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Old 06-11-2014, 08:49   #61
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Re: Safety Tips to Share

Keep the water on the outside and the tall stick pointed up. And try to keep the people in the boat.


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Old 06-11-2014, 11:53   #62
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Re: Safety Tips to Share

Going on a cruise offshore?
File a written float plan or give someone on shore your planed route (in writing) with expected waypoints and check in with your shore contact when you reach destination or return. If you are potentially going to have some delays, establish a call-in or contact procedure and date specific escalation plan (with contacts at USCG or others) and give all of this to a responsible person. This little bit of effort could save lives and at the least will reduce the anxiety of family and friends who may think you are missing, when you might simply be late to the destination.

Include a photo (it is best to have a photo of the boat under sail as seen by another boat) and a good description of the vessel and list the number of people aboard and their contact numbers and those of their family if they are not related to the boat owner/skipper.

This actually works and is helpful.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:02   #63
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Re: Safety Tips to Share

Underestimate your own abilities in weather, and never leave port if there is greater than a 5% change you will be in weather over your abilities.
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Old 10-11-2014, 14:08   #64
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Re: Safety Tips to Share

Don't be afraid to put on a life jacket. Granted, not much good if you're single handing far from traffic, but pretty handy if you go in under most other circumstances.
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Old 10-11-2014, 14:58   #65
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Re: Safety tips to share

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Originally Posted by openseas View Post
Always test your radio before you leave, and wait to hear a response to make sure it is working. Add it to your check list before you untie the lines.
Andy
I'm amazed at how many people insist on doing a radio check (usually on channel 16) before leaving the dock and have never tested their bilge pump and switch with actual water.

That's kind of important.

BTW: In much of the USA, SeaTow provides automated radio checks on channel 26 or 27. It plays back your own transmission so you can see how you sound and it frees up channel 16 for legal uses.

My personal safety tip is to make sure your wife knows that you can't both sit on the same tube in a small inflatable dinghy!
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Old 10-11-2014, 15:03   #66
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Re: Safety tips to share

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Originally Posted by Saltysailor2 View Post
When I am the captain of charter vessels that have banquet permits for alcohol, I add my own comments to the safety speech of my crew. I say you are welcome to drink but not drink too much. ...........
You may find that it's actually illegal for the crew to drink in this case. I once played music on a train and was given this speech - no drinking, it's illegal because you are considered part of the crew, not a passenger.

I don't know if this was true or just BS and I ignored it.
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Old 10-11-2014, 15:31   #67
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Re: Safety Tips to Share

You probably know where all the kickable toe breaking things are on your deck and can avoid them in the dark ...................... unless you are barefoot.
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Old 18-11-2014, 19:02   #68
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Foam Fire Extinguishers

Many cruisers have expressed interest in foam fire extinguishers, so here is some information.

All foam extinguishers contain water and foam concentrate, so any type of foam extinguisher can extinguish a Class A, B or AB fire. The amounts vary by the % type of concentrate, which for Class B fires is either 1,3 or 6%. What this means is that if you had a 100-gallon foam fire extinguisher and were using 3% concentrate, the extinguisher would contain 3-gallons of foam concentrate and 97-gallons of water.

The concentrate/water mixture is expelled from the extinguisher by compressed air (usually 100-psi to 150-psi) and is discharge thru a nozzle that either creates a spray or one that mixes the solution with air. This mixing with air is what creates the “foam bubbles”, or what we think of as “foam”.

Foam can float on top of Class B fuels and it is this ability that allows the burning fuel vapors to be sealed off and the fire extinguished. Foam can also be used to cover (seal) un-ignited fuel surfaces that are producing flammable vapors and prevent them from igniting.

The ability to totally seal off the burning surface and prevent re-ignition of the vapors in windy or rolling conditions as found at sea is generally the single big advantage that foam has over dry chemical, Halons and CO2.

Foams can be “thin” or “thick”. Thin types that can rapidly spread over a Class B surfaces are in the AFFF “lightwater” family, while the thicker types are in the FPPP family.

The thick foams can adhere slightly better to overhead or vertical surfaces, which can help extinguish this location of fire better and also form a barrier to help prevent ignition of flammable materials – which are normally Class A materials. This could be useful in an engine compartment or cockpit locker fire.

The thin foams can rapidly spread over the surface of Class B liquids and can flow around obstacles in the fire. This is very useful in any type of bilge or contained space fire as any foam applied at a single location will end up spreading over the entire surface.

AFFF foam was developed by the US Navy to fight aircraft crash and machinery space fires on ships and airfields. It is still in use today and anytime you see a airplane crash on TV you will see AFFF foam being applied. If you go back to page 4 of this section, you will see a 2-1/2 gallon AFFF extinguisher “at work” extinguishing yacht size Class AB fires.

AFFF is the most common type of foam found in “yacht size” fire extinguishers. They range in size from 1-liter to 9-liters (2-1/2-gallons). The most common size you will find in the US is the 2-1/2 gallon size. It is made out of stainless steel and is about the same size and weight as a 20-lb dry chemical extinguisher, so it is a fairly big and heavy (about 35-lbs total weight).

On fuel docks you may find 36-liter or 33-gallon “trolley” or “wheeled” units that come equipped with a long hose.

