How long can you hold your breath? When I was a lot younger I could swim the length of a 50 metre swimming pool under water, but not now of course. however, today I held my breath for what seemed half a lifetime while the BSS(Boat Safety Scheme) examiner checked Herbie’s gas system for leaks. In the previous two BSS’s we had had problems with a tiny weeny leak somewhere around the pigtail lead in the gas locker. Almost impossible to locate and hence almost impossible to fix, except by tightening and retightening joints.
This time the man connected his digital manometer (I think that might be a contradiction in terms if I‘m being picky) to the test point and we waited for what was supposed to be five minutes but was in fact nearer ten because he was nattering about ventilation. I was sure we’d have the same problem this time, but, hey, whaddya know? The pressure held rock steady and we passed the gas bit. Hooray. I breathed again.
The ventilation rules are interesting. You’re supposed to have enough air vents (that includes ceiling mushrooms) to allow the ingress of sufficient oxygen to keep up with all gas rings, oven, grill, gas water heater if you have one, your wood/coal burning stove plus one person for each berth on board(that’s four for us) – all at the same time. I think if we had all that on, we’d be opening doors and windows because it would be so hot! We’re a bit marginal on vents but in real life we always open hatches etc when it gets stuffy. and anyway the ventilation specs are only advisory. What we do have is two carbon monoxide (or as Kath likes to call them, monosodium glutamate) detectors, which we reckon is more important.
Anyhow after checking that lot and the fire extinguishers and diesel fuel lines and electrical wiring and gubbinses etc. it seems we are deemed safe again, so now we’re 170 quid poorer but certified for another four years. As it happens, a lot of people think I ought to have been certified a long time ago.