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Old 03-12-2014, 08:56   #16
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Re: Boat fire safety

Good quality wire like Ancor is pretty much self extinguishing. Do some tests yourself.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:01   #17
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Re: Boat fire safety

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Teflon extrudes at such high temperatures that tin plated wire has to be replaced with silver plated stranding. This makes it expensive.
I thought (could be wrong) that Tefzel has been the insulation of choice in aircraft for about 25 years.
Your probably right, just us red-neck types seem to call any slick white colored plastic, teflon.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:05   #18
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Re: Boat fire safety

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Have installed Smartplugs on the boat end of the power cable so any fire will be starting on the dock side.

Would be very interesting to know what comprises the electrical fires onboard beside the shore power cord so we can focus on the high risk areas.

My guess would be high resistance and heat at corroded connections and chaffed insulation causing a short as the two at the top of the list.
Of that 55% dead DC system shorts are very high on the list..

DC voltage regulator is really better identified as cooking an alternator that does not have temp compensation! I was recently on-board a 2+ million dollar sailboat that had an alternator fire. This was a high output system, feeding a MASSIVE battery bank, but it had NO alternator temp compensation installed..... D'oh!!! Had the fire succeeded it would have been lumped into that 12%...

Boat US Data:

1) AC and DC wiring/appliance - 55%
DC shorts/wiring - 30%
DC engine voltage regulator - 12%
AC appliance/heater 4% shore power - 4%
AC wiring/panel - 2%
DC battery charger - 2%
AC power surge - 1%
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:13   #19
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Re: Boat fire safety

Here's a pretty definitive answer:

As a result of this, I have NO dry chemical extinguishers, only Halotron portables, and a large foam extinguisher for when it hits the fan. Plus, I'm getting a fire blanket from a science supply place.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:34   #20
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Re: Boat fire safety

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
......... correct breakers and fuses as close the the battery as possible are needed. And there should be fuses right on the battery terminals themselves.
ABYC specifies that overcurrent protection must be within seven inches (measured along the wire) of the source unless the wire or cable is enclosed in a protective sheath. The distance is extended if the wire is enclosed in a sheath. No protection is required for the engine starting circuit because any protection would be useless considering the current drawn by a starter. ABYC also limits the number of direct connections to the battery terminals.

Wiring done with marine grade materials, according to ABYC standards and with good workmanship and properly maintained is not very likely to cause a fire.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:34   #21
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Re: Boat fire safety

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
ABYC specifies that overcurrent protection must be within seven inches (measured along the wire) of the source unless the wire or cable is enclosed in a protective sheath. The distance is extended if the wire is enclosed in a sheath. No protection is required for the engine starting circuit because any protection would be useless considering the current drawn by a starter. ABYC also limits the number of direct connections to the battery terminals.

Wiring done with marine grade materials, according to ABYC standards and with good workmanship and properly maintained is not very likely to cause a fire.
There is an "exemption" for starting motor circuits, they do not advise not doing it. Many professionals, myself included, do fuse cranking conductors when it is possible and it is possble of a large majority of engines out there..

Considering that I have literally hundreds of cranking circuits protected by OCP your statement about it being "useless" is simply flawed. It can be done and is done in ever increasing numbers......

When you get to massive engines it becomes more expensive and more difficult, so a conduit is a good choice. For the vast majority of marine engines out there, including outboards and most any small sailboat aux engine as well as many diesels up into the 350HP range OCP is easily done.

But hey don't just take my word for it...

I quote our good friend Nigel Calder here:

"The net result is that nowadays, electrical shorts are probably the number-one cause of fires on boats."

There is simply no excuse for not protecting all high-current circuits , including the cranking circuit."

Nigel Calder Cruising Handbook


The vast majority of marine engines in the world today can easily be protected with over current protection. If you own a boat with massive engines, please put your starting motor conductors in a protected conduit, if they can not be fused!

This boat was "exempted" and a single group 24 battery caused this..... Is this exemption right when a simple 100A fuse would have protected this boat??? Not in my mind....


What do we know about this fire, on a 15' Boston Whaler?


1- Electrical fire
2- Single Group 24 battery
3- Multiple children under the age of 9 on-board seconds before the fire! (Junior sailing program chase boat)
3- NO OVER CURRENT PROTECTION!!!!!
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Old 03-12-2014, 14:46   #22
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Re: Boat fire safety

Chem extinguishers are good general purpose units but for electrical fires, they are not best choice unless you absolutely have to. The chemicals wrecks havoc on wiring. So you'd be replacing your electronic cabinet of you blew it in there for something small.. /: Best would be a halon-like gas or co2 (which, just be aware it will empty any small unventilated space quickly of oxygen) . And halon extinguishers, if they still make them, is a harmful/fatal gas as well, wouldn't use that.

