|VENTILATION AND FUELING
Gasoline fumes are heavier than air and will settle to the lowest part of the boat’s interior hull, the bilge. All motorboats, except open boats, must have at least two ventilator ducts with cowls (intake and exhaust). Exhaust blowers are part of most boat ventilation systems. Permanently installed fuel tanks must be vented.
Most boat explosions occur from improper fueling. Portable gas tanks should be filled on the dock or pier, not on board. The vent on the tank should be closed and the gas pumped carefully, maintaining contact with the nozzle and the tank’s rim. Any spills should be cleaned up, the tank secured and the vent reopened.
When filling inboard tanks, everyone should be sent ashore and the boat closed up. All electrical systems should be shut off. After filling up and before starting the engine, the blower should be run for at least four minutes. Take appropriate precautions to prevent spills. Avoid discharging oil and gas from your boat’s bilge. Toxic substances must be disposed of properly. Noncompliance may result in fines.
Boaters should routinely check for leaks in fuel lines and fittings, frayed wiring and improperly rigged electrical systems.