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Old 11-28-2017, 02:33 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
If you are asking about propane, then I presume you have propane on the boat for cooking and/or grilling? Assuming you do, then yes, you should have CO detectors in the living spaces since the propane will be the only possible source of CO. With no propane (and no gasoline engines) then I don't think a CO detector is necessary.

And if you have propane, are you saying that Beneteau built the boat without a propane detection and shutoff system? That would be surprising.
There is a shutoff switch located in the galley, but as far as I know there is no detection.
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Old 11-28-2017, 02:47 PM   #22
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Seems like I would need a separate propane detector for the LPG, and not rely on a CO detector, correct?

For example, I see the following:

P-1BS-R Fireboy Xintex Propane (LPG) Fume Detector w/Solenoid Valve

Also, see the following for reference:

https://www.safelincs.co.uk/blog/201...ide-poisoning/

Thanks!
Mike
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:16 PM   #23
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Seems like I would need a separate propane detector for the LPG, and not rely on a CO detector, correct?

For example, I see the following:

P-1BS-R Fireboy Xintex Propane (LPG) Fume Detector w/Solenoid Valve

Also, see the following for reference:

https://www.safelincs.co.uk/blog/201...ide-poisoning/

Thanks!
Mike

Right, propane detection and CO detection are two different things. But the use of propane begets the need for both.

Your fireboy propane device should have two detectors wired into it. One should be in the propane locker, and the other right by the cooktop (assuming that's the propane appliance), typically underneath it somewhere. If either sensor detect propane it shuts off the solenoid valve and sounds an alarm.

As a slight aside, a few weeks ago I was refilling my propane tanks and give the sensor a look in the gas locker and discovered a badly corroded plug between the sensor and extension cable. It had been sitting where sea water could slosh into the locker via the drain vent. So these things are worth inspection.

Now for CO detection, the question is whether there is anything on your boat that produces it. Burning propane is one of those things, so if you have propane on board, you should also have CO detectors. Gasoline engines are another thing that produces CO. Diesel, does not, so if all you have is diesel, co detection isn't required, but could still be a good safeguard. The guy with a gas engine next to you could be gassing you out, like the example in this thread.
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Old 11-29-2017, 03:10 PM   #24
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It's easy to see the cause for your concern. I think you're on track with the advice given toward coming up with a solution. You might sit down with someone knowledgeable in a yard and get their design ideas.

I know the fires on other ST's are scary and one thing I would do is call Beneteau and try to have an open and frank discussion and get their input into how you can avoid the same fate. Challenge them a bit as to what they might have done better if money wasn't an object.

I think a good system has alarms and cameras so you can quickly detect things. If you get an ER fire alarm and you look in the camera and see a major fire raging, you know not to open the hatch, just to get off the boat. On the other hand you get a smoke alarm and don't see much on the camera, then you feel confident investigating it further.

As to propane, we don't have it on any boat. We understand it can be used safely, but we choose not to. One less thing to worry about. We'd already decided not to have it, but fire fighting courses made us even happier with our decision.
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Old 11-29-2017, 03:39 PM   #25
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MichaelB1969

I think a good system has alarms and cameras so you can quickly detect things. If you get an ER fire alarm and you look in the camera and see a major fire raging, you know not to open the hatch, just to get off the boat. On the other hand you get a smoke alarm and don't see much on the camera, then you feel confident investigating it further.

As to propane, we don't have it on any boat. We understand it can be used safely, but we choose not to. One less thing to worry about. We'd already decided not to have it, but fire fighting courses made us even happier with our decision.
Thanks. I like the camera idea. I know my Raymarine has built-in WiFi, wonder if there is a camera that directly connects with it via WiFi.

I'm leaning toward adding smoke alarms, high-water alarms, upgraded bilge pumps and an LPG detector.
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Old 11-29-2017, 03:53 PM   #26
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Does your ST44 have an automatic fire system in the ER? A complete system would include:

- Build in extinguisher bottle properly sized for the space

- Automatic heat trigger release in the ER. If a fire gets going, it should deploy automatically.

- Manual release handle located outside the ER. This covers the case BandB bring up of hearing an alarm, and seeing a raging fire in the ER. Pull the manual release, and also be ready to get off the boat. Keep in mind that sometimes boats are not in places where you want to get off unless absolutely necessary, like well off shore. If a fire can be brought under controlled, staying on the boat is often the safest thing to do. It's different if you are in a populated, nearshore location.

