Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Cabin / Mildew in Cabin
Author Mildew in Cabin
Billy Fender
Lexington, SC

Boat Name:

Model/Year: Cat 22, 1981

Hull No. 10081

Hailing Port: Lake Murray, Columbia, SC
11/03/2007 1:02 PM Pacific Time

I just bought a 1981 Cat 22, After removing cushions, covers, we have found a treat deal of mildew, etc. underneigh. It's not real wet, and it looks like just years of neglect. Anyhow, what would be the best way to get this cleaned out and back on the right track?

Thomas Jay Holz
Amsterdam, NY

Boat Name: CjAndeai

Model/Year: C-22 1989

Hull No. 15021

Hailing Port: Great Sacandaga Lake
11/03/2007 4:38 PM Pacific Time

Hi Billy,
If your talking about mildew on the fiberglass and on the wood under the cushions, I have used X-14 mildew remover. It works great. I spray every place that I can reach, and wipe dry, and in some places that I can't reach, I spray a little and let it dry on it's own. The only other cleaner that I use, inside and outside, is Soft Scrub with bleach. To make it smell better inside, I buy dryer sheets, and toss'em around the cabin between sailing trips. Jay
R. C. Luiken
Milford, DE

Boat Name: Ricochet

Model/Year: C-22 Swing Keel/1986

Hull No. 13560

Hailing Port: Milford, DE/St. Michaels, MD
11/04/2007 5:11 AM Pacific Time

I use 1/2 cup of bleach in a gallon of water. It works well on fiberglass and wood surfaces.

R. C. Luiken
Geoff Endris
Carmel, IN

Boat Name: Repose

Model/Year: 1989

Hull No. 14949

Hailing Port: Indianapolis, IN
11/04/2007 7:53 AM Pacific Time

Keep in mind that Soft Scrub is an abrasive cleaner. It actually takes off a thin layer of gel coat each time you use it. If you just need to get rid of the mildew, the diluted bleach solution or the X-15 is better. I always keep a spray bottle of diluted bleach on the boat.
Lynn Van Hooser
Arlington, Texas

Boat Name: High Maintenance

Model/Year: C-22/1973

Hull No. 2902

Hailing Port: Lake Arlington Yacht Club
11/05/2007 7:00 PM Pacific Time

I used Soft-scrub once and I bet it does take off some of the gel. Go for the Bleach and water. I helped someone clean a boat that was in similiar shape and bleach and lots of sunshine and fresh air did the trick. Good luck.

Lynn Van Hooser
Lynn Buchanan
Nevada City, CA

Boat Name: SAILYNN

Model/Year: SWING 1984

Hull No. 11994

11/06/2007 11:05 AM Pacific Time

I used 50% white vinegar to 50% water in a spray bottle to get the areas not reachable with hands. Bleach leaves a strong smell and is not safe for the marine environment.
Perry Davids
Bellevue, Washington

Boat Name: Pobocca

Model/Year: 1978 C22

Hull No. 6370

Hailing Port:
11/06/2007 9:21 PM Pacific Time

Re Bleach - It is probably the most environmentally friendly cleaning product that can be used.

Check out the info on the web or wherever and see!
ronkonkoma NY

Boat Name: Shamus 2

Model/Year: 1986

Hull No.

Hailing Port:
09/22/2008 11:31 AM Pacific Time

Hi, Im new at boating and I just purchased a 1986 Catalina 25 and was wondering if it would be ok to take a power/pressure washer to the inside/cabin floor. Are there any drains or pumps that would help drain the water if I did? I know I have a cockpit pump for water up there.
Lynn Buchanan
Nevada City, CA

Boat Name: SAILYNN

Model/Year: SWING 1984

Hull No. 11994

09/27/2008 12:06 AM Pacific Time

usually the pump in the cockpit of a c25 is for the bilge below your floor boards. also an automatic pump maybe located below the floor boards in the cabin. i've used a pressure washer and it puts out a lot less water than you would think. try not to get water between the hull and the interior lining. complete drying with moving air is the best way to go afterwards. boat dealers call that kind a boat a "fire hose washer". i got a tip from the head of boat maint. of a large charter/school in san francisco bay on how to control mildew. spray and wipe the interior fiberglass with 50/50 water and white vinegar. did it to my c22 before laying up in winter which is covered with 2-3 feet of snow and come spring, there was no mildew.
Greenville, SC

Boat Name: Kemo Sabe

Model/Year: C-22 , 1973

Hull No. 2229

Hailing Port:
09/27/2008 5:00 PM Pacific Time

Hey Billy!
I had the same problem when I acquired an abandoned C22 off Lake Russell down near ASC. The boat was half full of water and was terribly mildewed.

I removed EVERYTHING from the boat and bought chlorox, but mostly used Chlorox clean up in the spray bottles. Dragged a water hose in the boat and squirted the boat's interior down and then, began spraying chlorox clean up inside the whole boat. Chlorox clean up removes the mildew without touching it, for the most part. I chloroxed th boat's interior flushed with a waterhose/rubbing as necessary with a brush. Use the clean up/chlorox Liberally! Unless you want to ruin your clothes, use old ones. :) And, don't be afraid of using the wife's rubber gloves.

Occassionally, I would take my portable hand held bilge pump, the bicycle pump type, and pump the bilge water out into a bucket, then dump it in the cockpit when pumping out the interior's accumulated water. Make sure the boat is level, or you can use your trailer's tongue jack to get a little aft lean so the water will drain from under the interor pan. Take off the backrest of the port settee back rest so you can do the aft, undercockpit areas too. It's easier to pump out that water from inside the cabin, since the underneath cockpit area runs forward very easily.

What you are planning on doing can't be done by 'remote control'. You've got to want to get in there with it and 'git er done' brother! And, once you get the boat's stuff out of it, the cleaning part will not take you more than an hour or two, if that. You'll be surprised at how easy it goes with the spray bottles of mildew hating chlorox. It's cheap, too.

My boat was on a trailer in the back yard and I had a box fan laying over the front hatch sucking the fumes out! You'll need something like that, especially if you use Chlorox. But, who knows? Maybe you'll have some nice windy day like the past week!

You'll be proud of the interior when you are done and with the Chlorox clean up it won't even take all that long. Try a little on some spots and see what happens.

HOpe to see you on Murray one of these days if I can ever get my boat down there. Our place is above The Gap, and a bit above The Saluda.
Kemo Sabe
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