the dry bilge machine
Dry Bilges on a Classic 50' Hatteras: the newer video testimonial is above while the original testimonial about "That Hatteras Smell" is below

Testimonial Arid Bilge System Unit # 3 & 17

I first heard of the Arid Bilge System about 3 years ago from Al Baurley, it's inventor, who has installed my electronics for many years.

Among Hatteras boat owners the phrase "That Hatteras smell" is met with knowing smiles. A mixture of mildew, oil and diesel exhaust is probably present in most boats. While I never seem to notice it in the excitement of coming aboard for our annual winter cruises, it is readily apparent when I return home. Every unworn piece of clothing reeks of this odor, and requires a washing before being suitable for wear at home.

I have tried all kinds of bilge cleaners, expensive ozone generators, and air conditioning filters but none proved effective against "That Hatteras smell." When Al told me of his invention I was intrigued. He offered me a one-month free trial of unit #3 and I accepted. Al recommended a thorough professional bilge cleaning before installation of his new system, but he got it installed so quickly that it was about 48 hours ahead of the bilge cleaner service. As the last inch or so of bilge water was removed by the Arid Bilge System (ABS) the myriad animal, plant and fungi, deprived of water, perished and began to decay. The smell increased. I was getting worried, and was very happy to see the bilge cleaning man and truck arrrive. Things are much better since!

Last year, at the Miami Beach Marina, a gentleman knocked on our boat's door. He said he was working on eliminating boat odors by breeding specialized bacteria to add to one's bilge which then would devour odor-causing organisms. He asked if he could collect a sample of our bilge water to analyze. Sounded good to me, so I invited him aboard. We checked all five of Fanfare's watertight bilge compartments for water, but to his surprise (and mine) could find no more water than a faint glisten in the light. All bilges were dry! He had to depart empty-handed.

In testing the ABS I have learned several things. One of these was that the moisture accumulated by a boat in storage can be different from that of a boat being lived aboard. For instance, when lived aboard our shower splashes a small (but significant) amount of water behind the stall and away from our shower sump. This area will readily drain into the aft bilge compartment
 (see above pictures) when the boat is on plane, but not when docked. So one Arid Bilge System pickup needs to be relocated when we are not cruising. Al tells me that a new 9 pickup ABS is in the development stage, which will negate our needing to do this.

Fanfare's living conditions have improved with the installation of the ABS by a very large reduction in "That Hatteras smell." Because the system is always on and is fully automatic, I no longer have to move my ozone generator from cabin to cabin before guests appear. The ABS does it effortlessly for me, and maintains my boat throughout the year.

Disclaimer: When Al sold me unit 3 of the Arid Bilge System the system was experimental and no retail price had yet been set. After my one month free trial I purchased the experimental unit, for about one-half of today's retail price.

James Grove, Jr.
St. Louis, Mo.
Fanfare, 1966 Hatteras 50' Motor Yacht