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Once known as Hartley18
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Discussion Starter #1
This is a follow-up to a thread a couple of years ago about an old wooden (really nice) powerboat that blew up soon after refuelling here in 2008 - some might remember.

For those that don't, an elderly couple were killed when their son's boat blew up shortly after refuelling at Melbourne's Pier 35, South Wharf, on the Yarra River. The resulting typical knee-jerk reaction caused increased insurance premiums for wooden boat owners, both sail & power, and a shortage of Surveyors willing to sign off on any old wooden boat.

It seems like this sad story has finally reached a conclusion, but I, for one, don't like to think of the ramafications for anyone using petrol (that's gasoline to you folks) including outboard motors... read on:

Their son, Anthony Elliot, bought the "Leda II" for $28,000 from broker, Scott O'Hare at Aussie Boat Sales at Anchorage Marina, Port Melbourne. He had taken possession of the older style boat just hours before the explosion.

In examining the cause of the explosion, Victorian Coroner, Peter White, found the boat had faulty tanks and fuel lines, and exploded when the engine was started. He found Mr O'Hare knew of the poor condition of the boats tanks and the probable contamination of the fuel lines before he sold it. He said Mr O'Hare had understood the boat's safety was compromised and failed in his duty to inform the buyers.

During the hearing, Mr Elliot testified Mr O'Hare had told him he had cleaned and serviced the carburettors and the boat was running 'like a new boat". However, the court was told that prior to Mr Elliot's interest, the broker, and the salesman, Phil Grundy, had become frustrated in their efforts to sell the boat because they could not get it to start, or to reach "runabout stage".

The Coroner told the court he was also concerned by the understaffing and under-resourcing at the Marine Police Unit tasked to investigate and prosecute non-compliance by boat owners and brokers.

He recommended:

- Resources available to Victoria Police's Marine Division be increased.

- A campaign further highlighting the dangers involved in the use of petrol-driven inboard motor cruisers.

- Introduction of legislation requiring mechanical surveys for all petrol-powered boats 15 year or older.

- Introduction of legislation to improve design standards for petrol-fuelled boats.

Victoria's Ports Minister, Tim Pallas, says the state's boat registration laws will be strengthened. "The Government has been in the process of rewriting the Marine Safety Act," he said. "It will be introduced in to Parliament in the next few weeks and will incorporate increased rigour around the process of how vessels go to sea", Mr Pallas said.
Elderly couple died in faulty boat: coroner - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
 

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ex-Navy
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What was the logic behind singling out wooden boats? From what was written seems that the explosion was caused by a faulty fuel system and would have happened no matter what the hull was made of -- or am I missing something?
 

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Telstar 28
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BH—

That's why it is called a knee-jerk reaction.
 

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Am I the only one here???

"Victorian Coroner, Peter White, found the boat had faulty tanks and fuel lines, and exploded when the engine was started. He found Mr O'Hare knew of the poor condition of the boats tanks and the probable contamination of the fuel lines before he sold it. He said Mr O'Hare had understood the boat's safety was compromised and failed in his duty to inform the buyers."

lemme guess, no survey, no "caveat emptor"
Yes, the p.o. SHOULD have said something. But he didn't. So, lets make it someone elses fault.

Imagine buying a used car, run it up the road and one of the wheels falls off. Is the the p.o's fault you didn't check the lug nuts yourself?

A quick check of the fuel system might have bought a discount... It surly would have kept the darn thing from going ka-boom
 

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which is why this marginal tank was junked along with it marginal mount and the fill and vent lines we moved to meet current standards ;)





It cost me at least 700 dollars to square things away BUT i will be safe which is priceless

These things get checked all the time after its to late and i have never see a case wear there was not a huge matiance issue / auto part repiar / Wile E. Coyote what could go wrong approach
 

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Along with the new tank you should ventilate, ventilate and ventilate after fueling and any time you step aboard your vessel after being away for awhile.

The majority of boat explosions are due to a lack of failing to ventilate the enclosed spaces before starting the engine or lighting up a cigarette.

And after being away for awhile be sure to inspect your vessel for any fuel leaks of any sort. Both Gasoline and propane/LNG.
 

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Am I the only one here???

"Victorian Coroner, Peter White, found the boat had faulty tanks and fuel lines, and exploded when the engine was started. He found Mr O'Hare knew of the poor condition of the boats tanks and the probable contamination of the fuel lines before he sold it. He said Mr O'Hare had understood the boat's safety was compromised and failed in his duty to inform the buyers."

lemme guess, no survey, no "caveat emptor"
Yes, the p.o. SHOULD have said something. But he didn't. So, lets make it someone elses fault.