+1 one securing electrical power first also, close fuel valves is important depending on where the fire started..

- Ronnie...on the geaux
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Old 03-12-2014, 17:30   #23
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Re: Boat fire safety

Hi everyone -

If you go to the post "Safety Tips to Share" in this forum and look on page 4 & 5 (maybe 3 too) I have pictures and some info on Dry Chem, Halon, Foam, CO2 and water extinguisher.

Might give you some ideas on/for your fire fighting gear.

Even with the mess I like dry chem as overall best, halon (and varients) for engine, galley and electric panel, and foam (AFFF) for bilge.

Pound for pound, dry chem is the cheapest and extinguishes the largest fire in the shortest amount of time. Purple-K is truly magical.

Halon, it's variants and CO2 work very well in enclosed spaces (engines) but in high concentrates below decks present suffocation (death) hazards.

AFFF foam is excellent for bilge and engine pan fires as the foam blanket will "re-seal" itself in rolly conditions and works very well on Class A fires.

Water - fresh or salt - can be used on any fire if you have had the proper
training, although it can be tricky to use on Flammable liquid fires. It can be used with 100% safety on any electrical fire of 24-volts or less. So your garden sprayer pump bottle has more than one use, and buckets are always effective.

My experience with the cause of boat fires (+200 fire investigations) are:
1. No fuse 2. Loose wire terminals 3. Chaffed/cut insulation 4. Leaky fuel lines or connections (gasoline, diesel and alcohol) 5. Hot objects on flammable material

Any fire extinguisher is easy to use, but actually extinguishing a fire with one is NOT. You need to do hands on drills on "boat size" fires to learn these skills.

Go to Yahoo and enter Boat fires, Marina fires, How to use a Fire Extinguisher Lots of excellent videos.

Stay safe!
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Old 03-12-2014, 17:44   #24
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Re: Boat fire safety

I would add, that most local fire departments do training with industrial companies... It would be worth your while, if you haven't ever fought a diesel fire, to see about doing a ride along with them and taking a hand at putting one out with a fire extinguisher.

My biggest takeaway, was that dry chem fire extinguishers aren't nearly big enough... and that it is possible to re-light a diesel fire in an aircraft size drip pan, after it is extinguished by a dry chem fire extinguisher...

Zach
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Old 03-12-2014, 18:47   #25
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Re: Boat fire safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
There is an "exemption" for starting motor circuits, they do not advise not doing it. Many professionals, myself included, do fuse cranking conductors when it is possible and it is possble of a large majority of engines out there..

Considering that I have literally hundreds of cranking circuits protected by OCP your statement about it being "useless" is simply flawed. It can be done and is done in ever increasing numbers......

When you get to massive engines it becomes more expensive and more difficult, so a conduit is a good choice. For the vast majority of marine engines out there, including outboards and most any small sailboat aux engine as well as many diesels up into the 350HP range OCP is easily done.

But hey don't just take my word for it...

I quote our good friend Nigel Calder here:

"The net result is that nowadays, electrical shorts are probably the number-one cause of fires on boats."

There is simply no excuse for not protecting all high-current circuits , including the cranking circuit."

Nigel Calder Cruising Handbook


The vast majority of marine engines in the world today can easily be protected with over current protection. If you own a boat with massive engines, please put your starting motor conductors in a protected conduit, if they can not be fused!

This boat was "exempted" and a single group 24 battery caused this..... Is this exemption right when a simple 100A fuse would have protected this boat??? Not in my mind....


What do we know about this fire, on a 15' Boston Whaler?


1- Electrical fire
2- Single Group 24 battery
3- Multiple children under the age of 9 on-board seconds before the fire! (Junior sailing program chase boat)
3- NO OVER CURRENT PROTECTION!!!!![SIZE=2][I]
A simple 100 amp fuse would likely blow every time you tried to start the engine.

The ABYC folks are pretty smart and they have a lot of resources at their disposal. They don't require or recommend it because, based on their testing it is impractical, your anecdotal experience notwithstanding.

