As I’ve been working on the boat, I learn more about it and get it more organized. Going through every nook and cranny, I came across the fire extinguishers. I always knew they were there but didn’t think much about them. Yesterday I noticed that they have all been expired for 3 to 4 years. This would definitely be a problem if the Coast Guard boarded and inspected our boat. So I found a fire extinguisher servicing company in Sarasota, Florida, about a 30-minute drive away. No problem. I call and ask to take them in, no problem. I put them on the counter, and I get a blank stare. I was about to ask her if she was okay, when a guy came charging up from the rear of the room. “Wow! Look at those,” he exclaimed. “We don’t get to see European extinguishers very often.”
Then it dawns on me, oh crap! I totally forgot this is a South African boat that was set up for a Swiss owner. I just bit my lip waiting for the bad news as the guy went on and on about the differences between the extinguishers. The key difference for the Coast Guard is that these are not “UL Listed.” And so it came, the bad news: “We can’t certify those in the US. In fact, no one will be able to certify those in the US.” I’m thinking, but it’s just a fire extinguisher. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, right? Wrong!
However, this outfit has a sister company that handles all the Norwegian Cruise Line ships that come into Florida. It is a European company, but they don’t typically do personal vessels. Fortunately for us, he called and got permission to use their “tags” to certify the extinguishers for a premium price of $10 each (x4=$40 out the door). We are good to go for a year! Nice! Whew! Now if we can just get the MMSI number for our communications equipment… That is a saga all of its own!