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Sewer like odor in bilge

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  • Sewer like odor in bilge

    I have a mako 238 which has a sewer like smell in the bilge anytime some water has a chance to sit there for a while. The boat is more bow heavy due to the weight of the cabin therefore, the water pretty much just sits in the middle of the boat until I get a chance to get underway and pump it out from the rear pump. I have tried using bilge deodorant and other of the shelf remedies to try to mask the smell but no luck. Other than drilling through the center of the boat and adding a bilge pump does anyone have any suggestions? Has anyone else had this sort of problem? I have had this boat for 7 years and every year I tell myself I'm going to get rid of this smell.

  • #2
    Sewer smell most likely means you have some rotton wood somewere. Seven years is a long time to put up with it. Time to go looking around and see were it's coming from. In the pics below you can see the dark discoleration of the wood under the fiberglass. I did not detect a smell until I opened it up and found 25 year old stinky rotton wood. Boy did it stink. Either that or you have a dead cat in there! []









    Strick
    Oakley, California

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    • #3
      Ah Yes don't you just love finding that earthworm dirt? Never mind the smell.

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      • #4
        Yea it crumbles in your hands so easy. Diver how old is your boat?

        Strick
        Oakley, California

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        • #5
          It's a 1984 238. I only get the smell when rain water gets into the bilge area and gets a chance to sit there for a couple of days in the sun. Most of the water settles in the middle of the boat where there is no pump. Once I am under way and get all of the water to travel to the pump I am able to pump it out then the smell disappears. I'm guessing it's mold that is on the underside of the foam.

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          • #6
            The thing to do is figure out how it's getting in there from the rain and stop it from getting in there.

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            • #7
              I have a good idea of where it is getting in. I cut a portion of the floor just forward of the engine (in front of the splash board)and installed a rectangular access hatch to the bilge. The seal on the hatch is not great but I can't really seal it up with silicone since I need to have access to the area on a regular basis (my outboard oil tank is just under it). I think I'm going to try to use window caulking that is in string like form to seal it off. This way I will be able to open the hatch easily at any time and just recaulk when I'm done. Any comments?

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              • #8
                Why don't you cut it out and install a 10X20 Armstrong hatch. You need to put a lip in like in the pix, so the hatch is flush with the deck.

                The Armstrong will seal it up.

                http://www.armstrongnautical.com/DckPlates.htm


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                • #9
                  The Armstrong hatch is a wonderful hatch cost about $80 to have it shipped to me in California. I followed Ringleaders advice and applied one to the rear deck of my boat for access to the bilge pump and Seacock.

                  Strick


                  Oakley, California

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                  • #10
                    The Armstrong hatch is a wonderful hatch cost about $80 to have it shipped to me in California. I followed Ringleaders advice and applied one to the rear deck of my boat for access to the bilge pump and Seacock.

                    Strick


                    Oakley, California

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                    • #11
                      The armstrong hatch sounds like a winner. I'll look into it. Thanks for the advice guys. I'll let you know how it works out once the spring rolls around.

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