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

40 year old Charles Caudrelier the skipper of race leader Dongfeng was a major figure of the winning French team Groupama in 2011-12 . With the Dongfeng team now approaching Sanya, almost unstoppable, its worthwhile hearing from Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad who is hugely pleased with the current on water situation. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race. The northerly drag race continues, with the stable light wind forecast to drop slightly. The boats have all remained in position, if anything cementing their places with gaps between them increasing slightly through the night. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - After what can only be described as a frustrating few days of wind and current conditions in the Malacca Strait, the shipping lanes we had to pass were a bit more entertaining as it was upwind which meant some tacking. ... [more]  

Quantum Key West Race Week provided the opportunity for the GC32s to make a spectacular debut in the USA. During the five days of racing held in balmy temperatures off the southernmost tip of Florida, crews experienced a range of conditions. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Sailing in a straight line was never supposed to be as tense as this. We’ve been pointing at Sanya for almost a day now and fortunately, Alvimedica, MAPFRE, and Brunel far enough back to not be in AIS range anymore. The problem is they’re not in AIS range anymore. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 3 Finish - Live video feed by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Tune in here to see the finish of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean race in Sanya. Will sailing history be made? Can Dongfeng become the first Chinese flagged yacht to win a Leg in a Round the World Race? ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Bigger than ever in 2015, with an atmosphere crackling with adrenaline, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, was ground zero on Sunday as competitors from 63 countries made their final preparations. ... [more]  

The Chinese entry Dong looks set to create sailing sailing history when she finishes first on Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Sanya in two days time. Includes video Currently Dongfeng is 250 nm to the finish line in Sanya and the chasing pack with ADOR ahead in second place 55+ nm behind the Chinese team. ... [more]  

The first of the iconic Great Capes has been passed in the Barcelona World Race with Cheminées Poujoulat rounding the Cape of Good Hope earlier this morning. Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam passed 20°E around 400 miles south of Cape Agulhas – the southernmost tip of Africa – at 0935am (UTC) today and have begun the Indian Ocean leg of their race around Antarctica. ... [more]  

The Classic 18fters were racing again on Saturday on Sydney harbour. Michael Chittenden caught the action from a shore vantage point. ... [more]  

When race leader Dongfeng rounded Singapore 60+ nautical miles ahead of the chasing pack, it looked like the final 1200 miles of Leg three would be a procession but over the last day, the Volvo Ocean race leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya China appears to have tightened incredibly. ... [more]  

US Sailing and Rolex USA announced last week that the 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year is Stephanie Roble. Her accomplishments on the water last year were recognized by the selection panel for her versatility; her accomplishments as a skipper and as a crew; and her competitive successes on a variety of platforms, sailing against both men and women. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - The first of the Great Capes is fast-approaching, with the leading boats in the Barcelona World Race expected to pass the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of South Africa tomorrow. As they pass 20°E, the Atlantic Ocean will deliver its verdict – did Cheminées Poujoulat’s east-bound track or Neutrogena’s southerly gamble pay off? ... [more]  

Mardi Gras may not be for another month but US Sailing’s National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) kicked it off early for Oakcliff Sailing this year. This evening, Oakcliff received The Captain Joe Prosser Award, given to an organization that has made an exemplary contribution toward improving the quality and safety in the training or instruction of sailors. ... [more]  

The 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has already attracted entries from 20 different countries: Antigua, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Puerto Rico, Russia, St.Maarten, Uruguay, USA and the US Virgin Islands. ... [more]  

The world is watching. Can Dongfeng Race Team hold onto their 57 nautical miles lead to China for what will essentially be the ultimate home victory? Or will another team get desperate and make a bold decision that could cost Dongfeng their win? ... [more]  

Most of the marque classes at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 came down to the last day of the regatta, which delivered the toughest conditions of the week. Howling winds and rough seas challenging the competitors on Friday, forcing the top contenders to raise their game in order to claim overall victory. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Sport met science today on the Barcelona World Race when the pairs of skippers took the first opportunity to deploy their data monitoring Argo beacon which was given to them in Bareclona prior to the start. ... [more]  

2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - It really wasn’t our week. Two races were held today in very nice conditions and we finished third in both. Bella Mente won both races to win the class. ... [more]  

