My first post! I've just bought a 2009 MF 725, one previous careful owner. A couple of things I'd like a bit of advice on if anyone out there can help. First, the boat doesn't have a fire extinguisher so I'm pondering over foam or dry powder but am not sure which is the best all-rounder; and also where to fix it? Presumably in the saloon area but there isn't really that much spare space. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also, I'm going to invest in a new battery. The owner's manual recommends 110aH. Would this be the minimum rating or should I go for something rated higher than this. Again, advice would be gratefully received. Great boat by the way!
In the United States, the minimum requirements for a boat under 26 feet are a single type B-I fire extinguisher. A B-I extinguisher can be of several types. For a dry chemical, it is 2 Lbs, for a CO2, it is 4 Lbs, for foam, it is 1.25 Gal.
I personally use the dry type, and this is very common in the US. I am a certified vessel safety inspector, and other than built-in fire extinguishers in the engine compartment, virtually all boats I inspect use the dry type. All types need to be checked periodically.
It is recommended that extinguishers be mounted, but this is not required. The best places for mounting are near sources of fire, such as the engine and galley, but in a location where you will be able to reach them if there is a problem. So, for example, you should not mount an extinguisher on the far side of the stove, because you might have to reach over a fire to access it.
I would recommend two extinguishers, one near the engine and one near the galley. Make sure everyone aboard knows how to use it.
Last Edit: Mar 24, 2014 10:20:40 GMT by Don Reaves
Don, thanks for your reply. I was favouring the dry type myself but had heard that when used they leave a helluva mess to clear up. I guess if it saves your boat going up in smoke that's a small price to pay!
We use dry chemical extinguishers. We placed 2 in the aft cabin, one in the forward cabin and 3 in the main salon. They are easy to get refilled. We also installed 2 fire ports. One is installed at the companionway stair cover to the engine compartment and one in the after cabin in the engine compartment door. These allow you to fire the extinguisher through the port while not opening the doors to allow added oxygen.
Although a bit more expensive I use water based foam (AFFF) extinguishers in the cabin. Although its water based you can also put out a 'electric fire' with the stuff (SOLAS/'wheel' approved). It is suited for A and B fires. Powder will not only give a big mess but will also destroy all your electronically equipment in the same room. That is very expensive when there is only a small fire somewhere in the cabin. Attention should be given to the frost factor: not all AFFF extinguishers are suited for temperatures way below 0 Celcius. Additional I have a fire blanket in the cooking area.
Jeanneau mounted two powder extinguishers in my motor compartment that can be activated with a cable, starting at the the steering position. As you can see on the photograph it is not very complicated to make such a construction yourself, when possible.
Thanks Belmar, being doing a bit more research myself. There's an extinguisher called a water mist extinguisher which is a bit more expensive but can be used on almost any type of fire, plus it leaves no residue. Thinking of going for one of these and a blanket!
I had never heard of the water mist system but some 'googling around' results suggest that it is mandatory for all big ships according to IMO regulations. The question is: is there an affordable version for recreational boats? The only system I can find is 'Fogmaker' a Swedish product for busses etc. Can you tell me what the option is that you have found, and is it affordable?
The installation in my motor compartment is standard on the Jeanneau NC11 (remarcable -): so it is not a smart invention of myself. The extinguishers are, regrettably, powder types who I want to replace by something more sensible. Hope you can inform me.
When looking at the linked website it becomes clear to me why the 'mist' type of extinguisher has a major downside: the firefighting capacity is much lower than that of the traditional powder types. The digits before the classification indicate that; higher digit means a bigger fire capability (13B, 55B etc.) As you can see I would need at least a couple of 6 liter 'mist' types to have the same B (fuel) categorie capability as a 2 liter powder extinguisher. That raises the question of money (it is about 8 times more expensive than powder) and space ( 2 x 6 liter!?) in most small boats. As you can see on the website the AFFF (foam) extinguishers have the same capacity in 3 liters as a 2 liter powder type and cost about the same. The Foam is much less damaging than the powder (corrosion). Environmental problems with foam, as suggested in the linked presentation, can be solved by using bio-degradable foam.
I tend to this conclusion: Jeanneau fitted two 2 liter powder extinguishers in my motor compartment (they do not tend to overdo things-)). I can not replace them with four six liter 'mist' extinguishers to get close to the current firefighting capacity: I don't have the room for that. So I guess it will be two 3 liter AFFF's in stead ?!?
The water mist ones really do seem to be the best all-rounders even if they are a bit more expensive. Sorry, but the thought of you setting off a powder one by sitting on it had me in hysterics! You made my day!
After better considering the weight and size I opted to get the 1l water mist which is still quite large - it arrived quickly and I fitted it last weekend. I have 2 new powder units as well - so plan that if it every happens (lets hope not) that I will use the mist type first and if that fails the powder ones then if not abandon ship...