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S/V Calypso
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I've heard people scoffing at the recommended refueling procedures. Maybe this will make them think twice about being sloppy when refueling. Unlike our feline friends, we only get one shot at this!

It was pointed out to me that this post my imply that it was a refueling error. I'm not trying to make a judgement, just using this as an example that refueling is a serious thing and all safety precautions should be taken.

-Chris
 
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Refueling is so taken for granted. Sail boat(30 ft) refuels at Victoria fuel dock. Bursts into flames. Owner standing there. Dock employee (kid on a summer job) asks if there's any body on board. "Yes ,my two kids" Kids rushes thru the flames and pulls out the children. Some burns to all but dad and boat destroyed.
 

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Refueling is so taken for granted. Sail boat(30 ft) refuels at Victoria fuel dock. Bursts into flames. Owner standing there. Dock employee (kid on a summer job) asks if there's any body on board. "Yes ,my two kids" Kids rushes thru the flames and pulls out the children. Some burns to all but dad and boat destroyed.
Was that diesel or gas being fueled?
 

Over Hill Sailing Club
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Saw that on the news. Will be interesting to hear the details. They're treating it as a homicide, maybe for good reason? Could be gasoline, propane or C-4.
 

Glad I found Sailnet
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Diesel doesn't normally burn unless compressed (or super hot, I'd bet). There was a Myth Busters episode where they couldn't ignite diesel with a blowtorch. Very educational.

(Edit: please read the rest of this thread for scenarios where diesel ignites.)

Regards,
Brad
 

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Aside from the unfortunate event - did anyone see how that the hoses on the fire boat kick it back? That's pretty insane, that much power pumping out of those things that they have to fight it back by thrusting the outboards.

Bummer, always sad when stuff like this happens. Fiberglass boats just char and melt so fast.
 

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Diesel doesn't normally burn unless compressed (or super hot, I'd bet). There was a Myth Busters episode where they couldn't ignite diesel with a blowtorch. Very educational.

Regards,
Brad
Diesel isn't volatile like gasoline - but trust me, it will burn without compression. We burned diesel in our caboose oil stoves. Toss a burning paper into the oil pooled in the bottom.....fire in the hole. With the right fuel/air mix, it burns very hot.
 

Don't call me a "senior"!
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...They're treating it as a homicide, maybe for good reason? Could be gasoline, propane or C-4.
All deaths are treated as a homicide, until proven otherwise. Even if everything points to an accident the default position of the investigators will be to initially investigate it as a homicide.
 

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My guess is propane...
This stuff is the most dangerous you have on a boat...
It is heavier than air and accumulates in the bilges without you noticing it... A spark from any electrical instrument or wiring is then enough to ignite it and BOOM goes the boat...
That is one reason why the propane tank is always turned off on any boat i am. Somebody wants to cook something on the stove, the propane tank needs to be turned on and after finishing with cooking the tank is turned off, the flame goes out on the stove and only then the stove is turned off...
That way you make sure that nothing of the gas is anywhere but inside the propane tank which is located astern in a locker which blows out in case of any accidents without harming the people on the boat...
 

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My guess is propane...
This stuff is the most dangerous you have on a boat...
It is heavier than air and accumulates in the bilges without you noticing it... A spark from any electrical instrument or wiring is then enough to ignite it and BOOM goes the boat...
That is one reason why the propane tank is always turned off on any boat i am. Somebody wants to cook something on the stove, the propane tank needs to be turned on and after finishing with cooking the tank is turned off, the flame goes out on the stove and only then the stove is turned off...
That way you make sure that nothing of the gas is anywhere but inside the propane tank which is located astern in a locker which blows out in case of any accidents without harming the people on the boat...
We are on our trip to the LISound from the Chesapeake an. H had taken a free mooring in Port Washington the day before this happened. We could see the gas dock at Manor Haven from there and were real close to it when we were at the. North Hempstead north dock where we had gone to go to the Shop and Stop to get some fresh provisions. The news here pictures were of a smaller PB engulfed in flames. Some thoughtful PB threw is anchor on the boat and pulled it away from the dock and other boats. The fire department boat was impressive. They were getting gasoline.

Dave
 

Bombay Explorer 44
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They say you could drop a lighted match down your diesel fill port and it will go out without exploding; however, I'm not willing to test the theory.
We used to do a demo for students where we dropped lit matches into a bowl of petrol. The matches go out.

We then took a single spoonful of petrol, put it into an empty gallon can, shook the can vigorously and dropped a lit match in. This was done remotely.

The resulting explosion was educational.

BTW Diesel tanks can and do explode and kill people, both welding and grinding are ignition sources. A quick google will find many reports of accidents, which are often fatal.
 

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An over heating gearbox on the 50 ft 'r rafted to us in Alicante caused a waft of smoke out a dorade. I jumped aboard and entered thru the wheelhouse to investigate Whompbb. Entire vessel engulfed and I lost eyebrows ,lashes and fore lock. After the fire boat extinguished it the propane bottles were still hissing in the bilge without their rubber hoses .Hair grew back(which I still have)
 

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When you get diesel properly vaporized and mixed, i.e. out of a pinhole spray at high pressure, you can get quite an explosive mixture. It is called a thermobaric or fuel-air bomb (aka ANFO, ammonium nitrate fertilizer plus #2 fuel oil, which is very similar to diesel) and the military thinks they are pretty good at going BOOM.

So, diesel may be less explosive than gasoline, but it still packs a very nice wallop when it decides to go.
 

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...BTW Diesel tanks can and do explode and kill people, both welding and grinding are ignition sources. A quick google will find many reports of accidents, which are often fatal.
OK, I did the quick google search, and the only examples I found involved elevated temperatures.

Since the flash point of diesel is 100-130F, I would believe that any explosion of fumes requires a temperature above 100F. While a boat's cabin can get that hot, I doubt a fuel tank or bilge (where fumes would accumulate) ever does.

Yes, it is possible to ignite room temperature diesel, but genearally you first need to have something else catch fire, which heats the diesel above 100F, and then the diesel burns.

If you throw match in a puddle of diesel, it will go out. If you throw a piece of burning carpet in, and it's large enough to heat the diesel to 100F, the diesel will burn.
 
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