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Old 22-09-2014, 07:18   #526
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Fire extinguishers are mandated equipment in many places. You don't have a choice.

Also the question doesn't make sense because they do not cost anywhere close to the same.

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Old 22-09-2014, 07:30   #527
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Fire extinguishers are mandated equipment in many places. You don't have a choice.

Also the question doesn't make sense because they do not cost anywhere close to the same.

Mark
I disagree. I have 3 x 2kg automatic FE-36 extinguishers which cost me $200 each, plus other extinguishers. A total of perhaps $750

A life raft is about the same ... unless you go super dooper.
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Old 22-09-2014, 07:31   #528
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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Here is a question.

If you could only afford Either fire extinguishers or a liferaft. One or the other.

Which would you buy?

From personal experience, in this and other areas, fire fighting on a GRP boat is limited to small fires, very few systems including many engine room systems are capable of dealing with any sustained fire.

Hence I see fire fighting as a fairly trivial decision, a liferaft is primarily there because of the risk that I may need an alternative to the boat, I have sailed with and without them, Out of the area of fairly immediate rescue , I think life rafts are a useful provider of choice.

( haven't seen a fire extinguishers being much use when the rudder fell off !!!)

The danger is all these arguments descend into "zero sum " games , this against that, with increasingly strident arguments or reductio ab absurdum style debates.

IN reality you equip yourself with a "fighting" chance set of affordable systems, whether that works out , well thats another thing entirely.


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Old 22-09-2014, 07:37   #529
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
From personal experience, in this and other areas, fire fighting on a GRP boat is limited to small fires, very few systems including many engine room systems are capable of dealing with any sustained fire.

Hence I see fire fighting as a fairly trivial decision, a liferaft is primarily there because of the risk that I may need an alternative to the boat, I have sailed with and without them, Out of the area of fairly immediate rescue , I think life rafts are a useful provider of choice.

( haven't seen a fire extinguishers being much use when the rudder fell off !!!)

The danger is all these arguments descend into "zero sum " games , this against that, with increasingly strident arguments or reductio ab absurdum style debates.

IN reality you equip yourself with a "fighting" chance set of affordable systems, whether that works out , well thats another thing entirely.


dave
I dont disagree that systems only work within the arena of what they are designed for.

I also know that most people would say/think Fire extinguishers first. I think if your honest, given the choice offered, you would too.

I can afford boat leaving equipment, so I have that luxury of choice. I also know that my instinct was to get fire extinguishers when asked the question.
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Old 22-09-2014, 07:37   #530
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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So...How many fire extinguishers can you carry for the price of one life raft? (G)
I'd think one automatic in the engine space, one automatic over the galley, although it would be safer to just eat cold food, any fireman can tell you about kitchen fires. And one 10BC mounted about every three feet on every bulkhead, right?

Still cheaper than a life raft.

Why would anyone equate an extinguisher(s) with a liferaft!!!.
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Old 22-09-2014, 07:41   #531
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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I also know that most people would say/think Fire extinguishers first. I think if your honest, given the choice offered, you would too.
Only because to me , in a GRP boat, my fire extinguishers equates to about 60 of spending, and are designed primarily for galley fires, hardly a strategic decision. A liferaft at 600 ++ is a somewhat different league

Having been involved in using small extinguishers in anger, I know now, how ineffective they are and then my mate lost his boat from a oil fire resulting from a turbo fault, The boat was gone in the time they realised and were taken off ( by a companion boat), any attempt to fight that fire would have most likely resulted in death or injury, the boat was going down anyway.

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Old 22-09-2014, 07:49   #532
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Only because to me , in a GRP boat, my fire extinguishers equates to about 60 of spending, and are designed primarily for galley fires, hardly a strategic decision. A liferaft at 600 ++ is a somewhat different league

Having been involved in using small extinguishers in anger, I know now, how ineffective they are and then my mate lost his boat from a oil fire resulting from a turbo fault, The boat was gone in the time they realised and were taken off ( by a companion boat), any attempt to fight that fire would have most likely resulted in death or injury, the boat was going down anyway.

dave
And that is why I have a huge amount of fire suppression on my boat. a HUGE amount..... A sixty quid fire extinguisher dont cut it......
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Old 22-09-2014, 08:01   #533
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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Originally Posted by weavis View Post
And that is why I have a huge amount of fire suppression on my boat. a HUGE amount..... A sixty quid fire extinguisher dont cut it......
You see Dave, I actually agree with you that an exit emergency vessel is a good thing.

What I have a little trouble with is that for whatever reason you prefer to insist that anyone who disagrees with you is incorrect.

If a boat was set up PROPERLY for fire suppression, then we may see the figures for abandoning ship for that reason diminish dramatically. Its one more avenue to explore.

But who is going to insist that fire suppression be done properly instead of a couple of emergency small size extinguishers which dont have the capacity to put out recurring fires? The idea is to knock them out properly BEFORE a fire takes hold....... 60 quid aint gonna make it..... in fact your answer indicates that you didnt think it was a useful tool much anyway........ and I agree with that too.

So.. perhaps we can all agree to disagree?
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Old 22-09-2014, 08:29   #534
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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Whether or not its real is irrelevant, what do you care if someone else is rescued, using a judgement call thats significantly different to you. Its of no relevance.

Moral hazard is purely a consideration for those providing the rescue service, not those requesting it. I see no debate amongst the SAR community that is seriously discussing making people "tough" it out to save tax dollars.

