Carbon Monoxide = Silent Killer

By Don Casey

Revised by BoatUS editors in June 2012

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Image courtesy of West Marine

For the very same reasons you have smoke detectors in your home, your boat, if it has an enclosed cabin, ought to be equipped with at least one carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, but it doesn't have to be. A CO detector can sense the presence of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and sound an early warning.

American Boat and Yacht Council standards now require a CO detector on every new boat with a gasoline inboard or generator, but don't wait until you buy a new boat to protect yourself with this recent technology. And even if your boat is not gasoline powered, you may still want to equip it with a detector. Petroleum fueled heating appliances can generate dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide. Even a boat idling in the next slip can put you at risk.

 

Don Casey has been one of the most consulted experts on boat care and upgrades for 30 years, and a panelist on our "Ask The Experts" website for a decade. He and his wife cruise aboard their 30-footer part of the year in the eastern Caribbean. His books include Don Casey’s Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual, and the recently updated This Old Boat, the bible for do-it-yourself boaters.

 

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