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Old 12-21-2015, 02:02 PM   #81
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It does strike me as interesting about an open air install above decks on a trunk cabin trawler.


Either you let the gas leak flow naturally overboard or be dispersed in a breeze...or you are forced to place the tank inside the boat or run a vent/fuel line back into the boat or across a deck as a trip hazard....


Seem like allowing a leak to dilute naturally with outside air with the OUTSIDE chance that it will work its way back into an open window (not necessarily near it) is a gamble I guess I have to take till mandated otherwise.


If that possibility is really that high...then I am surprised that a much bigger deal about older boats and rail mounted units isn't made. Certainly the writings of propane accidents don't reflect that all "non-compliant" systems are disasters waiting to happen. Usually, like many types of accidents, not the basics were even considered.
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:39 PM   #82
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Any propane tank should be stored in an ABYC compliant locker in my opinion.
The underside of your helm has electrical stuff that is no ignition protected. LPG may be heavier than air but it would not take much of a breeze to lift it up into your gauges or what ever other electrical stuff under there. I'd write it up as non-compliant.
Boatpoker, I've read and appreciated the stuff on your web site. It's pretty clear that you take the issues around safety on board seriously, and I think that this kind of advocacy helps us all in the long run. Thanks for your efforts and contribution.

That said, I appreciate some of the points that semi-planing brings up. As I understand things meeting ABYC standards is not required for new boats that are not used for commercial purposes, and certainly the standards have evolved since many of the boats out there were sold new.

So when you point out in your written survey that the install doesn't meet current ABYC standards what is the response from the owner's insurance company? I understand that this is a big grey area, but I'm concerned that this "non-compliance" is in reference to a set of standards that may not apply to the boat and its intended use. I think that's the heart of semi-planing's point.

Sorry to blather on, but I recently was essentially forced by my home insurance underwriter to have extensive electrical work done on my 110 year old home to the tune of > 20k. I was dropped into one of those grey areas after a home inspection. Nothing had changed for the worse during my 20 years of ownership, but this particular inspector felt that the outdated wiring was an issue, even though the local electrical authority (and the underwriter, before being provoked by the report) didn't. Is my home safer now? Sure. But I knew the risks when I moved in, judged them to be small, and would have liked to have done the work when it suited me.

So while I would certainly appreciate a surveyor pointing out how I could make my old boat safer, I would hate to see a case where expensive and/or extensive remedial work to meet current standards were forced upon me by my insurance company, particularly when new boats aren't always compliant, as you point out on your web site. Sometimes the insurance folks aren't experienced enough to read between the lines. So I do kind of question calling these things out in the written report.
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Old 12-21-2015, 03:17 PM   #83
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You are hilarious
Here you go again making things up. Please show me the partnership agreement between me and ABYC or indeed my statement that I was a partner..
In post #34 you stated that you put on ABYC courses. You're obviously in bed with them. Nobody's going to get an unbiased reading from you, that much is very clear. You are the poster child for what is wrong with the system. Show me the safety data base that says these factory installed systems are inherently unsafe when properly maintained. And don't give me the bit about "compliant" versus safe. As stated above, you walk off and leave the owner holding the bag with the insurance company....by design...
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Old 12-21-2015, 03:20 PM   #84
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That said, I appreciate some of the points that semi-planing brings up. As I understand things meeting ABYC standards is not required for new boats that are not used for commercial purposes, and certainly the standards have evolved since many of the boats out there were sold new.

So when you point out in your written survey that the install doesn't meet current ABYC standards what is the response from the owner's insurance company? I understand that this is a big grey area, but I'm concerned that this "non-compliance" is in reference to a set of standards that may not apply to the boat and its intended use. I think that's the heart of semi-planing's point.

Sorry to blather on, but I recently was essentially forced by my home insurance underwriter to have extensive electrical work done on my 110 year old home to the tune of > 20k. I was dropped into one of those grey areas after a home inspection. Nothing had changed for the worse during my 20 years of ownership, but this particular inspector felt that the outdated wiring was an issue, even though the local electrical authority (and the underwriter, before being provoked by the report) didn't. Is my home safer now? Sure. But I knew the risks when I moved in, judged them to be small, and would have liked to have done the work when it suited me.

Sometimes the insurance folks aren't experienced enough to read between the lines. So I do kind of question calling these things out in the written report.
Correct, ABYC Standards are not mandated in the US, neither for older nor new boats. In Canada however some ABYC Standards are mandated by Federal law most notably the electrical standards. There are no laws regarding propane in pleasure craft in the US or Canada.

