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Fuel bladders and cigarettes...

Old 02-16-2016, 11:49 AM
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Question Fuel bladders and cigarettes...

Ok- question of the hours; involves fuel bladder full of gasoline on the deck of a small walkaround. Toying with idea of a 25-30 gal bladder to run offshore with for our longer runs; bladder would b closed on deck til destination, then either manual or pump transfer to main tank. SOME CREW SMOKES CIGARETTES. Issue is, during the run offshore when bag is closed and sitting in rear of boat to open sir, how significant is the risk if someone were to light a cigarette? Clearly, no smoking during transfer of fuel. However, for some of crew that thinks risk is minimal if cigarettes carefully disposed of during run out to offshore grounds, what is the real risk? Would any fumes in this situation b minimal? Protective cover (sunshield) over bladder for extra protection? Or is smoking a no-go whenever bladder on boat (or is smoking only prohibitted during parts of trip)? Look, i realize many will say "smoking + bladder= boom!" (Which may be the answer!) BUT- was wondering if there was any real world experience with this issue- hard to find ANY data on it on-line. Fisherman and cigarrettes are pretty common (despite obvious health risks), so the issue here is- can one relatively safely allow smoking on boat while full gas bladder present? Hoping this thread will shed some light on this- thanks! Mike
Old 02-16-2016, 11:54 AM
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OK, I will be the first: "smoking + bladder= boom!"

I would say smoking should be a no-go whenever a fuel container is present.

But I am a former smoker so I am one of those annoying people who despises smoking and sees no reason why people smoke today.
Old 02-16-2016, 12:18 PM
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As long as the fumes are contained and nobody tried to put their cancer stick out on the fuel bag I dont see a significant risk.
Old 02-16-2016, 12:26 PM
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If you're the captain and you don't smoke and/or it makes you feel uncomfortable with the bladder on deck, no one smokes, captain makes the rules!
Old 02-16-2016, 12:26 PM
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lighter = risk

you can throw a lit cig in gas and it probably won't ignite
Old 02-16-2016, 12:39 PM
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I would run lines into your filter and burn the gas on the run out. Then stow the bladder and you start with full boat tanks. Have done this many times running over to the Bahamas. If the bladder is on deck it will have plenty of air circulation. I don't think any danger from smoking.
Old 02-16-2016, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by williamwallus View Post
lighter = risk

you can throw a lit cig in gas and it probably won't ignite
I wouldn't try that with vapor/fumes, though, and if you are smelling gasoline, your are smelling fumes.
Old 02-16-2016, 12:47 PM
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Mythbusters tested this.. The ol' flick the cigarette into a puddle of gas movie scene.
If I recall correctly, They couldn't get it to ignite.
Old 02-16-2016, 12:50 PM
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Cigs are going to kill you one way or the other. Better do die quickly in an explosion on a fishing trip than slowly in a hospital bed.
I know I'm a d🔫ck for saying that but........
Old 02-16-2016, 12:52 PM
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A lit cigarette burns below the flashpoint temperature of gasoline and gasoline vapor. You can literally put a cigarette out in gasoline without it igniting. Now if a cigarette ash ignites something else, a resultant flame can certainly ignite gas or gas vapors. The vapors should be minimal with a sealed bag. I would think the bag would be resistant to a cigarette ash burning or melting through it.

I would think you are relatively safe as long as no lighting or smoking during transfer. I will not however take any blame when you explode 30 miles out.
Old 02-16-2016, 12:55 PM
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why even take the chance?
Old 02-16-2016, 01:33 PM
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Idea: keep bladder in a cooler with a little ice to minimize fumes (keeping it to lower end of flash point) and protect bladder. No smoking until after the fuel transfer takes place (couple hours into the trip at most). Then strap cooler and bladder up on the bow for the remainder of the trip where it will have plenty of room and ventilation for fumes to dissapate. This would also keep plenty of distance from ignition sources. Then smoking could proceed. My 0.02.
Old 02-16-2016, 01:37 PM
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I never smell gas from my bag. They are safer than a 5 gallon can. I store it in my shed when not in use and no fumes or odor.
Old 02-16-2016, 02:57 PM
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Why take the chance. First, the volatility of any fuel will increase with temp. Even diesel fuel fumes will ignite if the fuel is warm enough. This actually happened in Iraq; a soldier was smoking while fueling a vehicle and boom.

Seriously, it was discussed in a thread here somewhere.

Just don't do it. It isn't worth it. The bladders will vent. Fumes are heavier than air and you may not smell them.

Just don't.....
Old 02-16-2016, 08:40 PM
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I had a 200 gallon bladder tank for diesel. For a number of thousands of miles it was fine. One day, I suddenly smelled diesel. Yep, a small leak. Had a "midnight fuel sale"--in two hours we had pumped out and sold all of that extra diesel--put the tank in a dumpster. The next AM the tank was gone. Some native fisherman decided he might be able to patch it and use it.

So...they are great (not that easy to fill, unless you have a captive setup for the tank. No leaking, but then all of a sudden, there was at least one small leak....

Personally I would not risk the cigarettes. But I am extra cautious--and have lived a long time.
Old 02-16-2016, 09:15 PM
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You'll be fine to smoke cigs with the fuel in a bladder.
Old 02-17-2016, 02:28 AM
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I'd be more worried about the cancer from the 2nd hand smoke.
Old 02-17-2016, 02:41 AM
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You guys are acting like the fuel bladder is going to be inside of the cuddy with people in there chain smoking. The bladder is thick as hell and unless it's leaking there won't be any fumes to worry about. And nobody is getting second hand smoke cancer from a few cigarettes smoked OUTSIDE.
Old 02-17-2016, 03:03 AM
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Whenever anyone asks to light up on my boat, I point out to them they're standing on 100 gallons of fuel - they soon put the cigarettes away!
Old 02-17-2016, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by mphdws1 View Post
if cigarettes carefully disposed of during run out to offshore grounds
What are the odds that this means "thrown overboard"?

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