The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series, incorporating three days of coastal racing and the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race concluded last night at a sumptuous, Mount Gay Rum-fuelled prizegiving dinner and party. The final 300-mile Ocean Race to Antigua to tie up with the Superyacht Cup starts on Saturday. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water again today at 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, and provided this gallery of images from day five ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 - With a solid 17-20 knots from the north east, reducing the possibility of a distance sapping park up, the likehood of the Leg three leader the Chinese boat Dongfeng getting the gun in Sanya just 640 nautical miles ahead continues to strengthen. ... [more]  

The 2015 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship set to be held in Swinoujscie, Poland from 15 – 19 September 2015 Notice of Race has been released. ... [more]  

Currently doing scheduled maintenance. Some elements of site may not be visible at the moment. ... [more]  

On 2nd January 2015, Team Vestas Wind announced that skipper Chris Nicholson had been tasked to review the team during the month of January. The objective is to ensure the right team for the come back to the race, which is now, for this team, of a different nature than the scheduled original route from Alicante to Gothenburg. ... [more]  

Beau Outteridge has compiled a video of highlights and interviews from the 2015 McDougall + McConanghy Moth Worlds completed recently in Sorrento, Melbourne ... [more]  

Former Oracle Team USA team member, Matthew Mitchell has issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the International Sailing Federation over the actions of a fellow crew member, Simeon Tienpont, and inaction by the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup, in San Francisco. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water at 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, and provided this gallery of images from day four. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Along with the rest of the 848 sailors from 63 nations currently training in Florida ahead of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella (January 26-31), US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes and coaches have entered a period of intense focus ahead of the first major Olympic and Paralympic event of 2015. ... [more]  

2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - It probably won't be a late night on Duval Street for the sailors competing on Division Two and Three at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015. After doing three races in strong winds on Thursday, there are no doubt a lot of sore muscles, aching bones and tired bodies. ... [more]  

Children’s heart health continues to benefit from Team Alvimedica’s online auction now underway for two unique experiences during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover here. The Chinese Agape Foundation Inc. will be the recipient of funds raised for these unique team experiences in Sanya, the next stopover port of the global ocean race. ... [more]  

Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta overall by John Payne, Fort Lauderdale
The Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta was held January 17-19 in the Atlantic Ocean off of Dania Beach in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Open to Finns (it’s their Midwinter Championship), Lasers and Laser Radials, competitors came from twenty countries and Puerto Rico. They range in age from 14 to 79. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg 3 update from Dongfeng Race Team: All hands on deck as Chinese crew suffer damage to their boat as the tack line of an important sail (J1) broke suddenly sending the 132 m² sail shooting up the forestay in a matter of seconds. The team have managed to set up a temporary replacement but the reality is, this is a rude awakening of how far away the finish line is. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Italy to host first America's Cup World Series regatta
Breeze and Sunshine at Quantum Key West Race Week
Images of the Millennium Cup and Bay of Islands Sailing Week - Day 1:
2015 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race – Three records broken
St.Maarten Heineken Regatta - Simplified logistics and fun themes
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 images by Ingrid Abery
Millennium Cup: Racing in the picturesque Bay of Islands
Volvo Ocean Race - Up up and away
Barcelona World Race - 'Haves' and 'Have Nots'
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 update from Jack Bouttell onboard Dongfeng
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Game time!
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2015 – Ninth year ready to rock!
Foiling GC32s Key West Race Week images by Ingrid Abery
Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race - Crews prepare for big race
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 2
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - A challenging day
America's Cup: Spithill leads Oracle reconnaissance team in Bermuda
Extreme Sailing Series announces new teams and venues for 2015
Barcelona World Race - Leaders enter the fastest section of the course
Martinique Surf Pro - Must attend event in the world surfing circuit
New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup preview   
RORC Caribbean 600 proving irresistible   
18ft Skiffs: Images from NSW Championships - Race 2   
Volvo Ocean Race – Malacca Nightmare – now it’s a boat race again!!   
2015 Annapolis to Newport Race - Battle for Surflant Prize   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Off to a great start   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica - Enter the Dragon + Video   
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series - Day 3   
World Match Racing Tour's title sponsor goes into administration   
Kieler Woche 2015 promotes Olympic sailing competitions   
Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía – Kiteboarding and Dragons return   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami preview   
Audi Melges 20 Class - Miami Winter Series   
Barcelona World Race - The South is looming.   
Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week announce new one design class   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg 3 position report for 19th January   
Pape Chevrolet North American Championships - Register today!   
Volvo Ocean Race: Sally Barkow - from the Olympics to the Volvo   
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - The big casino *Feature   
C&C 30 Javelin makes West Coast Debut   


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