If you have looked at the sample survey reports on my website you will note a couple of things. I do not make mention of "Recommendations" as most surveyors do. I list my comments as "Comments". I don't "recommend" you do anything in my reports, I simply list things that I feel are worthy of note.

I clearly state in my reports which "Comments" are my opinion, voluntary (ABYC, NFPA etc.) or mandated by law.

I happen to believe in the "Standards" (and standardization contrary to what that other poster feels) but one must remember that all standards should be considered a minimum. There are several areas where I believe ABYC does not go far enough.

I do not solely rely on the law and ABYC but also throw in my experience when writing my report. I never take a job without ensuring the client has read a sample survey report so that they know exactly how I go about it. They then have a choice to hire me or not if they do not like ABYC being noted in my reports or anything else in how I go about my business.

As to the insurance companies. I can't do anything about how they perceive a report (if they read it at all). I do believe that they are making a business decision and it is entirely up to them to judge the risk they are willing to assume.
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Old 12-21-2015, 04:10 PM   #85
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In post #34 you stated that you put on ABYC courses. You're obviously in bed with them. Nobody's going to get an unbiased reading from you, that much is very clear. You are the poster child for what is wrong with the system. Show me the safety data base that says these factory installed systems are inherently unsafe when properly maintained. And don't give me the bit about "compliant" versus safe. As stated above, you walk off and leave the owner holding the bag with the insurance company....by design...
It's very frustrating talking to you. you constantly make things up and change your story when called on an obvious falsehood. You want "standardization" but are against standards ???????
You obviously have some issues and are simply not worth responding to again.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:21 PM   #86
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Unfortunately....it seems that some insurance companies do rigidly follow surveys. That is based on has been posted online, and from the experiences of fellow boaters included my own experiences.

Fortunately...some insurance companies are flexible and with enough info and reason, they will decide their own risks, rather than just make up a workload from a survey.

This particular topic seems to have gotten pretty heated lately as one can see that one person's opinion is neither right or wrong. It certainly could be supplemented with industry guidelines to make it sound "more correct" or safer....but there is more to being right or correct than usually is presented in its simple form.

An good example might be the boater who has a compliant system and locker, but always forgets to close and latch the lid and forgets to turn the solenoid off. That never gets written up...but a tank, sitting out in the open air that gets religiously turned off and is far enough from windows for the occasional venting ....is "non compliant".
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:35 PM   #87
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Any propane tank should be stored in an ABYC compliant locker in my opinion.
The underside of your helm has electrical stuff that is no ignition protected. LPG may be heavier than air but it would not take much of a breeze to lift it up into your gauges or what ever other electrical stuff under there. I'd write it up as non-compliant.
Trying to stay out of the poop slinging. If I were having a survey, I could just remove the spare tank before the survey. As I stated, a highly respected and recommended regional surveyor did the pre-purchase survey and did not call attention to it.

What you say could happen could happen but it seems to me to be pretty unlikely. I'll consider it.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:36 PM   #88
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Unfortunately....it seems that some insurance companies do rigidly follow surveys. That is based on has been posted online, and from the experiences of fellow boaters included my own experiences.

Fortunately...some insurance companies are flexible and with enough info and reason, they will decide their own risks, rather than just make up a workload from a survey.

This particular topic seems to have gotten pretty heated lately as one can see that one person's opinion is neither right or wrong. It certainly could be supplemented with industry guidelines to make it sound "more correct" or safer....but there is more to being right or correct than usually is presented in its simple form.

