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Old 08-12-2011, 00:20   #31
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Re: Fire sinks our Hans Christian

Dolphins Matthias,
I regularly think about what I could have done to prevent my boat's loss. It's like family, you lose something that is almost like someone that is very dear to you. Who can say they haven't refered to their boat as a person. But it is an object and is replaceable. We all get sronger when we march through a crisis. The next boat comes along and our spirit sends us out again.
Someday you will not be regretting your boat's loss, you will have another boat. You will be regretting your arthritis or some other signal that your boating life is coming to an end. The best thing to do is carefully set out again. You've done well until now. It's not a signal to stop, but a challenge to go on and show us all that the dream isn't a myth, it is a reality to those who march on, just like you have so far. My second boat was very inspirational, but my third boat has taken over. There is more to come.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:04   #32
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Re: Fire sinks our Hans Christian

You've lived all our (almost) worst nightmare. Thanks for taking the effort to "teach" us your lessons...you clearly have an great attitude. Glad to hear that there will be a "next time."
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:58   #33
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Re: Fire sinks our Hans Christian

Very sorry to hear about your boat. I lost a home years ago and it was one of the worst periods in my life.

Also really appreciate you sharing the details to help the rest of us learn something from your loss. This is one more thing I will be certain to keep in my emergency book. I have a red notebook that I keep in the main cabin with a page for each type of emergency procedure like flooding, fire, etc. and a location diagram of boat showing all the seacocks, fuel shutoff, and bilge pumps. I will make sure there is a page for electrical emergencies and add the location of the battery main disconnects to the diagram.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:13   #34
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Re: Fire Sinks Our Hans Christian

Just saw this. Very sorry for your loss.

This reminds me of something that I have thought of adding to my boats in the past (though I never have, maybe now I will). That is, a "kill" switch that would shut off everything that should be shut off in case of fire. It would be connected to a relay to shut down the electrical system, and to solenoids to shut off propane and diesel. Probably would want a push/pull switch with a big, red knob on the end, so that it was easy to find and operate.

Wouldn't be very hard, or expensive, to rig up something. I'm a little surprised that none of the manufacturers put such a switch on their boats already.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:15   #35
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Re: Fire Sinks Our Hans Christian

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Wouldn't be very hard, or expensive, to rig up something. I'm a little surprised that none of the manufacturers put such a switch on their boats already.
It's just another KISS situation. The more complicated things are the more chances for failure. I'm not against technology, just saying......... The more you have the more responsibility/liability.
The big problem in the tropics is humidity. One has to keep the boats aired out or condensation builds creating corrosion, which in turn causes resistance in connectors, which in tun creates heat in the wiring and on and on.

I suspect the OP had a loose, or worn thru, battery/hot wire somewhere that was arcing/shorting and eventually burned thru a bundle and shorted the whole system, setting off a chain of events.

The worse thing about electrical fires is that the insulation of most wiring is toxic when burning/smoking and will drive a person from the space that needs the attention. Most people that die in fires never felt the heat. The smoke incapacitated them first.
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Old 13-12-2011, 07:24   #36
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Re: Fire Sinks Our Hans Christian

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Most people that die in fires never felt the heat. The smoke incapacitated them first.
A few years back a power boat sank from a fire - Skipper was a mate of my father's and he had been invited aboard for the trip, but declined

The only reason that they survived was that the inflatable dink was ready to go - and not from the fire (engine compartment) but from the smoke / fumes. apparently as soon as they stopped and opened the engine hatch the hit of oxygen really kick started events

Another mate (with a power boat) had an engine fire and rather than stopping simply drove for the port (only a mile or so back) - apparently laying smoke like a WWII E-boat but keeping it away from the helm At the dock (really! - must have been a popular arrival ) it was a bucket(s) of water job until the local fire service arrived (called ahead on the VHF). Boat survived though and was later re-engined
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Old 13-12-2011, 08:20   #37
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Re: Fire Sinks Our Hans Christian

Everytime I hear of one of these tragedies I go and install another fuse or two.

You can install a few 60-300 amp ANL fuses (sized based on wire size) for less than $50 each and reduce the risk of electrical fire by a huge margin. Nuisance blows simply aren't a problem because wire gauge in 12v systems in boats built over the last 20 years is usually conservative to minimize voltage drop. So the fuse for the wire gauge can be quite large (you obviously should also keep your fuses/breakers that are sized for the equipment load). And ANL fuses take enough time to blow that load spikes aren't a problem.

For starters fuse the battery, starter, windlass pos cable at the battery bank, alternator, and the feed to the breaker panel.

Carl
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Old 14-12-2011, 03:52   #38
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Re: Fire Sinks Our Hans Christian

@ delmarrey

Took the time to see your splendid execution of rebuilding your boat. Congrats!
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Old 14-12-2011, 12:52   #39
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Re: Fire Sinks Our Hans Christian

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@ delmarrey

Took the time to see your splendid execution of rebuilding your boat. Congrats!
Thanks!
Check back now and then, still have a bit more to post and a little more work coming up.
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Old 14-12-2011, 23:02   #40
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Re: Fire Sinks Our Hans Christian

Seems there could be a good case for something like safe escape ASE30 fire hood or there are hoods intended for fire fighting available. The use could be extended to more than boating as well.

regards
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Old 14-12-2011, 23:22   #41
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Seems there could be a good case for something like safe escape ASE30 fire hood or there are hoods intended for fire fighting available. The use could be extended to more than boating as well.

regards
Everytime I get assigned the transverse rear berth with 2 X 8 inch portlights I wonder how I would get out if the salon was on fire. Then I try to put it out of my mind...
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Old 15-12-2011, 10:05   #42
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Re: Fire Sinks Our Hans Christian

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Everytime I get assigned the transverse rear berth with 2 X 8 inch portlights I wonder how I would get out if the salon was on fire. Then I try to put it out of my mind...
This is where a fire blanket comes in. I keep one in the galley area to smother stove fires, if necessary. I surely don't want the white powder all over the boat just for burnt bacon. You can wrap it around you to escape a fire.


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Old 15-12-2011, 16:56   #43
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This is where a fire blanket comes in. I keep one in the galley area to smother stove fires, if necessary. I surely don't want the white powder all over the boat just for burnt bacon. You can wrap it around you to escape a fire.

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Agree. Boat space is at a prenium but I think a small extinguisher and a fire blanket in the back berth would give me s sporty chance...
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Old 04-01-2012, 15:36   #44
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Re: Fire Sinks Our Hans Christian

The OP mentioned that the fire extinguishers felt inadequate and were quickly exhausted. This led me to wonder, are the dangers of water perhaps overblown to the point that we don't use it when it might help? Clearly, we don't want to use water on an electrical fire, but if the batteries are first disconnected, then wouldn't water be effective? Obviously burning diesel fuel or grease is the other time you wouldn't want to use water, but you pretty much know when that is the case.
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Old 04-01-2012, 15:54   #45
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Re: Fire Sinks Our Hans Christian

That depends on what was burning. If you put water on a fuel fire, you might as well run and let it burn. An electrical fire, if high voltage, it could get you killed. On a 12V boat it may just blow fuses. On a wooden boat water would be a first choice, if it were not fuel.
This is where training is important. One has to know what's for what. In fighting fires one has to protect themselves first.
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