Friday, November 30, 2012

Moldy Old Boat with a Hint of Sour Bilge

You may have read my previous post where I had tried Formby’s lemon oil and had less than fantastic results. Some months ago, I ran across the blog of a Gulf pilothouse owner who was touting the wonders of another brand, who’s name I forget.  So during the summer, I had occasion to need to entertain the girls while I did some other work.  I gave them each a rag and some of the new magic potion and they enthusiastically went to work dousing every surface in the cabin, wood or not, in lemon oil. The boat was literally dripping in lemon oil, but I figured it couldn’t hurt anything.  A few weeks later, I checked on it and was greeted with a fairly pleasant, in the context of musty old boats, odor. It had performed quite a bit better than the Formby’s.  

Fast forward a few months.  We had 12 inches of rain at the boat in the course of a week according to the bucket in the cockpit.  I entered the cockpit and was greeted with the very strong odor of moldy old boat with a hint of sour bilge!  Several leaks had gotten worse, so the humidity inside was very high.  The little Peltier junction dehumidifier just couldn’t keep up.  Upon closer inspection, every unvarnished wooden surface, which is almost every wooden surface, was fuzzy and green! 

Interestingly, the varnished surfaces were not moldy and didn’t harbor any odor. I’m now about 30% complete with an interior varnish job.

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