AR:AFFF foam is sort of a “dual agent” for the two major types of Class B fuels. Fires involving alcohol (the AR part of the foam), ethanol, keytones, etc, tend to rapidly destroy the AFFF foam bubbles, so an additional chemical is mixed with the AFFF concentrate to “toughen” up the bubbles to prevent their destruction.

If you have unknown Class B fuels burning, or have spilled a lot of alcohol, acetone or keytones into the engine or bilge spaces, then AR:AFFF will handle the fire. In all other respects, AR:AFFF works and spreads just like AFFF.

FPPP is the “thick” foam and is rarely found on yachts. It’s benefits are primarily for fighting aircraft fires that are off the run way or away from the airport where grass or dirt are present and will rapidly absorb AFFF - so a foam blanket cannot easily form.

The European made foam extinguishers normally made from steel and have a plastic bladder inside of them to prevent the foam solution from rusting the steel. These bladders can fail, and when they do you have to replace the entire extinguisher.

US made foam extinguishers are made from stainless steel and normally never have a corrosion problem.

When using a foam extinguisher you should always try to apply the foam as gently as possible onto the burning fuel surface. You can do this by “bouncing” the foam onto the fire, letting it fall on the fire like “raindrops”, or applying it to a vertical surface and letting it “run down and flow” onto the surface. If these surfaces are on fire, then the "falling" or "running" foam will extinguish these surfaces.

Since most of the engine compartments on yachts of the 25 to 55-foot range are fairly small, applying the foam to an overhead, vertical surface or running down a surface (the engine block would work well for doing this).

Since the foam is a liquid, it will try to flow to the lowest point (usually the bilge or an engine catch pan), so when applied to burning vertical surfaces it will extinguish that fire and continue on to extinguish any fire in a lower location.

If you have a fractured or leaking fuel line or injector that is spraying or letting fuel drip (a pressurized fire), foam will NOT work on that portion of the fire – you will need a dry chemical unit to extinguish it. However, the foam will work on the un-pressurized portion of the fire. And, you can use both foam and dry chemical at the SAME time on a fire for rapid knockdown and total securment, Again, look at my previous posting for pictures of this occurring.

With the small extinguishers, foam does not obscure your view or create a toxic atmosphere, so it is generally very user friendly.

Post fire, foam is easy to clean up as it is basically a “soapy” water. You can use manual pumps to pump it overboard, or rags and sponges to mop it up.

You can go to Yahoo or U-Tube and search for foam fire extinguishers or foam fire fighting and find several short videos on foam fire extinguishers.
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Old 13-02-2015, 08:56   #69
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Re: Safety Tips to Share

In going through some old photos, I found one of Arwen Evenstar (my boat) showing how a portable water pump can come in very handy.

Tui 2 was at anchor in Gibraltar with no one onboard when a water pump overheated and ignited in the galley. We were docked, saw the fire, gathered up a couple of people, and motored over to the scene and rafted alongside.

I had gotten our 1" pump working on the trip over and we passed over our fire hose (the yellow line you see in the photo) to those onboard. A couple of minutes after we arrived, the local fire department arrived via a skiff and they continued to use our hose.

The fire was kept in check while Tui 2 was towed over to a dock where land based fire trucks and their equipment were able to completely extinguish the fire.

Lots of water and smoke damage, but the fire was contained to just cabinetry in the galley. Without our pump, the damage would have been far worse. So carrying a pump is worth while.

And as mentioned in a previous post (on page 4), the pumps advantage is that you can supply water to a boat anchored offshore where land based fire equipment can't reach.

If do ever turn become a "fire boat", a couple of tips:

1. Put out big fenders and only use a slip lashing to secure alongside the burning boat in case you have to leave quickly.

2. Try and tie on the upwind side of the fire. This will keep smoke and flames away from you. I couldn't as there was a boat already there.

If flames start venting, it's time to leave, or at least increase your distance away.

3. Make sure that you close ALL of your hatches! We smelled smokey for about 5-days before it all wore off!
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Old 13-02-2015, 09:03   #70
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Re: Safety Tips to Share

Remember that drowning people do not look like they are drowning. They just sink.
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Old 14-02-2015, 16:02   #71
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Re: Safety Tips to Share

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Remember that drowning people do not look like they are drowning. They just sink.

That is correct. However, if you try to rescue a non-swimmer by getting in the water yourself they will become very animated once you reach them. Get trained before trying to rescue a panicked person. They can easily kill an untrained rescuer.
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Old 18-02-2015, 08:34   #72
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Re: Safety Tips to Share

Go to the toilet as soon as you can. No worse decisions can be made as while you have to go. Same goes for hungriness and tiredness.
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Old 18-02-2015, 13:21   #73
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Re: Safety tips to share

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This makes me crazy to hear numerous people asking for "radio check" on 16 all day. That is not what 16 is for. If your radio system is prone to failure get an inexpensive meter..........
If your radio system is prone to failure, replace it. All of it.


For another safety tip, make sure your boat is equipped with some sort of swim or boarding ladder that can be deployed from the water. There are any number of ways you can end up in the water and it's important to be able to get back into the boat.
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