There a lot of links to propane heater deaths and the purpose was only to alert everybody to the real killer - carbon monoxide. The original "instant water heaters" were gas fired and used all over Europe
. They were mounted on the walls in the shower rooms. The units were transplanted to the heads in boats and installed without proper vents obviously because installing a vent through the cabin
roof is not a simple affair. It has to use special insulated stainless steel
or bronze fitting to keep from "cooking" the fiberglass cabin
top along with being able to be sealed waterproof against sea water that occasionally washes over the decks and cabin while underway.
- - I wanted to strongly suggest the installation
of Carbon Monoxide alarms in the cabin(s) where propane burners are being used. I have two - one installed near the galley
and on back in the main sleeping cabin. They are the Safe-T-Alert self contained units and monitor
the ppm of Carbon monoxide in these area of the boat. Cooking
on propane stoves while the boat is sealed due to rain, etc. introduces carbon monoxide into the cabin. Also I have a Newport Diesel
Cabin heater with is vented through the cabin roof but "chimney" style vents can develop leaks
over the years. And any boat with a cabin roof chimney vent is also very prone to having the flue gas reversals due to gusts across the deck
of the boat.
- - A blown main engine (or genset) exhaust
hose can also introduce large amounts of exhaust
fumes and CO into the cabin. A CO monitor
is a cheap
investment in keeping yourself and mate alive should CO build up in the cabin.
- - If propane instant water heater units were introduced again after being pulled from the marine market then hopefully they are better designed to prevent CO leakage. Literally, playing with fire inside a boat is a potentially lethal game
- - The alternative, a engine and electrically heated hot water tank is so much safer by comparison. There is no "911" you can call from isolated anchorages
or ocean crossings to come out and rescue
you from CO poisoning.
- - But I am a firm believer in personal "rights" to live or die as you decide you want. But that aside, how about your children
or mate who is also on board with you? Just because you are cognizant and alert to the dangers and take every caution, don't assume they also can or will do the same.