a few years ago the boat us magazine had a sad story about generators and the exhaust under swim platforms. If I remember correctly, people were poisoned by carbon monoxide when swimming and hanging around the platform (at anchor and the generator running). These were probably the "built-in" gensets on power boats. I cant say If there is a law or insurance provision about this. So it is just some thing that came to mind.
If you find out the coast gard position please let us know.
I was one of the engineers in the USCG Office of Boating
Safety at the time. There were some fatalities from Carbon Monoxide on houseboats, primarily on Lake Powell, because people were swimming under
the rear platforms. Those who went in to save them also were poisoned. The reason was simple, on some houseboats the installed generator exhaust and the engine
exhaust exited under the platform. These platforms came down to the water
level at the rear of the platform, effectively trapping exhaust.
We ordered a massive recall
involving 19 boat manufacturers and several model years. The fix was to reroute the exhaust to the side of the boat or to a dry stack exhaust which would put the exhaust above the highest deck
on the boat. Now most houseboat manufacturers are using dry stacks. But there are some who route
the exhaust to the side.
There have been numerous other carbon monoxide problems with houseboats but most are due to ignorance on the part of the operator. Almost all the houseboats that have had CO problems are rentals. Either the rental operator didn't properly inform the customer of the danger
, or the customer simply wasn't paying attention. I could tell you a lot of horror stories about this.
This is not to say that other powerboats don't also have CO problems, they do and people have died.
Rules to follow:
Never ever run the generator when you are sleeping. Yeah it may be hot and sticky and you want the airconditioning but you may also end up dead.
When running a generator make sure there is air flow though the cabins of the boat that flushes any exhaust away from the boat.
keep the generator exhaust downwind.
Install a good marine
CO detector and learn what the alarms mean. Install new batteries annually. If the thing keeps alarming DON"T SHUT IT OFF. Find out why it is alarming.
Make sure bulkheads between passenger areas and engine areas are airtight!
Check exhaust lines and connections frequently on engines and generators.
Keep engines tuned up. They produce less CO when correctly adjusted. (just an aside, a few years ago I took my car in for a smog test and it need a tuneup badly. After the tune up it got a reading of zero CO. )
Make sure your engines are getting enough air to run properly. An engine starved for air produces more CO, burns more fuel
and produces less power. This is especiallly true of big block V-8's They need lots of air. When the carb says it needs 800CFM it means it!
Last but most important educate yourself. There are lots of resouces available on CO poisoning and how to prevent it. New Boatbuilders Home Page - Carbon Monoxide