Unpleasant sweet smell in salon

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ras737, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. ras737

    ras737 New Member

    29
    Feb 7, 2010
    Westerly,RI
    2008 44 Sundancer
    Cummins
    I own a 2008 44 Sundancer that has had this ongoing problem since last spring. It seems to be the strongest in the compartment where the salon AC is, in fact when that AC unit is on it intensifies the odor. I have tried just about everything. Bilges and sumps are spotless, there is no sign of water or mold. This issue has plagued me the whole entire season. The boat has been out of water since early October and still has this odor. Since it's below freezing here in the Northeast I suspect that this is not organic. Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated? Also, has anyone else had this sweet odor? It's not your typical boat smell. It's not musty or foul like from a bad waste hose. Thanks.
     
  2. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    Antifreeze?
     
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  3. bobeast

    bobeast Dance the Tide SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 22, 2017
    Isleton, CA
    2002 310DA
    350 MPI w/V-drives
    Fiberglass resin is often described as having a sweet smell. Has there been any recent glass work done on your boat, perhaps just prior to your purchase?

    Personally I enjoy that smell but I'm sure it's up to the nose of the beholder.
     
  4. Pirate Lady

    Pirate Lady Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2020
    Chesapeake, Middle River
    91 250 Sundancer, gorgeous, no you can’t buy it.
    454 Bravo 1.
    Wife using new fabric softener on the bedding? Happened to me but I figured it out the first day so maybe not obvious. Some of that stuff can gag you.
     
  5. bahamabreisus

    bahamabreisus Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Hampstead NC
    500 dancer, previous 420,390,300 dancers
    detriot 8v92
    Check the pan under the AC unit. Could be stale condensate.
     
  6. Tacoma290

    Tacoma290 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    381
    Oct 5, 2006
    Tacoma, WA
    340 Sundancer 2007
    Twin 8.1 V-drives
    Check the filter on the heat pump. Some filters can be scented.
     
  7. Pirate Lady

    Pirate Lady Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2020
    Chesapeake, Middle River
    91 250 Sundancer, gorgeous, no you can’t buy it.
    454 Bravo 1.
    Then again if it smells like a French brothel, you could re-decorate the boat in red and black . Don’t ask me how I know.
     
  8. Carpediem44DB

    Carpediem44DB Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2015
    Sanfransico Bay area
    2000 Carver 506
    2006 44 DB Sedan Bridge
    Volvo TAMD 74 P
    How about a dead mouse in the ducting some where? Usually it fades faster but if it's humid and mild the smell can linger a long time.
     
  9. ras737

    ras737 New Member

    29
    Feb 7, 2010
    Westerly,RI
    2008 44 Sundancer
    Cummins
    I want to thank everyone for their input. My first thought was the nontoxic antifreeze that we all use for the potable water system. Unfortunately I could not find any signs of it despite having checked just about every nook and cranny that was accessible. I even used a flexible borescope to get to hard to see places. No signs of water, moisture, mold or antifreeze. Keep in mind this smell is completely isolated to the salon area. Engine room is not affected. Forward stateroom is only affected if I keep door open. My focus now is what I think might be a stringer that runs along the area adjacent to the water manifold which is located under TV in the aft cabin. Approximately 5 feet forward of the manifold appears to be three factory drilled holes. Could these be drain holes? If so where do they drain to? Please see attached photo. I tried unsuccessfully to get borescope into that area. I will try again later this week. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  10. endless seas

    endless seas Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Baltimore,Maryland
    1997 450 DA
    Cat 420
    Have you used simple green for cleaning?
     
