Ken Goodings and Lynn Kaak moved aboard their Niagara 35, moored in Toronto Harbour, in the fall of 2003, after “selling up” and committing to the liveaboard life. With reports from Ken and Lynn, we shall follow their adjustment to this lifestyle and their continuing adventures.
A Carbon Monoxide Scare
One frigid evening last week, several fellow boaters in our liveaboard marina here in Toronto suffered carbon monoxide poisoning during a localized power outage . Due to some tripped main breakers supplying their pier, some boat slip power pylons went dead. At the time, local outdoor temperatures were around -22 C (-4 F)
The boaters crowded onto a large, late-model shrink-wrapped power cruiser, whose electric space heaters were powered by a built-in generator. Unfortunately, the boat’s exhaust pipe was blocked by ice or snow. Exhaust fumes began leaking into the engine spaces and, unnoticed, into the cabin.
Finally, one of the group stumbled out on deck, where he collapsed. A 911 emergency call went out and hospital treatment was necessary. It was reported that the vessel’s CO alarm failed to go off in time.
Many boaters are using fuel-burning devices for wintertime cooking and space heating under poorly ventilated winter enclosures. Even during the sailing season, a propane stove or oven requires proper cabin ventilation. Some vessels have diesel powered central space heaters to help boaters to extend the season.
It makes good sense to routinely check to make sure that these heating systems are working safely. Pay attention to ventilation issues, and have a properly maintained smoke and carbon monoxide detector on board.
Our detector yells “FIRE, or CARBON MONOXIDE” at us in English and French, along with a piercing alarm siren.
Lynn Kaak Silverheels III – You can catch up with Lynn and Ken’s blog at – The Voyages of Silverheels III
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