From Pine View Farm

Fiberglass Burns Good 2

The most common cause of fatalities amongst recreational boaters is getting drunk and falling overboard.

That’s one reason I run an alcohol-free boat. The other is that the water is so much fun, who needs a drink?

The next greatest danger for recreation boaters is fire, not so much for outboards–because everything is pretty much out in the open–but for I/Os and inboards. If there’s a leak or a mistake, gas fumes can build up in the engine compartment and kabloeey!

I was out on the Chesapeake one day and saw a recreational boat burning. It’s a pretty gruesome sight–lots of smoke and the fire doesn’t go out until it reaches the waterline.

Fiberglass burns good.

As a couple found out yesterday.

I feel for the couple and their loss. I once met a couple at Georgetown Yacht Basin who, upon retirement, had purchased a sailboat and pretty much used it as their home as the sailed about North America, much as some persons purchase RVs and cruise KOA.

I wonder whether they had the boat inspected by a marine surveyor when they bought it–buying a boat to sail down the Intracoastal Waterway is a lot bigger investment than buying a little runabout to trailer from here to there.

And, you know, the water is a dangerous place. And what you can see from the boat is only the top of it.



  1. Karen

    November 27, 2007 at 6:57 am

    Actually, if you leave a 5 gallon bucket of resin out in the mid-summer Texas sun for long enough, it’ll burn really well.

    A lesson I learned the hard way.

  2. Bill

    November 27, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    I’m not sure about new boats, but if the boat was used, a marine survey is usually required by either the finance company or the insurance company or both. New boats are supposed to be seaworthy… So unless the boat was new or they paid cash and didn’t have insurance, I expect a survey was done. But as you know, stuff happens on boats.

    The local rag didn’t have the specifics on the boat. From what I’ve seen, most (but not all) lobster style boats in that size range are diesel powered. It could have been an electrical fire – who knows?

    Several years ago, a blowbote burned to the waterline near our marina. The fire started when the pressurized alcohol stove in the galley flared up and caught the curtains on fire. That, as they say, was that. Not a pretty sight (or smell).

    As for purchasing a boat and pretty much using it as a home and boating about North America (or at least the Chesapeake)… Sounds good to me!