- Automatic shut down system. This is a relay system that is triggered when the fire bottle is released, either automatically or manually. It shuts down everything that can fuel an ER fire, or that can evacuate the fire suppressant. Typically it would kill the engine, kill the generator, shut off ER blowers, close dampers if equipped, shut off propane, and shut off a diesel heater.
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Old 11-29-2017, 04:03 PM   #27
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Does your ST44 have an automatic fire system in the ER? A complete system would include:

- Build in extinguisher bottle properly sized for the space

- Automatic heat trigger release in the ER. If a fire gets going, it should deploy automatically.

- Manual release handle located outside the ER. This covers the case BandB bring up of hearing an alarm, and seeing a raging fire in the ER. Pull the manual release, and also be ready to get off the boat. Keep in mind that sometimes boats are not in places where you want to get off unless absolutely necessary, like well off shore. If a fire can be brought under controlled, staying on the boat is often the safest thing to do. It's different if you are in a populated, nearshore location.

- Automatic shut down system. This is a relay system that is triggered when the fire bottle is released, either automatically or manually. It shuts down everything that can fuel an ER fire, or that can evacuate the fire suppressant. Typically it would kill the engine, kill the generator, shut off ER blowers, close dampers if equipped, shut off propane, and shut off a diesel heater.
No it doesn't. I have a fairly large clean agent extinguisher in the ER with a manual pull outside the ER. I don't believe it is automatically triggered, but I will check more closely next time I am on the boat.

I'd like to get an ER camera so that upon hearing the smoke detector I could look without having to open the ER compartment door and potentially letting oxygen in to make matters worse. If a fire was seen, I could switch the ignitions off, which will shut the fans off as well, then pull a row of handles outside the ER that shutoff fuel to the engines and generator, and also trigger the extinguisher.

If I did a lot of long distance cruising, especially well offshore, I might invest in upgrades. But at this point, I think I'd rather spend my money upgrading the bilges and adding detection to give me more time to react to a situation (whether it is LPG, Smoke or high-water that is detected). The boat is woefully under-bilged (new word) with two small bilge pumps both in the ER compartment I believe. I don't think there is any bilge pump in the bow section or in the lazarette.

Given the likelihood of a hull breach (whether by hitting something or having a through hull fail) being significantly higher than a fire, and having basic fire protection (once the detectors go in), seems like a more logical investment at this time would be to upgrade the bilges.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:56 PM   #28
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It sounds like you have a key part of the system, which is the extinguisher and manual release. I wouldn't be surprised if it has an automatic release based on high temp as well.

The camera sounds good if you have no other way to see into the ER without opening the door.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:16 PM   #29
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It sounds like you have a key part of the system, which is the extinguisher and manual release. I wouldn't be surprised if it has an automatic release based on high temp as well.

The camera sounds good if you have no other way to see into the ER without opening the door.


Yeah, no way to see without opening the hatch in the floor.

As for the automatic release, I'm going to explore the setup next time I'm in the boat, but this is the best pic I have for reference.

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Old 11-30-2017, 12:18 AM   #30
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...Gasoline engines are another thing that produces CO. Diesel, does not, so if all you have is diesel, co detection isn't required, but could still be a good safeguard....
Oops.

ALL hydrocarbons produce carbon monoxide when combustion takes place. If combustion were complete (i.e., theoretical), then they wouldn't. Alas, real-world combustion is incomplete.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:39 AM   #31
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Diesel engines produce on average about 5% of the carbon monoxide of a equivalent sized gasoline engine, but can produce much more if air intake is restricted similar operational upset.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:42 AM   #32
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Try and find carbon monoxide fatalities related to diesel engines.

This has been debated before on boating forums and I have never seen reliaable statistics showing even one death even though a tremendously remote possibility.

I would he interested in finally putting the debate to bed one way or another.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:30 PM   #33
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Try and find carbon monoxide fatalities related to diesel engines.

This has been debated before on boating forums and I have never seen reliaable statistics showing even one death even though a tremendously remote possibility.

I would he interested in finally putting the debate to bed one way or another.
No idea. I can, however, tell you that I have seen a lot of CO poisoning in the Emergency Department (where I work) due to kerosene heaters, diesel heaters, charcoal grills, gas heaters, and other hydrocarbon-fueled stoves and heaters used indoors.

