How Can I Keep My Bilge From Smelling?

Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The first line of defense against a stinky bilge is to keep it clean and dry, from stem to stern.

  • Regularly clean shower sump boxes, paying special attention to rinse plenty of fresh water through them.
  • If you open a seacock while doing work on the boat, clean the sea strainer and the water in the surrounding area right away. Don’t wait until next week.
  • If you have an older boat that uses salt water for toilet flushing, the salt water that has been sitting in the hose can emit a very bad odor when the toilet is flushed. Consider converting your salt water toilets over to fresh water toilet.
  • Reduce the humidity. boats are naturally a bit musty, so a dehumidifier will go a long way to help reduce the musty odor in your bilge.
  • Keep the holding tank thoroughly clean. Whenever you pump out the holding tank, use a water hose to add some fresh water to the holding tank. Pump out the tank again, and then repeat a few times: adding water and then pumping out. The repeated rinses will really help reduce your holding tank odors. As a final measure, add deodorizer and some smell treatment to the holding tank as well.

Vacuum Up the Bilge Water

If your boat has dripless shaft seals and dripless rudder boxes, you stand a good chance of keeping the bilge really dry. You may have multiple small leaks that let just a little bit of water into the bilge. Keep in mind that it can take a very long time for enough water to accumulate in the bilge to activate the bilge pump. By vacuuming the water up, even if you have just a small leak, you can keep a dry bilge. The Willy Vac® allows you to vacuum up standing water and to keep a dry bilge. For more information about the Willy Vac®, click here.