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Old 04-12-2010, 03:52 PM   #1
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Default Lower Cabin occupancy while underway

Gearing up for boating season here, and anxious to try out my new 2600 SE. A cabin cruiser style boat is new to me. I'd like to find out about the safety of people down in the lower cabin while underway, due to the danger of CO poisoning. There are ports to ventilate the cabin, but I'm wondering if that's good enough. Is it OK at certain speeds? Or just not OK at all while the engine is running?
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:28 PM   #2
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Remember, the CO comes from the exhaust - which is under water. The wind tends to curl around and back down as it flows over the top of the wind shield. Think pick up truck: if you have an open PUT bed you can place items at the front of the bed just behind the cab and they will usually remain there undisturbed. Place them at the rear and they disappear.

I'd think if you kept the cabin door open, port holes, and maybe the deck hatch slightly open (assuming the strut is stout enough to hold it in position while underway), there would be enough air flow and the dead spot (low pressure) just behind the wind shield is disrupted by the air entering the cabin at the front. The air flow would also be altered if the bimini is deployed. Is the CO detector operational while the engine is running?

Certainly, the CO warning labels are largely a CYA for the manufacturers. Pretty certain CO is an issue mostly while the boat is stationary and the engine is running. I think an easy test would be to have someone sit at the rear most seat of the boat and then run it at various speeds. Note which way their hair is blowing.

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Old 04-12-2010, 05:16 PM   #3
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actually the CO monitors will sound if there is any leaking into the salon..keeping the fwd deck hatch open an inch will keep the fwd section pressurized enough to keep the salon ventilated...if the monitor goes off..then people need to get out of there quick...
the effect is called the station wagon effect where the fumes swirl behind the camper canvas......

but for safety...while underway...keep them up in the cockpit incase you hit a bump or wake..toss someone below around..chances are they could get injured and you not know about it....

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Old 04-12-2010, 09:47 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, that's kind of what I thought about the CO issue. There is a CO monitor in the cabin and it's always on, so I would think it should be safe as long as there is good airflow through the cabin.

Didn't think about the bumpy ride down there, especially up forward. No seatbelt and no way to brace for bumps, since they wouldn't know they were coming. So I'm guessing most people only use the cabin when they're docked, engine off?
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:32 PM   #5
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yep...if someone needs to use the head or go below..best thing I do is to come off plane and take it easy till everyone is back up and seated...safer that way....when they are done...I push the throttle back up and away we go...

we use the salon after we're tied up..etc.......but while underway on plane...running at 30mph...we're all up in the cockpit...


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Old 04-12-2010, 11:23 PM   #6
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Don't let people stay down below while your under way. My daughter was laying down when a boat coming the other way passed too close to me and i hit his wake. she got rocked down below and ended up with a nasty bump on her head. Lesson learned. no one is allowed to stay down below until we are either docked or on the hook
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:26 PM   #7
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I have had my CO detector go off while we were underway a couple of times when the cabin door was open, so yes CO can get drawn into the cabin while travelling.

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Old 04-13-2010, 01:35 PM   #8
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Me too bmax. Quite often when I'm underway at idle speed my co detectors would start chirping. As soon as I give it a bit of throttle, it clears. In the manual it also says that if you use the genny, you should close all port holes, etc.
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:26 PM   #9
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So many variables; boat design, canvases up/down, winds, stationary or underway, door open or closed, port holes and deck hatches, proximity to other objects (sea walls, other boats). Each situation, and boat, is different.

We typically leave the cabin door open while under way, the deck hatch closed, the bimini deployed - or not, and we've never had the CO alarm make a sound while running our 2400 SC3 under any conditions.

Let common sense prevail.
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:58 PM   #10
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Well, you guys have given me some great feedback. I'm glad I asked the question - better than learning the hard way. In a way, it's a shame that using the cabin has these issues. It would be a good way for passengers to get out of the elements, even if temporarily. Maybe it is just a matter of common sense and situational awareness.
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman View Post
Maybe it is just a matter of common sense and situational awareness.
Exactly. Well said.
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