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Old 03-06-2020, 05:08   #1
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CO Detector Location on a Catamaran

I currently have a single CO detector in the saloon where the galley is also located - Gas Stove & Oven/Grill



Engines are in their own external engine rooms accessed from outside at the stern of each hull



Should I have a detector in each hull as well?
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Old 03-06-2020, 05:21   #2
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Re: CO Detector Location on a Catamaran

Some would insist (like my insurance company) that there should be a detector in each sleeping cabin. You could argue about the need for this, but with the cost of a detector being so low youíll spend more mental energy trying to decide than the money is worth.
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Old 03-06-2020, 06:36   #3
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Re: CO Detector Location on a Catamaran

Google it. The EPA and fire prevention sites will tell you:


  • NOT near the stove or oven.
  • Each sleeping chamber, above bed height. This is the vital location. If not each cabin...
  • Each floor. By implication, each hull.
So normal a cat will have two, one in each hull. The salon is good to, because CO will rise, and if the boat is buttoned up tight at night, that might be the first place to get high levels. Also prolonged cooking without ventilation can be a problem; boats are much smaller than houses.
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Old 03-06-2020, 16:17   #4
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Re: CO Detector Location on a Catamaran

Carbon monoxide is usually slightly less dense than air and so permeates at all levels. Our L450 had a factory fitted wired CO monitor in the starboard master hull on the ceiling above the electrical cabinet. I added two more smoke/CO combo battery powered ones, one in each hull stern cabin, another CO monotor in the port forward cabin, and a smoke detector in the salon opposite the galley There is a neat CO monitor from Quell that gives a digital read out of CO levels - not very expensive. I also fitted an LPG sniffer with auto shutoff in the bilge below the galley.


This might be considered overkill but there are a few sources of CO people tend to forget about, the two engines, the generator and gas cookers and nearby boats especially at a dock. Wind against tide conditions can cause the stern of the boat to face a gentle breeze and so blow back of diesel exhaust is quite possible.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:40   #5
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Re: CO Detector Location on a Catamaran

Any reason a standard home (Costco) CO detector would not be effective on a boat?
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:28   #6
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Re: CO Detector Location on a Catamaran

Following this thread. I had a friend whose batteries cooked and the boat filled with CO. She called the firedept and the level was so high she would had been killed had she not immediately opened/aired and got out of boat. No other details but I bought a CO det for my Pearson 33 and not really sure where best to install. BTW...I did not think it was a big deal until I realized what the the fire dept said am so happy she didn't take my advice and instead called FD. I learned a valuable lesson.
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Old 06-06-2020, 17:37   #7
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Re: CO Detector Location on a Catamaran

We have a CO monitor hard wired to power in the salon and a battery version of CO + smoke in each berth. When cruising we carry a spare battery version for replacement. IMHO very practical insurance.
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Old 08-06-2020, 01:33   #8
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Re: CO Detector Location on a Catamaran

At home I have the Google Nest Smoke and CO detectors and I have to say, if its possible, and I'm sure it would be, with onboard WiFi, they would be my choice of detector. They give a warning of levels rising, going Bong Bong Bong, then speaking "be aware there is smoke in the kitchen, the alarm might sound, the alarm is loud" or whichever room they are in/set for. If you clear the smoke they go back to monitoring. I have three in the house, they all sound and speak together, they do an automatic network and self test, monthly, I think, and as a great bonus they light up as you move underneath them at night providing an emergency lighting. The ones I have run on replaceable AA lithium batteries, though mains powered are also available. I have not had a better detector ever and I know that's saying a lot, but they really do appear good. Expensive, but very good. Of course I hope never to actually have to use them.

The downside being the need for WiFi for setup, after the setup they form their own network independent of WiFi. I don't know what they use but it works.
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:05   #9
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Re: CO Detector Location on a Catamaran

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heliades View Post
Any reason a standard home (Costco) CO detector would not be effective on a boat?

From BoatUS:

"Different detectors perform differently. The labeling should say what they're intended to do. Also, be sure to buy detectors that are certified for marine use. Typically these are not only built better to last longer, they have settings for the boating environment to make them work better for you. One example is that a house CO detector may go off all the time on a boat because it gets a momentary whiff from an engine starting down the dock. Often the owners will get so sick and tired of false alarms that they'll disable the detector — potentially a fatal mistake."

That said, we have household detectors on both our boats and have had no problems.

We once returned to the boat after a grocery run in the tropics to find the alarm in the main salon going off. It was very hot inside and, after airing the cabin out, the alarm shut off. Still don't know what set it off.
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Old 09-06-2020, 11:13   #10
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Re: CO Detector Location on a Catamaran

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
From BoatUS:

"Different detectors perform differently. The labeling should say what they're intended to do. Also, be sure to buy detectors that are certified for marine use. Typically these are not only built better to last longer, they have settings for the boating environment to make them work better for you. One example is that a house CO detector may go off all the time on a boat because it gets a momentary whiff from an engine starting down the dock. Often the owners will get so sick and tired of false alarms that they'll disable the detector ó potentially a fatal mistake."

That said, we have household detectors on both our boats and have had no problems.

We once returned to the boat after a grocery run in the tropics to find the alarm in the main salon going off. It was very hot inside and, after airing the cabin out, the alarm shut off. Still don't know what set it off.

May have been off-gassing of vinyl or or other synthetic products getting hit by the sun and heating up, particularly if salon has slope back windows.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:14   #11
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Re: CO Detector Location on a Catamaran

A combustible gas detector in each hull would be my preference. With propane on board CO could be an issue but the bigger issue is risk of fire/explosion from a leak, malfunction, or a burner that got left on. Many propane solenoid controls have a built in fume detector but you really want ones with alarms in each hull. (since air is lighter than propane). Some parts of the world don't put enough "stink" in their gas making it even more dangerous. In addition mount a standard smoke/CO detector in each hull.
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