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TOPIC: Boat fire

47 Fire 16 May 2017 20:58 #76

  • SomeSailor
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smitty477 wrote: "The OP stated, "I believe the turbo blew up." I'd like to know what makes him think this.


Turbine failures are pretty catastrophic and they're oil cooled. Even blowing an oil line when EGTs are above 1000F can make for a pretty instant fire. And if it ran any time after that it would spray that hot oil right into the fire. You could have a major conflagration on your hands pretty quickly. As we see in the pictures. :(

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Boat fire 16 May 2017 21:39 #77

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Ruffryder wrote: Thought I posted a pic?
Fuel tank bulkhead, centered, up high,


Yup, I scoped out that location yesterday, that's where mines going on my 2858.

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Tyson, Ackerley, Sidney & Gene
Tsawwassen, BC
1996 2858 Ciera Command Bridge
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Boat fire 16 May 2017 21:56 #78

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"Turbine failures are pretty catastrophic and they're oil cooled. Even blowing an oil line when EGTs are above 1000F can make for a pretty instant fire. And if it ran any time after that it would spray that hot oil right into the fire. You could have a major conflagration on your hands pretty quickly. As we see in the pictures. :("

Hello SomeSailor,

These turbo's have a coolant jacket around them, they just never get that hot. I have seen them seize, blow seals , clog the oil drain and spray the engine as well as fly apart but never seen one catch fire - not to say that I could not happen just seen other results.
I have seen a switzer turbo on a Perkins catch fire but it was not a jacketed turbo and relied on an insulation blanket to remain cool on the outside and the oil caught on the edge of the blankets.
Per the owners (David's) posts this boat had a major diesel leak in the bilge and failures on one or more fuel injector lines immediately before this event.
Also per David the fire was 'so fast' he did not have time to even lift the floorboards , take a look or even react to the fire.

These are the reasons I asked how the determination was made that led towards the idea that it was a blown turbo / what were the symptoms or evidence that led in that direction?
It would be best if David would post back some insights.....
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Northport NY

Boat fire 17 May 2017 03:08 #79

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The turbos themselves have coolant jackets, but the Exhaust Gas Temperatures as mentioned by SomeSailor and on my Cummins 330's (in the dry section post turbo, but before the water cooled section) was over 900 degrees when I had my boat surveyed last year . I asked my cummins mechanic about these temps and he said they were normal for this era of cummins 6bta. Being that engine oil has a flash point far below 900 degrees I would think that a turbo failure or sudden oil leak in and around the turbo could definitely lead to an immediate fire.

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Jason M.
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Boat fire 17 May 2017 03:27 #80

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donzi wrote: The turbos themselves have coolant jackets, but the Exhaust Gas Temperatures as mentioned by SomeSailor and on my Cummins 330's (in the dry section post turbo, but before the water cooled section) was over 900 degrees when I had my boat surveyed last year . I asked my cummins mechanic about these temps and he said they were normal for this era of cummins 6bta. Being that engine oil has a flash point far below 900 degrees I would think that a turbo failure or sudden oil leak in and around the turbo could definitely lead to an immediate fire.


Interesting post. Wouldn't that be true of non-turbo diesel exhaust gas as well though? The turbo doesn't make the exhaust gas hot, it just has to deal with the heat...

Cheers,
Dave

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Boat fire 17 May 2017 03:49 #81

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The OP stated, "I believe the turbo blew up." I'd like to know what makes him think this.

If my boat just burnt to the waterline I would not be putting anything in writing on the internet either

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Boat fire 17 May 2017 10:51 #82

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"The turbos themselves have coolant jackets, but the Exhaust Gas Temperatures as mentioned by SomeSailor and on my Cummins 330's (in the dry section post turbo, but before the water cooled section) was over 900 degrees when I had my boat surveyed last year"

That is after the turbine - the temps exiting the exhaust manifold can be 1250 or above.
Most all diesels have exhaust temps that you would consider high - even the ones in my trucks.
Nowadays turbo's are found in many cars and trucks and they all have high temps somewhere - even on the gas engines.

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Northport NY

Boat fire 17 May 2017 11:00 #83

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Here is a picture of my past marine turbo on the exhaust side at about 1,700 hrs.
FWIW - You can see that the paint is still clean and bright over the entire housing and although they do get hot you can touch them briefly under load without burning yourself.


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47 Fire 17 May 2017 12:46 #84

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Re: Greenwater exhaust riser touching the bulkhead and insulation:

smitty477 wrote: Water cooled exhaust riser so no - but I would notch the insulation and the bulkhead slightly for no contact.
FWIW - I have done that same 'notch' on a 38 and 47 Bayliner in the past with the new risers added.


