Potential fire hazard from exhaust pipe

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November 24, 2016 at 20:48 #25994
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

We almost had a fire on board this summer, and I want to describe how it happened as other boats may be at risk.

On Rainshadow, the exhaust pipe leads from the exhaust manifold, through the lazarette plywood bulkhead and to the water lift muffler in the port upper lockers. We have top-quality custom-fit blanket insulation on this exhaust pipe in the engine room, but that insulation ends at the bulkhead. On the lazarette side of the bulkhead, there is a plaster-cast type of insulation.

After motoring for about an hour, our bulkhead started smoking and even had glowing embers before we figured out how close we were to have a true fire in the engine room. We strongly smelled the smoke when we lifted the aft cabin bilge cover to check the stuffing box. We quickly shut down the engine and went to work enlarging the hole in the plywood bulkhead around the exhaust pipe – throwing the cut-out pieces of charred and glowing wood overboard.

So the morale of the story is – check the entire path of your exhaust pipe to the water lift muffler and make sure it is well insulated. Chafe of insulation at that bulkhead is what caused our close-call, after years of having this arrangement with no problems.

Marilyn and Van

November 25, 2016 at 12:01 #25995
Jeff
Jeff
Participant

Marilyn & Van:
Good of you to post this & thanks for the heads-up folks. A timely reminder for us all to not let ourselves become too complacent, & that we’re never THAT far away from ‘something’ going wrong.
Best Wishes,
Jeff

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