Be Aware of Carbon Monoxide Emissions While Boating


Be Aware of Carbon Monoxide Emissions While Boating


We go boating to have fun. Whether your passion is relaxation or exhilaration, a boat opens the doors to endless possibility. But boating is not without its hazards, and responsible boaters keep at least a few “what if” scenarios in the back of their heads to stay safe when they leave the docks. Generally, we think of worst case scenarios as man-overboard situations, collision in a crowded waterway or sudden, drastic changes in the weather. But there is an unseen danger threatening you and your family, that most of us might not even consider. Pollution.

On the water, pollution is typically thought of as plastics or oil spilled into the water, right? It is something that kills sea life and makes the environment less beautiful for us to enjoy. But have you thought about the exhaust from your engine? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strictly regulates emissions from engine exhaust. In particular, the EPA is focused on regulating the emissions of specific pollutants like oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons, particulate matter and carbon monoxide. While some of those pollutants may not sound familiar, we’ve all heard of the dangers of carbon monoxide. It is a colorless, odorless gas that can be dangerous when inhaled in large amounts and is released when something is burned. Breathing air with a high concentration of carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen that can be transported via the bloodstream to critical organs such as the heart and brain. At very high levels, carbon monoxide can cause dizziness, confusion, unconsciousness, and death.


Everyone is aware of the dangers of running a car in an enclosed garage. But do you ever worry about carbon monoxide when you go boating? Think about all those times you never gave it a second thought when sitting on your boat at anchor in a calm and windless cove with your engine at idle. How about those evening cocktails sitting at the dock with the generator running down below that vents just outside the cockpit? Think about the wakeboarder in the water right off the back of a boat waiting to take off. What about your family lounging on the swim platform? Sitting on a dock with the stern into the wind can blow the exhaust back indoors or another vessel you are rafted up to running its engine can be just enough to cause a problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even has a section on its website dedicated to “How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning on Your Boat”


The National Park Service, through the Department of the Interior, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the U.S. Coast Guard evaluated visitor and employee carbon monoxide exposures from generators and propulsion engines on houseboats. After an initial investigation in 2000, the results have been updated several times, and these statistics have been of particular interest to the industry. Since that initial investigation, over 800 boating-related carbon monoxide poisonings in 35 states have been identified with over 140 of these poisonings resulting in death. The updated results have been collected by the Double Angel Foundation which focuses a portion of its resources into providing ongoing awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The industry has made great strides in reducing emissions, particularly in the innovation of the latest outboard engines. One brand that has lead the pack is Evinrude. Significant investment in fuel emissions research resulted in the breakthrough invention of the Evinrude E-TEC G2 outboard engine. Released in 2014, the G2 is the cleanest combustion outboard engine in the world today. These direct-inject two-stroke engines deliver up to 20 percent more torque, up to 15 percent better fuel efficiency and up to 75 percent fewer total regulated emissions than leading competitive four-stroke engines. The engine’s CARB Three Star rating is the highest standard attainable for outboard motors, which is even stricter than EPA regulations. Learn more visit


While you still have to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide, starting with a clean running outboard is a good start. So, next time you go boating, be sure to wear your personal floatation device. Obey the rules of the road. But most importantly, be an informed boater about the hazards of carbon monoxide so that you and your family can safely enjoy your time on the water.


Original Source:  Sportsmans


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