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Old 31-03-2012, 11:31   #1
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Fire in Squalicum Harbor

Truly a tragedy. We were moored on the other side of this dock for a moth last summer. Two people missing. 2-alarm fire hits Bellingham marina - seattlepi.com
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:43   #2
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Re: Fire in Squalicum harbor

I am not picturing this correctly. Is this a case of houseboats in a sort of garage/shed, or regular boats, dismasted, in a sort of garage/shed?

I am trying to understand simply because having your floating house under a flammable roof seems a little unwise from the get-go.
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:50   #3
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Re: Fire in Squalicum harbor

In the PNW many power boats are docked in slips with roofs. They are premium slips as the moss doesn't grow on your boat over the long winter, freshwater doesn't rot your wooden boat and the brightwork stays bright with minimal effort. The problem comes when a fire starts and gets into the roofs where it can jump down the row of slips. Sailboats get to hang out in the open slips which may not be such a bad idea.

The couple that are missing are live aboards from what I hear but no idea on what they were living. There have been a number of multiple boat fires in Marinas in the PNW. A bad one in Gig Harbor, WA destroyed millions of dollars worth of boats.
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:51   #4
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Re: Fire in Squalicum harbor

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I am not picturing this correctly. Is this a case of houseboats in a sort of garage/shed, or regular boats, dismasted, in a sort of garage/shed?

I am trying to understand simply because having your floating house under a flammable roof seems a little unwise from the get-go.
These boat houses are fairly common in the Pacific Northwest. Usually a wooden frame covered by steel sheeting. For lack of a better description a floating pole barn. Almost exclusively a power boat thing.

One one side of the main dock there were at least four fingers with boat houses side by side. Maybe 100 feet long or so. The other side was fingers with open slips where I was moored last summer.
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:52   #5
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Re: Fire in Squalicum harbor

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I am not picturing this correctly. Is this a case of houseboats in a sort of garage/shed, or regular boats, dismasted, in a sort of garage/shed?

I am trying to understand simply because having your floating house under a flammable roof seems a little unwise from the get-go.
In the PNW, most motorboats (no masts) are stored in boathouses, which are usually simple three-sided structures with corrugated steel roofs.

Sometimes, the dock pilings themselves provide structure for an angled roof.

Either way, when a fire erupts, it usually spreads quickly because the buildings are often fairly dilapidated and in all my years I've never seen a sprinkler in one, not ever
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:57   #6
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Re: Fire in Squalicum harbor

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Either way, when a fire erupts, it usually spreads quickly because the buildings are often fairly dilapidated and in all my years I've never seen a sprinkler in one, not ever

And old creosote soaked pilings and timbers burn great.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:10   #7
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Re: Fire in Squalicum Harbor

Wow. Thanks for confirming this. The various explanations confirm that it's pretty much as I figured, a long, flammable "floating pole barn" with a nice reflective sheet steel roof to aim the heat of the burning beams downwards.

Eek. I imagine it looks a lot like a carport.

Considering how relatively cheap it would be to install a sprinkler system that drew directly from the sea, (and considering the value of what is tied off within), and considering how American lawyers and insurance companies function, the absence of sprinklers is truly amazing.

Thanks for the great word-pictures, forumers.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:23   #8
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Re: Fire in Squalicum Harbor

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Wow. Thanks for confirming this. The various explanations confirm that it's pretty much as I figured, a long, flammable "floating pole barn" with a nice reflective sheet steel roof to aim the heat of the burning beams downwards.

Eek. I imagine it looks a lot like a carport.

Considering how relatively cheap it would be to install a sprinkler system that drew directly from the sea, (and considering the value of what is tied off within), and considering how American lawyers and insurance companies function, the absence of sprinklers is truly amazing.

Thanks for the great word-pictures, forumers.

I have seen sprinkler sysytems in some. There is also a trend in newer boathouses that are very nice with a loft that is finished and lived in. I have seen some really nice ones. It's pretty cool to be sitting in the loft living room looking at the boat in the water. You should see the size of the boathouses at Lake Union Drydock we rent for boatwork. Sometimes we get three big powerboats at a time in one of them! But there are a lot of bad marina fires around here as a result....
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Old 01-04-2012, 20:29   #9
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Re: Fire in Squalicum Harbor

Thanks for the update. As a sailboater, if the docks are burning, I tend to have more opportunity to leave,,,

I would think that apartments in the "attic" of a boat barn would mean a pretty major structure, however. Some of those flybridges and whatnot on a biggish power boat can get to 30 feet.
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Old 01-04-2012, 20:53   #10
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Re: Fire in Squalicum Harbor

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I would think that apartments in the "attic" of a boat barn would mean a pretty major structure, however. Some of those flybridges and whatnot on a biggish power boat can get to 30 feet.


Here's an example of what I'm talking about, although this ones actually pretty low-rent compared to some of the really nice examples I have seen.


#!
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:50   #11
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Re: Fire in Squalicum Harbor

95 grand?

That's actually pretty cheap, unless it's made of old shipping flats insulated with hobo shorts.
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Old 07-04-2012, 23:59   #12
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Re: Fire in Squalicum Harbor

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95 grand?

That's actually pretty cheap, unless it's made of old shipping flats insulated with hobo shorts.

you wish they were that opulent! seriously most of them are really poorly made.
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