Authorities identified the men Friday as Eric Morgan of Coden and Jeff Strenth of Eight Mile.
Police were called to the boat, which was docked in Arnica Bay behind a residential area, at about 5 p.m. Thursday after a friend of the men found them unresponsive in an enclosed cabin on the 35-foot pleasure craft.
"We suspect it could possibly be carbon monoxide, but the cases are still pending at the lab at this point," said Lt. Steve Brown, with the Orange Beach Police Department.
U.S. Coast Guard officials are scheduled to inspect the vessel early next week, Brown said.
While both men were residents of Mobile County, Brown said that both had friends, and at various times family, living in the south Baldwin County city.
"They have some pretty strong ties to Orange Beach," Brown said.
Lucille Strenth said Friday that her grandson, Jeff, 38, was a multi-talented man who excelled at swimming as well as working on cars and boats.
"He was a very loving person and a very giving person," she said.
News of his death, she said, "just took the life out of me."
Jeff Strenth's mother, Debbie Reynolds, described her son with words like "kind" and "sweet": "He was just my joy and delight."
Like his grandmother, Jeff Strenth's mother said her son, an electrician and carpenter, had a knack for fixing things. In fact, his skill in repairs was the reason Morgan, 36, asked Jeff Strenth to accompany him on the boat, Reynolds said. The two were lifelong friends, attending Bishop State Community College together and maintaining a close relationship throughout moves between Mobile and
Baldwin counties, Reynolds said. While Morgan married once and had children, Strenth never married.
"He had a girl break his heart once when he was young," Reynolds said.
Brown said that the two men on Wednesday had piloted the boat from a Canal Road marina to their friend's home on Hickory Lane in the Bear Point neighborhood. The last time anyone spoke to both men was at about 11 p.m. Wednesday, Brown said.
The men's friend told police that he went to the boat at about 8 a.m. the next morning to check on the two and that they appeared to be sleeping, Brown said. When the friend returned to the boat Thursday evening he found Morgan and Strenth unresponsive and called police, Brown said.
Visitation for Jeff Strenth is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday at Radney Funeral Home in Saraland; the funeral will be Monday at 10 a.m. at the funeral home's chapel. Interment will follow at the Merlin George Family Cemetery in Kushla.
Arrangements for Eric Morgan were not available Friday night.
In 2003, authorities said carbon monoxide poisoning due to inadequate ventilation caused the death of a man and woman found aboard a shrimp boat adrift in the Mississippi Sound, south of Bayou La Batre.
Thanh Truong, 56, and Dung Thi Nguyen, 51, were a married couple who lived in Pensacola but were shrimping in Alabama waters at the time, according to reports.
Investigators said the boat's above-board power generator had broken down, so the two used a spare generator located below deck, which spread carbon monoxide into the couple's cabin as they slept.