An good example might be the boater who has a compliant system and locker, but always forgets to close and latch the lid and forgets to turn the solenoid off. That never gets written up...but a tank, sitting out in the open air that gets religiously turned off and is far enough from windows for the occasional venting ....is "non compliant".
I understand what you are saying and don't completely disagree but I know surveyors who have been sued even when they were right. I can't imagine what a lawyer would do to a surveyor who didn't happen to note that the propane system that blew up was non-compliant with what the courts already accept as "best industry practice" ie. ABYC
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:47 PM   #89
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I generally tell my insurance surveyor (that i am paying) just exactly what I want him to put in his report. And just how many "deficiencies" he can write up, just so it looks legit.
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:48 PM   #90
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I generally tell my insurance surveyor (that i am paying) just exactly what I want him to put in his report. And just how many "deficiencies" he can write up, just so it looks legit.
Wow ! The insurance company's lawyers are salivating just waiting to get that guy on the stand. Hope his assets are well hidden .... more likely non-existent
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:20 PM   #91
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Greetings,
I'm fully with Mr. 44 on this one (post #89). Last insurance survey the "surveyor" recommended my swim platform brackets be painted as there was surface rust on them. Insurance company insisted ALL recommendations be completed for ongoing coverage. Justify THAT! I've employed good surveyors who have pointed out deficiencies and I'm VERY happy they did so but the last "expert", yes, SAMS, NAMS and HOT DAMNS certified shouldn't have been out in public without an attendant. He even went so far, quoting AYBC "rules" to suggest all my negative 12v wiring be changed to yellow as that was now the law. Ya, right buddy. Suggest all ya want but don't even try to put THAT in a survey. Oh, and my propane locker was within "code".
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:41 PM   #92
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I generally tell my insurance surveyor (that i am paying) just exactly what I want him to put in his report. And just how many "deficiencies" he can write up, just so it looks legit.
Wow indeed! Always assuming kulas44 is serious and not being ironical.
Owner and Surveyor know the report will be relied on by the insurer, and maybe others. Imagine an item the surveyor should have reported but did not, because the owner told him "exactly what I want him to put in his report". Assume the item fails causing serious property and/or personal loss. I can`t imagine a surveyor putting himself at risk in that way, better he declines providing a report at all.
How can you have a situation where the insured virtually dictates the content of the supposedly independent surveyors report? The insurance could well be void for non disclosure,or worse. And if the insurer won`t pay, or owner gets sued, won`t he be saying "well, Surveyor X found no defect with the boat, look at his report".
Good on you boatpoker, stick to your guns. No good will come of fudging reports to satisfy an owner.
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:51 PM   #93
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Greetings,
I'm fully with Mr. 44 on this one (post #89). Last insurance survey the "surveyor" recommended my swim platform brackets be painted as there was surface rust on them. Insurance company insisted ALL recommendations be completed for ongoing coverage. Justify THAT! I've employed good surveyors who have pointed out deficiencies and I'm VERY happy they did so but the last "expert", yes, SAMS, NAMS and HOT DAMNS certified shouldn't have been out in public without an attendant. He even went so far, quoting AYBC "rules" to suggest all my negative 12v wiring be changed to yellow as that was now the law. Ya, right buddy. Suggest all ya want but don't even try to put THAT in a survey. Oh, and my propane locker was within "code".
Curiously RT, we agree. There are over 250 surveyors in Ontario and only 8 or 9 that I would hire. Like doctors, plumbers, dentists or the contractors that build the addition on your house, rule of thumb ...... 80% are mediocre, 10% are dangerous and 10% are excellent. it's all caveat emptor and you must do thorough homework before you hire anyone.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:20 AM   #94
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It's very frustrating talking to you. you constantly make things up and change your story when called on an obvious falsehood. You want "standardization" but are against standards ???????
You obviously have some issues and are simply not worth responding to again.
I suspect that your frustration stems from the fact that what I have, sir...is your number.

I never said I'm opposed to standards. All of these boats have been built to a standard of some sort. That defines it's beginning minimum standard. Subsequent modifications have their own set of standards that were in place at the time of the mod. This defines the starting point for an insurance survey. Keep in mind that according to the government the boat was safe when it went into service. If it was properly maintained, did not deteriorate along the way, and did not exhibit an inherent, dangerous and substantiated design flaw, it is still minimum safe. That defines the scope of your job. It's not what you think, or your opinion about what "should be"...I assure you the next inspector has his/her own set of opinions, likes, dislikes.

What I am against is arbitrary application of new guidelines to old systems when there is not a clearly demonstrated safety issue. You have yet to provide such substantiating data for propane sytems. Lots of "what ifs" and speculation, but no hard safety data that demonstrates a real world problem. But for the sake of discussion, let's suppose there was a safety case to be made on a specific system on a specific model line (you don't paint every boat in the recreational fleet with the same brush). The very next step is to bring the user community (owner/operators) into the discussion to establish a process for dealing with the problem. We pay the bills for every bit of this screwed up system. What I don't hear from you or SAMS or the insurance companies is a way to improve the process...which stinks. Arbitrary and capricious in the extreme. Standardization is a joke.
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:43 AM   #95
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"I never said I'm opposed to standards. All of these boats have been built to a standard of some sort."

