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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-13-2012 01:15 PM
MarkSF It's been two years since my last MOB practice under sail. (I sound like an alcoholic!) Well, apparently that's how long it takes to be rubbish at it. It took 3 goes to get the lifebuoy back. From now on, we're practicing it once every trip!

Practice those MOB procedures, folks.
02-12-2012 12:03 PM
Originally Posted by Squidd View Post
Unless it's fuel injected...carburetor is vented and has overflow capabilities...
Only if the fuel pump valves are stuck open, the float valve of the carb is stuck open and the gas tank is higher than the engine.

Of all the millions of power and sailboats that are powered with gasoline engines, the percentage that meet their untimely demise in this manner is a tiny fraction at best. I suspect more people are struck and killed by lightning in the U.S. than there are gasoline powered boats exploding. Hmmm! I just looked that up, and the number of folks in the U.S. killed by lightning strikes each year is an average of 39. I couldn't find the number of boat explosions, but I'm sure someone here can provide this information.

02-12-2012 10:11 AM

You can only recover the MOB if you can find them.
02-12-2012 10:05 AM
Squidd Unless it's fuel injected...carburetor is vented and has overflow capabilities...
02-12-2012 10:02 AM
tommays I am real BIG on blowers BUT all these horrible events do get investigated (at least around here) and every time SOMEBODY HAS DONE A Wile E. Coyote AND used and auto electric part or a complete lack of owner care

I am always confused as to how fueling a boat with a sealed tank and the filler and vent OUTSIDE builds up any fumes unless something is broken ?
02-12-2012 09:27 AM
Originally Posted by JedNeck View Post
It never seems like a good idea to tie up the boat launch for an extra minutes to blow out the engine compartment for something that I have never heard of actually happening.
I saw it happen, years ago, to a 19' inboard runabout. I just happened to be looking right at it, when the boat disappeared in an instant, leaving behind only a shower of splinters falling from the sky, and the two occupants badly injured and in the water.

Nevertheless, IMO, in a true emergency, you should do what you must to respond to the demands of the occasion, and you should balance all the risks in your mind. How great is the risk that the boat will explode if you start the gas engine without running the blower, as compared with the risk that the MOB will be lost or suffer hypothermia or other danger if you don't use the engine to recover them quickly? If you can maneuver the boat under sail sufficiently to recover the MOB, then that's what you should do. If you must use the engine, are the circumstances such that you can do a quick sniff test and run the blower for a minute? If not, then your only acceptable alternative might be to start the motor and cross your fingers. There is a known risk in starting a gas engine without checking for fumes and using the blower, but, that doesn't mean that it is likely that a disaster will follow. If the alternative is that you won't be able to recover the MOB, then that might be a risk that is reasonable for you to take. IMO, you do what you must do under the circumstances.

There might be an alternative to tying up the launch ramp while you run the blower. For example, you might be able to turn on the blower and let it run while you are unstrapping the boat from the trailer and launching it, or perhaps after you launch it, while someone is parking the trailer. You can often find a convenient time to run the blower, if you give it some thought. I'm sure a lot of folks run the blower before they start the engine. Watch how they do it and learn from them.
02-12-2012 01:24 AM
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post


Ever since I have been VERY respectful of gas on boats.
I would be the last to argue with that!
02-12-2012 01:05 AM
JedNeck I guess I am playing with fire but I have never run the blower in any power boat I have owned,for the obligitory 5 minutes prestart, ever.

It never seems like a good idea to tie up the boat launch for an extra minutes to blow out the engine compartment for something that I have never heard of actually happening.

I keep my systems well maintained though...
02-12-2012 01:04 AM
Originally Posted by MastUndSchotbruch View Post
Oh come on, guys, get serious. There are hundreds of thousands of power boats with gas engines and it's not like they are blowing up left and right.

Yes, there are accidents with gas (though probably a lot less than with propane) but there is usually some _really_ stupid behavior involved. Like having a smoke while pumping gas (I have seen this).

If you keep your system reasonably in order (use USCG accepted fuel lines, yes rubber is fine!) there is absolutely nothing to worry about. I sure don't loose sleep over my trusted A-4, nee 1976.
Back in the 70's when there were 4 barge gas docks in Coal Harbour, I was working on West Pender one night when one of them blew up. There was a big concrete highrise between the building where I was and the barge, which was 1/4 mile out in the harbour beyond THAT. Despite all that, it nearly blew out the windows in our building. It was, by FAR, the biggest explosion I have ever experienced.

It was caused by a powerboater (Naturally! ) not blowing his bilges after fuelling. The boat, barge & all burned to the water and people were killed.

Ever since I have been VERY respectful of gas on boats.
02-12-2012 12:31 AM
MarkSF I'd be very wary of starting the engine for a MOB as this is a stressful time and you might make a mistake. The kind of mistake I'm talking about is what happened to a guy in my marina :

The crew fell overboard, so the skipper started the engine. The prop sucked in one of the jib sheets that was in the water. This wrapped around the prop with sufficient force to break the transmission and yank the prop shaft OUT, jamming the prop into the rudder. The rudder would then not move at all. The jib was ripped down and the roller furler wrecked.

The boat was then crippled and unable to sail OR motor, and leaking. The CG had to come and get the crew back who only just made it. The repair bill was $12K.

So if you're sailing when the crew goes overboard, best to complete the rescue under sail. If you're motoring, keep doing that. You have enough on your plate spotting the MOB and getting to him that you won't be able to drop or raise sail in an organised manner.
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