First time - boat motor fire

Discussion in 'Boat Safety' started by ibmeubu, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. ibmeubu

    ibmeubu New Member

    Messages:
    91
    State:
    Tennessee
    I am 62 now and have been on the river for the most of my life either commercially or just for fun. Last week end I had something happen that was my first.. I had just pulled anchor and started to call it a day, as I started to the dock I noticed I keep slowing down ,I thought now what!!!, I have a 28' pontoon 120hp johnson outboard. As I turned to look toward the motor all I could see was black smoke and flames, My motor was on fire and I didn't know weither to sh-t or go blind I was as scared on the water as I had ever been in my life. I got my fire extenisher and used it to no avail the fire was behind and under the engine cover . I knew if I pulled the cover it would flame up and then what. I started to jump , but instead I made my mind up to pull the cover ,I unlatched the cover and as I pulled it I got down on the pontoon and kept the cover between me and the fire it flamed up and then right back down. My fire exten. was empty so all I had was water and a bucket. I got the gas turned off and the fire put out (twice) Being on fire on the water has got to be the scardest I have ever been, (Viet Namn Vet) Looking back I guess I should have jumped because what I did was stupid. I had insurance . after I got it home I found (STRANGE) the gas line off the lower cab and the wire coming off the three plug was just hanging loose. so as soon as it fired I guess it caught fire... I will never start my outboard again without looking under the cover you just never know
     
  2. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    State:
    Vian Okla
    Glad every thing turned out Ok, as much as could be with a fire.
     

  3. ibmeubu

    ibmeubu New Member

    Messages:
    91
    State:
    Tennessee
    So far the worse is it melted the shift and throttle cable and they must be replaced, I did start it . the cover is melted and cracked in places and three wires burned. the seal between the cover and lower unit is cracked. all in all I think I was very lucky
     
  4. Swampfox.

    Swampfox. New Member

    Messages:
    1,182
    State:
    Louisiana
    glad ur ok phillip, fire on the water is a situation that can get out of hand very rikki tick. i carry a fully charged chem extinquisher every time i take out a boat.
     
  5. Catpaw

    Catpaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,923
    State:
    Central Cail
    Name:
    James
    Philip glad to hear your all right.
     
  6. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    Glad you are OK. Yes, ir would be wise if we all pulled the covers off our engines before each trip, just to check. Almost sounds like your was sabotaged, with the plug wire off and gas line off.

    Bill in SC
     
  7. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    And that, is exactly why I keep two extinguishers.

    Glad you are OK and saved the boat!
     
  8. ibmeubu

    ibmeubu New Member

    Messages:
    91
    State:
    Tennessee
    may put one in each corner after this ,
     
  9. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    I would have more than two if it wasn't just getting too silly. (space wise)


    As I said in another thread, been there done that,,, burnt the T shirt.
    If it had not been for a good samaritan tossing over his FE after we blew ours, things would have gone real bad.


    This got me to thinking, I have always been a Merc. man, But now I find myself with an Evinrude.
    Popping the cowling off the 'Rude in a fire emergency is going to suck.

    I wonder if it might work to add a plugable access hole to the cowling so as to stick the nozzle of the FE in and hopefully starve a fire of oxygen??

    I have seen autos with, halon I think it was, FE sytems. (no hood lifting to kill the fire)

    Anyone have an opinion as to wether this might work or not with a regular CO2/powder unit??
     
  10. ibmeubu

    ibmeubu New Member

    Messages:
    91
    State:
    Tennessee
    Just came in and caught your reply, on an access . Like I said I have a 120 Johnson and I believe there is the perfect spot. Will get back, Real good idea.there should be a spot on all motors that you could modify
     
  11. ibmeubu

    ibmeubu New Member

    Messages:
    91
    State:
    Tennessee
    DANZIG
    On my 120 Johnson there is a place on all 4 sides that could be rigged like you said ,and also like you said pulling the cowl in a fire emergency SUCKS. All 4 carbs are in the front and there is a Johnson square emblem at the perfect spot. It can be fixed to pop off and you are right there. Great idea ,you need to get one up on that ,I don't think I've heard of it before and thanks. By the way I have insurance thru GEICO and they subbed it to SEA-Safe. They told me ,had it been a big claim ,they would have denied me because it was probably mechanical failure that caused the fire ."failure of the fuel system" I'm a dummy to insurance and never heard of that one
     
  12. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    Glad your ok. Caught mine on fire in the yard a couple weeks ago workin on it and bout %#!@ my pants.
     
  13. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,493
    State:
    Napoleon, Mo.
    Good idea Lawerance. After many years in fire suppression I will say it would work!! Also the Halon is better because it is a lot cleaner. Used in computer rooms and such for that reason. Halon is being fazed out because of EPA concerns and a new agent is being used. Can't recall the name of it at the moment.
     
  14. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    "Also the Halon is better because it is a lot cleaner."

    Yep, as I recall that was one of the reasons it was used on autos. I think there was also something about it's "extra effect" on hydrocarbon fires but I can remember how that worked.