Chapter 8: Operator Responsibility

Carbon Monoxide Preventative Maintenance

Carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable if one takes the proper precautions and avoid risky situations. One can use this checklist to make sure one is doing everything to prevent carbon monoxide buildup or inhalation. Before heading out, for a day of boating, one should:

Before Boating:

  • Ensure that all exhaust clamps are secure.
  • Check the vessel for any signs of leaking exhaust. Common warning signs are rust, black streaking, leaks, cracks, and corroded fittings.
  • Rubber hoses should be kept in good condition, pliable, and free of snags, kinks, burns or cracks.
  • Verify that water is flowing from the exhaust outlet whenever the engine or generator are started.
  • Listen for any changes in the sound of the exhaust. If there is a drastic change, it could be a symptom of an exhaust component failure.
  • Test all carbon monoxide detectors on board. Ensure that the batteries of all detectors are properly installed and operational.

Perform Annually:

  • Replace any exhaust hoses that are in poor condition. If an exhaust hose shows signs of deterioration, then it is time to get a new one.
  • Check that the cooling systems are in working order. This prevents any overheating which can damage the exhaust system and wear it down quickly.
  • Inspect the water pump impeller and the impeller housing to verify condition, and replace them if necessary.
  • Inspect all of the metallic components of the exhaust system for rusting, leaking, cracking, or loosening and replace or tighten as needed. Certain areas of importance here are the cylinder head, exhaust manifold, the metal threaded adapter, and the water injection elbow.
  • If the vessel has one, clean and inspect the generator cooling water anti-siphon valve.