Fire Escape Hoods for Boats

Practical Sailor looks at survival options for when jumping overboard is not an option.

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In case of fire, obviously there are times when quick retreat is the only plan. If gasoline, propane, or even a can of WD-40 is likely to become involved, you need to go. Fiberglass ignites fast, so only incipient fires are worth fighting. Of course, if you are sailing and aware, this is the only sort of fire you should face. Thus, assuming the engine is diesel and the propane is shut off at the tank, which is also some distance away, you have a few minutes.
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Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and his girlfriend Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.