Nov 7, 2019

Bilge RotFilthy bilge water.....an ideal environment for nasty things to grow.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve told my children to wash their hands. I remind them before dinner, after using the washroom, after touching dirty, sticky or grimy things.

As a parent, I’ve become so used to saying ‘wash your hands’ that I’ve forgotten the nasty ramifications if you don’t. I hope that this serves as a cautionary tale:

Boats are filthy. Lift an engine hatch, and along the edge or lip of the hatch you’ll see collected debris, dirt, grime, hair, food particles and worse. Lift the floorboards and take a look at the bilge. Many have standing water, dirt, grime, grease and worse. If your potable water lines are clear tubing, take a look at the gunk lining the inside of the lines carrying water to your faucets. Worst of all – imagine the bacteria growing in and out of the lines that take your waste from your marine toilet, to a holding tank, and the connections used to pump-out that waste.

Boats are, by their very nature, immersed in an environment that is a breeding ground for mould, mildew, rot and a plethora of microscopic bacteria.

I was reminded of this the hard way, a few weeks ago. I loosened the nut on a hose clamp and nicked my finger on the end. The type of cut that I’ve had too many time to count. It was essentially a paper cut so I thought nothing of it. Later in the day, when it was convenient, I washed my hands and continued working.

Two days later, my finger burned, swelled to twice it’s normal size and was in excruciating pain. After a trip to the hospital, I was prescribed two types of antibiotics to fight the nasty staph (bacterial) infection in my finger. I fought a fever for the next two days, and waited for the pain and swelling to subside – all the while cursing for not taking better care of myself.

The entire experience made me wonder how many of us forget some of the inherent dangers of working and playing on or around boats – and how we can mitigate some of these risks. There are a number of ways that I went wrong, and there are a number of ways that you can protect yourself from making the same mistake of complacency that I did:

Spray Nine LabelLeft: The Spray Nine label showing all the bacteria/viruses that it kills

Mechanix Style GlovesRight: Mechanix-style gloves will protect against cuts and abrasions

1) Like every parent says: Wash your hands. Wash your hands before and after doing any work on your boat: this will stop you from bringing dirt, bacteria and grime aboard with you, and will protect you from picking it up from any part of your boat. If you get cut, clean it thoroughly and bandage it appropriately

2) Another parental maxim: Clean your room. Keeping your boat itself clean, will stop bacteria from breeding and laying in wait for an unsuspecting victim. No one likes to degrease an engine, flush water lines, disinfect waste systems, or clean a bilge. However, these areas are breeding grounds for nasty things that can hurt us. The cleaner the boat is, the less chance for bad stuff to grow.

3) Use the right cleaning supplies. I’ve never been a fan of bleach on boats. Besides the environmental factors, there’s too much risk for damage to canvas covers, plexi-glass, and caulking. I like Spray Nine as an alternative. It has a very high ability to disinfect, degrease and clean, in one neat package. It’s easy to find; most marine chandleries carry it, but so do most automotive and big-box stores like Canadian Tire.

4) Use appropriate protection. Wear gloves (latex or nitrile) when working in dirty areas, and use work gloves when there is danger of cutting your hands. Wear long sleeves to protect your arms (my hands and arms seem to take the brunt of cuts and scrapes.) I also generally wear long pants and boots as an added protection (though, this isn’t practical or necessary for everyone).

5) Keep first aid kits up to date with appropriate bandages, disinfectants and supplies. I’ve just topped up mine with Polysporin, Band-Aids, and hand sanitizer.

Be safe, have fun, and wash your hands!

Andrew McDonaldAndrew McDonald is the owner of Lakeside Marine Services – a boat repair/maintenance firm based in Toronto. Andrew has worked in the marine industry for 12 years and is a graduate of the Georgian College ‘Mechanical Techniques - Marine Engine Mechanic’ program.

Questions or comments for Andrew? Email him directly via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Articles

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 02:52

The moment we all dread. It’s a warm sunny day and you’re out for a cruise. Suddenly the boat shudders beneath you, pings, dings and clangs are heard and you realize that you’ve hit something...

Monday, 28 January 2013 09:46

When it comes to making environmentally friendly choices, the tradeoff is not always paying more for something that doesn't work as well. Boat owners seeking a "greener" sacrificial anode have an...

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 00:43

Question: Can I buy generic automotive parts or products for my boat, or should they specify ‘marine’?

Monday, 24 March 2014 15:51

Understanding how systems really work – and degrade over the winter – can help you prepare your boat for a trouble-free season. Here’s a guide from a pro…Sometimes the most daunting thing about...

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 07:16

For most of us – this is the time to make the most of the boating season – launch and set up are done. Systems have been recommissioned. Let the fun begin!

Saturday, 09 July 2016 21:10

One of the largest, if not the largest,boatyard in Nova Scotia is South Shore Marine. Located around the corner from village of Chester, the yard, which began in the late 70s, now hauls about 500...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
When we arranged to interview the designer and manufacturer to write a profile of the X Shore Eelex ...
Last August, we were again invited to the Neptunus Yachts facility in St. Catharines, Ontario to ...
Cruisers Yachts’ 34 GLS is the latest model in the Cruisers Yachts line that includes a dozen ...
On a beautiful summer morning in July, I hopped aboard a new-owner delivery from the Outer Harbour ...
When company founder Marcio Schaefer designed the Schaefer 303, he managed to really dial in the ...
There is an unmistakable look to the Azimut S6 Coupe that will stand out in almost any marina. The ...
No longer an outlier or a flash-in-the-pan idea, electric boating is fast becoming a viable ...
Sea-Doo’s all-new Switch marries the performance of a personal watercraft with the versatility of a ...

