Electric/Propane hazard?

Checklists for doing various tasks with the Telstar, for ITOA members only.

Moderator: Ron

Electric/Propane hazard?

Postby dcsailing1 » Sun May 24, 2009 12:04 pm

I am re posting this here from the burned Telstar thread as I believe ours was not the only older boat to have this hazard. I believe some of the later boats were reported to have covered terminals.

I posted a warning about what I discovered in #342 some time ago in the old forum, sans photo. I think it’s worth it to do so again as this could have been the cause for this fire, perhaps luckily while the boat was on the trailer and not occupied.

We purchased #342 as a used boat in June of 08 and during inspections and upgrades found the pos. and neg. terminals for the outboard were uncovered, as in this picture of the inside rear of the port cockpit locker. This was not visible until we removed the propane tank. Compounding the problem was the tachometer location prevents the propane tank from sitting properly in the factory wooden tank base. So it just kind of rattles around and has to lay on its side to get the hatch closed. My concern was what happens if the steel tank moved down and contacted both terminals at once? Dead short, much heat- kind of like an arc welder spark- while melting through the tank. (We found rust marks on our tank that match the terminal bolts and one of the bolts has rust) Please take a minute to inspect the terminals in your boat and cover them with good quality terminal covers if they are bare.

Perhaps the tachometer should be on the starboard side of cockpit, (plenty of wire and you can see it if you operate from port side) and then the propane tank can be properly secured to prevent a possibly fatal situation developing at sea.

(If this post is in the wrong place or shouldn't be duplicated please feel free to move or delete)
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:01 pm
Location: Bandon, Oregon

Electric/Propane hazard?

Postby Ron » Sun May 24, 2009 3:18 pm

359 has the terminals covered, and they have been moved away from the tank as well. Tank sits securely in it's intended location. I expect that 358 (the burnt boat? ) has a similar arragement. The 20 hp Honda does not come with a tachometer, so I bought the Honda tach myself and installed it on the starboard side in just about the same location. Was more concerned about seeing it than interfering with the tank.
Ron Marcuse
Telstar 28 #59 "Tri-Power"
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