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Old 03-26-2021, 11:20 AM   #1
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Need for Halon or Fire Bouy System on Diesels

I own a Cruisers Yacht 3850 and it has two Caterpillar diesel engines. My question for the group is do I need a Halon or Fire Bouy fire suppressant system onboard??
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Old 03-26-2021, 11:30 AM   #2
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IMO, yes. Fires aboard do happen, though the risk is somewhat less with diesels.
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Old 03-26-2021, 11:32 AM   #3
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Need or should have? Yes, I think one should have an automatic fire suppression system aboard any vessel with an enclosed engine space. A fully functional system includes automatic engine and generator shut down and an override re-start capability. t down. I once installed a fire suppression bottle in my engine room but did not have the engine shut down. However, I did install a release alarm at both the steering stations to let me know I should immediately shut down. The reason you want to shut down is because the engines can quickly suck out enough of the fire suppression agent and fresh air in to make it ineffective. Sources of fires in boats are frequently something other than the engines and often while not underway; so an automated system is protecting you all the time.
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Old 03-26-2021, 11:58 AM   #4
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Halon is obsolete but there are good replacements

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Old 03-26-2021, 12:00 PM   #5
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Thank you

Thank you for the reply I think I will add that system to my boat.
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Old 03-26-2021, 12:34 PM   #6
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Thank you for the reply I think I will add that system to my boat.
Read up on the control box and the systems that could / should be shut down.
In addition to the ones rgano mentioned shut fown of any blowers should be included. Mine also cuts the alternator field wire so there is no output from the alt.
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Old 03-26-2021, 01:00 PM   #7
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I know that was one of the things they wanted to know about when I was getting insurance and talking to the rep on the phone. I have two fire suppression systems (Fireboy, whatever that is, Xintex? and the older CO2 system), but I wondered if I would have got insurance from them, without one.
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Old 03-26-2021, 02:19 PM   #8
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Halon is obsolete but there are good replacements

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It has been a while since I read up on the problems with Halon, but apparently it works better than any replacement per given volume. The big issue was environmental rather than obsolescence per se. Newer replacement often have bigger bottles when directly replacing the Halon bottle. When I went to get my Halon bottle tested, the fire service pulled the Halon out, pressure tested the bottle, and replaced the Halon. Halon was still in the bottle in 2015 when I sold the boat. It is illegal to place Halon into a bottle it did not come out of. Fire service said to never get rid of the Halon unless forced to because it is the best fire suppression agent out there. I don't even know what agent I have in my present boat's bottle, probably something that is not Halon and will be illegal in about five more minutes.
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Old 03-26-2021, 02:21 PM   #9
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Some of the non-Halon replacements are safer for spaces that might have a human in them, however. Different agents have different spreads between the concentration required to extinguish a fire and what will kill a human. If choosing a new system, I'd factor that in to the choice just in case the system ever dumps with a person in the engine room.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:06 PM   #10
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I just installed two fire boys with the automatic shut down in my boat. For me it was a must have safety item. [IMG]fireboy[/IMG]
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:32 PM   #11
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It has been a while since I read up on the problems with Halon, but apparently it works better than any replacement per given volume. The big issue was environmental rather than obsolescence per se. Newer replacement often have bigger bottles when directly replacing the Halon bottle. When I went to get my Halon bottle tested, the fire service pulled the Halon out, pressure tested the bottle, and replaced the Halon. Halon was still in the bottle in 2015 when I sold the boat. It is illegal to place Halon into a bottle it did not come out of. Fire service said to never get rid of the Halon unless forced to because it is the best fire suppression agent out there. I don't even know what agent I have in my present boat's bottle, probably something that is not Halon and will be illegal in about five more minutes.
I donít believe it is illegal to put halon in a bottle it didnít come out of. It is illegal to manufacture more halon but recycled halon can and is being used to service existing halon bottles that need recharging. You canít buy new halon systems but as said there are replacement chemicals that are being sold in new systems.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:48 PM   #12
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If it works well, it's illegal. Just like bottom paint, wood preserver, and some paints & solvents.
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Old 03-26-2021, 09:28 PM   #13
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I have been involved in a couple fires at sea, with diesel engines. IMO every engine room should have a fixed suppression system...
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Old 03-26-2021, 09:29 PM   #14
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If it works well, it's illegal. Just like bottom paint, wood preserver, and some paints & solvents.

And you can put asbestos there two. Irreplaceable as a top drawer insulator.


Gas is worse and it's still legal.
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Old 03-26-2021, 10:08 PM   #15
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If there is any doubt about the capacity of diesel to cause engine room fires, do a web search of HMAS Westralia.
And never mind diesel, I am personally aware of a case where a leak of transmission fluid burned a pick up truck down to the rims.
Engine room fire suppression system? No brainer.
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Old 03-26-2021, 11:05 PM   #16
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Fire at sea is one of the worst scenarios to end up in. And if it happens, 5 miles off shore is "at sea". Every second can make a difference. I have my setup. Both engine rooms and generator room. All it takes is a leak in a fuel line and a hot manifold. The ignition temp of diesel is relatively low. Plus yes, the insurance liked it.
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Old 03-27-2021, 05:29 AM   #17
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"Engine room fire suppression system? No brainer."

The key word in this comment is SYSTEM.

Just sticking a bottle or two in the Engine space is not a system.
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Old 03-27-2021, 07:58 AM   #18
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It has been a while since I read up on the problems with Halon, but apparently it works better than any replacement per given volume. The big issue was environmental rather than obsolescence per se. Newer replacement often have bigger bottles when directly replacing the Halon bottle. When I went to get my Halon bottle tested, the fire service pulled the Halon out, pressure tested the bottle, and replaced the Halon. Halon was still in the bottle in 2015 when I sold the boat. It is illegal to place Halon into a bottle it did not come out of. Fire service said to never get rid of the Halon unless forced to because it is the best fire suppression agent out there. I don't even know what agent I have in my present boat's bottle, probably something that is not Halon and will be illegal in about five more minutes.
Yes i just had the same done last year, as long as you can get it serviced, id does the job!
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Old 03-27-2021, 08:00 AM   #19
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If it works well, it's illegal. Just like bottom paint, wood preserver, and some paints & solvents.
And refrigerants!
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Old 03-27-2021, 09:17 AM   #20
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The newer extinguishing agents aren't as effective as Halon by weight. But as long as you use the right amount of the stuff, they do an equally good job in most situations. So unless weight and bottle size is a critical limitation, they make perfectly good replacements.
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