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thorrad 08-02-2010 05:14 PM

Safety aboard starts with good systems
This link goes to a photo and video of a boat afire on the water near my home port. It looks like the trigger for the fire was a faulty pilot light on a propane stove on board.

Small boat engulfed in flames off Port Townsend | KOMO News - Breaking News, Sports, Traffic and Weather - Seattle, Washington | Local & Regional

I have to ask, are there really pilot lights on boats?! Really?? A boat seems to me the last place on earth you would want to have a constant flame. I have a LPG system on my boat that I live aboard but I need to use a solenoid cut off valve to make it go and then I have to light it by hand. What other saftey systems do you guys think are the ones that cause the most damage to boats? What are the latest technologies to make us safer? I want to know what I should be doing now and in the future so I don't become a statistic like this poor guy.

QuickMick 09-13-2010 11:55 AM

i bet the bulk of boat explosions (esp power) come from leaving the fuel dock and forgetting to run the blower. saw a boat on my lake burn to the waterline this year due to that. poor guy had his kids with him

Three hurt when boat burns at Lake Ray Roberts | | Dallas - Fort Worth Local News

Jurgy 09-13-2010 12:03 PM

So ... when whould this boat be considered a "project" boat ??

sailingdog 09-13-2010 12:18 PM

I can't think of any marine propane appliances that have a PILOT LIGHT. That's just stupid. I also doubt any marine insurance carrier would approve such an installation.

catamount 09-13-2010 06:44 PM

According to Boat US, based on a study of insurance claims they handled, the number one reason for boats to sink is failure of underwater fittings and plumbing. So I would suggest that attending to your plumbing systems is at least as important as making sure that fuel and electrical systems aren't going to cause a fire or explosion...

PPPPPP42 11-03-2010 01:08 AM

All through hull fittings should be of properly heavy bronze and well sealed to solid hull material. All should have ball valves (the 90 degree turn lever kind) immediately inside the hull to shut them off. All should be sealed with a proper flexible below water line sealant and inspected regularily. Easy access to shutoff is critical too. Wanna be anal? shut the valve any time you leave the boat, I already entered one twin engine cruiser to work on it for a battery drain complaint and found what essentially amounted to an open sea ****, Pieces of plumbing to a below water line fitting were damaged from freezing and nobody saw it when the boat was put in the water so the bilge pump constantly ran, thankfully with shore power it kept up with the major leak. I was able to just shut the valve off since the water system was never used by them and that completed the repair and stopped the battery drain.

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