Safe Boating Course


CHAPTER 4: Emergency Preparedness


A fire on your boat is a serious emergency that demands quick action.

What causes a boat fire?

All fires need three things to start and keep going:

  • Heat, such as a spark from a match,
  • Fuel, like gasoline;
  • And oxygen, like the air you breathe.

You can find all three of these things in and around most boats.

Gasoline fumes, which are heavier than air, can easily collect in the hull of a boat if there isn’t proper ventilation. Just add a spark from an ignition and you could have a boat fire on your hands.

Removing any of these three sources will also let you extinguish the fire. We’ll remember that as we learn what to do in the case of a fire on your boat.