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Old 08-23-2021, 06:07 AM   #1
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Probably a boaters worst nightmare

Just found this story on YouTube. Boat fire. Would not want to be in their shoes.
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Old 08-23-2021, 06:30 AM   #2
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ouch!
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Old 08-23-2021, 07:35 AM   #3
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Yeah shit happens, I've had a few fires offshore on commercial boats, usually started by hydraulic leaks. Firefighting training is a good investment and kind of fun. This is what's left of a trawler I used to work on that burned this spring.Click image for larger version

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Old 08-23-2021, 08:49 AM   #4
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One of the concerns I’ve had is abandon ship protocols in the event of fire. Once watched a ~40’ motorboat go up in flames just under the Jamestown bridge. Literally in seconds you could see billows of black smoke engulf that boat. Occupants didn’t have a chance to deploy the raft nor any safety gear. We were farther up west passage but fortunately closer boats were able to pluck them out of the water. Would think the common sites for placement of a life raft would be unapproachable on most small trawlers given the toxic fumes and heat. Would think occasion may occur once fiberglass was burning that you would be unable to control it especially if it was undiscovered initially. Wonder about the tough decision when short handled-fight the fire v prepare to abandon ship. More than sinking fire is my first safety concern as once in open waters risks are huge. Feel so bad for this couple.
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Old 08-23-2021, 10:08 AM   #5
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Early detection is the key to fires or really any other boat emergency.

You need to have smoke and fire detection in all locations, especially locations that could mask a fire because they are closed off.

This early detection buys you time to either fight the fire while it is small (or even before a smoldering fire develops active flames).

Fire alarms networked together to a loud bell is a common sense mitigation technique that can save lives.
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Old 08-23-2021, 10:32 AM   #6
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We were going to buy a new Leopard 50 when they first came out 2019. After chartering one in Belize we quickly moved on and took the Leopard 50 off our list. There were problems with the boat from first delivery and on. It had electrical problems, water leaks, construction issues, it suffered from terrible design flaws, and the factory offered no support and passed every issue off to someone else.

Stay away from Leopard!!
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Old 08-23-2021, 10:49 AM   #7
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Are smoke detectors available that are approved for engine rooms? Was the source electrical or other?
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Old 08-23-2021, 11:12 AM   #8
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Yeah shit happens, I've had a few fires offshore on commercial boats, usually started by hydraulic leaks. Firefighting training is a good investment and kind of fun. This is what's left of a trawler I used to work on that burned this spring.Attachment 120401
Wifey B: Fires scare the bejeezus out of me. I'm glad I've had the training but sure hope to never use it. As to the kind of fun part, I guess in a strange way perhaps as it was a challenge plus when I did advanced, I was the only female in the class. Also, hope to be wise enough to follow the Kenny Rogers instructions to know when to hold em and know when to fold em, know when to walk away and know when to run.

My respect for firefighters grew exponentially too and I came to understand why so many end up on the ground or hospitalized. Being motivated to save life and property while remaining respectful of your own physical limitations would be so difficult.
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Old 08-23-2021, 11:14 AM   #9
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Are smoke detectors available that are approved for engine rooms? Was the source electrical or other?
I have installed residential smoke detectors in my engine room, pilot house and flybridge. These are wireless connected so if the one in the engine room activates, all the others will sound the alarm. About $100 for all 3. They work, aren't CG required, so it is irrelevant whether approved for that application.

Also, I have an "Element 50" extinguisher available as a backup to the USCG required extinguishers. Actually I would use that first because it doesn't leave corrosive residue that would destroy my electronics. There are videos of the "Element" system on YouTube. They cost about $85 each, but are highly effective cheap insurance.

Almost all fires start out small, and a smoke detector system would alert you while the fire is in very early stage when it could be easily extinguished. Halon and other fixed system typically don't activate until much later.
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Old 08-23-2021, 12:13 PM   #10
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Is a forensic audit applied whenever a fairly new expensive boat goes up in smoke?
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Old 08-23-2021, 12:21 PM   #11
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I have installed residential smoke detectors in my engine room, pilot house and flybridge. These are wireless connected so if the one in the engine room activates, all the others will sound the alarm. About $100 for all 3. They work, aren't CG required, so it is irrelevant whether approved for that application.

Also, I have an "Element 50" extinguisher available as a backup to the USCG required extinguishers. Actually I would use that first because it doesn't leave corrosive residue that would destroy my electronics. There are videos of the "Element" system on YouTube. They cost about $85 each, but are highly effective cheap insurance.