  11. joeyleggz

    joeyleggz Well-Known Member

    827
    Jan 15, 2013
    long island
    current boat: 1997 sea ray 330 express cruiser
    twin 454's efi
    Those three holes through the stringer I believe are just pass through drain holes from another section that might hold water allowing it to get to the lowest point and drain off at the bilge pump‘s they look spotless like no water has ever passed through them I think you were on the right track regarding the AC unit .have you had an opportunity to check the vents? If the smell was stronger when the AC was running there might’ve been a good chance it was coming through the AC? Have you checked the AC filter? I feel your pain that would drive me crazy to
     
  12. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    Here are a couple of ideas -
    Odor can migrate up the HVAC condensate pan drain line and sucked right through air return - a little Clorox down that line does wonders.
    Odor may be in the galley and the AC system moving it. Look to the refer condensate pan and drain line.
    Garbage can area in the galley - that area is closed and can hold odors also.
    Galley sink drain...
    Last but not least - move all of the solon cushions and any other loose items to the stateroom and close the door to see what happens.
     
  13. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    C3B49088-512B-4AB9-94F5-014A419D1003_sRGB.JPG
    Run an ozone generator in it for several hours. Should get rid of all your odors.
     
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  14. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    Here is one strictly from left field, but I've seen it done and experienced the sweet odor in an isolated area just as you described.

    A few years ago I flew to South Florida to look at several boats that a friend was considering........a 55 Viking Cov. a 50 Viking Conv., a Hatteras Sport fish, a newish Bertram, and a Whiticar. All shown by one zrokerwho was a very professional guy and quick to see that I wasn't a customer that he could B.S. After the second boat with "that smell" he admitted that on most used boats they put a dryer sheet inside the return air filter mount to hide any unpleasant odors. The first week it is pretty strong but after a week or so, the odor goes away and isn't so bad. The Bounce fabric softener sheet will kill the stale, mildewy odor on a used boat.

    Now, I'm not familiar with your boat, but in your photo there apprears to be a plastic box with a sheet of paper in it placed up in the side wall of the boat.........tou might want to check that out, before going all MacGyver on the construction searching for the odor.


    Good luck with it..........

    Frank
     
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  15. ras737

    ras737 New Member

    29
    Feb 7, 2010
    Westerly,RI
    2008 44 Sundancer
    Cummins
    Thanks for all the good advice. I will take a closer look at the AC system. But in all honesty, I am not sure what I will find. Last summer I removed the fan unit cleaned and disinfected all ducts and AC coils, ran an ozone generator for days, and set up plastic containers that emit chlorine dioxide gas, that's in the pic that I sent. They all work initially but that damn smell always comes back. I need to get to the source and I have a feeling this is going to be a nightmare. I like the idea of disinfecting the drain line from the AC pan to the sump. This will be next on my list.
     
  16. ASH

    ASH Active Member

    256
    Dec 4, 2013
    ia
    Sundancer
    Cummins
    Your cockpit refrigerator would "share" the same air as that salon A/C area. I have snaked wires easily thru there. Could it be possible the fridge has an ammonia smell/leak from compressor or someone left some produce in there-----kidding----sort of
     
  17. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    1998 450 Sundancer, Achilles dinghy w/15hp
    3126 Cat's
    RV fridges are ammonia-based... A lot of domestic (&marine) refrigerators use R134a or a variant thereof...
     
  18. bahamabreisus

    bahamabreisus Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Hampstead NC
    500 dancer, previous 420,390,300 dancers
    detriot 8v92
    I take a wet dry vac and suck all the hose going into the sump. Take the lid off and hold the vac nozzle on each port coming into the sump. You will not believe the crap that come out of all the drains.
     
  19. Carpediem44DB

    Carpediem44DB Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2015
    Sanfransico Bay area
    2000 Carver 506
    2006 44 DB Sedan Bridge
    Volvo TAMD 74 P
    2nd on Frank's observation, sharp Eye! And I'm gonna try that on the 506 I'm buying. It has a mild boat funk that we are hyper sensitive to. Its somewhere between sanitation issue odor and mild mildew due to standing water in the bilge. I'm gonna first work on getting the bilge dry and then start up a regimen of Zaal noflex digester and system cleaner to de funkafy the boat upon close.
     
  20. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    2003 420DA, 6CTAs
    NA
    Exactly what I have been doing on the new to us 420DA....Noflex works wonders anywhere there is enough moisture to dissolve it.....

    Bennett
     
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