The Odorific Vessel

There is nothing worse that boarding a boat that smells bad. It is especially bad if your boat is for sale. Deodorizing a boat can be a difficult task, but worth it for all involved. Finding the source There is no sense in beginning to deodorize a boat without stopping the source of the odor first. Most of the time, the nature of the odor should give you a clue where it is coming from – sanitation problem, dirty bilges, diesel problems and exhaust problems all have their own calling card.Bad hoses

Sanitation problems – this could be either a holding tank problem, permeated sanitation hoses or even a head problem. If your system is older it very well be a combination of problems. Or it could be as simple as a leaking hose. We often replace hoses on sanitation systems as it is the usual culprit in head related odors. Make no mistake, this is a nasty job and we have to pay our employees a little bit more to do this.

Bilge problems – are caused by water sitting constantly in the bilge and going stagnant. This may or may not be an easy fix. The fix could be as simple as adding a check valve in the bilge hose. Often long runs of hose will flow back into the bilge after the bilge pump has stopped running. We have also seen cases where a pump will cycle constantly as the water that flows back in is just high enough to set off the float switch. We can assess this for you. After you have found the source of the water you will need to scour the bilges. It also helps to repaint them with a good epoxy paint. Diesel – fuels are very easily distinguishable from other odors. The primary culprit here would be a leak at the engine but we would also check the whole system from the tank to the engine. If you have old copper lines for fuel transport, we would recommend converting them to new hoses – which are less likely to leak, crack or break. Contact us if you are interested in pricing on this project. Exhaust– fumes are not only odoriferous, but deadly. If you even suspect the smell is exhaust related, do not run your engines – find the problem immediately. After the repairs are done, it is time to deodorize the boat. A good airing always helps as does a through cleaning. Don’t bother with sprays that only mask the odor. We sometimes place an ozone machine in a stinky boat to help neutralize the odors. This actually works pretty good and we have seen some customers who actually keep one on board. A boat should have no odor at all, unless you count the fresh smell of teak, the wonderful aroma of dinner cooking on the stove or the salt air coming in through the ports. Your guests will thank you.