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Hot Time in Monterey

As the accompanying photo illustrates, a boat fire is one of the worst calamities a sailor or powerboater can experience — either at sea or when tied to a dock.

Marc Lieberman grabbed this shot while at the Monterey Municipal Marina several days ago, and gave us this explanation of how the inferno occurred. "A 32-ft powerboat was having engine work done. Both gas tanks had been drained, but there was a little gas in the bilge. It was ignited by a spark from the electrical system."

Judging by the ferocity of this blaze, it’s amazing that no other boats were engulfed. Needless to say, the 32-footer was a total loss.

© 2014 Marc Lieberman

Sadly, the owner suffered minor burns while trying to extinguish the blaze with a dockside hose. Lieberman tells us that damage to an adjacent boat was limited due to the quick action of a passerby who shoved it out of its slip.

The marina’s Marine Operations Specialist Brian Nelson clarifies that, "The owner of the boat was apparently removing a battery when something produced an arc." Fortunately, harbor staffers plus Monterey Fire and U.S. Coast Guard personnel were able to respond quickly before the blaze engulfed adjacent boats in the tightly packed marina. 

If you’ve ever been involved in a boat fire, you know how quickly a small fire can get out of hand. So we ask you: Do you have plenty of up-to-date fire extinguishers on board and within easy reach? And is your fire and liability insurance current?

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Musandam-Oman Sail set a new world record by 16 minutes. © Mark Lloyd / Lloyd Images Sidney Gavignet and the crew of the MOD70 trimaran Musandam-Oman Sail, which included three relatively new sailors from Oman, finished the 1,956-mile Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Thursday in a record time of 3 days, 3 hours, 32 minutes, 36 seconds.