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Old 06-11-2012, 12:56 AM   #21
Art's Avatar
City: SF Bay Area
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Tollycraft 34' Tri Cabin
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6,509
Great thread... thanks for all the posts. Ill check on the fire-start %age links when time permits.

My Rule O Thumb, when boat is unattended for any extended periods:

1. Have a large, good condition, well wired bank of house batteries that is left at TOP charge when setting the boat at rest... check the battery banks condition at least once each time boat is used
2. Turn off master switch(es) that separate batteries from ALL electronics - - > except to the hardwired float switch activated bilge pump(s)
3. Shut down entire electric panel to off position on ALL breakers and other switches
4. Off hook shore line at boat and dock receptacles

I was brought up doing these items for best protection from unexpected fire while boat is unattended. This electrical separation technique also reduces anode deterioration due to reduced chance for electrical current / electrolysis.

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Old 06-11-2012, 05:32 PM   #22
City: Full Time Cruising East Coast
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Meridian
Vessel Model: Krogen-42
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 581
So much for all those exploding propane fires. Anyone know where they are on the scale?

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Old 06-12-2012, 11:46 AM   #23
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City: Upstate,SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: The Caroliner
Vessel Model: Plans to build 30' Spira Sitka
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,005
Late to the thread.All of the fires,more like explosions,that I have seen,come from fuel.Most are due to boat owners that are unaware of fuel issues in their engine rooms.Some of them are fuel leaks due to poor maintenance or people assuming their bilge blower(s) are working properly.Nearly every time I have seen a boat burn to the water,the operator says,"I don't know what happened.I ran the blower for x amount of time and it blew when I started the engine."I always pull the engine cover,or open the hatches,while I am doing my safety and system checks.Nothing better than fresh air and bilge blowers pushing air out.I have never seen a diesel boat catch fire.Diesel vapors are ways less volatile than gasoline vapors.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:10 PM   #24
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City: Miami Florida
Vessel Name: Possum
Vessel Model: Ellis 28
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,865
Hi Ben2go, Diesel boats burn very well and more often than I like. They just don't explode as much. Read my post in this thread on 05/30/12. That boat was diesel. I was once on a boat that caught fire. It was a gas boat but it was not a gasoline fire. It was a small electrical fire that wouldn't stay out. We emptied two dry chem extinquishers on it and it popped right back each time. We were about to unload a big expensive halon unit on it when someone grabbed a pot of water and doused it. That worked!
Ben, I had to look up that boat in your avatar. That guy designs some very interesting boats and they don't look too hard to build.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:44 PM   #25
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City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9,115
Discovered two extinguishers in the boat the other day, provided by the builder. Now I've got six. In four more years, maybe I'll understand my boat.
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:31 AM   #26
Scraping Paint
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Most of the boat fires I've been aware of in this area over the years were started by electricity, not fuel or fume issues. Heaters drawing too much power, faulty or corroded breakers on boats and docks that failed to trip, shorts in a boat's wiring, corroded, high-resistance connections between the groundpower cable and the boat's groundpower receptacle that overheated or burned out and shorted-- the list is long.

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