Imagine buying a used car, run it up the road and one of the wheels falls off. Is the the p.o's fault you didn't check the lug nuts yourself?

A quick check of the fuel system might have bought a discount... It surly would have kept the darn thing from going ka-boom
There is a term used in law (at least where I come from) called latent defect. That generally refers to faults inherent in a product that the seller was aware of and did not declare. In many cases it is just a matter of financial redress which is sometimes problematic for the new owner.

But in cases where it causes injury or death, criminal charges against the knowing seller are guaranteed to follow. And IMHO so they should. Selling any piece of equipment knowing that there is a good chance that someone may die using it is seriously dodgy.

The article says that the boat exploded "just hours" after the sale. Seemingly on it's 1st refuel by the new owner. If the tank was near empty when the boat when it was handed over (or if/when it was surveyed) and it probably was, it is fair to assume that a fuel leak was probably not evident at that point.

So as far as I am concerned it is clearly the sellers fault.
 

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My boat has a very large active blower the hoses are being replaced :) and with the clam-shell vents on the stern facing fore and aft it also has good passive flow

BUT nothing is better than checking with your nose as the sniffers still have a lot of false +
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
You'd have to dig back to the original thread and news reports on this, but IIRC the boat in question DID have a bilge blower and YES they used it - sparking from it may well have been the ignition source.

I don't believe the initial report found that there was anything wrong with either the refulling dock or the way the new owner filled the tanks or started his engine - so it was always going to be a finger-pointing excersise, hence the reason I posted it in the first place.

The finger is currently being pointed at:

- Surveyors of wooden boats (when I bought mine 6 months ago, I had a total of 1 to choose from.. and only because he *happened* to be the Club Safety Officer *happened* to be friendly with friends of the PO and his report *happened* to be accepted by Nautilus Marine Insurance because Club Marine wouldn't have a bar of re-insuring my "wooden boat", even though it had been on their books for decades!! :( )

- Petrol engines! :eek:

Hopefully this may clean out some unscrupulous Brokers (upping fees), but with an incompetent government in control of the situation, any ideas how many owners in the state (both power and sail) are no longer going to be permitted to use their boats without some form of "government approval" (read big $$$)??

It's totally insane.. :(
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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One gallon of gasoline, properly applied, will move a 2,000 pound Volkswagen Beetle about 30 miles.

That's about the same weight and distance that a 16" gun on a battleship throws a single round that weighs about the same thing.

Gasoline is SUPPOSED TO EXPLODE, like pretty much all fuels.

Which is why there are even a couple of states in the US where it is illegal to pump your own gasoline into your car. No fooling, it is supposed to be too dangerous to allow drivers to do it themselves. That's what they claim and (ha) what government would lie about a thing like that?

Of course, we also have bans on cigarette smoking at gas stations, and somehow, a couple of folks set themselves and the stations on fire, each year, every year, while smoking at the same time that they are fueling. So who would expect boaters to be any smarter?

Seller was criminally negligent, buyer was...let's be kind and just say "uneducated". Sounds like a recipe for disaster. I'm not sure I'd like the alternative, which would be requiring "gasoline education and certification" before allowing anyone to buy, fuel, or operate any vehicle using it as a fuel.
 

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for me, its like this...
what the p.o. knew, didn't know, should have known, should have disclosed is all moot, same with the broker. I don't care what they knew, or didn't know. You watch,both will claim to be dumber than a bag of hammers about the whole deal. Prove they DID know. Knowing they knew, and proving they knew are two different things. The report said that the PO had just did something with the carbs, and that the po, and the broker were frustrated in not being able to get it running. I'm sorry, thats a far stretch that the po/broker KNEW something was wrong with the tank/fittings/fuel lines. (oh, I assume that they knew, but proving they knew...)

What about the clam head who shoveled over 28k... yea, 28,000 samolienes, for a hole in the water.
Hey, numbskull, you peel off 28,000.00 for a boat, you'd better make darn sure its as fit as one of your soon to be ex-wives. Pffft, hey, I shake that much outta my shorts in the morning, I don't check and see if I've got any wedged anywhere else. I'm not taking any responsibility for anything.

In short, ASSUME the worst, its YOUR money. If you don't get something checked out before you buy it, thats ALL on you, don't come crying when it goes ka-boom, and don't blame anyone else BUT yourself.
Writ of merchantability, my aunt fanny.
 

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Note to self - never buy a boat from CP
 

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might I offer an alternative statement?


