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Old 09-07-2015, 11:02 PM   #21
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I asked that question to a friend who ran a boat yard in the Delta. He said it costs about $10,000 to legally scrap a boat like mine in CA. So much needed in labor to remove the valuable materials and contain the hazmat (ie, bottom paint, etc.) then haul and crunch the rest. No wonder so many folks scuttle their boats.
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:55 PM   #22
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A condo boathouse in our marina bured a couple of years ago and all 30 boats in it were destroyed and sank and two liveaboards burned to death. What was left of the boats was pulled up and loaded on a barge and offloaded to shore in a other part of the waterfront. The lineup of burnt, black fiberglass and wood hulks is still there, I assume because of ongoing litigation, insurance claims, etc.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:22 AM   #23
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The troubling aspect is that while there is risk even in the best situation, we do know how today to build safer marinas and safer boats, but there are so many older marinas and boats, aging even more.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:09 AM   #24
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Don't know what else you could do for boats in slips, but it would seem to me rather simple to install sprinkler systems in boathouses. May not save the boat that was the original cause of the fire, but could certainly make a difference on adjacent boats. Water damage shouldn't be an issue on unaffected boats.

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Old 09-08-2015, 09:00 AM   #25
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This fire accelerated very quickly. From the time we first spotted smoke coming from the boat til the time I shot the first video was probably 3 to 4 minutes. I have been monitoring the local news for any stories regarding the cause of the fire. Will update the thread if I should find anything.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:05 AM   #26
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I'm glad to hear you and your boat are ok.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:20 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Don't know what else you could do for boats in slips, but it would seem to me rather simple to install sprinkler systems in boathouses. May not save the boat that was the original cause of the fire, but could certainly make a difference on adjacent boats. Water damage shouldn't be an issue on unaffected boats.

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Here are a couple of things you'd do.

-Wiring of the boats and docks
-Storage of propane tanks on the boats
-No wood docks, all concrete.
-Venting of any boathouses. Typically this is with center opening of even with multiple vents. Better selection of roof materials.
-Certainly sprinkler systems is a possibility. The only place I've seen them is in a concrete boathouse for larger yachts
-Alarm systems
-On site fire boats or hydrants and hoses. Fire boats preferable.
-Electrical inspections
-Full slips with long fingers on both sides, wider fingers

The problem is that all these things cost money and the customer often isn't willing to pay so most have to be dictated by law. Then we see the customer resistance to something like GFCI. And that's before even discussing all the older facilities.

I haven't been to the Great Lakes yet. However, in the PNW I did notice how many boathouses would not have been allowed on the lake we lived on previously. The dock in the photo shown in this thread wouldn't be allowed in many areas today. I've not seen a lot of docks with fire hoses outside of Fort Lauderdale.

Then of course if you have the equipment at the marina, you need to train some people to use it.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:41 AM   #28
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Here are a couple of things you'd do.

-Storage of propane tanks on the boats
Are you listing this as a cause or an accelerant?

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Old 09-08-2015, 10:47 AM   #29
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As with anything we spend a lot of time working on that gives us enjoyment, the loss of that item is tough to stand still for. I'm glad to hear no one was hurt and sorry that the owners lost their boats. There are soooo many probable causes, that all we can do is "What can I do to rule out suspect issues on our boat". I've been going through our boat replacing bad wire etc. You folks would not believe what the back electrical panel looks like. I bought a new one & it is ready to be installed when I return to the boat. Ours is diesel. Flash point is much lower than gas, but the engine room still needs to vent. Before I left the boat, I unplugged everything electrical & shut down all breakers not needed. The shore power connection will be replaced as with the ends on cords, when I install the new panel. I'm telling you'all this so if you have any other recommendations I'm all ears.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:55 AM   #30
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Are you listing this as a cause or an accelerant?

Ted
Accelerant, as with all fuel.

And that list didn't even mention space heaters. A huge number of home fires and a much smaller number of boat fires are attributed to space heaters, primarily electric.

Boats are similar to homes in that most fires are either electrical, started by a cigarette or are kitchen fires, largely from forgotten unattended items. The difference is that boats are more likely to have accelerants on board and the materials and finishes also act as accelerants.

Marinas have risks much like apartment or condo buildings except no walls separating so really more like a big open room with just boats in different parts of the room.

When talking accelerants, it reminds me of medical oxygen. People often talk about it as if it can start fires. No. The vast majority of fires involving it are started by cigarettes and then some by candles being knocked or falling over, both things that the providers tell you not to have. In fact, in some provinces of Canada, the providers will refuse to deliver medical oxygen to a patient who is still smoking.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:58 PM   #31
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Accelerant, as with all fuel.

Boats are similar to homes in that most fires are either electrical, started by a cigarette or are kitchen fires, largely from forgotten unattended items. The difference is that boats are more likely to have accelerants on board and the materials and finishes also act as accelerants.

Marinas have risks much like apartment or condo buildings except no walls separating so really more like a big open room with just boats in different parts of the room.
Reason I asked was that clearly gasoline would fall into that category and was surprised that you hadn't included it. Dingy fuel tanks are probably impressive when the fuel releases and starts vaporizing.

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