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Old 14-02-2017, 05:56   #1
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Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

Explosion rips sailboat in Wrightsville Beach's Banks Channel, burns send sailor to hospital - Lumina News

February 13, 2017

EXCERPT:
"A propane explosion ripped apart a 40-foot sailboat on Banks Channel on Monday night, sending its sailor to the hospital with burns on his arms and legs.

The man, believed in his late 20s, was on the boat by himself early this evening when the explosion rocked the boat, Wrightsville Beach Fire Chief Glen Rogers said. The occupants of a nearby boat, who knew the man and heard the explosions, found him standing on the deck of the boat. They used a rowboat to bring him to a dock off Waynick Boulevard between the Blockade Runner and Causeway Bridge, where he was treated on scene before being transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Wrightsville Beach Fire Department crews rode to the damaged sailboat with extinguishers to check for fire, but Rogers said the explosions likely caused by fuel vapors, creating a flash but no ensuing fire.

The interior was heavily damaged, though the hull remained intact and the boat isnít likely to sink, Rogers said."
----------------

This shows how important it is to use safe practices when using fuels like Propane on a boat. The young sailor is lucky to be alive.

Notice the cabin top was blown off the deck!
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Old 14-02-2017, 06:54   #2
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

Wrightsville Beach is having lows mid 30F to low 50F at night right now. This reads like he was either anchored or moored. This also reads suspiciously like a propane heater that was having some issues getting lit. I've seen many folks turn them on and ('click', 'click',. 'click) with the lighter until it finally lights. Wait long enough and it lights a bit more than expected.
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Old 14-02-2017, 07:28   #3
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

My post of this incident received a comment from another sailor (on Facebook) and I want to share it here because of its similarity in effect on a boat:

Mark wrote:
"Years ago this happened in St. Thomas when a guy on an Irwin 37 set off 9 (yes, NINE) aerosol bug bombs for cockroaches. He closed the hatch and was about to leave for the day. Two men and a dog were in the cockpit when a spark ignited the vapors and separated the deck from the hull. One of the guys was thrown into the water unconscious and died. The owner was taken to a hospital in PR with injuries. Dog may have survived. (No word on the cockroaches.) Turns out the bug bombs used butane as a propellant."
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Old 14-02-2017, 08:02   #4
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

i was present on a survey done done for a destroyed yamaha 33 that had a propane explosion--the owner had forgotten to turn OFF the aux propane tank when changing out the empty main ione.oops took deck off boat to 6 inches from bow. needless to say it was a total write off. must remember to check all connected tanks before changing tanks. btw--guy was tossed over stern rail into the sd bay by the explosion--he lived.
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Old 14-02-2017, 08:15   #5
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

Propane is very safe if installed and used correctly. Unfortunately, many people don't seem to understand how important this is. A portable propane (or butane) heater has no business on a boat. Even a permanent propane heater is not safe on a boat unless it is ABYC approved and installed to ABYC requirements.
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Old 14-02-2017, 08:57   #6
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

This model has never let me down. It was in a boat with both a gas inboard and propane, so there was plenty of incentive to be careful: https://www.blyacht.com/en/electro-s...ace-mount.html
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Old 14-02-2017, 09:19   #7
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

Propane is safe? I think not. It's heavier than air, and settles to the bilge. CNG is lighter than air, floats out the vents and dissipates. Any of us who have propane on our boats ( I am guilty), should have ( and regularly use) a bilge blower. I have seen so many sailboats with diesel engines, propane stoves, and no bilge blower. Insane.

On my T-30 with a Atomic 4 gas engine, the bilge blower was a standard item. On my C-28, I had to jerry-rig it in. I know I look silly when I evacuate the bilge with the blower before starting a diesel engine, but old habits don't die easily, and nor do I.
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Old 14-02-2017, 09:42   #8
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlheintz View Post
Propane is safe? I think not. It's heavier than air, and settles to the bilge. CNG is lighter than air, floats out the vents and dissipates. Any of us who have propane on our boats ( I am guilty), should have ( and regularly use) a bilge blower. I have seen so many sailboats with diesel engines, propane stoves, and no bilge blower. Insane.

On my T-30 with a Atomic 4 gas engine, the bilge blower was a standard item. On my C-28, I had to jerry-rig it in. I know I look silly when I evacuate the bilge with the blower before starting a diesel engine, but old habits don't die easily, and nor do I.
No, you're correct. And alive.
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Old 14-02-2017, 11:16   #9
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Explosion rips sailboat in Wrightsville Beach's Banks Channel, burns send sailor to hospital - Lumina News

February 13, 2017

EXCERPT:
"A propane explosion ripped apart a 40-foot sailboat on Banks Channel on Monday night, sending its sailor to the hospital with burns on his arms and legs.