Hence why I dismiss it out of hand.

dave

I was also trying to be dismissive of this aspect Dave. But it is important to realize that the safety equipment industry is driven as much by fear as by reasoned need. I'm not saying cruising offshore isn't dangerous, but it is far less so than many activities urban dwellers undertake without a thought. The drive to increase the safety bubble is pushed, in part, by those with a vested interest in having more safety gear on boats.

Some of the equipment is clearly beneficial. Other stuff is useless crap, and still other tools (like liferafts) fall somewhere in between. I would rather consider each piece and match it to my needs, skills, cruising area, etc. than to blindly accept what industry or government tells me is good for me. And no, I'm not an anti-gvt kook. I'm Canadian after all ;-)


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Old 22-09-2014, 09:22   #535
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Mike, the "moral hazard" argument is as misplaced and misrepresented here as the "tragedy of the commons" was in a previous thread on AIS. It has nothing to do with the safety equipment industry (which I share similar opinions as you), but rather to do with the worldwide SAR apparatus.

For SAR, that moral hazard argument holds no applicability unless one also believes there should be no police, fire departments, military, etc (after all, would we be involved in the Middle East if we had no military?).

I think that is the cowboy mentality that Dave refers to. I don't get the impression that he has any issue with anyone making personal decision regarding what safety equipment they carry, and don't think he has stated that he believes liferafts and epirbs should be mandated on all boats.

Other organizations and events do mandate these things, however.

To be fair to Evans, his original article that was brought forth does fairly lay out his personal reasons, as well as generously note throughout that these were his decisions only. However, his tone on this thread has been more along a broad defense against having these on board and, because of his stature in the community, is being interpreted as expert advice, rather than a personal decision unique to his situation having many variables different than others' situations.

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Old 22-09-2014, 09:58   #536
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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We are a big proponent of fire extinguishers. We have many more than required, and of several types fit for separate problems (foam, halon, dry, CO2). We have them in all compartments - both entering and exiting. For much of the boat, if you stretched out your arms, you would be able to reach one with each hand.

However, we are also aware that it is possible that a fire could break out and cause the space containing it (or the entire boat) to be too dangerous to approach - in effect, rendering any fire-fighting moot.

We don't think of fire-fighting equipment and epirb/liferaft in the same categories or in terms of dividing dollars. For that matter, we don't consider epirb and liferaft in those terms/categories.

Mark
As ever, prevention is better than the cure.

If you are really concerned about the hazard of fire and I think it is right to be so, then look into getting a commercial grade fire detection system. I have seen them work many times to save buildings by detecting smoke, often before it even became visible. Pretty amazing I think.

On one occasion after the building was evacuated, the firemen were puzzling if it was a false alarm and then a whisp of smoke was seen and on close inspection flames inside a control box. This was 15 minutes after the alarm, so the detector really worked early. Had this happened on a boat you would be there armed and weapon cocked ready for action. Without the time a detector gives you a fire can take hold and destroy your boat despite all your efforts. Or worse, smoke can overcome you and you die before you can get to deploy an extinguisher. Fires spread faster, are harder to put out, and smoke is more debilitating then many people realise.

I nearly had an engine room fire recently. I smelt it before the two cheap crappy domestic detectors never went off. A pvc hose broke loose onto the turbo unit and filled the engine room with smoke, presumably at just below the alarm trigger level. I also need to take my own advice.
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Old 22-09-2014, 10:06   #537
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Poiu,

While a commercial fire detection system would no doubt help, the installation and operation of one on a boat is onerous. Just keeping the thing powered properly would be a no-go.

Like all safety equipment decisions, cost/benefit sometimes doesn't work in one's situation. An automatic engine compartment system may make the cut, but a full-boat commercial system would not.

We made the moral hazard decision to rely on our insurance for situations involving boat-encompassing fires starting in inaccessible areas.

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Old 22-09-2014, 10:44   #538
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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Poiu,

While a commercial fire detection system would no doubt help, the installation and operation of one on a boat is onerous. Just keeping the thing powered properly would be a no-go.

Like all safety equipment decisions, cost/benefit sometimes doesn't work in one's situation. An automatic engine compartment system may make the cut, but a full-boat commercial system would not.

We made the moral hazard decision to rely on our insurance for situations involving boat-encompassing fires starting in inaccessible areas.

Mark
I don't think it right to rely on insurance as we are not just talking about money. It is also about life and death,and maybe not only yours.

I will check it out, but I think you are wrong to presume these devices can't be made cheap enough or low powered enough to be of use. They are silicon and led devices after all and there are some pretty incredibly cheap low powered highly capable electronics around now that were once beyond the reach of even NASA. (Typed on my smartphone).
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Old 22-09-2014, 10:49   #539
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Well, after all that discussion, I disagree with Dave and fully agree with Evans.

We have crossed the globe with no life raft, no EPIRB and no sat phone and with a VHF, 5 extinguishers, sextant and a (non-black box) Spot.

Now, for legal reasons beyond our control, we have an EPIRB.

Dave insults and uses emotional arguments while Evans uses logic, statistical references and backs up his own beliefs with actions.

Anyway, we will continue on our own merry way.....
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Old 22-09-2014, 10:50   #540
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

My system is not commercial..... but it automatic. Both heat and smoke detection.

YOu have to be careful with certain smoke detectors if cooking in the galley without extraction...

Yes it was a very long clean up.
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