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Thread: Need help with stinky fish hold

  1. #1
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Default Need help with stinky fish hold

    My 24 Sea Sport XL has a cavernous fish hold, that drains through a macerator pump. This thing has some funky, and I mean super funky smell going on. Smells like year-old death. But here is the strange thing, it only stinks when the boat is on the water. Sitting on the trailer at the house it has a faint smell, but put the girl in the ocean and mother-of-god does she reek. A couple months ago it started, and I ran an entire bottle of bleach through the pump. Worked for a couple days. Next, I went to Granger and bought the most concentrated bio cleaner they had for removal of odor. $100 for a jug! Filled up the hold with water, put the super stuff in and let it sit for 2 days, occasionally pumping some out so that it was through the entire system. That worked for a couple weeks. Well the skunk is back.

    I'm thinking I have something stuck in the macerator that's causing it, and next step is to take it apart and clean, and perhaps change the hoses. Just cant figure why the smell intensifies so much as she's floating. Thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    Whatever it is may be drying out when it's out of the water and rehydration when it gets moisture to it.. If bleach won't kill the smell I'd guess you have a chunk of something stuck somewhere. I had a buddy with the same problem years back. His bilge was awful he would bleach it and the smell would leave for a while then come back finally at the end of the season he pulled the floor up and found a fish that had gotten lodged up unter there. Is it possible that something fell through a Crack somewhere? Also I don't even know if this is possible and maybe someone here can answer it but would it be possible to reverse the wiring to the maserator and pump water in reverse to see if anything may be stuck in the hose somewhere. Some things can be wired backwards but I don't know if a maserator is one of them, just throwing it out there.

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  3. #3

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    I had the same issue on a previous boat. Turned out it wasn't in the fish hold or macerator but in the bilge. We never noticed it when the boat was on the trailer or when we were on step but when we stopped after running for a while it about drove us out of the boat. Turned out to be a very well aged gallon or so of halibut, salmon and who knows what soup that for some reason didn't vent out unless we were coming off of step and was able to drain back to the bilge pumps. Once I was able to identify the problem and drill two holes in the stringers so it would flow into the pump area our problem was solved. Don't know if this is what you have going on but it sound similar.
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  4. #4

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    I'm betting on bilge, too. But you might be able to prevent future "events" with changes to your maintenance and sanitation.

    One thing on using bleach. You only need a small concentration in water to disinfect things. I don't remember the #'s from the fish sanitation class I took, but on the practical side it boils down to tipping the bleach bottle long enough for 4 "glugs" per gallon of water. Any more than that really isn't doing much.

    The other issue is caked organic "matter" that doesn't come off with soaking. A good scrub brush with a mild detergent to dissolve oils and loosen gunk coatings after each use, followed by the 4-glug bleach solution to kill the buggies. Piping and macerator pump don't allow brushing, but you might be able to put something "choppable" in there to run through the system and scrub it. I'm scratching my head (or hiney, perhaps), but something like small chunks of styrofoam comes to mind. Might check with the manufacturer to see if they have any reco's.

  5. #5
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Ice will scrub your macerator. Put small chunks of ice (in water) in the fish hold and run the pump to grind up the ice and pump it out.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    Ice will scrub your macerator. Put small chunks of ice (in water) in the fish hold and run the pump to grind up the ice and pump it out.
    Excellent! No muss, no fuss, no cleanup. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    maybe the hoses are soaked up with the stink ?? Stink dries up when out of water but gets "reactivated" when some water hits it. Maybe try plugging hoses and fill with baking soda solution and let set for awhile when on the trailer of course. Castrol Super Clean ??

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  8. #8
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Rotting hatch covers or the cover of the fuel tanks need replacing. I had aluminum hatch covers made and had the pieces that cover he fuel tanks made of aluminum and then had them sand blasted for a nonslip finish.


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  9. #9
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Took off the hoses for the macerator. Good lord they stunk. Will replace those. Still need to take the pump apart and clean up.
    In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea
    _________________________________________________

    If I come across as an arrogant, know-it-all jerk, it's because I am

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