International Training Conference & Expo


Boat and Ship Systems, Construction and Structures for the Fire Investigator

Monday, April 11, 2022 (1:00pm – 5:00pm) (Ballroom 6)


This session will describe the characteristics of various types of marine vessels as related to the fire tetrahedron, fire cause and progression, NFPA921, NFPA1033, and firefighting.

Topics will include naval architecture, vessel construction and stability, layouts and materials, engines, fuel systems, exhausts, ignition protection, shore power connections, electrical systems and equipment, batteries, mechanical equipment, safety standards, fire protection, crew training, firefighter safety and the planning/execution of marine fire investigations. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Types of Vessels

  2. Marine Standards

  3. Construction Materials

  4. Naval Architecture

  5. Stability

  6. Electrical and Mechanical Systems

  7. Ignition Sources/Fuel Load

  8. Firefighting and Fire Investigation Hazards

  9. Fire Detection/Suppression

  10. Executing Marine Fire Investigations


James Coté

James Coté has worked on yachts, boats and ships since the 1970s and is a recognized authority on marine electrical systems, equipment, standards, lightning protection and corrosion.

Cote has a baccalaureate degree in electrical engineering, a Master’s in Business Administration, and is a certified IAMI Marine Investigator, ABYC Master Technician and NAFI Fire Investigator.

James is a member of ABYC, AMPP, IEEE, IAAI, NAFI, NFPA, NAMS, SAMS and SNAME professional organizations. He is an ABYC adjunct instructor and sits on the NFPA 302 and 303 committees, ABYC Electrical and Electrical Component Project Technical Committees, and the ABYC Technical Board.


Drew Hains

Drew Hains is a naval architect and marine engineer, a licensed professional engineer in six states, and the District Manager of the Rimkus Ft. Lauderdale office. He specializes in marine forensic engineering services, including ship design, ship and equipment defects, ship classification, maritime accidents, and ship valuation. In addition to his managerial responsibilities, as a board-certified forensic engineer Mr. Hains provides marine forensic consulting services involving manufacturing defect claims, accident cause and origin investigations, new construction and repair disputes, salvage claims, and more. He is an active member of several professional organizations. 


Doug Alling

Mr. Alling is the Principal of Knox Marine Surveyors and Consultants’ and leads his 10-person team from the company headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina. Specializing in yacht and small craft damage surveys, the company has a primary coverage area that extends from Southern Maryland to Georgia and South Florida.  Knox Marine was founded in 1987 by Steve Knox.

Mr. Alling is a SAMS accredited marine surveyor, ABYC Standards certified, an IAMI Certified Marine Investigator, organized the Knox Marine Yacht Claims Conference and has penned articles for numerous publications.

Doug began his surveying career as an apprentice to the late Jack Hornor, Annapolis marine surveyor and naval architect.