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Yacht Fire in Miami
Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 2:29 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 392

This photo was sent to Dockwalk by Capt. Dit Panfile of Mirabella of an 80-foot yacht – which appears to be a Sunseeker – named Patron, which caught on fire at the Miami Beach Marina around 7 p.m. on Monday, January 18.

According to, Miami News Channel 7, "it took [rescure workers] nearly two hours to extinguish the fire." also reports that the yacht was having work done just prior to the fire and that rescue workers treated one person for smoke inhalation after s/he tried to fight the fire on deck.

Do you have any more information about this incident? Comment here.
Posted: Thursday, January 21, 2010 2:24 PM
Joined: 23/11/2008
Posts: 42

indeed a Sunseeker 80 or 82 supposedly belonging to the owners of the tequilla company... hence the name and lime green stripe.

from what i heard the owner was on board, not sure about "work"... which boat doesn't get worked on anyway!   i also heard it was electrical although most fires are anyway...

saw the boat at bimini bay, in November, what a shame...

Miami beach marina is cursed   second boat fire in a year, plus that errand freighter last year.

Sea Tel Antenna's
Posted: Friday, January 22, 2010 5:07 PM
Joined: 10/01/2009
Posts: 1

This is very unfortunate!


I hope this doesnt put a dent in the wallet! 

Did someone mention tequilla!




Posted: Friday, January 22, 2010 7:53 PM
Joined: 20/10/2009
Posts: 1

Thank goodness the fire didn't spread to other boats!

I hope they saved the tequila!  jk

Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2010 10:53 AM
Joined: 04/07/2008
Posts: 3

Quote: from what i heard the owner was on board, not sure about "work"... which boat doesn't get worked on anyway!   i also heard it was electrical although most fires are anyway...

Would it be an idea to do anual thermographic surveys? We are working out a program for electrical safety check, for personal safety and fire prevention.  Does anybody have an idea about the needs for this?

Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2010 1:37 PM
Joined: 23/11/2008
Posts: 42

many things can go wrong in a year between checks...

what woudl be VERY useful is for fire investigators and insurance companies to release findings on such accidents. Shore power inlets is a common cause of fires on smaller boats, in this case, assuming shore power inlets were at the stern the fire started elsewhere.   we need to know where and why. 

was it in the boat wiring itself because of chaffing?  how do you inspect wirign hidden in chases or routed behind cabinetry...  did it start at the electrical panel?   in "stuff" added to the boat like electronics and A/V equipment.?

Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2010 2:48 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Pascal, The thermal imaging camera is a very good tool. I don't know the ins and outs of various models , nor the skill of the operators , but 6 years ago an marine electrical contractor I know purchased a unit. This is a 10 thousand euro setup. He was so proud of his new gizmo that he stopped by the yacht one day to show it to me and demonstrate it. It was a cold winter day. The ship was idle...only battery chargers running and under very light load. He set his equipment up and calibrated it in the Electric panel control room and we gradually brought the yacht up to full load. His thermal imagining equipment scanned the panels and picked up a heat source...BEHIND THE PANELS. These are closet size panels and the fault he identified....a loose connection on the main DC cables which feed the main DC panel was buried so deep that it cost 25 man hours of labour to remove half the panel and many, many connections to expose the buried connection. The loose cannection had been going on for some time because I could see the heat deformed insulation on the cables. A thermal imaging scan of your electrical system is a very worthwhile expense. Many connections, like shore power or the highly loaded Induction transformer or main relay you instinctively check...many you never inspect. A simple wall outlet with a poor contact...under 10 amp load is enougn to start a fire. Im surprised that insurance companies don't mandate thermal imaging
Posted: Sunday, January 24, 2010 11:43 AM
Joined: 09/10/2008
Posts: 134

I also like thermal imaging tools. it clearly does not replace good practices and maintenance in between scans, but very useful IMHO.

Schedule: get the first one asap, then annually. And no I am not a provider of this service!!

It's probably worth saying that the less diligent the builder and the older the boat the more faults you are likely to find; and unfortunately, the cheaper the boat the less likely you are to have the budget to get this done....

Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 11:27 AM
Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts: 2

Comments on fire cause are very interesting. What does wire chaffing imply - is this a common cause of boat fires.
Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 11:32 AM
Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts: 2

I agree about Insurance Companies releasing information regarding fires & causes. There is very little information ever released in the public domain. What does wire chaffing imply - is this a common cause of boat fires.
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