Ventilation systems circulate fresh air throughout your boat. Ventilation will help remove gas fumes from the hull and engine compartments, thereby preventing a fire or explosion. The US Coast Guard requires that all recreational boats using gasoline engines for mechanical power, propulsion, or electrical generation be equipped with a ventilation system. Also, all boats built after August 1, 1980, must comply with the US Coast Guard Ventilation Standard.
Depending on the type of engine and the year of manufacture, your boat will have either a natural or a powered ventilation system.
Natural Ventilation System: All boat compartments containing a permanently-installed gasoline engine, fuel tank, electrical component, openings between them, or non-metallic fuel tanks must have a natural ventilation system.
Powered Ventilation System: For each compartment of a boat containing a permanently installed gasoline engine with a remote starting cranking motor, a powered ventilation system must be installed.
Maintaining the boat’s ventilation system is the boat owner’s responsibility. As part of proper maintenance, it is crucial to ensure that all openings are clean, the ducts and ducting are not blocked or torn, and the blowers are functioning correctly. Ensure that the vents are clear of obstructions and inspect the device regularly to keep the ventilation system.