If I'm selling you a boat, I'll point out everything thats right with it, AND everything I know that needs correction. If you choose to buy my boat, and you chose not to get it checked out, or check it out for yourself, I'll consider you an idiot.

hows that, better?

Look, I know there are some less than scrupulous people out there, hell, I've met some of 'em. Theres plenty of junk boats, and plenty of brokers that aren't all that forthcoming. There are also people you can trust.
BUT as with any piece of machinery, house, car, boat, combine or bulldozer, theres going to be problems.

If I'm laying out MY hard earned cash for something that I have no experience in, then yea, I'm going to get someone that knows what they are doing to check it out.


and I thought the nanny state was big here....


...He recommended:

- Resources available to Victoria Police's Marine Division be increased.

- A campaign further highlighting the dangers involved in the use of petrol-driven inboard motor cruisers.

- Introduction of legislation requiring mechanical surveys for all petrol-powered boats 15 year or older.

- Introduction of legislation to improve design standards for petrol-fuelled boats.


all because one chucklehead bought a boat, didn't have it checked out, and somebody died. Thats thinning the herd folks.


Victoria's Ports Minister, Tim Pallas, says the state's boat registration laws will be strengthened. "The Government has been in the process of rewriting the Marine Safety Act," he said. "It will be introduced in to Parliament in the next few weeks and will incorporate increased rigour around the process of how vessels go to sea", Mr Pallas said.

you're kiddin' right? We're from the gubbmint, we're here to help.
Its comforting to know that its not just here in the US that common sense will be forthcoming from the halls of the parliament. Ohhh, I can't wait, help us obi-wan, weez too stoopid to find our own shoes, pleze tells us wheres to putz 'em.
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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Discussion Starter #14
and I thought the nanny state was big here....


...He recommended:

- Resources available to Victoria Police's Marine Division be increased.

- A campaign further highlighting the dangers involved in the use of petrol-driven inboard motor cruisers.

- Introduction of legislation requiring mechanical surveys for all petrol-powered boats 15 year or older.

- Introduction of legislation to improve design standards for petrol-fuelled boats.


all because one chucklehead bought a boat, didn't have it checked out, and somebody died. Thats thinning the herd folks.


Victoria's Ports Minister, Tim Pallas, says the state's boat registration laws will be strengthened. "The Government has been in the process of rewriting the Marine Safety Act," he said. "It will be introduced in to Parliament in the next few weeks and will incorporate increased rigour around the process of how vessels go to sea", Mr Pallas said.

you're kiddin' right? We're from the gubbmint, we're here to help.
Its comforting to know that its not just here in the US that common sense will be forthcoming from the halls of the parliament. Ohhh, I can't wait, help us obi-wan, weez too stoopid to find our own shoes, pleze tells us wheres to putz 'em.
AFAIK, Mr Pallas wouldn't know the bow of a boat from the stern - his only care is his job since this is an election year over here.

I wish I could say you had it wrong, CP.. but, unfortunately, I can't. That's the world we live in. :(
 

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"weez too stoopid to find our own shoes,"
Not to worry, cp, the public wearing and use of shoes will be banned effective January 1st. Too many people have been injured by them, and law-abiding citizens really have no need for them. Especially if they sweep their streets, as also required by law.
 

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Note to self - never buy a boat from CP

CC that to me as well would you Andre.......and if he offers you a bridge....run !! :eek:
 

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Actually the problem is likely much more simple. Ethanol in the fuel lines ruin old rubber. This is an ongoing problem that will continue to get worse as time goes on. Everyone wants to blame the seller, but how did the seller know the nature of the problem, he only knew that it didn't really run right. While he thought he had it fixed, he was wrong. OK, so anyone here been wrong when you thought you fixed something?

But beyond that, boat owners need to know that if your boat has seen Ethanol mixed with gas, they should be replacing their fuel lines with new lines that are resistant to deterioration from the newer fuel blends.
 

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I dont believe they RUN E-10 that far south :)

The fact that these things happen at the fuel dock means that the boat had a good size leak in the fill/vent system as fueling happens outside it should not cause fumes unless there is and ongoing leak in some part of the fuel system that made fumes faster than the blower could remove them
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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Discussion Starter #19
I dont believe they RUN E-10 that far south :)
They do.. for cars. :)

...but you're quite right. There's no E-10 on marine fuel docks down under. Not yet, anyways.
 

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chucklehead
thinning the herd
clamhead
numbskull
uneducated

Seems this is all a breach of "the Rules"

This was my boat, briefly - I am none of those things.

Your ignorance of the facts is profound.
 
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