Video Gallery

 

 

X Shore Eelex 8000By Andy Adams

100% Electric performance available now

When we arranged to interview the designer and manufacturer to write a profile of the X Shore Eelex 8000 for the June 2021 issue of Canadian Yachting magazine, it was on the understanding that we always prefer to actually drive and experience the boats we write about, and we were especially keen to drive the X Shore when BCI Marine here in Canada, got their first boat from Sweden.

There has been a lot of media attention around everything electric lately, especially electric vehicles, but so far, most electric boats are a concept, not yet a reality. The X Shore Eelex 8000 is a reality and a very impressive one at that.

Read More

 

 

 

Neptunus 650EBy Andy Adams

Last August, we were again invited to the Neptunus Yachts facility in St. Catharines, Ontario to run and review their latest yacht, a 202650E at their marina by Lake Ontario. Keen readers of Canadian Yachting might recall reading about a Neptunus 650 back in 2016 and while this is the same proven hull, Neptunus is a custom builder and the 2022 650E here has a totally new interior design and layout.

Neptunus builds bespoke yachts. The reality is that no two Neptunus Yachts are the same. Each is individually tailored to its owners tastes and activities and is finished to their specifications. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...
A holiday often is defined by the experiences we make in unique and beautiful settings. But what ...
St Vincent and the Grenadines is open to tourists and Horizon Yacht Charters are looking forward to ...

Marianne ScottBy Marianne Scott

Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria grew overnight into a tent city when hordes of prospectors stopped by to provision for their quest to get rich in the Fraser goldfields. The tents were followed quickly by brick hotels, stores and brothels. Prince Rupert began as a tent town after it was chosen as the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway’s terminus, then built more permanent structures.

But no place went up overnight like Ladysmith, where coal baron James Dunsmuir moved his miners “stock, lock and barrel” after coal seams further north on Vancouver Island had been exhausted.

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Ahoy me hearties. June is Sailpast month, so Keelly and her pal Tracey were themed out as (not ...
Things are busy on the Trent already and it’s barely June. Mike Gridley sent us this shot last ...
From cottage boats to luxury cruisers, there have been a host of major design changes over the past ...
Thanks to Louise from Gyles Sails and Marine for catching us up on this weekend’s massive parts ...
The marine industry provides exciting opportunities for Canadians. Every month CYOB will introduce ...
There are two POTWs this time. The reason? Guilt. We are picking up the first one from the internet ...
So, I’m at Mobility Cup in Nepean, across the river from Ottawa. I’ve participated in Mobility Cup ...
Emirates Team New Zealand, who introduced foiling to America’s Cup competition in 2012, is ...
Our own Ask Andrew ‘floated his Fanny down the Ganny’ in the annual boat race held on Ganaraska ...
While there’s all kinds of discussion, particularly in NZ, about the plan to defend the 37th ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
The little darlings can’t wait to get on the boat. Just make sure they have properly fitting PFDs ...
With a bold, fresh look and key features, the new JBL-R4500 is the latest in the WAKE Series of ...
When the twist-type connector was invented in 1938, production boats were made of wood and didn't ...
Luxor Marine & RV products offer boat owners an innovative architecturally pleasing range of ...
The club's first digital guide is the collaborative effort of dozens of CCA members and now ...
The days are lovely and what better way to celebrate than heading to the engine compartment. Here ...
While collapsible bimini tops offer boaters a welcome escape from direct sun, deployment and ...
Volvo Penta is launching its Assisted Docking system as a retrofit upgrade for many yacht owners ...
Don’t let offshore emergencies turn into disasters. SeaKits help to prepare you for emergencies at ...
It’s one of the best things about sailors: we hate to give up on our equipment. But if you’re like ...

News

  • Prev
Hello Lake Ontario Boaters. As you know, the much anticipated PORTS Lake Ontario Guide is in ...
Watching whales and other marine mammals in their natural surroundings is exciting. It gives us an ...
Tom Brady couldn’t have thrown a better spiral. This is a shot of my handsome son, Will, carrying ...
A strong contingent of 28 Canadian sailors, including Tokyo 2020 Olympians Ali ten Hove, Mariah ...
Wellcraft teamed up with American naval architect, Michael Peters, and talented yacht designers, ...
Following success in the Nordics and New Zealand, Skipperi is coming to Toronto with 15 new, fully ...
Candela, the Swedish company that is revolutionizing electric boating with its hydrofoiling ...
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina has announced plans for the addition of a new petrol station ...
SailGP, the international racing series featuring high speed F50 wingsailed catamarans, is ...
First, they were closed - as of May 2, many of the Canada Border Services Small Vessel Reporting ...

RS Electric BoatsSailGP, the international racing series featuring high speed F50 wingsailed catamarans, is partnering with RS Electric Boats – sister brand of sailboat manufacturer RS Sailing – to use the Pulse 63 electric RIB as chase, coach and support boats.

RS Electric Boats will supply SailGP with four Pulse 63s, which were designed to be electric boats from the outset. The unique aerodynamic hull form is designed to support the weight of the batteries while allowing rapid acceleration, functional speeds up to 23 knots and ample range.

 

 

Read More