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The blower


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I know that we are supposed to hit the blower for several seconds before turning over the ignition. I believe this is to clear fumes from the engine compartment. The times that I, or other drivers of my boat, forget to hit the blower, I think to myself... well, we didn't explode that time.

Has anyone ever ignited the fumes in their engine compartment because they didn't hit their blower?

How many seconds do you all run your blower before hitting the switch?

When in the water for a pull, how often do you have to yell at the driver to remind them to turn off the blower?

Ultimately, what I want to hear is if some of you have decided that the blower is nothing more than a nuisance and you have successfully ignored it. (Successfull = you haven't blown up, yet).

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just the opposite for us. i would much rather replace the blower every couple of years than have an accident. We leave our blower on all the time. I have seen the results of a ski nautique that was started at a fuel dock without the blower run. it was not pretty.

there was a member from the old site from austrailia, i believe who lost her boat from an explosion. ask her what they think about blowers

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well we start it as the boat is dropping down off the lift, and sometimes don't turn it off till its on the way back up again...

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I'm gonna get lambasted for this, but I'll say it anyway...

The blower requirements in boats with modern fuel injected engines are a little outdated. Back in the day, when boat engines all had carbs, you would have fumes in an enclosed engine compartment because of the gas sitting in the float bowl, so you had to get those fumes out of there to avoid blowing yourself up.

With a fuel injected system, there is no such fuel sitting in open air to give you fumes. If you have gasoline fumes in your F.I. engine compartment, you have bigger problems than what a blower can take care of. You have a fuel leak, and should not start up the engine until you identify and correct the source of the fumes, they are not "normal" like they would be in a carbed engine compartment. If you smell gas and figure you'll run the blower for 4 minutes and you'll be fine, I'm afraid you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

That being said, I "sniff" for gas when I put my plug in at the ramp, and I do run the blower at that time and go back to the exhaust to smell the air coming out of there, mainly to see if the blower is still working.

Growing up, my Dad had big offshore fishing boats, and I remember getting to the boat, turning on the blowers and waiting until you didn't smell anymore gas out of the vents, then you were good to go.

If I smell gas at all, I'm going straight home to figure out the problem, the day on the lake is gone...

EDIT: Of course, the above does not apply to you if you've got a carb'd engine

Edited by rts
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no lambasting, and i agree with most of what you said. but you could still have a fuel leak that you don't detect, and that one time you get a spark from the starter, and you could be in big trouble.

we always have the engine cover open before first start, so running the blower is a mute point. it was just a habit i got into 20 years ago with my first ski boat (carbed of course). we now run it most of the time the boat is running. have had to replace the blower once in 6 years (under warranty because it wasn't mounted right at the factory and there was excessive vibration).

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there was a member from the old site from austrailia, i believe who lost her boat from an explosion. ask her what they think about blowers

She is a member on this site, too, (Skibabe).

I don't know if she's posted those pictures here but, one look at them and you will understand the importance of the blower. They were posted on MBO.

Edited by 88Skier
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You're right about the potential fumes from a leak, and that's why I for one think that a better requirement for a FI engine would be a "fume sniffer" that gave you an audible alarm if there were any fumes present, letting you know that you've got a fuel leak. This in leiu of a blower, which can't fix the problem for you. The blower does fix the "problem" (latent fuel vapors) in a carb'd boat, but fumes are "normal" there.

Again, no amount of fumes are acceptable in FI engines, and a blower could act to "mask" a problem...i.e. you run your blower at the ramp while loading up and clear out fumes, and once they are cleared out, you figure you're good to go for the day, but you've still got your fuel leak lurking down in that engine compartment, and don't know it because you smelled no fumes out the exhaust when you checked at the ramp...

I'm not saying do away with the blowers, or you're wasting your time using yours (like I said, I do use mine), it's just maybe time for the problem to be readdressed by the manufacturers due to the nature of enclosed FI Engines...perhaps require both a blower and a fume sniffer (I don't think they are outrageously expensive)

Edited by rts
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The fume sniffer is your nose which should be stuck into the engine compartment on 1st start up each day. The blower should be run whenever the boat is operated below cruising speed in order to keep fresh air circulating through the engine compartment/bilge area.

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I have always been a big proponent for using the blower. However, during the winter I was doing some work and realized the blower tube had come loose from the vent. Apparently for the last two years all it was doing was "circulating" the fumes in the compartment. Crazy.gif Although I do have an extra vent from where I removed the ski pylon.... it was necessary for an extra drink holder!!!!

