The #1 rule — if the boat smells there’s a reason, a culprit waiting to be discovered and the culprit is likely better at playing hide n seek than you are at finding the source of the smell! Need help finding the issue? Peggie Hall, affectionately known to cruisers as “The Headmistress” has updated, revised & expanded her best selling “Get Rid of Boat Odors – A Boat Owner’s Guide to Marine Sanitation Systems and Other Sources of Aggravation and Odor”
With chapters like: Choosing and Installing a System, Flush With Success!, Getting Rid of Boat Odors, To Everything There Is a Season as well as an excellent troubleshooting section, “The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors” expands on “how to eliminate annoying odors on your boat by treating the source instead of perfuming the symptoms. It covers all aspects of marine sanitation as well as other odor-causing problems like dirty bilge areas in an easy to understand format. The focus is to instruct the reader on how to resolve odor problems, not just disguise them. In addition there are extensive appendices providing detailed contact information on equipment manufacturers and schematics of most major brands and models of marine toilets that will allow the reader to make necessary repairs with a high degree of confidence.”
Starting with “Boat Odors Are Not All In Your Head”, The Getting Rid of Boat Odors chapter covers everything from how to know if your head hoses are causing the smell to bilge odors, sea water intake odors, sump odors, chain/anchor locker odors and trapped water odors. The premise is that you can’t eliminate any odor until you first discover the source of that odor.
This book was our first resource when diagnosing head issues guiding us to the culprit that early on in our boat owning careers, we didn’t even know existed. The infamous “joker valve” which needs to be replaced annually – we didn’t even know there WAS such a thing, let alone how to replace it. Peggie explains the way it works and how to replace it. P.S. Even Peggie admits she’s clueless on WHY it’s called a joker valve. 🙂
If you’re lucky enough to be installing a new toilet system, the book covers issues like “what size holding tank do I need” and “replacing an existing toilet”. If you’re maintaining a system purchased with the boat, there’s the invaluable “Flush With Success” chapter covering important issues like the best way to lubricating the head, troubleshooting and when to consider replacing vs rebuilding your head. In the back there are exploded parts diagrams (with part numbers and manufacturer tech support telephone numbers) for more than 10 of the most used heads aboard and even several macerator pumps including brand names such as Raritan, Groco, Jabsco, Dometic, Bosworth and more.
All in all, this book should be high on your priority for shelf space aboard. You may not need it today, but believe me, when you need it, you NEED it! 🙂 For more tips on getting rid of general boat odors, click here. Cheers! Jan