But there's no regulation stating that you can't install a fuse (make sure it's ignition protected) in the engine starting circuit. Just make sure you have spares onboard and the tools needed to replace the fuse, possibly in a hurry.
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Old 03-12-2014, 20:23   #26
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Re: Boat fire safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
A simple 100 amp fuse would likely blow every time you tried to start the engine.
And yet that entire fleet is fused now and had been since that incident. Thousands of starts and not a single nuisance trip.... There are 100A and 125A fuses in that fleet, all sub 75HP outboards..

Quote:
The ABYC folks are pretty smart and they have a lot of resources at their disposal. They don't require or recommend it because, based on their testing it is impractical, your anecdotal experience notwithstanding.
It is clearly apparent you have no clue as to why that is in ABYC E-11 or where it originally stemmed from.. Considering I am one of the guys who helps to make, modify and keep current those standards I like to think we are indeed "smart" guys.. My experience is actually the opposite of anecdotal, unlike yours.. i suppose Nigel uses anecdotal practices too... I use and own the test equipment to properly size OCP and fully understand which fuse types you use for this and what their trip delays are.

I don't recall ever seeing your name on any ABYC standards committee nor ever seeing you listed as a certified electrical tech? Clearly I missed that? Educate yourself of fusing high in-rush devices, trip delays etc. then we can have a good discussion on this matter without you tossing out how you think the ABYC works or how fuses will "likely" blow..

Better yet why not go discuss this with Nigel, I'm sure he would get a kick out of it. Clearly you are smarter than Nigel so I am certain he awaits your educating him on this..

Quote:
But there's no regulation stating that you can't install a fuse (make sure it's ignition protected) in the engine starting circuit. Just make sure you have spares onboard and the tools needed to replace the fuse, possibly in a hurry.
I would add to that by saying size the fuse properly based on measured starter current, duration, peak in-rush and averaged current, and use trip delay curves then there will be no issues and you are now well protected.
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Old 04-12-2014, 01:14   #27
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Re: Boat fire safety

My 37' cruising boat carries:

3 x AFFF 1Kg Located in the fo'c'sle, saloon table and the quarter berth.
Automatic Halon substitute in the engine compartment.
Fire blanket by the galley.
Large CO2 in the cockpit locker. The idea being if forced to retreat to the deck, you've still got some ammunition.

None of them used, apart from the fire blanket, which shows a small scorch mark when the previous owner set fire to his breakfast.
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:40   #28
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Re: Boat fire safety

I've got three of the small powder extinguishers, but an auto halon in the engine compt, one in the electrical cabinet and a third in the lazarette just above the fridge compressor and battery charger, I believe all three Halons are standard Island Packet. I think the auto halon in the electrical compt is a very good idea myself, it's a very small enclosed space, not easily accessed in a hurry and one of the more likely areas for a fire to start.
Based on this thread I ordered a fire blanket from Amazon, I had never thought of one before, but it seems a better idea for a Galley fire than a dry chemical fire extinguisher
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:40   #29
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Re: Boat fire safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Brown View Post
.......My experience with the cause of boat fires (+200 fire investigations) are:
1. No fuse 2. Loose wire terminals 3. Chaffed/cut insulation 4. Leaky fuel lines or connections (gasoline, diesel and alcohol) 5. Hot objects on flammable material
.....
Doug
No propane explosions in that list of 200?
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Old 04-12-2014, 13:32   #30
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Re: Boat fire safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
And yet that entire fleet is fused now and had been since that incident. Thousands of starts and not a single nuisance trip.... There are 100A and 125A fuses in that fleet, all sub 75HP outboards..



It is clearly apparent you have no clue as to why that is in ABYC E-11 or where it originally stemmed from.. Considering I am one of the guys who helps to make, modify and keep current those standards I like to think we are indeed "smart" guys.. My experience is actually the opposite of anecdotal, unlike yours.. i suppose Nigel uses anecdotal practices too... I use and own the test equipment to properly size OCP and fully understand which fuse types you use for this and what their trip delays are.

I don't recall ever seeing your name on any ABYC standards committee nor ever seeing you listed as a certified electrical tech? Clearly I missed that? Educate yourself of fusing high in-rush devices, trip delays etc. then we can have a good discussion on this matter without you tossing out how you think the ABYC works or how fuses will "likely" blow..

Better yet why not go discuss this with Nigel, I'm sure he would get a kick out of it. Clearly you are smarter than Nigel so I am certain he awaits your educating him on this..



I would add to that by saying size the fuse properly based on measured starter current, duration, peak in-rush and averaged current, and use trip delay curves then there will be no issues and you are now well protected.
Whatever dude. You can be whatever you want to be on the Internet. I'm not going to waste my time arguing with you.
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