This is another recent case of a sailboat fire that happened quickly.
Seems to me to be another case where a remotely activated fire extinguisher may have saved the boat.
Excerpt from the story seen at the link:
Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude
Harry Hazzard, a veteran of 11 Baja
Ha-Ha’s, including 10 with his Beneteau
Frers 51 Distant Drum, had to leap into San Diego
Bay on Friday or Saturday morning to save his life. He’s fine physically, but his boat is a complete loss and he’s lost
most of his possessions.
“I was motoring from California
Yacht Marina in Chula Vista to Shelter Island Boatyard about eight miles away for my annual haul-out,” Hazzard told Latitude in a phone
interview this morning. “I’d only gone a little way and was about an eighth of a mile off the Marine
Group yard when I heard an unusual noise
from the engine
area and thought I smelled plastic or rubber melting. I assumed it was a belt going bad. So I went below to investigate.”
The Frers design has the engine
compartment farther forward than on most boats. It’s only a little ways behind the mast
, and one of the main access points is from beneath a salon
seat directly above the engine.
“I was lucky I was a little off centerline when I lifted the engine cover, because as soon as I lifted it, it went off. Had I been centerline, it would have gone off in my face.”
When he says “it went off,” he doesn’t mean there was an explosion as such, but super heat and flames coming up from the engine area.
“The fire was already going pretty good, with fiberglass
and other stuff burning, so I couldn’t breathe because of the chemical fumes. I rushed up to the fresh air in the cockpit
, and almost as soon as I was up the companionway
, flames were coming up the companionway
after me. I could feel the heat all the way in the back of the boat. There was nothing I could do to combat the fire.”