Boating Industry Canada August 2015 - (Page 29)

THE BOAT SHOP: ABYC Overview of the boat. What I Did On My Summer Vacation BY BRIAN GOODWIN, ABYC TECHNICAL DIRECTOR IN PART I of What I Did on My Summer Vacation from the fall 2014 Reference Point, I provided an overview of a fire investigation class that I participated in that was orchestrated by ABYC. Background Story (provided by the instructors): The boat was a 1989 FourWinns 225 Sundowner that had a fire while at the dock while no one was onboard. The marina staff saw the smoke and was able to put the fire out before boat burned to the waterline and sank. The owner of the boat said the boat was in good working order. On Scene: Our investigative team conducted interviews with the marina staff, and boat owner. Additionally the overall condition of the boat was photo documented. The fire damage was in the engine compartment and interior transom area. We took samples of the materials in and around the damaged area looking for accelerants. If petroleum products such as gasoline were found on the aft bolsters, it could be a sign of an inten- Part II tionally set fire, arson. No accelerants were found. As the investigation progressed, each step was photo documented. Evidence was collected and cataloged maintaining a proper chain of custody throughout. One of the biggest challenges was determining where the fire started. There was a lot of damage in the interior of the boat across the transom area, particularly around the battery and exhaust blower. Was this the origin and was it an electrical fire caused by improper wiring at the battery? The first major clue was a fuse holder with a blown fuse wrapped in aluminum foil. This led the team to look at the blower, bilge pump, and to further interview the owner. When asked about the fuse holder the owner said he was out fishing and the bilge pump was not working so he used the aluminum foil to get it working. Upon inspecting the bilge pump, it was apparent that it had melted down and after dissecting the pump a rock was found lodged in the impeller creating a locked rotor condition. Determination: The bilge pump suffered from a locked 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Boating Industry Canada August 2015

Industry News
Impact - Tim Kennedy
Products & Innovation - Marine Tech Crisis
Propulsion - Going for a Ride
Ad Nauseam
Made In Canada - Scepter
Made In Canada - Steelhead Marine
The Boat Shop - NMEA
The Boat Shop - ABYC

Boating Industry Canada August 2015