Is your boat's gas system safe?
Here's a useful article by Marin Pittilo, yacht surveyor from Maple Marine . . .
Your gas safety can be greatly improved by making a few regular checks yourself.
1 – Check the markings on the flexible gas hoses. For use on boats the hose should be marked BS3212. The date of manufacture is also on the hose and it should be replaced within five years of this date and discarded. Gas hoses with braided covers have the date stamped at one of the ends.
2 – Where you can see the hose, check for any cracks in the flexible gas hoses. These show it to be deteriorating, so it should be replaced.
3 – Check the age of the regulator. These have a design life of 10 years, and usually are date stamped somewhere on the cover. Over 10 years old and you should consider replacing the regulator to be safe
4 – Check the drain from the gas locker is in good condition and not blocked. Check that any spilt gas can drain overboard, not into the boat. If there is a pipe from the gas locker overboard, check the clips and the condition of the pipe.
5 – Check the fixed copper pipe for corrosion. The corrosion will be green in colour. If you find some, bring in a Gas Safe registered marine qualified gas service engineer to check it out.
6 – Check the colour of the gas flame when burning. It should be blue in colour, as shown in the excellent diagram in the Boat Safety Scheme requirement (Under requirement 8.8.1)
7 – Check the operation of the gas alarm according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it works.
8 – Where gas pipes go through bulkheads, check them for chafing and wear.
9 – Get a Gas Safe registered marine qualified gas service engineer to check the system for you annually. They will also check things like the gas tightness of the system and whether adequate ventilation is provided.
Martin Pittilo is a yacht surveyor and runs Maple Marine, an independent marine surveying company specialising in surveys of yachts, motorboats and inland waterway craft. You can see his website here:
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