I hate cleaning! But I hate bugs and critters even more …. years later, I can still recall the look of horror on some aquaintances faces upon returning to their beautiful Amel sailboat … they only left the boat on the hard for a couple months and somehow they had acquired a rat. Unfortunately they left food under the floorboard in their normal storage lockers. The rat apparently smelled it and wrecked havoc with the floorboards and other parts of the boat.
As much as I HATE cleaning (as anyone who knows me will attest), I’ve never wasted a week or even a few days wiping mold out of the interior of our boat when we return from a six month absence (not to say there’s not a bit of mold here or there in an unreachable corner). When we return, we’re both excited and anxious to get off cruising again … not wasting time at the dock scrubbing out an uninhabitable boat!
So as part of our process to leave Winterlude, I’m cleaning. First we remove EVERY trace of food that is in anything other than a can from the boat. That can create some waste, but I’d rather give some provisions away than risk bugs or worse when I get back. Then I wipe out every locker that even touched food with a bleach water solution. I let them dry and leave the doors open.
Just before we leave, we set out roach and ant pest control individual eating stations. Raid makes them as does alot of other manufacturers these days. We place them in dark corners and in each and every locker that used to contain food (or still contains the few cans we leave aboard). Unfortunately they only last for 3 months, but we don’t worry about changing them out while we’re gone.
When we were out cruising and were unable to get the roach traps, we simply went to the local farmacia and asked for boric acid … a powder that I then put into bottlecaps that I’d been saving and placed them in the same locations. The down side to these is they spill, so you have to be careful when you return to the boat to retrieve them and dispose properly.
What other measures do you take when you leave the boat to make sure you don’t have to waste time with bugs, critters or mold when you return? Please leave a comment and share ideas – I’d love to learn something! Cheers! Jan