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Old     (evadehickman)      Join Date: Apr 2008       08-12-2009, 10:17 AM Reply   
New to surfing, have several friends who enjoy it but I have also heard from some people that there is a risk of death from carbon monoxide. As the boat owner, I feel a responsibility to know the risks and inform my friends. I have a Sanger 07 V215, and we surf with factory ballast only, since that is sufficient for most people to let go of the rope and ride. Riders are very close behind the boat and say they can smell exhaust. Hoping for some wisdom from wakeworld...would greatly appreciate it.


1.) I've heard you can't smell CM - it can knock you out real quick, without warning.

2.)I've seen many pics of people who install some sort of exhaust extension below their swim step. Does this blow the exhaust further underwater and reduce danger for surfers?

3.) What do other boat owners do about informing friends of the potential risks?

Old     (moonshine)      Join Date: Jun 2008       08-12-2009, 10:31 AM Reply   
Here is a great thread for your Question...

Hope this helps...
Old     (lakesurfer)      Join Date: Jul 2009       08-12-2009, 12:11 PM Reply   
David Hickman

I am new to surfing as well. I am generally on the lake with my family and another (so 4 adults and 4 kids under age 8). I installed and FAE (exhaust extensions) on my boat prior to ever surfing behind it because of the CO2 issues you describe above. I personally believe it is a must have. They cut down the CO2 by approximately 90%. We surf all of the time and have never smelled it or had anybody get sick. An extra benefit is that it also reduces the noise of your engine by about 50%.

The FAE generally run in the neighborhood of $450 and take about 2 hrs to install.
Old     (ragboy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-12-2009, 1:08 PM Reply   
I have been working with Larry Mann for the last couple of weeks, and am part way done through a video where we take before and after measurements, and should answer all of your questions. I should be done by next week.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       08-12-2009, 2:55 PM Reply   
How much risk is it without one Robert?
Old     (somebodyelse5)      Join Date: Sep 2008       08-12-2009, 3:44 PM Reply   
honestly, on my boat i cant even smell the exhaust on the surfside, only time i can really smell it is if im on the goofy side and get my head down in the curl....other than that its not an issue. but depends on the boat i guess?
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       08-12-2009, 4:36 PM Reply   
Just to clarify, the symbol for Carbon Monoxide is CO. CO is the colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is harmful to the riders and passengers. CO2 is what we exhale and plants convert. Not sure that CM is even a gas or element.

Everyone keeps saying "I dont smell the exhaust at all", well, you cant smell something that is ODORLESS! So dont use your nose as a judge.
Old     (badluck)      Join Date: Jan 2009       08-12-2009, 5:35 PM Reply   
I thought co2 was for the keg
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       08-12-2009, 5:57 PM Reply   
^^^^ Under those conditions, Co2 can be a contributing factor in passing out also.
Old     (somebodyelse5)      Join Date: Sep 2008       08-12-2009, 7:44 PM Reply   
In a perfect burn all that comes from exhaust is CO and water, but no engine is 100% efficient and burns perfectly, soooo there are other elements in the exhaust which is why you can smell it. CO is mixed in with the other stuff you can smell, so smell should = CO.

Tell me if my reasoning is correct there...
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       08-12-2009, 8:15 PM Reply   
Actually, a complete burn would leave us only Co2 and O2. C0 is a result of an incomplete burn due to too many HC's (hydrocarbons - raw fuel) or too little oxygen. Other then the HC's, the rest are odorless. What gives the exhaust its smell, is mainly the proprietary additives that each gas company adds to the fuel at the depot, and what cleaning agents the EPA mandates to be added to all gas. Without these additives, exhaust wouldn't smell. We used to get a lot of rotten egg smell from the Sulferdioxide, but the EPA has reduced the amount of sulfur by quite a bit.

I just donít want people to have a false sense of security, thinking that the lack of any odor means it's safe.
Old     (somebodyelse5)      Join Date: Sep 2008       08-12-2009, 8:50 PM Reply   
gotcha, but as a guide line would it be safe to say that for the most part, if you can bend down and smell fumes and stand up and smell no fumes, you are not breathing large amount of CO standing up?
Old     (formfunction)      Join Date: Jun 2008       08-13-2009, 7:59 AM Reply   
Nobody has ever complained on our boat but we have too many kids and I don't want them breathing anything they don't have to.FAE is on my shortlist.Theres also other rules we follow when surfing Mostly having to do with the rope and driver like don't wrap the rope around your hands or let it dangle at your feet,we always pick people up on the drivers side and people help the driver identify rollers/hazzards.
Old     (slimjim44)      Join Date: Feb 2009       08-13-2009, 10:00 AM Reply   
Being dizzy and tired are some of the effects CO has on people. If anyone on the boat experiences any of those symptoms, you have problems. Also, don't sit on the transom or swimdeck when surfing and don't let the engine idle when stopped. Those are the easiest ways to get CO exposure. I'm interested to see what Ragboy finds with his test. I have a CO meter but am too lazy to check it.
Old     (ragboy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-13-2009, 11:14 AM Reply   
I still have more measurements to take but almost done. Here is my preliminary observations:

Wakesurfing is safe, with or without a FAE.
Riding on sundeck, or even in back seats of boat, even a vdrive, CAN be unsafe at wakesurf speeds. This is where the FAE works best. It makes the back of the boat safe at slow speeds, or any speed other than idle.
The FAE doesn't fix the problem at IDLE, you still need to turn your motor off when not moving.

This is not NEW info, but my goal is to use my site and abilities with video and youtube and podcast to get this information out there in a big way, and have a place for people to point others to, when they say wakesurfing is NOT safe.
Old     (nikko1)      Join Date: Sep 2008       08-13-2009, 11:17 AM Reply   
We have the new MB F23 Tomcat - it came with the Catanium Clean Emission System, and only has one exhaust. Anybody do any research on this system? Do you think we are okay, and might not need the FAE?
Old     (tonyv420)      Join Date: Jul 2007       08-13-2009, 12:01 PM Reply   
FAE is a must for any surfer. Unless you have sideswipe
Old     (kernaltao)      Join Date: Oct 2008       08-14-2009, 6:37 AM Reply   
If you are in the market for a new boat, you could always buy one with a catalytic converter (reduces CO emissions by over 99%). My '07 Malibu VLX has this. Most of the new Malibu boats have it. The added bonus is the VLX puts out a monster wakesurf wake (not bad with stock ballast; can easily get an awesome wake with just a little more ballast) - see the picture below of me surfing ropeless with my daughter; not the best view of the wake, though.

If you want to be safe on any boat without a cc, though, FAE is the way to go.

Old     (ragboy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-14-2009, 7:17 AM Reply   
Where does it say the CO is reduced by 99% because of the CAT?
Old     (kernaltao)      Join Date: Oct 2008       08-14-2009, 11:13 AM Reply   
My apologies. It's actually 98% reduction: (watch the "Tonya Investigation")


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