It’s Not All Sun and Sand: Dealing With Mold

Mold is icky and I’m allergic to it. But, it grows on boats. Ask almost any boater with wood inside their boat, and I bet they’ve dealt worth mold spores at least once in their nauti-lifetime.

We’ve seen it a couple of times on this trip, but now that we’re parked in tropical weather, I think the problem is here for the long haul.  On our boat, it shows up mostly in the head and galley. That makes sense right? These are two places that see the most moisture. We’ve showered in the head only a handful of times, but the mold grows like crazy a day or two after showering so now that it’s warm outside, we’re going to limit showers to the cockpit!

How you deal with mold is as controversial as what anchor you choose, so needless to say, I’ve found a lot of ideas and theories on how to get rid of it.  I’d love to hear your ideas too, if you have something that works better or a way to prevent it altogether PLEASE share! Here’s what I’ve been doing:



1) Spray area with bleach to kill the mold! I use Clorox Clean Up.
2) Wipe it down with a wet cloth.
3) Let the bleached area dry pretty well to make sure you washed away all of the mold spores.
4) Oil the wood with lemon oil. If I understand correctly, the wood will absorb the lemon oil and have less places to absorb moisture.



The wood really looks beautiful once cleaned up and oiled, but it’s such a chore! I bet if you keep the wood oiled, the likelihood of mold growing becomes less, but I’m lazy and hate cleaning!


  1. At the moment we also use vinegar to wipe off our mold, but we’re going through the project of varnishing all the teak in the boat and we’re about half way done so far. Never having to deal with mold again, woo hoo! (Well, someday. When that project actually gets finished.)

  2. Another vote for vinegar! We’ve tried a lot of things, and vinegar is most effective and least toxic. Then a wipedown with lemon oil. I think you’ll have less trouble in the Bahamas. The atmosphere is really dry there. At least it’s a beautiful place to do chores. :-)

  3. Drena —
    The other Journey (aka GalleyWenchTales — and yes — we did indeed meet in Bimini last week) also uses vinegar. I wish I could say that ends the mold. I too am lazy so most likely just don’t do it often enough. Haven’t followed with lemon oil though that sounds like an excellent suggestion.

    Hope meet up with you again further down the Bahamas chain!

  4. Just found your blog while looking at sewing projects. We’re on a 39 O’Day Seeker, currently in Vero Beach. We used to keep the boat in Washington NC and made a few trips to Ocracoke too! Now we keep the boat a bit further south in GA but we live in the NC mountains so we really have the best of both worlds. Have a great winter!

Leave a Reply to Capt'n Ricko Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s