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Old 15-06-2013, 08:51   #76
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

Hi Mark! It might take a while to fully conclude the cause of this fire. When all is said and done, just remember my "hypothesis". (Published an Electrical Engineering college textbook on Circuits Analysis.)

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Old 15-06-2013, 09:29   #77
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

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I am an Electrical Engineer with Forensics background.
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Funny that. In another thread you said you are a pharmacist.


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Old 15-06-2013, 09:32   #78
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

Hi Mark! Yes, I spent 13 years in College and earned several degrees, then made a couple of career changes. The Famed Dr. DeBakey was an Engineer before becoming a Heart Surgeon. My wife is a Civil Engineer and an OB/Gyn doctor; licensed to practice in both disciplines. What is so unusual about that?

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Old 15-06-2013, 09:33   #79
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
Do feel for the owner .
Stop! The owner is a company. You feel for the shareholders...

By the way... the boat is still afloat..

So the skipper and crew must have closed all the seacocks before they evacuated the saloon! because theres no way plastic hoses would still be intact.

Theres a tug beside the hulk now pumped a bit out an hour or so ago, but not much.

I think they are going to tow it to sea and sink it.
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Old 15-06-2013, 09:54   #80
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I didnt realize there was a financial means testing for a sailor to receive assistance?

If on a stormy night in the marina or at anchor and someone who left their headsail on the furler and is now in trouble i dont measure thier boat or estimate their assets before lending a hand.

Whoever was on this boat that night - owner or skipper - deserved a hand.

They also deserve whatever assistance we would offer any other boat that was in trouble - doesnt mean financial.

I didnt realize the social class system and its conflicts had penetrated the cruising comminity to this extent - where assistance is witheld based on evaluation of wheter a boat owner is worthy of assistance.

5million or 5thousand - this boat, crew, and owner are still part of our fraternity.
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Old 15-06-2013, 10:03   #81
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The aluminium will just burn anyway , wouldn't sweat it

Dave
True, aluminum will melt or burn in a very hot fire but it is certainly waaaay better than plywood. Anything to buy some time for firefighting. Although it appears that all the time in the world (2 hrs +) was not enough for this boat in Grenada.

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Old 15-06-2013, 10:07   #82
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

The fire would have to be extremely hot for Aluminium to ignite, comments like that evolved from unspent Exocet rocket fuel, a boat won't normally generate the intensity needed....
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Old 15-06-2013, 10:15   #83
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

Mark,

Excellent pictures, thanks for sharing this story with us.

This is terrible, I hate to see such a fate befall any boat. Glad no one was hurt, and hope the displaced crew finds another ship soon.

Glad to see some read this and consider their own electrical systems and damage control. Something good comes when folks do this. Mark should be proud, might even save someone's boat some day.

Hate to see the (all too predictable) replies vilifying the owner / builder or insisting that sympathy should be withheld because it was an expensive boat.
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Old 15-06-2013, 10:23   #84
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

The risk of electrical fires has increased with the proliferation of printed circuit boards. The problem is that fires can start on these boards at amperage draws below that which would trip the breaker. And the substrate of those boards burns quite well, thank you, generating enough heat to set the surroundings on fire. My son's house caught on fire from a Bosch dishwasher that wasn't running but had current supplied to it, lighting up the control panel. The breaker tripped long after the flames were going well enough to set the cabinets above on fire. There have been quite a few house fires from Bosch dishwashers just like this, but the problem relates to a printed circuit board short that could happen to any device containing a board under power.

I had a similar fire start in the middle of the Pacific while sailing back from Hawaii. In my case, it was the PC board for the propane sniffer. The fuse was sized for the load required to open the solenoid, and was far more amperage than needed to get start a burn on the board.

Properly tightened, and assuming all copper and no aluminum (cold flows under pressure), a fire inside a panel not exposed to salt water is very unlikely. A fire on a printed circuit board happens all the time, so my advice is to leave nothing on that can be turned off, and buy equipment that comes with fractional amperage fusing built in. Some boards have that, some don't. Buyer beware.
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Old 15-06-2013, 10:33   #85
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

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Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
Mark,

Excellent pictures, thanks for sharing this story with us.

This is terrible, I hate to see such a fate befall any boat. Glad no one was hurt, and hope the displaced crew finds another ship soon.

Glad to see some read this and consider their own electrical systems and damage control. Something good comes when folks do this. Mark should be proud, might even save someone's boat some day.

Hate to see the (all too predictable) replies vilifying the owner / builder or insisting that sympathy should be withheld because it was an expensive boat.
Caste system is very much alive here..
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Old 15-06-2013, 10:35   #86
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Yes, the crew and skipper said the fire started in the electrical panel. What people are questioning is your knowledge that the fire was due to "too much wattage was being drawn from unfused (jerry-rigged) circuits".

