Fire onboard a boat can spell disaster and so we do all we can to prevent one breaking out in the first place. However, the next best thing to prevention is to ensure that any point of possible ignition is protected so that the fire is dealt with before it has the chance to get a hold. The system we use is the automatic detection and extinguisher system manufactured by Firetrace Ltd of Ipswich.(www.firetrace.co.uk) and yesterday the inventor of the system - Dave Melton - came to re-commission the system in Pirate. In fact, Dave also installed a secondary system which protects much of the new remote electrical systems including the ETS systems, voltage droppers and bowthruster installation. It will also provide engine room protection in the unlikely event of a failure of the primary system.
Firetrace puts out fires where they start by using a flexible tube manufactured from specially produced polymer materials which ruptures at the hottest point to discharge the contents of the cylinder at the seat of the fire. Typical timeframe is 15 seconds from the fire breaking out to it being extinguished. Our insurance policy requires an automatic system anyway as do the rules of the race and we don't think we can be better protected than by Firetrace and we wholeheartedly recommend this product to the maritime world.
Incidentally, Richard Johnstone-Bryden returned to Brundall yesterday to photograph the commissioning of the Firetrace system. Richard is the author of five books including "The Royal Yacht Britannia - The Official History" and regularly contributes to many of the UK's yachting magazines. He has been following the progress of Ocean Pirate's refit throughout her time in Brundall and is looking forward to photographing her in action. Richard can be commissioned to supply images and/or text on any aspect of the refit as well as the subsequent preparations for next year's race (www.richardjohnstone-bryden.co.uk).