A boat operates similarly to a car, only on water instead of a road. Boats have engines and motors to propel the craft and batteries that give them power. But, like cars, boats must be properly cared for. This is especially important before the boat is taken out on the lake for a joy ride. There's a checklist of things owners need to do. One of the most important is turning on a device called the blower.
What the Blower Does
Engines are typically located in the back of boats, usually under the rear-most row of seats in an enclosed area with the gas tanks. Because the area is usually enclosed and there's a lack of proper ventilation, fumes can build up in the compartment. The blower is a mechanical ventilation system that, when activated, will disperse the potentially dangerous fumes. Blowers remove these gases in fan-like fashion.
When the Blower Should Be Used
Boat blowers should be activated before the engine is started on a gas boat. This is because the spark that ignites the ignition could potentially cause an explosion in the engine compartment if there are fumes present. According to Boat US: BoatTECH, the blower should be run for at least four minutes to ensure that all fumes are dispersed from the engine compartment.
Consequences of Not Using the Blower
There are several consequences of not using the blower. Perhaps the most minor is a citation: The U.S. Coast Guard requires all non-open gas boats built after July 31, 1981, to have a mechanical ventilation system. The most serious consequence of failing to run the blower could be death. Starting the engine with fumes in the closed engine compartment could cause an explosion that could severely damage the boat and cause serious injuries, or even death, to the boat's occupants.
Boat blowers are fan-like parts. They're also an inexpensive accessory to ensure your boat is legal and safe. According to Wholesale Marine, blowers start at $19.36. Larger blowers, which are designed for bigger boats with subsequent larger engine areas, top out at $68.85. Blowers typically have long lives, too. Unlike the engine, which is under strain for the duration of a boat ride, blowers only operate for minutes at a time.
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