Sophia’s Law in Minnesota concerns carbon monoxide ( CO ) detectors on your boat. This is named after a young girl that succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning on one of the Twin City metro lakes a few years ago. It was originally scheduled to be implemented May 1, 2017. Do to confusion getting the word out it was delayed until May 1, 2018. This law mandates CO detectors and 3 different stickers be placed on your boat. These must be placed at the helm, the boarding area of the boat and in the entrance of the boat. Minnesota is the first state to enforce the use of CO detectors on boats.
The law states
- Motorboats regardless of fuel type with an enclosed accommodation compartment must be equipped with a functioning marine CO detector system installed according to manufacturer instructions.
- Per the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) standard A-24 Carbon Monoxide Detection Systems, July 2015, detectors must be located to monitor the atmosphere in the main cabin and each sleeping area. Carbon monoxide detectors manufactured prior to 2012 should be replaced
For those with very young, elderly, or other health concerns may also consider a low level detector which will warn you of concentrations UNDER 30 PPM. However these are not marine rated and CAN NOT be used to meet the requirements of the law.
A great graphic diagram that shows if your boat is required to meet this new law can be found at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/boatwater/sophias-law.html
In 2017 only one CO detector met the criteria to be used, that unit required being hardwired into the boats electrical system. That was manufactured by Fireboy-Xintex. This year it appears they have a battery operated solution also. I found both at: https://www.westmarine.com/search?Ntt=co+detector and am sure you will be able to find them in other marine stores across the state.