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Well it’s back to raining here in Rhode Island so my friend Pentaman won’t be available today to finish off the paint job on his Volvo outdrive. If you’ve missed my last two posts, we’ve been tracking his progress with this big job. So, it looks like Monday I’ll be able to get you the final results of his work as the forcast looks good weather wise.

Today, I want to talk about one of the most important safety devices on your boat if you have living / sleeping accomodations. I’m referrring to a CO monitor.

Now most people think of CO poisioning as only being associated with gasoline fueled engines, and it is true that they are the big emitters. but that said, all engines exhaust varying amounts of CO. Really, anything with a flame on it or in it produces some CO. On boats this is a big issue because the space is relatively small.

So now, if you are reading this and saying, I’m good, my 7 year old boat is equipped new with a CO monitor, I’m good to go!

NOT SO FAST………….. Most people are not aware that these units have a limited life span, ranging from 3-5 years with the units I’m familiar with, several of which are shown below:

co monitor


The two models shown above are made by FireBoy Xintex and are probably the most popular units used in the boating industry. The owner’s manual that comes with these units is quite clear. The very first sentence reads: “WARNING: Failure to replace this product by the “REPLACE BY DATE” printed on the alarm cover may result in death by Carbon Monoxide poisioning. Replace by date is five (5) years from the date of manufacture. It doesn’t get much clearer than that. These units have a finite life span.

I should warn you that not all units have the 5 year life either. I’ve installed some that had a 36 month span.

By the way, just because the unit in the upper picture here looks like the smoke detector in your house, don’t confuse the two. They are entirely different units that sense different things. There is no cross-over.

Don’t take a chance people. Check your unit out today. If you don’t have one or more of these units on your cabin boat, get one!

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