.

3. Get to you boat and get it aired out as frequently as possible. If you have a leak and water accumulates, then your cabin becomes a greenhouse of damp air. Open the hatches, open the companionway, let the humidity normalize.

4. I know some people in more humid climates use de-humidifiers. It would be overkill for me in Northern California. If you have shore power accessible, this will be another way to keep your interior dry. Set up the water accumulated to drain to a bilge or some other appropriate system.

For cleaning, use a Home Depot mold cleaner solution, or make some with bleach and water.
 

jtsai

Member II
For quick solution, wipe down with 50/50 water and vinegar. If you are in humid climate, frequent application of lemon helps, I had good luck using Wieman lemon oil.
 

MCD

Member I
Getting the same problem as we started living aboard in the Northern California winter.
We will probably go for the vanishing solution as we are trying to follow good habits along the lines of goldenstate ones.
How often do you vanish your interior Loren? Did you do several coats once and now rely on them for a couple of years, or are you repeating the process every year? Just trying to figure out what I'm signing up for.

Good luck Hcard!

--
Marie
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
We find that once varnished, the interior is done for ... decades.... There is little UV hitting it except thru a port light. Try to get at least 5 coats on. Some areas that I wimped out on, with only 3 coats are looking a bit rough after a few years. My friends that do this for money all specify 8 coats or more for a lasting surface.
The general answer is that once you get to a hard surface, you are done forever, on the interior wood.
I would prefer a semigloss, to help hide my finishing blemishes , but the Admiral insists on gloss , so "gloss' it is. What with first cleaning with TeaKa A&B to get back to the original golden teak appearance, we do love the way the refinishing has brightened up the whole interior.

Varnish on any wood on the outside of the boat is a whole other story, tho. Sun/UV and water really affects it, yearly. Ick.
That's why our new handrails are SS............
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Somewhat related to mold:

 

CTOlsen

Member III
if you are able to maintain electrical power to the boat, such as at a dock, then use a dehumidifier. I bought one through eBay ($100.00) and run it while we're not onboard. I installed a drain hose which allows it to drain to the galley sink. This stopped the mold completely.
If you are in the southern climates, they you may need a bit larger capacity dehumidifier. I had a larger one when we kept the boat in the Southern Chesapeake. Again, it kept mold at bay, but required a larger unit.
 

Double Tap

Member I
I’ve hung some “DampRid” moisture absorber bags in the cabin and the bucket variant in the head.
We’ve used them for years in our horse trailer tack room and living quarters and has substantially helped in keeping the saddles and tack from getting moldy and it’s amazing how much moisture it pulls out of the air.
 

JPS27

Member III
Somewhat related to mold:

Christian, How has the rustoleum and brightside white held up to date? (or did I not read far enough?)
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Very well--they're in a box in the garage (I had bought new ones for the boat).:)

But the painted cowl vent on the 32-3 was still going strong after four years until it got knocked overboard by a genoa sheet.
 

G Kiba

Member III
Dehumidifier. I run it when I leave the boat. Fills up in about a week but has an overflow hose that I run to the sink. Boat feels a lot warmer when I get there. Get a unit that lets you set the % humidity. SF Bay Area is really damp at times. I miss Summer already.
 

goldenstate

Member III
Blogs Author
Also, @Hcard Hugo, on your original point, your cabinet doors could also simply be water damage to the varnish/finish.

I can't quite tell where that cabinet is (the head I think?) but that white matter may just be from wet pants rubbing up against the wood grain for 30 years.

You may have mold, but down in the bilge and other hidden dark places seem more likely than the outside of this wood cabinet door. Hope you daughter is doing okay and Happy New Year!
 

jtsai

Member II
I recently tried Concrobrum, which is basically same as the formula B referred in earlier post. It worked amazing well wiping off mildew from interior vinyl and wood with a fine mist and they did not return (so far). Be gentle on stained wood, it lighten the wood where I tested.

I wish I had discovered this product earlier for my last boat, Sabre 28. The factory interior stain contains linseed oil, mildew/mold apparently attracts to linseed oil. Wiping down with 50/50 vinegar and water was a ritual.
 

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Cbuydos

Member I
I just went through this on our Olson 34. There is not a quick fix and you have to hit it strait on. You have to kill/eliminate the mold spores. Hard surfaces, can be a wipe down with the right cleaner designed to kill mold spores. Wood, if caught early, can be a wipe down or light sanding or special wood cleaner. If its been in the wood a long time, then it will be a project or complete replacement. The Olson 34 has a carpet hull liner so we cleaned and then vacuumed to make sure the spores are all removed. From there, a full boat cleaning is in order. Pay attention to the bottom of you floor boards. That was the culprit on our boat. We are in the process of putting in a new teak and holly floor boards. The bottoms an edges will be sealed this time around so the mold can’t penetrate. It’s a lot of elbow grease, but if you do it right the first time, it just becomes preventative maintenance from there each year. A dehumidifier will go a long way if you have access to shore power. Not only will it help to fight the mold, you will arrive at a boat with less of that typical locked up boat smell and simply more comfortable overall.
 

gulfcoaster

Member III
I notice i have white dust on certain parts of my boat an my daugher started caughing. I assume is mold..please see pics . cam anybody recommend how to deal with mold on the boat please? Many thanks...
Get a small dehumidifier and place it on the galley counter. Drop the drain hose in the sink. No dampness, no mold, no smell, water drains through the sink...
 

frick

Member III
 
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