Fire risk of bullseyes

Published: Friday, 25 June 2010

IN SUMMER, boats with domed-decklights, could be at risk from fires breaking out in strong sunlight, and will now be checked  as part of the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS), and any charring will result in a fail.

Decklights, better known as bullseyes have been around for 100 years, but  fixtures around bullseyes will now be checked as part of the BSS examination.

Any signs of overheating, scorching, or charring to the material around a bullseye and the boat will not pass, with Graham Watts BSS Manager, explaining:

"If you have a bullseye decklight fitted, please check any surfaces below it for signs of scorching. Even if there is no sign of damage make sure that anything that can be affected including any loose objects, are kept at least 300mm away from bullseyes."

Each year there's a handful of fires or close escapes where sunlight, focussed and intensified by the domed-decklights, scorches fixtures or objects lying in the focal path of the lens, Rob McLean of the BSS tells us.

Of the three the BSS knows about this year so far, the most serious was when the focussed rays of the sun were concentrated onto towels and a toiletry aerosol which caught fire, which spread to the cabin.