What is Fresh Air Exhaust? Do I need it to wakesurf?
JANUARY 28, 2022 ·
Written by Joe Couture
What is Fresh Air Exhaust?
Fresh Air Exhaust (F.A.E.) is essentially a special exhaust pipe for your boat, it works by injecting the boat’s exhaust gases into the prop wash and moves the gases away from the boat. This is done by connecting the FAE to the existing exhaust outlets. Consequently, the prop wash pushes the exhaust away from the back of the boat, where it surfaces anywhere from 100-300 feet behind the boat. Fresh Air Exhaust reduces Carbon Monoxide levels up to 98%!
Should I care about Carbon Monoxide levels?
Yes! Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas formed by the incomplete combustion of fuels. When people are exposed to CO gas, the CO molecules will displace the oxygen in their bodies and lead to poisoning.
The effects of Carbon Monoxide are cumulative, the longer your exposure, the greater the health risk. All pre-catalytic boats produce dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide, even boats with Ultra Low Emission engines. Also, we now know that Carbon Monoxide poisoning causes oxidative stress to the brain and can cause long term permanent damage.
The first symptoms of CO poisoning may include tightness across the chest, headache, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, or nausea. Sudden chest pain may occur in people with angina. During prolonged or high exposures, symptoms may worsen and include vomiting, confusion, and collapse in addition to loss of consciousness and muscle weakness. Symptoms can vary widely from person to person. CO poisoning may occur sooner in those most susceptible: young children, the elderly, people with lung or heart disease, people at high altitudes, or those who already have elevated CO blood levels, such as smokers. Also, CO poisoning poses a special risk to fetuses.
Do I need F.A.E. to wakesurf?
If you are wakesurfing into the wind, at more than a few feet from the boat, for short periods of time, the impact of carbon monoxide will likely be small.
If you have an older boat that emits more exhaust without a catalytic converter, it’s a calm day or the wind is at your back, the wave is close to the swim platform, and you are doing a marathon surf session you will likely feel the effects of carbon monoxide.
The dangers of long-term exposure to carbon monoxide should be taken seriously. We highly suggest that if you plan to wakesurf with any frequency that you consider installing a Fresh Air exhaust system.
Are there any other benefits to F.A.E.?
Yes! Fresh air exhaust is significantly quieter.
By pushing the exhaust under the water, the engine noise can be reduced by up to 50%! Tige Boats tested FAE to comply with the strict noise reduction standards in the European Union and recorded noise reductions of up to 9 decibels. The below video demonstrates the noise reduction surifng on a Supra. This quieter engine means your stereo will sound better, doesn't need to be turned up as high, and will reduce the impact of your stereo on the rest of the lake.
AND, F.A.E. can improve your engine's performance.
Fresh Air Exhaust creates a suction as it moves forward through the water. This suction helps to pull the exhaust out of the engine. This is very similar to the exhaust configuration on outboard motors where the exhaust is pushed out through the propeller.
Do you really NEED Fresh Air Exhaust to wakesurf?
No, the boat will still work without it, but you need to be extremely careful and vigilant to make sure you don’t start to feel the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
Should you seriously consider getting F.A.E?
YES! Safety should always be your number one concern. F.A.E. is relatively inexpensive and easy to install too. We have a couple different videos showing how to do it, walking you through the process of ordering, measuring, and installing!
Still have question? Check out our page on Fresh Air Exhaust, watch our boat builds and see us install F.A.E on a Mastercraft Maristar and a Malibu 247, send us a message on our chat, or send us a question at our help desk. Local to Minnesota? Then let us install it for you at our Upgrade Division.