The time to learn proper use of fire extinguishers is not when the chips are down. It is much better to get some instruction from your nearby Coast Guard safety officer or local fire marshall before the emergency. Barring such a demonstration, here are a few comments passed on to us by a retired fireman:
Fire extinguishers empty quickly, usually in eight to ten seconds. Trigger the extinguisher in short bursts, sweeping back and forth across the fire. Aim just ahead of the flame so that the extinguishing chemical sweeps across the top of the flames.
Check each pass (turning off the trigger) for aim and effect.
When the fire is out keep a careful eye on it. Odds are there will be a hot spot that may flash up again.
Fire needs air to fuel it. If the fire is in a closed compartment— maybe an engine room or locker with a genset—and the hatch is opened, there is a fresh gust of oxygen to feed the flames.
So, if you suspect a fire in a closed compartment, take care with opening hatches, and do so only if there is no other way to deal with the situation. The same reasoning applies to a fire which has been controlled in an engine room. With the hatch closed, between lack of oxygen and the fire suppressant material, the fire may have temporarily gone out. But the minute the hatch is opened to check on things, if there is still an ignition source and fuel to burn, the fire may start up again.
Many GPS sets have an MOB button. When used, these automatically give you range and bearing back to the way-point when they were hit. The MOB waypoint should be initiated as quickly as possible. If your GPS does not have this feature, replace it with one which does.
The importance of sharp, well-placed deck knives is not to be underestimated. A sheet or halyard, under load, will part almost instantly if a sharp blade is applied.
Once you're stopped, resist the temptation to start the engine until you have checked and double-checked that all lines are aboard. If you don't, the odds are that you'll end up in worse trouble with a mess around the propeller. Where possible, it is usually best to sail back to the victim.
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.