Permanently installed fuel systems and fixed engines


Question Mar12: Can you explain the degree of fire resistance the BSS calls for in fuel hoses, filters and fuel tanks?

Answer: The BSS has adopted the same level of fire protection as published in the ISO standards supporting the RCD.

In essence, compliant fuel components (hoses, tanks and filters) within engine spaces will have been tested to have an inherent level of fire resistance to survive a fire raging at 600° C for 2.5 minutes without any release of fuel adding to the fire and increasing its intensity.

The ISO 7840 marine fuel hose standard and equivalent standards for fuel filters and non-metallic petrol tanks adopt this fire test.  Components can be tested individually or as part of a mock up section of a boat.

The code writers believe that this level of protection will allow people on board enough time to identify a fire in an engine space and escape safely. There may still be enough time to move the boat out of harm's way, or if circumstances demand, fight the fire before it gets too intense.

2.12.2 C2.16.2

Question Nov 13: Can a vetus filter/water separator with a clear bowl sump be accepted at ECP 2.12.2 & C2.16.2?

Answer: These filters comply only if they are in good condition and complete with all original fittings, otherwise the fire resistance will be compromised.

To pass a Vetus fuel filter with a clear bowl sump, check that:

  • the filter body and bottom fixing screw are fire resistant, ie made of metal, and,
  • the original Vetus fire deflection bowl-like mechanism is in place,

There is one exception - a non-compliant petrol fuel filter - it is an older version that was not distributed in this country; unlike the UK distributed 320VTNEB water separator/petrol fuel filter, which is fully compliant.

In the extremely rare situation of examining a petrol-engined, non-UK boat and you find it has in the engine space, a Vetus fuel filter with a clear bowl sump; try either to check the model number markings on the filter, or ask the owner for original supplier documentation. If it is a complete 320VTNEB in good condition, it passes.

If the component matches the description and is good condition, but its model number cannot be verified, contact Phil for advice.

See also NPI.01.13 for pictures