Well this has all got jolly exciting..
Originally Posted by Poly
Originally Posted by gotchiguy
if it was on fire then I wouldn't be using the handheld DSC, I would still be on the boat and therefore able to use flares/fixed DSC/AIS not to mention PLB permanently on my lifejacket
Notwithstanding wavelength's very good point about why an early departure from a boat on fire might be wise, even a small fire has the potential to wipe out all your on board electrics. Might I ask why you have have a DSC handheld if you always plan to be on board the boat with a working radio and a PLB on your person as a backup if you go for a swim?
Well I don't even have a working fixed VHF anyway so the HX851 is my only radio
Fire is the only time I would consider "abandoning ship" if you like. It is my belief that there is no other circumstance when it is safer to be away from the boat than "on" it. If it capsizes, it will float. If all the tubes burst and the hull is raked with machine gun fire, it will still float.
If the engine sets itself on fire (the most likely place on the boat to cause ignition?) then it has to heat the transom and fibreglass to around 350deg Celcius for the resin to reach its flash point. Although the engine will already be burning at this temperature, it will take a few minutes to heat the transom I think. The battery (soon to be -ies) and radio are fitted to the console, totally isolated if you like, from the fire. They could be used to send a distress message quite easily, certainly enough time to fire a 25W DSC message.
Before abandoning ship, unlike in an aircraft, I think it is worthwhile at least attempting to tackle the fire because it can be kept quite easily to an isolated area. If the engine catches light and is then put out, fine we have no power but at least we are out of the water, potentially still with a 25W radio set.
Anyway this is all academic, I have no working radio, so there's no point either trying to fight the fire or stay on board long enough to use it.
HX851 + PLB is the way forward