Smitty, how much clearance should I notch out? 1/4"? 1/2"? If heat/fire isn't much of a concern, what's the purpose of notching it? Will engine vibrations eventually break the bolts holding the riser to the manicooler or strip them or work them loose? (What I'm asking: what am I trying to prevent by notching the bulkhead so there's no contact?)

Thanks!
Dave

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Boat fire 17 May 2017 12:59 #85

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We lifted the floor board to spray the dry chemical in put the flames were coming out to strong and the extinguisher wasn't knocking them down enough to continue. I wish I would have had a bigger one maybe or a engine room suppressing system

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47 Fire 17 May 2017 13:05 #86

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"Smitty, how much clearance should I notch out? 1/4"? 1/2"? If heat/fire isn't much of a concern, what's the purpose of notching it? Will engine vibrations eventually break the bolts holding the riser to the manicooler or strip them or work them loose? (What I'm asking: what am I trying to prevent by notching the bulkhead so there's no contact?)"

I did 1/2" and it was actually the exact riser in the picture above but unfortunately that picture does not show the spot where the notch was needed.
Purpose- The riser becomes part of the engine package which is meant to all move (shift and vibrate) as a unit so that individual components do not get stressed and fail.
The engine package sits on rubber isolation mounts which move more than some would think - they move differently when cruising in forward gear and having the torque load and unload due to wave action as well as when backing in reverse heavily no matter how rare that may occur.

Given that the engine will move and that the exhaust needs to move with the engine it is important to make sure that contact and the resultant parts stress does not occur no matter what the engines are doing at the time. Watching them at idle will not show the total movement that can and will occur.
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Northport NY

47 Fire 17 May 2017 13:16 #87

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I'm not sure smoke detectors would help. If you can imagine a fire starting or something blowing up in the engine room. How would you get to it? I tried to crack open the floor and spray the dry chemical into the crack the flames were shooting out around the space I had lifted I'm not sure if I could have flipped it over an got it out without getting burnt or not. I've been second guessing ever since. I know you can't count on a dingy on top for a rescue vessel. Unless you can flip it off the back. I couldn't. There's no manual system for one and the ffire was on that side of the boat. Another thing everyone should think about is insurance. I hope they will pay enough to get close to what I have in it I'm thinking maybe within $20,000. But the personal effects have gotten upwards of $30,000 and we know we've forgotten things. Every hr if the day we think of something else that we lost. They say we only had $5,000. I remember updating it but don't have any proof.
If you don't really need it on the boat think about leaving it somewhere else. We lost two computers and two iPads. We really didn't need both computers.

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2001 4788
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Capt. Dave

Boat fire 17 May 2017 13:20 #88

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Technomadia wrote: It was such a pleasure to meet you and swap boat tours last month - and it is totally heartbreaking that your beautiful boat has been lost.

We are hoping to learn as much as possible about what happened, and how to improve our own on-board safety.

I hope the investigators are able to learn the root cause.

Best wishes,

We are hoping to learn something from a fire investigation. But I've been told not to expect to much as there's not much left.

- Chris

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2001 4788
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Don't let anyone steal your happy
Capt. Dave

Boat fire 17 May 2017 13:46 #89

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robster_in_edmonds wrote: Two trains of thoughts came to me... First, I don't know how a blown turbo could have caused a fire like that. I'm guessing something electrical. It will be interesting to find out what the forensic examination determines.

Second, we carry our dinghy on top of our 4788. If there were an electrical (or other cause) fire, would we have the time and power to drop the dinghy into the water and get on board? If the davit motor wouldn't work, could we push the dinghy off the back?

We could hit DSC on the radio, our system is set up and functional (worth checking...) , then wait on the bow until the heat was too much, jump in the water and swim away. I have a handheld VHF and a floating electric strobe, so that would help. We'd have maybe a half-hour before the hypothermia would win out. Maybe an hour of total life. Would USCG or a good Samaritan have time to get to us? This is one reason why we like to buddy-boat when possible.

Regardless of the cause of the fire, please post the findings so we can all learn from you!


I made the mayday call and made sure they had our location and threw the mic down before answering the other questions. We tried getting the dingy off but mine was to heavy to flip off the back. The port side wasn't an option. I had the dingy with a jet motor about 800lbs. I actually went in to the heavy smoke to get my hand help floating vhf and almost dint make it out. We stood on the stbd side top waiting as long as we felt safe. Not long. A crew member put my ditch bag on the swim platform I guess thinking we would go off that way. I always thought I'd have a dingy and I'm not sure the bag would have floated or not
Anyway we started to see a film in the water thinking we might be putting fuel into the water we were worried it could ignite and we wouldn't have a place to jump. I had full fuel tanks. One of my crew got a little excited and went in. That's when I decided I needed the floating vhf. I sent my wife in and made another call letting them know we would be in the water and reconfirmed they had our location.