The man, believed in his late 20s, was on the boat by himself early this evening when the explosion rocked the boat, Wrightsville Beach Fire Chief Glen Rogers said. The occupants of a nearby boat, who knew the man and heard the explosions, found him standing on the deck of the boat. They used a rowboat to bring him to a dock off Waynick Boulevard between the Blockade Runner and Causeway Bridge, where he was treated on scene before being transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Wrightsville Beach Fire Department crews rode to the damaged sailboat with extinguishers to check for fire, but Rogers said the explosions likely caused by fuel vapors, creating a flash but no ensuing fire.

The interior was heavily damaged, though the hull remained intact and the boat isnít likely to sink, Rogers said."
----------------

This shows how important it is to use safe practices when using fuels like Propane on a boat. The young sailor is lucky to be alive.

Notice the cabin top was blown off the deck!
One lucky young man I think?
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Old 14-02-2017, 16:44   #10
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

I've sailed with an A4 for over 50 years. The bilge blow is an absolute requirement. I will vent the bilge if I even suspect I will need the engine.

I am rebuilding an old wood sailboat - with a Diesel engine. I just finished the sealed propane locker. Will install the propane sniffer which will shut off the propane if propane is detected - the sensor will be in the bilge. I am considering anblower for the engine bay - for cooling purposes. May use it to ventilate the bilge as well. One can't be too careful.

Natural gas presents its own problems. Larger tanks with much higher pressures require certified tanks. Availability worldwide is a challenge. We cruised with friends who used CNG. They had a hard time finding a source and the tanks ran out quickly. It was PITA.
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Old 14-02-2017, 17:31   #11
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyoldboatguy View Post
I've sailed with an A4 for over 50 years. The bilge blow is an absolute requirement. I will vent the bilge if I even suspect I will need the engine.

I am rebuilding an old wood sailboat - with a Diesel engine. I just finished the sealed propane locker. Will install the propane sniffer which will shut off the propane if propane is detected - the sensor will be in the bilge. I am considering anblower for the engine bay - for cooling purposes. May use it to ventilate the bilge as well. One can't be too careful.

Natural gas presents its own problems. Larger tanks with much higher pressures require certified tanks. Availability worldwide is a challenge. We cruised with friends who used CNG. They had a hard time finding a source and the tanks ran out quickly. It was PITA.
I had natural gas, twin tanks in a deck box forward of the base of the mast. A gas sniffer in the bilge was required for Survey. The gas sniffer would often prevent supply. I am pretty sure the sniffer would detect moisture. The gas supply would often cut out in rough sea, apparently as water splashed in the bilge. Nightmare. I finished out having a secret Gas Sniffer bypass switch installed, to both comply with the need for Survey, and hot meals. Two tanks would last a good year of ample cooking.

(Copious Natural Gas here, and they put something in it to make it really stink ... you can't not smell a gas leak).

Once the sniffer was bypassed, never a problem due to the safe location of the tanks, and routing of the pipe to the stove. .
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Old 14-02-2017, 18:15   #12
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

Quote:
Two tanks would last a good year of ample cooking.
Scotty, I find this pretty hard to believe. On the CNG fueled boat I once owned, the CNG tanks only lasted a couple of weeks each when Ann and I were cruising full time. We had to carry three to be sure of a supply for a passage from SF to Hawaii... and you don't cook all t hat much at sea.

And at least in the USA in the early 80s, they did not add odorizer to CNG. Are you sure that you were using CNG? Everything you have said equates to LPG (Propane or Butane), not CNG.

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Old 14-02-2017, 18:32   #13
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

Boat has three strand rope for lifelines...
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Old 14-02-2017, 20:00   #14
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

Thanks Jim, yes, I had LPG. (The Gas Co website says, in NZ, LPG is 60% Propane and 40% Butane). The tanks were a bit bigger than my current suburban 9kg BBQ tank. I reckon they must have been about 15kg. But they sure did last, and the gas sure did stink. Real dopey to have a leak and not notice.
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Old 14-02-2017, 20:19   #15
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Re: Explosion Rips Apart Sailboat Sends Sailor to Hospital

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty Kiwi View Post
Thanks Jim, yes, I had LPG. (The Gas Co website says, in NZ, LPG is 60% Propane and 40% Butane). The tanks were a bit bigger than my current suburban 9kg BBQ tank. I reckon they must have been about 15kg. But they sure did last, and the gas sure did stink. Real dopey to have a leak and not notice.
All understood, Scotty! And yeah, the stink is, well, stinky... as it should be!

And FWIW, our LPG usage, in full time cruise mode, is 9 kg lasts between 10 and 12 weeks, largely driven by how much baking Ann does.

Jim
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