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Old 14-11-2008, 06:36   #16
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One little note about those powder fire extinguishers and engine fires. (This from a dirtside incident with a race car). IF you get an engine fire and you use that kind of powder that is whitish yellow, be VERY QUICK to get that powder off of ANYTHING aluminum. I had a fuel line break on my 69 GTO Ram Air IV at the drag strip and by the time we got around to cleaning the stuff off (not knowing it was corrosive) we lost a rather expensive Holley carburator..the stuff EATS aluminum. Of course we replaced the fuel line and continued racing, not thinking anything about what the powder might do. I was dumb enough to think it was some kind of flour.

It is also VERY hazardous to breathe. Nowdays I try to find Halon 1011 or CO2 extinguishers. Also, BE SURE, before EVERY outing, to check ALL your extinguishers for expiration date and also for pressure. I had one somehow depressurize in a single day, and it was our main extinguisher (a big one)

Halon isn't good for you to breathe either, but you can clear your lungs of vapor much easier than you can of powder. The stuff is like fine drywall mud dust..you'll never get it out.

Glad to see nobody wound up swimming in the middle of nowhere! Now I have a question for all of you. WHERE is your LIFERAFT STORED?

Mine in my old Connie was in a locker on deck with a quick release. Flip the release handle and it flips over the side (gas struts from a 1981 monte carlo trunk or a Lexus SC400 trunk with spoiler) and automatically dumps the raft out while the raft weight pulls the inflation cord, and it stays tethered to the boat until you release a caribiner (D-Clip used for rapelling). I had a friend who stored his life raft IN the Galley. Under the floor, no less. Thank god he never had a galley fire. So make sure if you DO have an inflateable raft that you also check THAT air can as well for pressure, and you locate it somewhere easily accessible and NOT down in the bow or the galley. Just like a fire extinguisher, you should practice abandoning ship as well. I know that blowing a certified raft is a huge money waster, but you CAN find out of date rafts fairly cheap...when I had the connie we did one at the beginning of each season..cheap investment compared to your kid's lives should YOU be trapped down below.
Dave
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Old 14-11-2008, 07:32   #17
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There are places that have made HALON illegal for non-licensed folks because they are so dangerous.
As I mentioned before we would never have a pressurized alcohol stove but the passive one we bought has proven itself to be brilliant. No hot spots to burn the centre of things in the oven.... due to the heaviness of the plating. The quality of the alcohol we burn makes a huge difference in heat output.
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Old 14-11-2008, 08:53   #18
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The production of Halons is prohibited around the world (Montreal Protocol of 1994), however the USE of existing halons is NOT prohibited.
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Old 14-11-2008, 09:33   #19
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Dave-
ABC extinguisher uses monoammonium phosphate to put out paper, cloth and wood fires, where a 'cheaper' BC fire extinguisher uses sodium bicarbonate for electrical or gasoline fires and does not damage metal surfaces. In your case, a plain BC rating with no "A" rating would probably do.
There are also "foam" extinguishers commonly for sale now, IIRC they are water-based and easily wash down afterwards. Aside from differences in how and what they work on, CO2 can cost $200 /vs $10 for the BC powder or $25 for the foam. The big problem with Halon (ignoring the costs and ozone questions) is that when it combusts, it forms carcinogenic compounds so it is very safe for people and equipment--except if the people survive the fire for many years.
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Old 14-11-2008, 11:24   #20
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given that disiel electric systems are now reasonably common has anyone heard of / or have any thoughts on the idea of Electric stoves on board?

sk
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Old 14-11-2008, 12:31   #21
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Thanks for sharing and once more pointing out the fact that even being prepared you can come close.

Keep waiting for these to be available PhostrEx™ Fire Suppression System. not for in cabin fire, but would be great for a sealed engine compartment.
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Old 14-11-2008, 20:57   #22
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The Halon Replacements are expensive............

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Old 18-11-2008, 13:36   #23
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Your right! Those stoves are absolutely worthless! Worth nothing...

