sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Fire onboard!
Fire onboard!

'Fire onboard - more frightening than the thought of sinking'    .

'Fire' is probably the most feared word on any boat, whether sail or power. It’s maybe even more frightening than taking on water with the dread of sinking. Power boats are perhaps more prone to fires - and the statistics tell us so - because of their use of petroleum as fuel. However, there are many other causes of fire. What can you do to mitigate the danger?

1. Be sure your on-board fire extinguishers are properly charged, in working condition and of a type and number that is approved by the local authority.

2. Turn your extinguishers from time to time. The dry powder will harden or lump up. Turning them upside down and thumping them with your fist or a rubber mallet will keep them in operating condition, all the time hoping you will never have to use them.

3. Most fires on sailing boats are electrical or gas fires. The key to making sure your boat will not be prone to a fire is proper maintenance of gas and electrical systems.

Electrical fires:
Electrical fires are the most prevalent -  .. .  


One very common scenario is leaving the boat hooked up to shore power during the winter, using a space heater, and not checking on the boat. The shore power plug can become a real hot spot.

Most electrical fires are a result of high resistance in a plug or other electrical device, creating enough heat to catch fire. High resistance occurs most often at connections. The shore power plug is just one of those connections. The others are connections between wires and electrical devices, connections in the panel box to a buss or to circuit breakers and fuses.

Corrosion is the main culprit. The damp environment leads to rapid corrosion. Corrosion does not conduct electricity very well. This can even occur in fuse holders, which are usually copper. Copper corrodes rapidly in a marine environment, especially if it’s saltwater.

Keep wiring out of the bilges. If your boat should flood during the winter, you may have to replace all the wiring and electrical equipment. Get it inspected by a certified MARINE electrician.

All electrical systems need to be inspected annually, at the least. Plugs and connectors should be kept clean and shiny. If you don’t use your boat very often, you should check EACH time you use the boat.

Here are the main checks:

-Check fuse blocks for corrosion and clean the contacts.
-Check circuit breakers for proper operation.
-Check electrical equipment for proper operation.
-If something keeps tripping the circuit break or blowing a fuse, find out why. Do not ignore it or jump the breaker or fuse. Fix the problem. Not doing so could mean a fire.
-If you have shore power, pull the plug on both ends and inspect the cord and both ends for corrosion. Do a resistance test. If it’s any more than 0 ohms, or at most 1 ohm, find out why.
-If the cord is getting old, cracking, getting soft, or frayed, replace it.
-Check the shore power socket on the boat. Is it clean and free from corrosion?
-Check the cap over the socket to make sure it is keeping moisture out of the socket.

Gas Fires:
Make sure you have a gas detector installed -  .. .  


Safe Handling of Gas Cylinders:
Be especially careful when handling the gas cylinders used onboard your boat. Follow these safety tips:
- install a gas detector on the boat;
- gas cylinders should be secured in a sealed, weatherproof container with low-level atmospheric vents;
- use only approved piping;
- isolated and secured gas cylinders when not in use;
- regularly hand-pump bilges to remove potential low-lying vapours;
- hatches and portholes should be opened sufficiently to provide ventilation if weather condition permits;
- any compartment which has not been used for some time should be ventilated thoroughly;
- do not leave a cooker or any other appliances unattended if there is a danger of a wind draft extinguishing the flame.

When Changing Gas Cylinders Aboard:
- check that the valve on the empty gas cylinder is turned off before disconnecting;
- ensure the full gas cylinder is secure before connecting;
- do not turn on the gas cylinder valves before connection is complete and has been checked;
- keep empty gas cylinders in the open air and secure them by a safety strap or other quick release device.

Once the fire occurs:

Preparation is the key to dealing with a fire, if and when it should occur. You should always make sure that everyone knows how to escape danger, where fire safety equipment is installed and how to make an emergency call.

When putting out a small fire, aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire and sweep from side to side. Keep in mind it only takes a few seconds to empty the extinguisher. So you only get one shot at doing it right.

