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    Mystery Smell

    I have a 1991 Bayliner 3888. There has been a mystery smell (especially on hot days) I've had no luck tracking down.
    I can smell it when I open the built-in laundry hamper just forward of the tub doors in the V birth. I can also smell it in the port head in the cabinet below the sink. Also coming from the vent below the port bedroom closet. The smell a bit like sewage but very vague. I've changed out most of the sewage lines with the white PVC. The lines I didn't change appear to be the white PVC. Has anyone had a similar odor in these areas and possibly know where the odor may be originating?

    #2
    I had an effluent odor that was elusive in another boat I owned at one time... the smell wasnt strong, and it couldnt really even be smelled unless a compartment was opened, even after changing all the hoses in the system
    .
    After getting fed up with it, i decided to pull the tank and see if the plastic was permeated and causing the smell and after getting the tank out i found the tank was cracked in a corner...due to a plugged vent.
    I repaired it and reinstalled it with better support than it had previously...the smell mystery was solved and never returned....


    NU LIBERTE'
    Salem, OR

    1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
    5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
    N2K equipped throughout..
    2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
    2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
    '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
    Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

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      #3
      Your white flexible lines are likely permeated. The other possibility is a restricted or plugged vent. I’m replacing all of my vent with stainless steel flush mount fittings. I don’t understand why Bayliner routed the vent hose to near the helm. To me it provides an opportunity to get a blockage of sludge if the tank gets over filled. I relocated the vent to inside the cabinet in the starboard head. There was a bit of blue air involved getting through the double deck under the toilet, until I unbolted it and found a nice hole to work with. When I replaced the black water system I removed the Y valve then converted the thruhull to a vent. No more funky smell.
      P/C Pete
      Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
      1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
      Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
      MMSI 367770440

      Comment


      • Camplin
        Camplin commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi Pete, Going to do the warm water towel test on the hoses that haven't been recently replaced. Also, is there a way to check the vent to see if it's plugged or restricted. A few years ago I attached a manual matress air pump to the breather line and pumped air through to make sure it wasn't clogged. Is that the same vent your talking about?

      #4
      I think Pete is correct- If you have ANY sanitation hose left in the system you can wrap it with a warm towel for a few minutes and then remove. If the towel smells you have found your culprit.
      Gibraltar, Mi.
      1986- 3870- Hino 175's
      1988 26' Shamrock/ Diesel
      14' Zodiac Bay Runner

      Comment


        #5
        Had the same issue on my 4388...your blackwater hoses need replacing
        Ships n Giggles
        1993 Bayliner 4388
        MMSI# 367412710
        Day Island Yacht Club
        Commodore

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          #6
          We had a horrible smell that we thought was a sewer smell and it ended up being stagnant saltwater one of the bilge pumps quit working and we had about 2 inches of old saltwater we shop vac'd the smelly water out of the bay (which was under the fiberglass walkway between the motors) and the smell went away (and of course fixed the pump) something to at least consider and good luck

          Comment


            #7
            The holding tank vent line is possibly clogged. If there is a vent filter, it is probably clogged and packed with a surprise. You should be able to visually check these items.
            When the head is evacuated to the holding tank, that pressure has to vent off as noxious gas.
            The vent fixture degrades and breaks so that venting is into the interior of the boat.
            Check the vent clamp shell on the vent exit. If it is corroded, it’s probably clogged and/or broken at the hose connection.
            A crack in the holding tank lower section would create some squirt of effluent which would puddle somewhere. (In the 4588, there is a glass slide door in the passage/hallway and it will puddle beneath the guest shower pan.)
            A crack on the upper tank or hose connector for woul vent noxious odor. Eventually the odor permitted the “monkey fur” and other stuff. (The “monkey fur” will conveniently hold some hint of aroma for a loooong time.
            The other source of foul odor can be the shower bilge but a distinct stink.
            After problem is fixed, the preventative is to pump out frequently, never over-fill, never go to sea with ANY EFFLUENT in the tank, change out the vent filter annually. If there is a crack in the tank, and you pull the tank, consider adding a special anti-collapse vent which prevents the tank from collapsing or contracting on pumpout.

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