How about I pay shipping and let me take that fire hazzard off your hands? :-)
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Old 18-11-2008, 15:31   #24
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Halon is the best fire extinguishing system available. There are no replacements, just alternatives that are extremely corrosive and messy. Halon puts out the fire without causing secpndary problems with corrosion or clean up mess. Basically, it disappears after the fire is extinguished. That is the problem with Halon, however. The stuff is extremely reactive with ozone, way more than CFC's. It's that pesky ozone layer that caused the demise of Halon extinguisher systems.

The problem with pressure alchohol stoves, other than they don't put out much heat and are really crappy for cooking, is that leaks can be interesting. If a burner or a fitting springs a leak, the tank will continue to pump out fuel till the pressure is exhausted. If you don't realize it, you can end up with gallons of alcohol soaked into the insulating blanket of the stove and the stove surround. It will catch on fire when you light the stove. Alcohol burns nearly colorless in the daylight so is hard to see the fire. You may not even realize you have an uncontrolled fire. It can be put out with plain water but you have to be careful of splashing the fire about if you just dump the water on the fire. A fine mist of water will put the fire out without any other problems beyond a water spill.

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Old 20-11-2008, 17:57   #25
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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
It can be put out with plain water but you have to be careful of splashing the fire about if you just dump the water on the fire. A fine mist of water will put the fire out without any other problems beyond a water spill.

Aloha
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A wet towel will do the job more quickly and is easier.
I learned that before lighting the stove "the towel" was wet and set aside.
Never had to use it though.
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Old 04-02-2009, 20:46   #26
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always have a 5 gal bucket of water next to the alcohol stove--so WHEN it starts aflame you can put out the fire., do not panic--pour water over the fire and the alcohol will stop burning. water is the material of choice for exrtinguishing alcohol fire--it will dilute the fuel so it will no longer burn.
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Old 04-02-2009, 21:33   #27
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Had a fire in my alcohol stove some years ago and tried pouring water on it as directed by all the books. The burning alcohol floated on top of the water, flowed over the top of the stove and into the bilge. Suddenly a small problem became a much bigger one.

Grabbed a dry powder type extinguisher and fire was out (but certainly left a huge mess). I know all the books and safety manuals say alcohol is safe because you can put out the fire with water. I saw a couple of posts on this thread that had the opposite experience.

Plus I read somewhere in some sailing book or article in which the author declared he would rather be blown up all at once in a propane explosion than tortured to death for years with alcohol. Obviously not serious in the statement but does illustrate the point quite well that alcohol is a pretty poor fuel for cooking. It's expensive, low temp/slow cooking, and I think more dangerous than properly handled propane.
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Old 04-02-2009, 21:59   #28
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Not that I think that I would use it for an alcohol fire, but Halotron is the Halon replacement, a little spendy.

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Old 04-02-2009, 22:05   #29
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when i bought my ericson, it had pressure alcohol---the previious owner showed me how to use the pump---before i used the system, i removed it and installed propane...much easier and flames no longer come to the headliner......i changed out the formosa as well....something about the blackened woodwork in th egalley told me there was a problem in the past-----i get to rebuild and restore her and venture out---i also havwe a diesel cabin heater i can use for heating coffee or soup water in the future, if i am so inclined-----but will be installed later.....my genny flamed out on the foredeck when i first came into this formosa----but one extinguisher was all i needed to kill that bfore the boat was involved in any way.......i am sooo glad i had to fight fires in sports car racing -- i was a volunteer worker for regional, national, international and formula one racing for many years ---we had to extinguish fires, among opther things most folks donot normally do---keeps panic to a minimum if one is trained in doing things like fire fighting on a small scale--nursing, also, we had to be fire certified....makes a difference....
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Old 05-02-2009, 00:11   #30
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We had to use an extinguisher in the bathroom to put out a welding fire, plastic washbasins burn really well. Yes, it is very difficult to get all that powder out especially after it got wet from some water that was also sprayed around (Glue).

We have just installed a Maxie pressurised metho stove and oven on our boat, before we read this ! It is difficult to light (more so than I expected) and yet we are both very experienced with fuel stoves of all types, in all conditions (mountaineering). This metho stove is a bit of a worry.

When we got the boat, it had a gas stove and a instantaneous gas hot water heater installed inside and not vented ! That was even more worrying than the metho and we chucked all that LPG gear out.
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