Exposure to diesel smoke

    I have a boat with a diesel burning stove on it. I lit it for the first time yesterday as a test (only for 5 minutes) and put it on properly tonight.

    Turns out it's not sealed somewhere and likes to fire fumes/smoke out.

    I noticed after 5-10 minutes that it was a little misty and opened all windows/doors. Though I thought it was my cooking.

    5 minutes later it was thicker and was clear it was the fire. It's turned off now and I've left the Windows doors etc open and I'm outside waiting for things to settle.

    We have working CO alarms which didn't activate so hopefully it's okay on that front. However, I wondered if that kind of exposure is okay? I'm feeling fine (tight chest due to just doing my first run in a long time) but I have no idea if I should do anything else.

    Does anyone have any thoughts?


    Assuming the smoke has cleared on the boat so you're not staying in that environment for extended periods you should be ok. Diesel fumes do emit carbon monoxide but seeing as you've had fresh air on your run you should be ok. Excessively sleepy and dizzy/lightheaded are signs to be wary of. Just get the flue fixed and get your carbon monoxide alarms tested.

    Original Poster

    That's what I was hoping to hear, thank you! I'm out having dinner now whilst it clears (small wins, hey?).

    I bumped into a fellow boater too who said its common for an old stove to do that (it's 13 years old and won't have been used much, definitely not for the last 5/6 years). He advised cleaning the flue out and then letting it run for a good 30-60 minutes which I may do this weekend whilst I don't need to be stuck inside it.

    I'll get someone around to check the seals on the flue too. One was replaced due to cracked fire cement but perhaps the others are in need of doing too.

    Thanks again.

    Burning Diesel does produce a lower amount of carbon monoxide than other forms of hydrocarbons, however in a enclosed environment or sufficient time it is still possible to produce a deadly atmosphere.

    Use a smoke canister in the fire to find the leak, It will be safe to use.
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