Perhaps today for intl. charter service , or USCG over 6 pax , or other commercial service , but most boats under 60-75 ft are built to no standard .

30-40 years ago was the Wild West , the std was,,, did it sell?

Smart owners of new builds will require a survey before acceptance , but this usually does not include hull strength , engine mounting , or even the general suitability of installed systems.

Standards only exist where the vessel can not be used if its not up to snuff.

Not many "yachts" in that group.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:15 AM   #96
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Wow, this thread went south. I posted my home made propane locker earlier and got some appreciated honest feedback. I know it isn't "vapor tight" and doesn't have a top lid but it is bottom vented overboard away from any windows or doors. I can make it air tight and will. Wont comply but will be better.

Thought: Nobody likes a COP when the SOB tells you, you were speeding.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:28 AM   #97
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"I never said I'm opposed to standards. All of these boats have been built to a standard of some sort."

Perhaps today for intl. charter service , or USCG over 6 pax , or other commercial service , but most boats under 60-75 ft are built to no standard .

30-40 years ago was the Wild West , the std was,,, did it sell?

Smart owners of new builds will require a survey before acceptance , but this usually does not include hull strength , engine mounting , or even the general suitability of installed systems.

Standards only exist where the vessel can not be used if its not up to snuff.

Not many "yachts" in that group.
You're mixing up government standards/requirements/regulations with self imposed industry guidelines and best practices. Older boats were built to whatever Coast Guard safety standards were on the books at the time...minimal though they might have been...and thankfully still are. Lights, backfire prevention, etc. But the overriding point is that they were not identified as unsafe by the government safety apparatus. At the point they entered service, the safety record came into play. Propane systems have not been identified as a problem in service. Rest assured that if they were creating a hazard, the Coast Guard would be all over it.

The safety authorities in this country don't legislate new regulations (standards) just because they "think" an old design "might" be a hazard...it has to be shown to have a problem. Owners ought to be religiously and aggressively protecting that philosophy and policy. If the industry thinks a retroactive regulation for propane system design is necessary, then petition for rule making. At that point the public (owner/operators...think AOPA for airplanes) would weigh in and the issue of service history would absolutely come into play. The mandatory cost-benefits analysis would,look at service history, and the petition would go nowhere. Keep in mind we're discussing design....not condition...there's a difference. The current sneak around initiatives by some in the industry to take on a pseudo regulatory role is inappropriate and arguably illegal. If any of you want to upgrade to a newer system in any area...do so because you make the election...not because some industry group is pulling behind the scenes deals to force something on you. Folks are being manipulated by the safety industry. The motive has less to do with safety than profit. Safety sells, particularly when it's described in terms of explosions and mayhem...which hasn't happened in reality. Plenty of gas engine explosions, but not propane. Protect your right to decide and send these surveyors referencing ABYC guidelines (for new designs) in surveys packing.

By the way, I believe ABYC does a great job in the area of current guidelines for new builds. They have their place.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:40 AM   #98
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Wow, this thread went south. I posted my home made propane locker earlier and got some appreciated honest feedback. I know it isn't "vapor tight" and doesn't have a top lid but it is bottom vented overboard away from any windows or doors. I can make it air tight and will. Wont comply but will be better.

Thought: Nobody likes a COP when the SOB tells you, you were speeding.
If the cop is properly enforcing a public law/regulation/standard...no problem. If the cop is winging it with his own set of laws, big problem.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:48 AM   #99
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Curiously RT, we agree. There are over 250 surveyors in Ontario and only 8 or 9 that I would hire. Like doctors, plumbers, dentists or the contractors that build the addition on your house, rule of thumb ...... 80% are mediocre, 10% are dangerous and 10% are excellent. it's all caveat emptor and you must do thorough homework before you hire anyone.
Thanks for providing this quote. It's going to be very useful.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:04 AM   #100
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Wow, this thread went south. I posted my home made propane locker earlier and got some appreciated honest feedback. I know it isn't "vapor tight" and doesn't have a top lid but it is bottom vented overboard away from any windows or doors. I can make it air tight and will. Wont comply but will be better.
Sure. You're aware now of the current standards, have a better sense of the risks, and will pursue a solution that is legal and that you as the boat owner are comfortable with. That's a good outcome I think. Now how would you feel if an insurance survey quotes ABYC standards and the underwriter comes back and tells you that you need to make further changes or find a new insurer?
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