These are the essential points to remember:
- think of your own safety: get out and abandon ship immediately;
- isolate fuel and gas if possible;
- avoid getting too close to other craft and alert them to the danger posed by your boat;
- Always know where the emergency grab bag is and how to activate the life-raft. You won't have time to learn this once the fire has started.

Should the fire get out of control, be sure everyone has on their life jacket and leaves the boat. Swim 300 or 400 feet away from the burning boat. If time permits, make a MAYDAY call. Once the fiberglass hull starts burning, it will burn to the water line and then what is left will likely sink to the bottom.

Let us all hope we shall never have to watch this!

Did you like this article? Did you know that you can have all your non-competitive sailing news in one easy-read news magazine delivered direct to your inbox each week, simply by subscribing FREE to Sail-World Cruising? Stay up-to-date with what's happening on the water: everything from sailing adventures to new products, from rally news to new ideas and old tricks. Simply click here now!


by Nancy Knudsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=106456

9:37 PM Sun 10 Feb 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Practical

Related News Stories:

10 Feb 2013  Green antifouling technology - getting better every year
10 Feb 2013  Cruising sailors and iPads - One tech-savvy cruising sailor tells
10 Feb 2013  Cruising sailors and iPads - One tech-savvy cruising sailor tells
09 Feb 2013  The ten year sailing boat refit, and what to look for...
01 Feb 2013  Hatch Fan wins sailing innovation award
20 Jan 2013  Coming to a head - issues of onboard toilets
18 Jan 2013  Five top ways to remove stains from your boat
12 Jan 2013  New, the world's smallest Personal Locator Beacon.
11 Jan 2013  Consumer Electronics Show votes Bad Elf the best GPS device
08 Jan 2013  Keeping your fuel clean
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

America's Cup Defender Oracle Team USA and Challenger, Artemis Racing lined up for a series of try-outs on San Francisco Bay. Videographer John Navas was shoreside with a new high resolution video camera and provided these videos of the training sessions and hook-ups. ... [more]  

The HPYD conference is jointly organised by The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (NZ) and The University of Auckland and will be held at the Marine Event Centre in Auckland to coincide with the Volvo Ocean Race stopover. It attracts some of the world’s most preeminent yacht designers and is recognised as one of the top three conferences in this area internationally. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston - How Alvimedica's chemistry works *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Ryan Houston is a watch captain aboard Team Alvimedica. He sailed in two previous editions of the Volvo Ocean Race – in 2008-09 aboard Delta Lloyd and 2011-12 on the incident plagued Volvo 70, Sanya. With the switch to the one design, ruggedly constructed Volvo 65 for this race many of the issues that bedevilled the competitors and organisers in the previous races appear to have been resolved. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Dave Swete - Alvimedica's race so far *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
The Volvo Ocean Race and its forerunner, the Whitbread Round the World Race, used to be dominated by Kiwi crews. In the current edition, there are just three New Zealanders competing. Two of those are on Team Alvimedica, the US and Turkish flagged entry. ... [more]  

Rainbow II is one of the most iconic yachts in New Zealand sailing history. Built and skippered by Chris Bouzaid, her win in the One Ton Cup in 1969 was New Zealand’s first big international sailing win. Doyle Sails NZ was commissioned to build the new sails for the iconic Rainbow II with design work by Chris’ son Richard ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica hopes to use Coastal Classic tricks *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Sail-World’s NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell spoke with David Swete one of three New Zealand crew in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race Swete was reporting in from Team Alvimedica the US and Turkish flagged entry, currently lying in fourth place on leg 4 of the race from Sanya China to Auckand. ... [more]  

Oracle Team USA AC45 Turbo Feb 25 Training images provided by pressure-drop.us. Flat flood conditions and winds 12-18 and then picking up late in the day. Boat is matching the olars established with the AC 72's. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand gears up on less money *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Emirates Team New Zealand has pushed the start button on their campaign for the 35th America's Cup, with a budget that has been reduced by an estimated 20% from the San Francisco campaign. The decision to relocate the Venue for the Match to the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda has resulted in reduced attractiveness to sponsors, which in turn has led to cuts in the program ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Dongfeng has pulled another mile from Abu Dhabi, and MAPFRE looks like they have been making some good gains on the two leading boats. ... [more]  