Almost all fires start out small, and a smoke detector system would alert you while the fire is in very early stage when it could be easily extinguished. Halon and other fixed system typically don't activate until much later.
Thank you, lots of good info. By approved I didnt mean CG approved but designed by the manufacturer to work in the hot closed area of an engine room.
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Old 08-23-2021, 12:38 PM   #12
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Is a forensic audit applied whenever a fairly new expensive boat goes up in smoke?
Local authorities may audit but insurer highly likely to do so.
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Old 08-23-2021, 01:05 PM   #13
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On our last boat I had 6 wireless detectors installed. One in the engine room, one each in the two main electrical compartments, one in each stateroom and one up on the bridge so we could hear the alarm if it went off. I was not sure we would hear the alarms going off if we were underway up on the bridge. We had them in place for about 3 years without any issues including the one in the engine room.
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Old 08-23-2021, 02:11 PM   #14
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We have always had detectors set up to create redundancy and loud universal alarms. Also automatic suppression for the engine spaces and carry in excess of CG requirements for extinguishers. Even do fire drills with new to us crew. Still, electrical fires, especially inside lockers, behind panels, in lazerettes or other confined spaces may not alarm rapidly. Have done the fire safety course. Sure you do what you can but agree with RCs title “the worst nightmare “. At a prior course they lit a one foot square piece of fiberglass alight . I was amazed at how much smoke it made and how hard it was to put out. Our rule is one person deploys the nearest extinguisher but the others get the rest. You may need multiple ones .
We also have fire blankets at the galley and in the engine room. Haven’t had to use them but fellow cruisers tell me cleaning up after setting off an extinguisher is a bear. One of my wife’s nephews is a firefighter have benefited from his knowledge and reviews. Think it’s worth having a knowledgeable person take a look at your boat. Have also benefited from surveyors input and education. Think ABYC rules are helpful and take particular attention to any change a prior owner has made to the electrical system or deviation from ABYC at time of initial construction. Don’t think house electrical code or knowledge translates to boat. Part of the reason we refused a nordhavn we thought to buy was when surveyor found house wiring, non functional GFIs and other violations. Owner did house construction for a living and his wiring was tidy and beautiful but not in accordance to best marine practices.
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Old 08-23-2021, 02:39 PM   #15
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For those of you who did not watch the video, the story is not about the boat burning up, it's about what is happening after the fire. The owners live in Australia and the boat was in Florida. They were in Australia when it happened. Now they get a notice from the coast guard that at this time since they are the owners, they are at fault. The salvage guys want upwards of $100,000 to remove it but maybe it will cost more. And the insurance company is dragging their feet and not calling them back in a timely manner. And just to make it a little more interesting another boat was burned up too!
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Old 08-23-2021, 03:15 PM   #16
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What a nightmare. Personally, financially, ecologically...
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Old 08-23-2021, 04:55 PM   #17
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For those of you who did not watch the video, the story is not about the boat burning up, it's about what is happening after the fire. The owners live in Australia and the boat was in Florida. They were in Australia when it happened. Now they get a notice from the coast guard that at this time since they are the owners, they are at fault. The salvage guys want upwards of $100,000 to remove it but maybe it will cost more. And the insurance company is dragging their feet and not calling them back in a timely manner. And just to make it a little more interesting another boat was burned up too!
Well, sadly, it is their responsibility. I hope they're well insured through a reliable company although sounds a bit problematic, but often determining cause slows things down. But also hope they have a nice umbrella policy for anything not covered by insurance. Doesn't take a lot to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and responsibility.

I'm sorry but the public whining episode does nothing to make me feel worse for them. All the "it's not my fault". Well, yes it is. Your boat, your responsibility. Then the shock at salvage and Coast Guard? Do you think you'll be allowed to just let it sit and cause more damage? In Australia, you'd be charged for reef damage. I don't know why they're just talking to an insurance agent and not the claims department of the insurer, through the number on their policy. That's the first call they should have made. Public crying doesn't move me and it is just a boat but led to destruction of another boat and environmental damage. They resent being told it's their responsibility, well who do they expect to be held responsible if not them?

I watched the entire video. While I do understand the sense of loss of a house or boat, no lives lost, no one hurt and I'd be rejoicing in that aspect. If they're underinsured, that's on them. Whatever they get paid, they'll still be wealthy compared to those they profess to want to help. A huge setback, but watching them cry and listening to them whine about not their fault just doesn't impress me. I think they lost me when it started with "In this week's episode." Too much like reality tv and all the drama of it.
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Old 08-23-2021, 09:55 PM   #18
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Boat fires are the emergency I dread most. Had a close call with ER smoke two years ago. I posted a thread here.

An ER smoke alarm and ER Cameras helped me quickly identify and address the problem. Without them, it could have been much worse.
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Old 08-23-2021, 10:04 PM   #19
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We had a globe on the helm and the sun came thru and caused a cigarette type burn that looked close to taking off. Turns out a lot of fires are caused by glass decorations.Just an fyi.
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Old 08-24-2021, 06:16 AM   #20
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Well, sadly, it is their responsibility. I hope they're well insured through a reliable company although sounds a bit problematic, but often determining cause slows things down. But also hope they have a nice umbrella policy for anything not covered by insurance. Doesn't take a lot to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and responsibility.

I'm sorry but the public whining episode does nothing to make me feel worse for them. All the "it's not my fault". Well, yes it is. Your boat, your responsibility. Then the shock at salvage and Coast Guard? Do you think you'll be allowed to just let it sit and cause more damage? In Australia, you'd be charged for reef damage. I don't know why they're just talking to an insurance agent and not the claims department of the insurer, through the number on their policy. That's the first call they should have made. Public crying doesn't move me and it is just a boat but led to destruction of another boat and environmental damage. They resent being told it's their responsibility, well who do they expect to be held responsible if not them?

I watched the entire video. While I do understand the sense of loss of a house or boat, no lives lost, no one hurt and I'd be rejoicing in that aspect. If they're underinsured, that's on them. Whatever they get paid, they'll still be wealthy compared to those they profess to want to help. A huge setback, but watching them cry and listening to them whine about not their fault just doesn't impress me. I think they lost me when it started with "In this week's episode." Too much like reality tv and all the drama of it.

Couldn't agree more. Don't confuse "what caused the fire" with "who owns the mess". It doesn't matter whether or not they did something to cause the fire. They are responsible for the boat, whatever happens to it, and what ever damage it causes or mess it makes.


I feel sorry for their loss, but it's drowned out by disgust over their irresponsible attitude. And just who do they think should clean up the mess and pay for the other boat and other damage? All of us?
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