It is unlikely that a brand new $5 million boat had unfused jerry-rigged circuits.

It is more unlikely that even your trained eye could detect the remains of those unfused jerry-rigged circuits from the pictures on hand.

Mark
As noted above, such a fire can start with a .5 amp grounded fault on a pc board with a bit of sloppy printing. Many devices require mini fuses in the installation for this reason, but some do not, particularly those built into some other device, and these can and do catch on fire without tripping a breaker.

Telepathy is a poor way to diagnose the cause of fires, whatever your experience.
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Old 15-06-2013, 10:54   #87
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfin View Post
The risk of electrical fires has increased with the proliferation of printed circuit boards. The problem is that fires can start on these boards at amperage draws below that which would trip the breaker. And the substrate of those boards burns quite well, thank you, generating enough heat to set the surroundings on fire. My son's house caught on fire from a Bosch dishwasher that wasn't running but had current supplied to it, lighting up the control panel. The breaker tripped long after the flames were going well enough to set the cabinets above on fire. There have been quite a few house fires from Bosch dishwashers just like this, but the problem relates to a printed circuit board short that could happen to any device containing a board under power.

I had a similar fire start in the middle of the Pacific while sailing back from Hawaii. In my case, it was the PC board for the propane sniffer. The fuse was sized for the load required to open the solenoid, and was far more amperage than needed to get start a burn on the board.

Properly tightened, and assuming all copper and no aluminum (cold flows under pressure), a fire inside a panel not exposed to salt water is very unlikely. A fire on a printed circuit board happens all the time, so my advice is to leave nothing on that can be turned off, and buy equipment that comes with fractional amperage fusing built in. Some boards have that, some don't. Buyer beware.
If I turn my main battery switches to the off position, everything on the boat is de-energized except for the solar controller (it is wired to the house bank). This solar controller has an "off" mode but the unit is still energized and giving readouts of voltages etc.

I never liked the idea of leaving this device energized 24/7. I think I will install a switch so that when I am not on-board, the boat will be absolutely 100% OFF.

Steve
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Old 15-06-2013, 11:13   #88
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

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If I turn my main battery switches to the off position, everything on the boat is de-energized except for the solar controller (it is wired to the house bank).
Steve
Ummm thats what I thought. But of course I am wrong! And I wonder if you are wrong too about your own boat?!!

Mine is my new portable freezer is wired direct to the battery to try and better use my battery capacity.

Yours: Your bilge pumps. Many people have their bilge pump direct into the battery so if the boat is left at a mooring and a sea cock pops it pumps... and some of those fancy-nancy eletronic switches for water level include truning the bilge pump on every few seconds!!! +- one of those lil CBs Delphin is talking about.

These big 'super yacht' type boats, but even the Oysters HR's etc have heaps of eletrics people leave on... the Coffee machine, washer - clothes and dishes, electronic security so you get a text when your boat is boarded etc etc

theres a lot of stuff that runs now even when you are away.

Then there s the jaccouzi heater... lol (Ooops thats being Caste System. Everyone should have one! )


Mark
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Old 15-06-2013, 11:17   #89
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

Some folks would look at a naval destroyer at sea, and wonder about all "the protruding" wires and the dishes that turn full circle and semi/quarter circle. Trained eyes, would tell you the frequency ranges of the radios connected to these wires (antennae) and what these "dishes that spin" are for which systems. It is not a matter of telepathy, it is a matter of knowledge backed up by years of experience.

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Old 15-06-2013, 11:25   #90
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Re: Boat Burns in Grenada!

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Ummm thats what I thought. But of course I am wrong! And I wonder if you are wrong too about your own boat?!!

Mine is my new portable freezer is wired direct to the battery to try and better use my battery capacity.

Yours: Your bilge pumps. Many people have their bilge pump direct into the battery so if the boat is left at a mooring and a sea cock pops it pumps... and some of those fancy-nancy eletronic switches for water level include truning the bilge pump on every few seconds!!! +- one of those lil CBs Delphin is talking about.

These big 'super yacht' type boats, but even the Oysters HR's etc have heaps of eletrics people leave on... the Coffee machine, washer - clothes and dishes, electronic security so you get a text when your boat is boarded etc etc

theres a lot of stuff that runs now even when you are away.

Then there s the jaccouzi heater... lol (Ooops thats being Caste System. Everyone should have one! )


Mark
I got me one of them lower Caste boats. No fridge, No electric bilge pump, No sensors or sniffers or nothing. I wired every inch of this boat and when I get that solar controller to turn off then we can be sure that this means OFF!

Steve
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