AWT Goya Pro Cabo Verde kicks off in style! by American Windsurfing Tour
Last night saw the Opening Party for the Goya Cabo Verde Pro contest here on the beautiful island of Sal. In attendance were some of the biggest names in windsurfing along with local watermen, business men and dignitaries. The true spirit of the American Windsurfing Tour came out in force which was both mirrored and complimented by the spirit of this island ... [more]  

With Cheminées Poujoulat making good progress up the Atlantic, making close to 18kts, 120 miles SW of the Falklands, Cape Horn marks the frontier between the two different worlds inhabited by skippers on the Barcelona World Race. ... [more]  

Emirates Team New Zealand has announced a team restructuring ahead on next week's expected announcement that the Qualifier for the 2017 America's Cup will be held in Auckland. The statement issued by the team early this afternoon, indicates the team has secured substantial funding and sponsorship for its 2017 campaign. ... [more]  

2015 CYC Midwinters Race – Pictures by pressure-drop.us ... [more]  

CYC Midwinters Racing – 'Mid Winter racing is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get' ~Forrest Gump~Skipper of SS Jenny ... [more]  

Laser Standard Men’s World Championships (June 29-July 8), the Laser Masters World Championships (July 10-18), and the Laser Radial Youth World Championships (August 14-20) are being hosted by the CORK. ... [more]  

Kaenon's Steve Rosenberg talks with Team SCA crew members Sally Barkow and Annie Lush before the start of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Both are former Olympic match racers, who have switched to ocean racing. Both are wearing the new prescription Kaenon sunglasses in the 40,000nm race around the world. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Overnight Ian Walker reported getting ahead of Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng only to have Mother Nature take it all back again, getting caught under a rain cloud in light winds ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Mythical, revered, renowned, legendary.....but above all Cape Horn is a time for extra care and caution. While observers and race fans may be poised to share and enjoy the passage of the race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat this Tuesday evening, Swiss co-skipper Bernard Stamm of race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat was clear that there will be little time for celebration ... [more]  

Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70, Phaedo3 crossed the finish line in Antigua at 20:35:30 AST on Tuesday 24th February 2015 in an elapsed time of 1 day, 9 hours, 35 minutes and 30 seconds. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Cheminées Poujoulat, which has lead the two handed round the world race for 39 days, has passed Cape Horn (67°15 11 W) at 01:00 UTC (02:00 Barcelona time, 22:00 Chilean time). ... [more]  

For the seventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 records are predicted to tumble, which has one of the most spectacular line ups of high performance boats racing anywhere in the world. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship - The Notice of Race for the 2015 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship has been released. Set to be held in Middelfart, Denmark from 8-12 July, the 2015 edition of the Women’s Match Race Worlds will welcome the world’s finest female match racers as they fight for the title. ... [more]  

Many exciting changes have been implemented this year for the 35th St.Maarten Heineken Regatta, and one of those will be the Saturday night party, which will take place on Kim Sha Beach in Simpson Bay. This evening promises to be a night filled with undeniable sex appeal and a line up that boasts not one but two powerful female performers. ... [more]  

RS Sailing and BIC Sport North America announce a joint effort to promote a new-age pathway for kids to find their passion for sailing. The goal is to provide a more formalized learning track parallel to what has been done traditionally, and excite youth sailors with modern sailing craft. ... [more]  

On day 2 of the RORC Caribbean 600 by dawn the vast majority of the 64-strong fleet were negotiating the chicane of islands to the northern end of the course, weaving through the stunning islands of Saba, St.Martin and St.Barths. However Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70, Phaedo3, was literally miles ahead of the fleet. ... [more]  

Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup - About to begin by Jeremy Leonard, Los Angeles
Ten of the best collegiate sailing teams from across country will descend on Los Angeles Yacht Club® March 13 through15 to test their sailing prowess as they battle it out for the prestigious Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup Trophy. This perpetual trophy was deeded to Los Angeles Yacht Club by Port of Los Angeles in 2008, to encourage, '…young men and women to enjoy benefits of competitive sailing.' ... [more]  

Airbnb may a popular 'peer-to-peer' lodging site on the web, but if you want to rent a boat in your local area or away, you’ve got options, too. Boatbound.com, Boatsetter.com and Cruzin.com are just a few of the new crop of online websites offering a chance to rent a boat for the day or weekend. ... [more]  

2015 Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta – The Notice of Race, the Olympic Test Event, has been published. The Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2015 is the second of two Rio 2016 Olympic Test Events with the first being held in 2014. Rio will welcome sailors once again from 13-22 August 2015 with racing taking place inside and outside of Guanabara Bay. ... [more]  

2015 CYC Mid Winters images by h20shots ... [more]  

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, listen to the replay below. Nic talks with: Scott Babbage, Iain Murray on 18fter and also the America's Cup, Seve Jarvin and many more ... [more]  

Kiwi sailor Ryan Houston has grown up on this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race as he took on the role as Watch Captain for Team Alvimedica. His career as a sailor is evolving as he gets more involved in the leadership and decision-making onboard Alvimedica. Learn about the ‘Day in the Life’ of a Watch Captain in the Volvo Ocean Race. ... [more]  

Latest predictions for the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race are all indicating a finish time between 1000hrs and 1400hrs on Saturday February 28. For one of only three Kiwi crew members in the Volvo Ocean Race, Abu Dhabi's Daryl Wislang looks like being the first in the queue at the piecart, when the boats reach Auckland. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race – 'We've just gone through the worst night yet of this Volvo.' That’s Charles Caudrelier speaking, the skipper of Dongfeng Race Team. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Spooner fails in attempt to have Oracle AC45 arrested
2015 505 Midwinter Championship - Final race
Barcelona World Race – Renault Captur resume, Spirit of Hungary stuck
2015 ISAF Youth Sailing World – Emerging Nations Programme announced
Barcelona World Race - Spirit of Hungary to make surprise pit-stop
US Sailing Match Racing Committee launches The Dial Up Newsletter
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Michael Chittenden's images from Race 7
Volvo Ocean Race – The Doldrums outside the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 Winner expected in Auckland on Saturday
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Biggest challenges are around the corner
86th SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Day 2 overall
SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Farr 40 and Cal 25 class winners announced
Barcelona World Race - The Bountiful Horn Beckons for Stamm and Le Cam
Geelong boat Phoenix wins Sydney 38 National Title
JJ Giltinan 18 foot Skiff Championship 2015 images by Bruce Kerridge
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 restart from the Doldrums
Melges 24 U.S. Championship is enjoying early success
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Records set as rookie Kiwi crew second in Race 7
Around Antigua Island Race - Unofficial record
Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award winners honored
86th SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Day 1   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta crew forum - place to find crew or a ride   
J/24 Midwinter Championship - Will Welles’ Cougar hanging on by a claw   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Watch Race 7 here - Live and then in Replay!   
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA goes out past the Golden Gate + Video   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Michael Chittenden's images from Race 6   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Race 6 interviews with Hamlin, Thurlow and Yamaha   
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA report on their new foiler   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Images from Race 6 by Christophe Favreau   
RORC Caribbean 600 - The young ones   
Malibu’s Evolution Pro Series to feature as one-third of WBW Series   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Gotta Love It 7 creates history as US wins Race 6   
Career Day comes on the heels of industry growth   
J/24 Midwinter Championship Day 1   
RORC Caribbean 600 - Phaedo 3 and Paradox fly into Antigua   
RORC Caribbean 600 provides a mixed bag of IRC delights   
Barcelona World Race - Closing fast   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Watch Race 6 here - Live and then in Replay!   
Tessanne Chin to illuminate the stage on Caribbean Jam night   
America's Cup: Parties given until today to file on AC45 arrest claim   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT