Chapter 2: Boating Safety

Types of Ventilation Systems

Fires aren't the only danger to gasoline powered vessels. The fumes emitted from the engine, as it uses fuel, can build up in the bilge of a vessel if not ventilated properly. This build up has the potential to create an explosion. So, gasoline powered vessels are legally required to have a ventilation system in place. Ventilation systems come in the following two types:

Powered Ventilation System: At least one powered fan circulates the air and vents out fumes. These systems are mandatory, for vessels constructed after 1982, with an enclosed engine or installed fuel tanks. Always let the ventilation run for at least four minutes before igniting the engine, removing any built up fumes which may combust.

Natural Ventilation System: The fumes are ventilated through at least two ducts. As the vessel moves, fresh air passes through the bilge circulating out hazardous fumes.

Boat Ventilation Fan

Remember, with powered ventilation systems, always let the ventilation run for at least four full minutes before igniting the engine.