I worked aboard a 50-foot trawler in the Galapagos Islands in the 80s. We had a single Cat diesel. During one particularly lively passage the exhaust manifold came loose. Everyone on the boat got horrible headaches and started puking. As we were 600 miles at sea there was no way to verify our blood carboxyhemoglobin levels (and no one died), but it was certainly CO poisoning.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:48 PM   #34
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I doubt it was CO poisoning, fumes and particulates have been clearly documented to produce those symptoms too.

If suspected, then foolish not to augment with fresh air. Which would help with CO poisoning but not from fumes and particulates if irritating.

The lack of finding ANY evidence seems to confirm the consensus that a reasonably well working diesel would not cause CO poisoning in normal boat usage. All your sources mentioned are not diesel engines are are often attributed to CO poisoning. If diesels were such a danger, there would be plenty of internet evidence.

How about some, even minimal proof, of what appears to be another boating myth or one so close to myth that you have a greater chance of death by metetorite.

Find decent proof and I will retract everything and acknowledge the problem.
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:03 AM   #35
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I doubt it was CO poisoning, fumes and particulates have been clearly documented to produce those symptoms too.

If suspected, then foolish not to augment with fresh air. Which would help with CO poisoning but not from fumes and particulates if irritating.

The lack of finding ANY evidence seems to confirm the consensus that a reasonably well working diesel would not cause CO poisoning in normal boat usage. All your sources mentioned are not diesel engines are are often attributed to CO poisoning. If diesels were such a danger, there would be plenty of internet evidence.

How about some, even minimal proof, of what appears to be another boating myth or one so close to myth that you have a greater chance of death by metetorite.

Find decent proof and I will retract everything and acknowledge the problem.
I'm not sure why you have such a confrontational attitude. I have no need to prove anything, but am merely sharing information. There is no ego attachment nor do I have a dog in this fight.

The statement that diesel combustion does not create carbon monoxide is not only false, it's ludicrous and potentially harmful. Burning hydrocarbons other than in a theoretical state of complete combustion MUST create carbon monoxide. It's high school chemistry.

Now, as to whether or not people actually do experience significant exposure to carbon monoxide on diesel-powered vessels is an entirely separate issue. Yes, the nature of compression ignition internal combustion engines means higher rates of combustion; the ABYC is clear about risk assigned to gasoline versus diesel engines. Both my diesel engine and my diesel range are properly installed and in good working order, and the CO monitor sits in silent vigil. If I had a diesel forced-air furnace it would be the same case. Hell, if I had twin Crusaders burning high-test gasoline it would be the same, too.

Until something breaks.

It is foolish to believe and irresponsible to suggest to others that there is no carbon monoxide being generated by the burning of diesel. And if you truly think that there's absolutely no risk of that gas ever sneaking out, by all means omit the detector. Omit your bilge pump, too, since it's almost 100% guaranteed that your boat will never suffer emergency flooding. Almost.

As to the exposure that my captain, crew and passengers suffered, you have no idea what was happening, so why on earth would you suggest that you know what DIDN'T happen to us?

As I say, I have no ego fragility about this stuff...it's basic science and working with victims of hazardous gas exposures has been part of my professional life for decades. But if you feel that you must have the last word, please, go right ahead....

Over and out.
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:28 AM   #36
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CO is the result of oxygen-starved combustion. CO2 is the theoretical product of combustion, not CO.

But you are correct that CO does exist in diesel exhaust because combustion isn't perfect. But diesel combustion is unique compared to a gas engine, diesel furnace or stove, etc. because it is compression ignition, and as a result is always an oxygen rich environment. The result is very low levels of CO, especially when compared to other forms of burning hydrocarbons.

There is a good Wiki article on diesel exhaust and it cites the CO content as 100-500 ppm. The OSHA has a paper on CO poisoning and the allowable continuous workplace concentration is 50 ppm.

So if you were in a small room with an engine exhausting directly into the room, you would end up over the limit. If you just have an exhaust leak into the space, it's very unlikely you would come anywhere near the limit.

One good example to consider is that mine equipment is diesel, and it's diesel because of the very low CO output. And that exhaust is released directly into the mine shaft space.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:45 AM   #37
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Yes have CO sensors, crew education on CO, good maintenance, etc....

Sorta like many things on a boat.

Of all the fears to have on a diesel boat, my expeience and training allows me with proper risk management to place CO poisoning fron engines/gensets wayyyyyy down the list.

People that cant research the crap out of every boating danger need realistic input so they can be safe but enjoy without fears. Thus ABYC and its conservative recommendstions to stay safe.
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