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2001 4788
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Twin Hino 250
Don't let anyone steal your happy
Capt. Dave

Boat fire 17 May 2017 13:59 #90

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smitty477 wrote: Hello David,

I am really glad to hear that all got out with no issues and you are able to post about the event - safe is a great thing.
Some of us have read bout your trip of a lifetime recently with your boat an d wished we could be aboard.
Since you left in November 16' and covered thousands of miles headed to south Fla and Bahamas and back the boat appeared top perform flawlessly. Countless hours at hull speed but a good deal of the trip (distance) appeared to be at 16-17 knots which is the way we cruised as well.

I am very curious at your thoughts of a turbo problem after all these hours of use and many at higher loads and temps.
Seems that your first and only problem with the boat was on 4/30 when you had 'fuel all over the engine room from failed injector lines".
Thankfully you picked this up with an engine room inspection prior to covering any distances.
It also appears that you had attributed that to injector lines that you may have affected by replacing all injectors just prior to that discovery.

After that down time and posts the next posts on 5/6 identified your boat as having been lost.
With the events before and after the fire how does the turbo seem to be the culprit and how did that initiate the unrecoverable fire onboard?


I got everything cleaned up. Probably cleaner then before th leak. I have to hold back a little until the investigation is done. I was asked not to discuss the details until their done investigating. I do want to help my boating friends as much as I can. And give you some things to beware of.
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2001 4788
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Boat fire 17 May 2017 14:51 #91

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Dave

What you lived through, I cannot imagine.

Yet I am sitting on my boat right now trying to imagine...

What I and probably everyone else ere am/are doing is thinking "what if".

What if I did this, cold I have prevented the fire.
What if I did that could I have bought more time to escape.

I think we are all doing that in hopes of learning from your experience, so that we and our families don't have to go through it ourselves.
I truly hope that you understand that all that "what iffing" is not thinking that you did anything incorrect, either in your preparation, or your response. Everyone survived, and there were no injuries. That alone speaks of your success in this emergency situation.

If we can learn from your situation, possibly we can save a life, or a boat.

I for one am very afraid of engine room fires. I remember another large Bayliner that was lost at sea, a 38 footer, also due to an engine room fire, and also resulting in a very shore time frame to escape.

Thanks again for sharing.

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KEVIN SANDERS
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SEWARD, ALASKA
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Boat fire 17 May 2017 15:00 #92

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Your story and harrowing escape has convinced me that I will likely not be able to get my dinghy off the top in a fire and that it is a less than 20% chance that I will be towing it at the time. Therefore I am buying a liferaft. I boat only in protected waters with the Bayliner and am not concerned with getting a full fledged "ocean" liferaft - just something to crawl into for up to an hour or two at most. I am looking at several and was very surprised how cheap they are: for example this model for 6 people at $1,400.

www.defender.com/product.jsp?name=revere...0|2290103&id=2694987

I carry a handheld Epirb and portable VHF at all times in the ditch bag.

The question now is where to stow the liferaft? Packed Dimensions: 10.75" W x 27" L x 17.5" H
Weight: 65 lbs.

That is too heavy and bulky to want to haul it around very much. I would like to have it in the Pilothouse but unless I can get it under the transition seat by the Port side door I have nowhere there to stow it. Other option is the top deck where I have plenty of room, but I do not have a full enclosure and it will be exposed to the elements.

Thoughts...?

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Alan Teed
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Experience: Sail 50 years, Motor 15 years. 2 Transats, 1 Baltimore-Virgin Islands, 6 Months cruising Caribbean, 3.5 years cruising Med.

Boat fire 17 May 2017 17:31 #93

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Alan, great thought, but for me the storage of the thing is more than we would be able to put up with. Thinking out of the box a little, what about having a small block and tackle so that you could manually lift the dinghy up on the davit, swing it over, and lower it into the water?

I've also considered getting wetsuits, but they would probably be stored under one of the beds and not accessible in a fire.

