Petrol/Diesel Safety

sonarbell

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Yes I know its been said many times before, and yes i am sorry its at the expense of someone elses pride and joy, BUT, reading in last months MBM, there was a story of a Flotilla of boats all out for the day and suddenly one catches fire, guess which one it was, THE DIESEL one, so IYHO which is safer, I reckon that all this shite about petrol being more dangerous than diesel is well , just shite, cos in the last few years i can only remember seeing another story of a petrol boat going up and that was just after refuelling, no bilge blower i think, but if anyone has any facts or figures to prove otherwise then please make themselves known
 

ArthurWood

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Three boat fires in our marina in past three tears: two diesel, one petrol. Diesels were caused by electrical faults, petrol after refuelling. Petrol boat, 35ft, burned to the waterline, diesels, bigger boats, badly damaged. Yes, diesel is safer, but what about gas bottles on diesel boats? Heard of any fires caused by escaping gas?
 

oldharry

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Diesel is a flammable fuel, and will burn just as readily as petrol once ignited. The difference is that petrol ignites much more easily, and gives off flammable vapours which in quite low concentration can - like gas creat an explosive mixture.

However, if that fact is born in mind, and proper safety precautions are designed into the boat, and are carefully observed by the owner, then there should not be much difference in the risk level. It is very rarely the fuel that causes the fire: either sloppy procedures on fuelling allowing petrol to escape (how often do you read that the fire occurred just after fuelling of a petrol boat? Very often) or electrical fires spreading into the fuel storage area, with much the same end result be it petrol or diesel.

It would be interesting to know how many owners who would swear never to have petrol engines in their boat on safety grounds, happily ship bottled gas for cooking and heating, when gas has the same, if not a greater degree of flammability and explosivity than petrol? I seem to remember (and I may be wrong) that petrol vapour needs a higher percentage concentration than gas before it will ignite.
 

philip_stevens

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Most "diesel" sailing boats also have petrol on board in way of the outboard motor and its can of fuel - quite often stowed in a locker where the emergency flares are also kept - close to the gas bottle and diesel tank.

'Ere mum, look at all those pretty fireworks being set off from that boat with the men on the deck dancing around the bonfire !

----The boy stood on the burning deck..........

No, its not funny in reality. But we do have all these explosives on our boats. Its making me think.

regards,
Philip
 

charles_reed

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As about 80% of boats are diesel engined you'd expect to hear more stories of fires on diesel engined boats.

I've heard more horror stories about boat fires in the States, usually of big petrol engined power boats. Most fires are electrical or gas related.
 

bryantee

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When I created a Gas storage locker in the lazarette on my Rival 31 to keep Me ,the surveyor and insurance happy.I incorporated a small independent locker with overboard drain for the 5 liter Petrol can for the outboard(4Stroke Honda).Previously the gas bottle was stored in the bilge between the cooker and a 70ltr deisel tank. and the petrol can in the bottom of a locker. no gas detector.But it worked OK for 30Years.Now its got the shut off valve,recomended piping gas detectors et al. but it will still go up in flames if theres an electrical fire.Have you ever seen GRP burn.?Having seen a yacht go up in flames from an extension lead short .I,m careful with shore power.And theres not enough room on the average boat to keep enough fire extinguishers.
 
G

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GRP is a petroleum derivative. It can and does burn when it gets hot enough.
 
G

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I have petrol engine in my invicta. It works fine but i would like to install a diesel only from a coat point of view.

When i turn up at a marina a people hear my engine they almost always say 'i wouldn't feel safe with that much petrol on board'.

My standard answer is to say 'I have 30 litres of petrol right at the back and sealed in a tank. I have safety valves at the tank and engine. The petrol does not get any further into the boat then under the cockpit sole. How far does your gas pipe reach into your boat...?'


I feel safe with my fuel set up as i know it will not leak. But as for gas. How many of you out there have or can actually see all of you gas pipe to check it for damage every time you use it...???

So i say yes i do want a diesel but petrol is fine if installed correctly.
 
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