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With DD's, I usually open the motor box to start for the first time during the day. I just like to see everything is in order, plus it clears things out nicely.

In the V drive, we run the blower about 1-2 minutes before starting each morning and run it at idle speeds.

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I wish I could post the story I wrote on the old site about a boat at our lake that had an explosion and caught fire. It was not a Comp boat but the senario was the same. Several people were severly burned.

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Guy I know had a fuel leak in the engine compartment of his jetski.

Granted, they don't have blowers, but proof that fuel leak can occur in an F.I. engine with disasterous consequences...when starting, he was blown off with the seat about 30 feet into the air and landed on shore. The local fishermen sitting in boats nearby were silent and then started clapping and laughing when he got to his feet. (need an "idiots" smiley face here..)

He did not have injuries except some minor scrapes and bruises, but could've really messed him up had he not landed the right way.

The jetski Mfg was more than happy to send him a new jetski to resolve the issue as my friend is a lawyer. Shocking.gif

Blower is almost always on in my boat...

Mook

Edited by mook222
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What's a blower?...

I grew up running it on the carb'd boats, but I rarely use mine today.

Having never been on an FI boat, does that mean when you lift the motor box you can't smell any trace of gas?

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EFI or not, given that there may be an undetected leak we should all use the blower before starting and at low speed. I don't always do this either. Opening the engine cover before starting may not always work. A real-live-fireman friend once told me that since gasoline vapors are heavier that air, the blower is still necessary to clear the bilge of the fumes.

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What's a blower?...

I grew up running it on the carb'd boats, but I rarely use mine today.

Having never been on an FI boat, does that mean when you lift the motor box you can't smell any trace of gas?

Correct, you should never smell fuel...it should go from the tank to the cylinders, non-stop, with no "contact" with atmosphere

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EFI or not, given that there may be an undetected leak we should all use the blower before starting and at low speed. I don't always do this either. Opening the engine cover before starting may not always work. A real-live-fireman friend once told me that since gasoline vapors are heavier that air, the blower is still necessary to clear the bilge of the fumes.

You're right, using your blower before start and at low speed is a good idea due to the possibility of an undetected leak. It will hopefully evacuate fumes at such a rate to keep you from having an explosion, although it may not work fast enough to get rid of fumes depending on the size of the leak...they are designed to handle fumes normally created through a carb's float bowl, not high pressure raw fuel being pumped into the engine compartment...

But, my whole point is this...In an EFI engine, the blower evacuating fumes is addressing a secondary problem(fumes) caused by your primary problem (a fuel leak), and the blower does nothing to warn you of your primary problem, unless you reroute your blower exhaust to the driver's face...driving around with your blower adequately evacuating fumes from a leak is not as safe as being warned you have a leak and not running at all until the leak is fixed

Therefore, I think we'd be safer if we had blowers to augment fume sniffers, not fume sniffers to augment blowers...I'd much rather know if there are fumes at all vs knowing I can get rid of them (temporarily) with the blower...

Edited by rts
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We start the blower when we get to the lake and let it run while we prep the boat. We also leave it on the whole time we are on the water and don't shut it off until we get the boat out of the water and into the parking lot. We always figure, better safe than blown up!!

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What's a blower?...

I grew up running it on the carb'd boats, but I rarely use mine today.

Having never been on an FI boat, does that mean when you lift the motor box you can't smell any trace of gas?

Correct, you should never smell fuel...it should go from the tank to the cylinders, non-stop, with no "contact" with atmosphere

Dang, that's almost unnatural. Crazy.gif

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unless you reroute your blower exhaust to the driver's face...

lol - could designate one skier per run as the designated "canary in the coal mine". If he drops, it's time to head in.

Therefore, I think we'd be safer if we had blowers to augment fume sniffers, not fume sniffers to augment blowers...I'd much rather know if there are fumes at all vs knowing I can get rid of them (temporarily) with the blower...

Totally agree. Will probably run mine whenever I remember...

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I would not agree that you will not smell gas fumes with an EFI boat. There is a known situation that some of the Hammerhead engines 'make' oil. Fuel bypasses the rings and gets in the engine oil. When you get enough fuel in the oil you will smell gas sometimes when you lift the engine cover. Why is it such a challenge to turn on the blower?

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We run it anytime the boat is running. It may be over kill, but what is it hurting by being on?

It hurts because of the annoying sound! We run ours when we first crank her up for the day but not much after that. We don't like to hear it all day...we would much rather hear the PWC's, tower speakers from 10 other wakeboard boats, and all the screaming fishermen! Crazy.gif

Edited by eubanks
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