All of our boating is in the Puget Sound, not too distant from USCG spots. With our life jackets on and handheld waterproof VHF I think I'm in good shape. But I just bought an epirb (just this minute) from Amazon, under $300, and I'll have it in a couple of days. So if there's a fire or other emergency and we have to jump in the cold water, it's DSC from the boat (with our GPS location), grab the ditch bag, activate the epirb and wait on the bow until it's time to jump into the water. Handheld VHS is in the ditch bag so we can communicate with USCG as needed. We can say "Brrrr!" once we are in the water. :-)

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Rob Meldrum
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Boat fire 17 May 2017 17:36 #94

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When we bought our 3587 nearly two years ago it came outfitted with a 4 or 6 person (can't remember now) Zodiac auto inflate life raft.
The idea seemed good but as Alan Teed pointed out; where you put it? This was installed a few owners ago and at the time chose to mount this on the top of the aft hardtop.
This is a difficult place to get to. I summed up that if a disaster was to take place(heaven forbid!) there is a good chance it would not be subdued and controlled enough to take advantage of this life saving resource.
Additionally, these auto inflating rafts do require regular scheduled maintenance to insure their role for such a need. For those reasons I felt an alternative to this would be the best choice for us.
Trying to take a pragmatic approach I choose to have a Hurley Davit on the platform that launches the 10.5 foot RIB very quickly without the need for power and is at an ideal mustering area on this vessel.
While this situation may not apply to other vessels it is under our circumstance felt to be the best approach/compromise.

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Boat fire 17 May 2017 18:56 #95

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An auto-inflate life raft might not have helped in this case...the hydrostatic inflate type only auto-inflate after it's a certain depth under water...David's boat never sank, it just burned completely to the waterline. I'm sure some of those have a pull cord to auto-inflate though...or perhaps one could be added.

I have a 13 foot 2-person hard sit-on kayak on my bow at the moment (could actually fit 3 people on it if we needed to in an emergency)...it would be easy to untie, and at about 70 lbs, I believe even my tiny lady friend could shove it overboard if she really needed to. However, we haven't used it that much, so I may bring it home and replace it with an lightweight inflatable that could hold more people in an emergency. It doesn't have to be anything expensive...it could be one of the light-duty inflatables with the plastic plate as an outboard mount (although in an emergency, I wouldn't be worried about getting an outboard on it...flip it overboard, jump in, and climb onto it.) That said, it prob makes sense to get one that *could* be easily used as a short-distance tender. In the big picture, a large inflatable pool toy is better than being in ice-cold water!

I just had an interesting thought...maybe something that could double as comfortable inflatable seating in the middle of the bow, but could also be thrown overboard easily for use as a life raft....hmmm.

Dave

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Boat fire 17 May 2017 19:29 #96

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I have a 4 person coastal life raft by Revere it weights 16 lbs and measures 16.50in x 13.00in x 5.00in

Small enough to keep on the bridge with the ditch bag...just a thought
FYI I don't go far "offshore" more of a coastal guy myself.

Here are the specs
www.reveresurvival.com/revere-products/a...tal-compact-4-valise

But I don't have an automatic fire extinguisher in the bilge and will order one now!
Ron

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Boat fire 17 May 2017 22:25 #97

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I like the idea of these small emergency inflatable rafts - has anyone had them serviced recently who can speak to how much that costs? They don't do any good if they don't work, but I struggle with another item that requires yearly maintenance that I can't do myself.

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Boat fire 17 May 2017 23:55 #98

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Thinking of buying two Gumby suits, in lieu of an open cheap life raft.

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Boat fire 17 May 2017 23:59 #99

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Alan Teed wrote: The question now is where to stow the liferaft? Packed Dimensions: 10.75" W x 27" L x 17.5" H
Weight: 65 lbs.

That is too heavy and bulky to want to haul it around very much. I would like to have it in the Pilothouse but unless I can get it under the transition seat by the Port side door I have nowhere there to stow it. Other option is the top deck where I have plenty of room, but I do not have a full enclosure and it will be exposed to the elements.

Thoughts...?


How about on the bow? That's where ours is. A small Sunbrella cover protects it from the elements. The bow is about as far as you can get from an engine room fire.

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Mike
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Boat fire 18 May 2017 01:40 #100

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Our Liferaft is on the boat deck in a quick release holder/canister. should only take 1 person 30 seconds or less to deploy as it is on the side ready to go over and tied off so it auto in flats. I am rethinking this location with the engine room fire, (yes we have older halon system that we have service every year). The bow in the center means you have to lift, carry 2 to 3 steps and toss over side, if in swells over 2' that area is tough as it feels the water the most. Anyone try to deploy one from that bow area in open seas with a swell?

Just still think the top is faster for us as we are normally running form there or the pilothouse anyways.

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Mark
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