Mildew under Cetol

by Carolyn
(Cape Cod)

I spent hours stripping and refinishing the wood seats and combing on my sailboat.

I took it down to the bare wood, put three coats of Cetol on it and it looked good.

I put a tarp on the boat over the winter and I think it was too airtight.

I just uncovered it and the wood seats are covered in mildew, mostly where the grains in the wood are visible.

Why wouldn't the Cetol have sealed the wood enough to prevent moisture from getting in?

Do I have to sand all the wood down and start again?

How can I prevent this from happening again?

It looks awful!


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Jun 23, 2015
by: Cal

Carolyn like mike said vinegar old school works, lime salts which are bleach, think simple not toxic, try a lemon on a copper pot you get bling.

I love bling without wasting my day and thinking about the destination.

What you want to be doing in the first place, like spending the whole summer scraping and varnishing, bin there done that, if you look at your skin it needs moisture you can spend time and money trying to look good.

Try this, flake salt and good oil and you and your boat will bling.

The sun and UV dry crack wood, a product I use is all natural it's called Krammers.

Best it's a lustre you will love, it smells nice, wipe down a bilge no more bilge smells.

Here's the web made in the states not hard work just wipe with cloth.


Jun 21, 2015
by: Mike

I guess you are right about the cover having been too tight.

Mildew and mold just thrive in closed still moist environments, they don’t like it when the air moves.

Cetol is a type of oiled finish, it contains natural oils, the sort of organic material that mildew thrives on.

Most mildew removers are chlorine based.

Clear white vinegar is my preferred treatment for this sort of thing, it's safe enough to be splashed around with impunity.

It smells a bit but much better than bleach.

Besides they have been using vinegar to swab below decks on sailing ships for centuries, well at least those few who were bothered with hygiene.

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