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post #1 of 6 Old 05-15-2005 Thread Starter
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Butane to Propane conversion

Would appreciate anybody providing advice in the following area. We have a French sailing vessel outfitted with a butane gas system (camping gaz). What must be done to convert to the American propane system? Is purchasing the adapter adequate or must I also change the regulator? Thanks.

P.S. This message was also posted in the "Cruising" section.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-16-2005
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Butane to Propane conversion

Well, congrats on the Ovni! You''ll love it, I''m sure - especially if you really NEED that variable draft.

I''ve written about this issue from the reverse direction, North American boats and what they need to do when arriving in Europe. You still might find some of that info helpful and can find it at www.svsarah.com/Whoosh/NA%20LPG%20in%20Europe.htm

Meanwhile, there are 4 basic issues you''ll need to think about which I can summarize here:
1. Actually burning propane in your Gaz-intended stove probably won''t be a problem. Depending on where in Europe one buys their Gaz cylinder and which season it is, the cylinder could actually contain a mix of butane & propane. You''ll read why in the write-up. I''m not sure you can even ask your stove mfgr. if burning propane is going to be a problem, as they may have no experience with this issue. A better source would be another Ovni owner in North America who''s already been using propane.
2. Separate from the higher heating content of propane (and so the higher heat your stove will see), there is the issue of the pressure your Euro regulator delivers to your stove. What pressure your stove ''needs'' to see - and how wide the acceptable pressure range is - will probably only be known by your stove mfgr, so you might want to check and then compare that with the pressure delivered by the standard U.S. regulator...if in fact you choose to swap to one, which I suspect you won''t find a reason to do.
3. Form Factor of the tank can also be an issue. When Euro boats are built, the propane lockers are often designed with a specific Gaz cylinder in mind (typically the 3 kg cylinder with the spring-loaded valve on top). You''ll need to confirm which U.S. tank will fit your Ovni propane locker, and whether you find the size acceptable. If you can''t - or don''t - you may want to consider continuing to use your Gaz cylinders. For how to do this, see below.
4. Hopefully, a U.S. tank will be acceptable to you since it makes refills convenient. If that''s true, then you can consider simply connecting your existing system to the U.S. tank''s POL Bulnose female valve, for which you''ll need an adapter. I''d start by contacting Trident directly, which makes many propane fixtures, to see if they can help. They make both the adapters we are using here in Europe and so they know Gaz valves. IMO this would be your optimum solution, as you can work with U.S. tanks and keep the rest of the LPG system as it was intended by your builder and stove mfgr.

If there are reasons why you might want to use your Gaz cylinder, another thing to mention is a ''decanting hose adapter'', the purpose of which would be to take a full U.S. tank and decant propane (or butane) into the Gaz cylinder. This hose (6-8'') will need to be made up by a propane distributor (who will no doubt glance at you with a worried look, thinking of liability issues) and you''d need to have a male Gaz connector at one end of this hose to mate with your Gaz cylinder(s). Again, talk to Trident. For instructions on decanting with this hose, check Nigel Calder''s Boatowner''s Electrical and Mechanical Guide, an excellent reference with good LPG safety tips.

Hope that helps. Email me if you have more Q''s.

Jack
jack_patricia @ yahoo.com
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-19-2005 Thread Starter
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Butane to Propane conversion

Jack,
Thanks for providing the answer to my question. I''ll start working on changing the system in accordance to your instructions soonest as we are on our last bottle of camping gaz. It''s too bad that Europe and the U.S. don''t have a common system. It sure would save some money and trouble! Again, thank you for your trouble, time and effort in helping us getting "Sandlapper" into shape for cruising the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay this sailing season.

Kindest Regards,

W. Nickle
(aka) Ovniman
S/V Sandlapper
Hailing Port: Charleston, South Carolina

Please visit our Web Site for Froli Sleep Systems: NickleAtlantic.com
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-14-2005
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Butane to Propane conversion

I am looking at a boat that has a stove that runs on cng can I run propane in this to or do I need to convert it over to propane
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-14-2005
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Butane to Propane conversion

You will need to change the orifaces on your stove to adjust for propane. That''s the easy part. You will need to build a safe locker vented to the outside for your propane tank. You will also need a good safe sytem to deliver the gas to your stove which will include a solonoid shut off valve.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-31-2005
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Butane to Propane conversion

Not necessarily. Depends on the design of the cooker. A lot of the regulators in UK are now designed to accept both butane and propane (with butane being the most used gas)and will work equally well with either. This does not work so well if the system is designed to accept propane, as this runs at a higher pressure.
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