Carbon monoxide is a potentially deadly gas produced any time a carbon-based fuel, such as gasoline, propane, charcoal or oil, burns. Sources on your boat include gasoline engines, generators, cooking ranges, and space and water heaters. Cold or poorly tuned engines produce more carbon monoxide than warm, properly tuned engines.
Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless and mixes evenly with the air. It enters your bloodstream through the lungs and displaces the oxygen your body needs. Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning—irritated eyes, headache, nausea, weakness, and dizziness—are often confused with seasickness or intoxication. Prolonged exposure to low concentrations or very short exposure to high concentrations can lead to death.
Each year, boaters are injured or killed by carbon monoxide. Most incidents occur on older boats and within the cabin or other enclosed areas. Exhaust leaks, the leading cause of death by carbon monoxide, can allow carbon monoxide to migrate throughout the boat and into enclosed areas. Teak surfing or dragging behind a boat is dangerous and a violation of California law. Regular maintenance and proper boat operation can reduce the risk of injury from carbon monoxide.
/ Swimming near or under the back deck or swim platform. Carbon monoxide from exhaust pipes of inboard engines, outboard engines and generators build up inside and outside the boat in areas near exhaust vents.
y/ STAY AWAY from these exhaust vent areas and DO NOT swim in these areas when the motor or generator is operating. On calm days, wait at least 15 minutes after the motor or generator has been shut off before entering these areas.
^ NEVER enter an enclosed area under a swim platform where exhaust is vented, not even for a second. It only takes one or two breaths of the air in this "death chamber" for it to be fatal.
Teak surfing, dragging and water skiing within 20 feet of a moving watercraft can be fatal.
All carbon monoxide poisonings are preventable!
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.