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Old 04-02-2013
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CO alarm on boats ?

Just heard these sad news on the BBC:

BBC News - Cumbrian boat pair 'die from carbon monoxide poisoning'

Woman and girl die on Windermere | UK news | guardian.co.uk

A 36 year old woman and her 10 year old daughter die following developing breathing difficulties on a boat on Lake Windermere. The news mention that Carbonmonoxide poisoning may have been the cause. Full circumstances are not known, yet.

Does anybody here actually have a CO detector on board ?
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Old 04-02-2013
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Re: CO alarm on boats ?

Yes I do. It's not like they're expensive. Even in a tent that is far more ventilated, the danger exist. It's a cheap insurance.

I'm a bit perplexed by the articles, because carbon monoxide will make you drowsy and eventually kill you. It won't warn you with breathing problems. It's called "the silent killer" for a reason. I suspect they must have burned something else which made them experience "breathing problems". Perhaps they used a charcoal BBQ below deck or some other dangerous stuff.
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Old 04-02-2013
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Re: CO alarm on boats ?

I've heard in the news on the way to work that they think it was a faulty heater. "Breathing problems" may well mean respiratory failure or hypoxemia (low blood O2 levels) in the wording of lay press ...
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Old 04-02-2013
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Re: CO alarm on boats ?

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Originally Posted by FinallySailing View Post
"Breathing problems" may well mean respiratory failure or hypoxemia (low blood O2 levels) in the wording of lay press ...
Good point.
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Old 04-02-2013
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Re: CO alarm on boats ?

We have a CO detector and it's on whenever the panel is powered up.

Biggest concern is we use a Espar cabin heater, and sometimes when it's cold we run it all night. If it failed, and gases from the combustion side made it to the hot air side, or wind direction somehow conspired to let the exhaust from the stern get into the boat through a dorade, port, or hatch cracked open.

Seems I read about an incident almost every year someplace in New England especially early or late season when its cold out.
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Old 04-02-2013
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Re: CO alarm on boats ?

An acquaintance of mine was having marriage problems and thought it was a good idea to buy a 34foot searay power boat to crash on while they worked out their problems. One morning I get a call from him asking me to bring my CO analizer (used to test furnaces)down to check out his boat. His CO detector was going off late last night and he couldnt figure out how to turn it off so he slept in his car. when I got there he said the generator had been turned off for over an hour. The CO in the ambient air was still well over 500 ppm. In the home energy auditing world an ambient air CO reading of over 35ppm is cause for aborting the audit and evacuating the house. The average natural gas home hot water heater puts out between 2 and 15 ppm. Reason for the CO problem? The guy didnt know a thing about the boat what so ever. He couldnt figure out how to hook back up the shore power after he had a friend who "knew what he was doing" take him out for a ride. The friend also couldnt back the boat into the slip like the marina parked it. By pulling in forward the wind was whipping around the outside of the wall next to him pushing the exhaust back into the boat. If he could have figured out how to disable the built in CO detector he would have died that night. I guess the moral of the story is just because you can afford to own a boat does not mean you should. Unfortunately a few months later the boat was wrecked in the niagra river and 4 or 5 people ended up in the water without life jackets and yes it was the same guy at the helm. Fortunately everyone survived and this person no longer owns a boat.
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Old 04-02-2013
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Re: CO alarm on boats ?

YES and it should be on a 24 hour circuit so it can not be turned OFF by mistake or to make it easy to ignore
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Old 04-02-2013
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Re: CO alarm on boats ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinallySailing View Post
Just heard these sad news on the BBC:

BBC News - Cumbrian boat pair 'die from carbon monoxide poisoning'

Woman and girl die on Windermere | UK news | guardian.co.uk

A 36 year old woman and her 10 year old daughter die following developing breathing difficulties on a boat on Lake Windermere. The news mention that Carbonmonoxide poisoning may have been the cause. Full circumstances are not known, yet.

Does anybody here actually have a CO detector on board ?
A more salient question might be "Who doesn't have a CO detector or two aboard (for any cabin that might be isolated) and if not, why not?"

Internal combustion engines, various stoves and combustion based heaters can and will generate CO under certain conditions which must be defended against at all costs.
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Old 04-02-2013
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Re: CO alarm on boats ?

I have one that is battery operated, with a sealed battery that is supposed to last 10 years. At $30 or so, it was good peace of mind.
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Old 04-02-2013
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Re: CO alarm on boats ?

Yes, we had one on when ever the Dickinson diesel heaterwas fired up.
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