Boating Basics Online - Basic Boating Safety Course
Chapter 4 - Required Equipment
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Ventilation / Exhaust Blower

All boats built after April 25, 1940, and which use gasoline for electrical generation, mechanical power or propulsion are required to be equipped with a ventilation system. The ventilation system may be either natural or powered. The ventilation system removes fuel vapors from the bilge by circulating air through the engine and fuel tank compartments.

A natural ventilation system consists of at least two ventilator ducts, fitted with cowls or their equivalent:

How a ventilation system works.

A powered ventilation system consists of one or more exhaust blowers. Each intake duct for an exhaust blower should be in the lower one-third of the compartment and above the normal accumulation of bilge water.

NOTE: Boats built after July 31, 1980, that contain power exhaust blowers in gasoline engine compartments must have the following warning sticker near the instrument panel:

WARNING

GASOLINE VAPORS CAN EXPLODE.
BEFORE STARTING ENGINE OPERATE
BLOWER FOR 4 MINUTES AND CHECK ENGINE COMPARTMENT
FOR GASOLINE VAPORS.

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