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  #51   IP: 71.181.37.6
Old 04-21-2012, 07:58 AM
ArtJ ArtJ is offline
 
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Thanks Mo

You are right of course. The best thing is to keep an eye on all the things
that you listed, which I do. When running every hour or so I try to check
on the engine by physically looking, I also carry a gasoline fume detector
and lots of extinquishers , in cockpit lazarette, galley, and engine area.

But if, as you mentioned ,and I have seen it first hand on another boat,
A gasoline fire starts it can be very very dangerous. The result was
severe life threatening burns and a boat that burned to the waterline.
This is also a good reason to have a sufficient inflatable boat along when
coasting.

The case in point above resulted from someone doing wiring repairs in
the presence of fumes and with power on.

It would just be something of peace of mind to have a way to
quickly and remotely deal with the unthinkable without having
to enter the cabin.

Best Regards

Art
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  #52   IP: 24.224.206.117
Old 04-21-2012, 08:42 AM
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We had a bad one on a Cape Islander about 10 yrs ago....working on gas engine in boat and the guy lights up a cigarette...blew the deck right of the boat, landed them both in the water critical condition. They both knew better.
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  #53   IP: 71.168.64.84
Old 05-22-2012, 05:01 PM
ArtJ ArtJ is offline
 
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FireBoy HFC227

Hi Guys

I just received a Fireboy HFC227 3.5 lbs extinquisher today. It is specified
to handle 75 Cubic Feet. My engine box is approximately 2ft by 3.5 ft by
3.5 ft. So It should be enough.

Several problems to solve. the battery compartment containing 4 large
batteries is outboard of the center keel mounted engine compartment
it is similar in size to the engine box. The gasoline tank is also under
the same settee and is just after of the battery compartment and the
engine box.

There is zero room in the engine box for the extinquisher.

I had thought of putting it in the battery compartment adjacent to the
engine box. There is only a couple of access cutouts for the
battery cables between the engine box and the batteries. There
is also not a lot of room for the extinquisher but may be possible to
fit. I had originally thought of added a extended metal hose to the
output of the extinquisher, but after reading the caviats on handling
am not sure I want to do that.
The unit is equiped for both manual and automatic use.
I bought a 12 ft remote cable with it for manual use from the cockpit.
Fireboy recommends shutting down the engine as well as blowers
when using it. Not sure how to do this immediately without forgetting
in the heat of the emergency.
Also and importantly, the automatic extinquisher is set to go off
at 175 degrees F which alarms me because the engine routinely
runs at nearly 180 and can sometimes when pushed go higher.
Don't want activation for a routine boil over.
I wonder how close the extinquisher can be to the standpipe box and
engine without getting too hot?

I also note that fireboy recommends not mounting the extinquisher
90 degrees to the keel on a saiboat ( not sure what this means )
They also state that the nozzle must be higher than the bottle or worse
case horizontal. Mounted on the hull side of the battery box it would
have to be horizontal and probably below the bottle bottom when heeled.
I had considered mounting it in the space where the navstation and
electrical switches are located ( which is just aft of battery compartment)
and cutting a small access hole to allow contents to spray into battery
compartment and (hopefully) reach engine.

Comments and suggestions greatly appreciated.
I would plan to activate it with the remote cable if necessary, maybe
automatic was not a good feature.

Best Regards and thanks

Art
Ps boat is now afloat!!!
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  #54   IP: 71.168.64.84
Old 05-23-2012, 12:14 PM
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Attention Neil and All

HI guys

Would really appreciate input on the Fireboy extinquisher so I can
decide whether or not it can be safely installed.

Thanks very very much

Art
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  #55   IP: 24.152.131.155
Old 05-23-2012, 09:17 PM
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ndutton ndutton is offline
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My $0.02

