A ventilation blower is an exhaust fan that sucks in gas fumes and expels them from the engine compartment of a boat. It is an important safety device that should be used whenever there are hazardous gases in the engine or fuel tank of a pleasure craft.
There are many situations in which a ventilation blower should be operated, but it is usually recommended that you activate the blower before starting the engine to remove any hazardous fumes. The US Coast Guard recommends that you activate the blower for a minimum of four minutes, which will ensure that all flammable gases have been expelled before the engine is started.
What are some of the most common situations when a bilge blower should be turned on?
The main reasons for using a bilge blower are to remove vapors from the bilge of your boat, and to prevent any gasoline fumes from building up in your engine compartment. The blower should be turned on whenever you are refueling the boat, before starting the engine, and while the engine is running at an idle speed (idle speed refers to a slow speed where no wake is created).
A properly designed and constructed bilge blower has ignition protection built into it. This means that the electrical components are insulated to prevent sparking, which could result in an explosion. If you are not sure that a bilge blower is the right solution for your needs, then talk to your local marine mechanic.