Mold has been happily growing inside our sailboat while shrink wrapped over the winter. My plan is to spray it down with a bit of bleach and water and let it run into the bilge (marina's solution). Does anyone have a better idea?
Long term, we're installing a solar vent before the fall haul out.
The solar vent will be great, ventilation is the key but it's sometimes inevitable but Bleach is the worst possible thing for the fish..it kills. Please stop using it.
Vinegar, baking soda are an alternative.
I clean the boat regularly, wash down everything I can with 50/50 vinegar water solution. A friend recently told me to add the baking soda.
When you stow the boat next winter you can help keep mold at bay by leaving a bunch of eucalyptus aboard. We have 2 of those vents and those combined with the eucalyptus really did the trick when we used to store the boat.
We ended up using a very diluted solution of bleach and water and just Simple Green in most places. The mold really hadn't been as bad as the marina led us to believe. During the week we had planned to take a cruise and our engine decided to explode instead, we installed the solar vent.
I live in a northern rain forest in Sitka, Alaska. Average january mean temp is 33 F. 90 + inches of rain a year. I keep my boat in the water over the winter. Needless to say, humidity is an issue. I have found these things helpful to keep mold that thrives on the moisture under control.
1. Bleach. I wipe down all of the walls several times during the summer and once in the fall before I leave with a 10% solution. Chlorine is the active ingredient and it is in your drinking water, but it is toxic and does gas out of the water into the air. I keep the boat well ventilated until I am done
2. Calcium Chloride crystals (Dry Z air). I put 5 baskets aboard. My boat watch person changes them 3 times during the winter. In the summer, I use Damp Rid hangers in the closets.
3. During the summer cruising season, I keep my clothing and most linens in giant zip lock bags to prevent them from absorbing moisture and molding.
4. I keep the engine heat on when motoring to dry the boat out as much as possible.
5. In the winter i put in two electric heaters with fans on timers set to come on for 2 hours twice a day. They bring the temperature up to the dew point. The moisture in the air will then condense on the calcium chloride crystals.
6. For the winter I remove all mattresses, clothing, books, paper, etc and put them in a heated storage locker. I pull the seat cushions away from the walls and keep the cabinets, storage areas, bilge covers, refrigerator open so air can circulate.
I have done this for the last 13 years with good results. When I first bought the boat, it was in Seward, Alaska. There the winter temperatures were colder. I tried without the heaters and came back to a boat with frost on everything...just like the scene in Dr Zhivago...
A very good list. Thank you very much! My boyfriend was stationed in Sitka when he was in the Coast Guard and I've been in Alaska several times so we're aware of your climate. It's a beautiful part of the world.