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Old 11-01-2016, 04:41   #16
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

Regardless if it turns out to be Carbon Monoxide poisoning (though it seems likely), I wonder if a sticky or some similar thread on the issue is worth considering here on C.F?


I know most of us are aware of the dangers, but I wonder how many new boat owners know about it or know all of the possible sources? Something that got the attention of new boat owners might be a life saver.


Matt
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Old 11-01-2016, 04:47   #17
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Regardless if it turns out to be Carbon Monoxide poisoning (though it seems likely), I wonder if a sticky or some similar thread on the issue is worth considering here on C.F?


I know most of us are aware of the dangers, but I wonder how many new boat owners know about it or know all of the possible sources? Something that got the attention of new boat owners might be a life saver.


Matt
good suggestion. Either start a new thread and link it here or this thread can evolve into exactly that
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Old 11-01-2016, 04:48   #18
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

Yes, evolve this one. Noble cause.
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:12   #19
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

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The fact that the girl became ill prior to the incident and had to be airlifted off the boat likely saved her and her father but is also likely an indication that the problem was indeed CO poisoning, which can mimic flu symptoms and similar prior to fatality. Could easily have been something as simple as a leaking seal on a water separated, clean burning engine exhaust. I have been on a boat where backpressure (due to motoring in a big following sea) had led to a seal blowout in a mixing elbow, in advance of the mixed section. The only indication of a problem was a faint smell and the pressure of the escaping gas on my hand when I checked the engine for leaks. Quicksteel solved it temporarily at that time. But yes, CO and multi gas alarms are de rigeur.
The faint smell was due to other particulates in that rather clean burning diesel engine. Carbon Monoxide itself, of course, is odorless and undetectable by humans, which is one of the reasons it is so dangerous. Also, since it binds to hemoglobin, it is breathed without a feeling of breathlessness or airlessness. Unfortunately it binds to hemoglobin more tenaciously than oxygen and thereby gradually prevents the uptake of oxygen by the blood. This is why it is a silent, often undetected and undetectable killer. Any engine, generator, stove, or fossil burning heating system can rapidly produce fatal levels of CO. Motoring on a still day can also drag CO into the boat via the "station wagon effect" (see attached images).
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:29   #20
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

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. . .

Makes me want to go crazy with solar and have an electric stove. But I think total awareness of the dangers and proper sensors throughout is absolutely necessary. . . .

Good practice and common sense (actually) calls for no heavier than air gasses and no combustion inside the passenger space in a small seagoing vessel. Some decades ago when it wasn't practical to have enough electrical power on board for electric cooking, we didn't have much choice about propane. Now we do.

I will not have any kind of propane aboard my next boat, and the engine room will be totally sealed with a non-communicating bilge. Any space heaters (like my Eberspacher) will be in a separate non-communicating space.

You can be reasonably safe with good alarms and equipment kept in good condition and regularly inspected, and operated with care. But why risk it if you can cook without propane? And without the combustion products produced by burning propane in your space?
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:30   #21
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

Im fairly sure I was moored up in a bay next to this vessel just before New Years Day. I remember seeing a young girl on deck and the name on the side.

Very sad news for all the families involved and has certainly now made me think twice now about turning off my fume detectors before bed. From now on they stay on whenever I am using the boat even if the engines are shut down!
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:47   #22
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

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Good practice and common sense (actually) calls for no heavier than air gasses and no combustion inside the passenger space in a small seagoing vessel. Some decades ago when it wasn't practical to have enough electrical power on board for electric cooking, we didn't have much choice about propane. Now we do.

I will not have any kind of propane aboard my next boat, and the engine room will be totally sealed with a non-communicating bilge. Any space heaters (like my Eberspacher) will be in a separate non-communicating space.

You can be reasonably safe with good alarms and equipment kept in good condition and regularly inspected, and operated with care. But why risk it if you can cook without propane? And without the combustion products produced by burning propane in your space?
What sort of cooking do you use?
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:50   #23
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

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Im fairly sure I was moored up in a bay next to this vessel just before New Years Day. I remember seeing a young girl on deck and the name on the side.

Very sad news for all the families involved and has certainly now made me think twice now about turning off my fume detectors before bed. From now on they stay on whenever I am using the boat even if the engines are shut down!
You won't 'pass away' like this from Diesel engines running. Not without knowing you have a 'fume' problem. And you are certainly in no harms way from engines that are turned off.

Keeping your fume detection monitors 'on' however, is using them in the manner to which they were designed.
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:53   #24
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

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You won't 'pass away' like this from Diesel engines running. Not without knowing you have a 'fume' problem. And you are certainly in no harms way from engines that are turned off.

Keeping your fume detection monitors 'on' however, is using them in the manner to which they were designed.
Petrol Engines, although one should be able to smell the fumes after a few wines/beers one may not.
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:56   #25
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

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What sort of cooking do you use?
I have propane now, a Swedish SMEC gimballed four-burner hob with oven/grill, supplemented by built-in electric microwave/grill. The gas bottles are in a separate locker vented from the bottom directly overboard. There is a solenoid shutoff inside the gas locker. I replace the gas lines every three years and get a gas safety inspection and certificate. That is about the best you can do with propane, I think, but I still don't think it's really safe. For example, I had a shutoff solenoid simply short out and burn up (!) a few years ago. Miracle the boat didn't explode. Did I mention that I HATE gas on board?

The next boat will be all electric, with an induction hob and electric convection oven. No gas!
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:04   #26
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

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I have propane now, a Swedish SMEC gimballed four-burner hob with oven/grill, supplemented by built-in electric microwave/grill. The gas bottles are in a separate locker vented from the bottom directly overboard. There is a solenoid shutoff inside the gas locker. I replace the gas lines every three years and get a gas safety inspection and certificate. That is about the best you can do with propane, I think, but I still don't think it's really safe. For example, I had a shutoff solenoid simply short out and burn up (!) a few years ago. Miracle the boat didn't explode. Did I mention that I HATE gas on board?

The next boat will be all electric, with an induction hob and electric convection oven. No gas!
When a gas solenoid fails, does it automatically close the line, or can it fail in the open position.

So far, I have to go out to the bottle on my transum and turn the bottle off. I've at least twice forgotten to do so. May not get a third chance.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:12   #27
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

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When a gas solenoid fails, does it automatically close the line, or can it fail in the open position.

So far, I have to go out to the bottle on my transum and turn the bottle off. I've at least twice forgotten to do so. May not get a third chance.
A solenoid is an electromagnetically operated switch, typically with a spring holding it away from the unenergised state. In a gas solenoid the energised state is "open". So yes, it should be fail safe. Particularly for this application.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:17   #28
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

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A solenoid is an electromagnetically operated switch, typically with a spring holding it away from the unenergised state. In a gas solenoid the energised state is "open". So yes, it should be fail safe. Particularly for this application.
B:thumb thanks Muckle, I'll get it installed.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:20   #29
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

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B:thumb thanks Muckle, I'll get it installed.
I meant a spring holding it (being a mechanical plunger, usually) away from the "energised" state, of course! Anyhow, they are worth it, and glad you will do

It is too easy to forget, and I have done myself a few times.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:38   #30
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Re: Tragic situation in Tasmania

Quote:
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A solenoid is an electromagnetically operated switch, typically with a spring holding it away from the unenergised state. In a gas solenoid the energised state is "open". So yes, it should be fail safe. Particularly for this application.
It should. "Should". But is it guaranteed to fail closed? I had one burn up, for God's sake!!

Everyone should have one of these, but they are not magic bullets.
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