I searched online and found the installation instructions. Essentially this is the same as the old Halon systems with a different smothering gas and as I understand it, there are four things to consider:
  1. As you said, you have to find a place to mount it. I believe it should sense and smother the compartment where a fire is most likely to start, not where it may migrate to. To me this means high in the engine compartment. That is where the fuel is launched out of a closed system (carb) and where the likely ignition source exists. I'm not saying there aren't other places where fumes could collect and ignite but you have to go with the law of averages. You can't count on the system to extinguish a fire in an adjoining compartment. Some smothering agent may find its way there but probably not enough to be effective.
  2. The reason they advise against athwartships horizontal mounting is on one tack the dispersing head will be below the tank and they caution strongly to mount it with the head higher than the tank. I expect the smothering agent is a liquid inside the tank that vaporizes on pressure drop (activation) and they want to be sure you're dispensing vapor rather than liquid in the compartment. Since you say there is no space inside the engine compartment, could it be mounted outside the compartment with only the sensor and dispersing head inside? Maybe camouflage it with a cover of some sort?
  3. For a proper system you must wire the blower through the pressure switch on the unit. They use the switch for the indicator light but have instructions on how to wire the blower through it. Once the agent is dispensed you don't want the blower removing it and ventilating the space with fresh oxygen carrying air.
  4. You might want to take some compartment temperature measurements underway to see what the ambient temperature actually is. The gauge and compartment temps should be very different. Of course, avoid mounting the unit in the vicinity of or above the exhaust hot section. Heat rises.
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  #56   IP: 71.168.64.84
Old 05-24-2012, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
I searched online and found the installation instructions. Essentially this is the same as the old Halon systems with a different smothering gas and as I understand it, there are four things to consider:
  1. As you said, you have to find a place to mount it. I believe it should sense and smother the compartment where a fire is most likely to start, not where it may migrate to. To me this means high in the engine compartment. That is where the fuel is launched out of a closed system (carb) and where the likely ignition source exists. I'm not saying there aren't other places where fumes could collect and ignite but you have to go with the law of averages. You can't count on the system to extinguish a fire in an adjoining compartment. Some smothering agent may find its way there but probably not enough to be effective.
  2. The reason they advise against athwartships horizontal mounting is on one tack the dispersing head will be below the tank and they caution strongly to mount it with the head higher than the tank. I expect the smothering agent is a liquid inside the tank that vaporizes on pressure drop (activation) and they want to be sure you're dispensing vapor rather than liquid in the compartment. Since you say there is no space inside the engine compartment, could it be mounted outside the compartment with only the sensor and dispersing head inside? Maybe camouflage it with a cover of some sort?
  3. For a proper system you must wire the blower through the pressure switch on the unit. They use the switch for the indicator light but have instructions on how to wire the blower through it. Once the agent is dispensed you don't want the blower removing it and ventilating the space with fresh oxygen carrying air.
  4. You might want to take some compartment temperature measurements underway to see what the ambient temperature actually is. The gauge and compartment temps should be very different. Of course, avoid mounting the unit in the vicinity of or above the exhaust hot section. Heat rises.
Thank you for the information Neil
Unfortunately, I do not have room in the tiny Tartan34C engine box
for the extinquisher. Additionally, I am concerned about the ambient
temperature inside this tiny box reaching over 175 degrees easily in
normal operation. Bottom line: It's a nice unit if you can safely install
it which I cannot. The hazard outweighs it's value, so I am going to
return it.

Thanks again and best Regards

Art
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  #57   IP: 206.125.176.5
Old 05-24-2012, 09:09 AM
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sastanley sastanley is offline
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Art, My buddy's fancy Beneslow 343 has a simple plastic one-way hole cut into the stairs for jamming an extinguisher into the engine box. Anyway to remotely mount the system and plumb it into the engine box that way?

Art, on second thought, I googled "fire extinguisher port", and found this good Boat US article which says blindly spraying into an engine box is useless, unless it is a gaseous type that removes the oxygen.

http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/swybf.asp
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Last edited by sastanley; 05-24-2012 at 09:19 AM. Reason: add link
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  #58   IP: 71.168.64.84
Old 05-24-2012, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sastanley View Post
Art, My buddy's fancy Beneslow 343 has a simple plastic one-way hole cut into the stairs for jamming an extinguisher into the engine box. Anyway to remotely mount the system and plumb it into the engine box that way?

Art, on second thought, I googled "fire extinguisher port", and found this good Boat US article which says blindly spraying into an engine box is useless, unless it is a gaseous type that removes the oxygen.

http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/swybf.asp
Thanks for the reply and suggestion Shawn. The Tartan 34 C
has the engine sitting in the middle of the main salon under a small
settee and half buried in the bilge. There is no adjacent bulkhead other
than the battery box which is jammed full. I have returned the
Extinquisher to Hamilton Marine for credit.

Best Regards and Thanks

Art
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  #59   IP: 68.56.139.11
Old 05-27-2012, 05:50 AM
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As far as I know, Halon production was stopped in 1994. But maybe I dont know. Many guys here know a lot more then me.

Art, my T 34 engine compartment gets very hot. So hot that it gets scary. I open cover and use additional fans when I motor for long periods.
Back about 12 years ago, one guy with a t 34 had what he said was a "halon system" in the engine cover. I saw an extinguisher mounted in the engine cover where the top meets the side. It had an "automatic" release that looked a bit like a sprinkler, to my memory.

I have had some experience with sensors, and have found them to be unreliable. I dont even use my propane sensor because it goes off for no reason. It seems moisture causes it to alarm. Imagine moisture on a boat?

I had a gas sensor that was totally useless. I even tried a CO detector but have no faith in it.

fair winds
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  #60   IP: 108.4.61.32
Old 05-27-2012, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romantic comedy View Post
Back about 12 years ago, one guy with a t 34 had what he said was a "halon system" in the engine cover. I saw an extinguisher mounted in the engine cover where the top meets the side. It had an "automatic" release that looked a bit like a sprinkler, to my memory.
My boat came with one of those mounted inside the engine box. When I went to the local fire extinguisher place to get all my extinguishers inspected/recharged, the guy said, "We won't touch that one." I contacted the manufacturer (Fireboy) and they told me to weigh it. As long as it weighed the same as the weight indicated on the label, it should be good to go. It did. So I'm going to stick it back in there. Another "round tuit" on my list.

What amazed me is how incredibly expensive a new version of that extinguisher is.
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