This shore power pedestal inlet and cable aren’t that far away from sparking a
major boat fire.
BoatUS Fire Facts:
Claim Files Show Six Ways Boat Fires Happen
number five among all boat losses according to the BoatUS Marine Insurance
Program claims files. Dig a little a deeper, and those claims files also tell
you the six specific areas that lead to most reported boat fires. If every
boater paid attention to these six things, over a third of all fires aboard
boats would be prevented. So what are the top six ways boat fires happen, and
some lessons to take home?
- 26% of
fires are due to “Off-the-boat” sources: Over a quarter of the time, a BoatUS
member’s boat burns when something else goes up in flames – the boat next to
theirs, the marina, their garage, or even a neighbor’s house. It’s every
boater’s responsibility to prevent fires, but when all else fails, having a
good boat insurance policy is the
- 20% of
fires are due to “Engine Electrical”: For boats older than 25 years, old
wiring harnesses take a disproportionate chunk of the blame here. A good
electrical technician can put one together for you as most boats of this age
had relatively simple electrical systems.
- 15% of
fires are due to “Other DC Electrical”: The most common cause of battery-related
fires is faulty installation of batteries - reversing the positive and negative
cables or misconnecting them in series (when they should be in parallel). So
take a picture. Label the cables. Use red fingernail polish to mark the
positive lug. By gosh do everything to hook it up right the first time.
- 12% of
fires are due to “AC Electrical”: Most AC electrical fires start between the
shore power pedestal and the boat’s shorepower inlet. Inspecting the shore
power cord routinely (connector ends especially) and for boats older than 10
years, inspecting or replacing the boat’s shorepower inlet, could prove wise.
- 9% of
fires are due to “Other Engine”: This one is all about when an engine
overheats due to blocked raw water intake or mangled impeller, the latter of
which can also happen after experiencing a grounding or running in mucky
waters. Be sure to check the engine compartment after getting underway and
replace impeller every other year.
- 8% of
fires are due to “Batteries”: This fire fact is for the outboard folks to
pay attention to. On older outboards, by far the most common cause of fires is
the voltage regulator. At 10 years of age, failure rates on these important
electrical components begin to climb. Once it hits 15 years old, it’s time to
Does your boat
insurance cover boat fires? Get a free boat insurance check up and quote by
calling the BoatUS Marine Insurance Program experts at 800-283-2883. Or get an
online quote at BoatUS.com/insurance.
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