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post #15 of Old 05-21-2009
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Western Australia
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A word of caution about liquid fuel stoves. I have a methylated spirit stove on my boat. I filled it's tank up being very careful to not spill any(I used a funnel). I put the metho away, screwed the cap back on the tank, lit it up and nearly burnt the boat down. Thinking about my mistake it is now obvious that the vapour is heavier than air and must have gathered in and around the stove not unlike re-fuelling a petrol tank(you guys would call it a gas tank). I put the fire blanket on it but the convection current was strong enough to draw air in from underneath. In the end I had to give it a few bursts with a dry chemical extinguisher to put it out. I say a few as the heat from the ex-fire relit itself a couple of times. Quite a fright for me but very amusing for the people fishing on the jetty I was tied up to. I tell this story in the interest of preventing others from making the same mistake. I have sailed for decades but on dinghies and light weight day sailers. This was my first experience with a full size cruising boat. In the end I took the stove off the boat and experimented with it in the backyard. Far less frightening when you can run away! By the way dry powder is awful to clean up. Use a dust mask and vaccum up as much as you can, but you will be cleaning it up for a long time afterwards. I would be happy to answer any questions about this as I would like to prevent others from doing the same thing.
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