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Old 05-21-2007
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Selecting a Gas Range

I am in the process of designing the galley on my 36' steel sailboat and I need to choose a gas range. I have read through all the articles I could find in the forum about choosing a new range and the pro’s and con’s of one fuel over another.

The boat will be used primarily in the Pacific Northwest, ie. Seattle, San Juan Islands and BC or down the Pacific Coast. I expect to use it initially for coastal cruising but I may take it to the Pacific Islands as my experience increases.

I am still deciding on the fuel, but I am leaning towards CNG as the fuel because of it’s safer nature and cheaper cost. I have read where others suggested CNG is more expensive than Propane, but that is simply not true. The US Dept of Energy reported that CNG in March of 2007 at $1.94 compared to $2.62 for propane. The biggest drawback seems to be it’s availability which doesn’t appear to be a problem in the Seattle area. And in fact I believe as more cities mandate cleaner running public vehicles, you will see more CNG filling stations. Does anyone know how available it is in British Columbia?

Assuming I go forward with CNG, I would have more than one tank in case it becomes hard to find where I am sailing and I would use 3300+ lb storage cylinders.

What is the best 2-burner stainless CNG range available right now? I would like a thermocouple protected burners and any other feature that would make the range safer. I have set aside about 22” (width) of space for the range so it appears almost any 2 burner model will fit.

I understand you need to vent the CNG storage locker from above but how would you go about doing that? I thought to put the CNG locker under the deck beside the galley with an access hatch in the deck to remove/replace the cylinders. However, a basic tenant of offshore sailing is that all exterior surfaces of the boat should be watertight, that seems contradictive if gas has to escape? Any hole that would allow gas to escape would allow water in also. How well should the locker be sealed from the engine compartment?

I know there are gas detectors for propane, but are there also detectors for CNG? Are they recommended or required by ABYC?

Where can I buy CNG gas cylinders? Corp Brothers only seems to sell a 20 hr cylinder. I would be looking for larger cylinders and ones rated at 3300+ lbs.

Is there anything that I am overlooking? It seems that about half the people voicing opinions in the forum fall on either side of the CNG/LPG issue. Or am I missing something?

Thanks in advance for your assistance and opinions.

- Mithril

Last edited by Mithril; 05-21-2007 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 05-21-2007
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The fellow who wrote "The Warm, Dry Boat" has plenty to say on this topic and he's active in the Pacific Northwest. I suggest you read his book. While it covers a great deal more than just stove choices, that's a large part of his guidance in keeping metal boats in particular toasty down below.

Warm Dry Boat: A Handbook for Liveaboards McAfee, Roger
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Old 05-21-2007
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Force 10 makes a nice line of stoves - their "euro" models are narrower - we have a three burner that replaced an existing 2 burner quite nicely - deeper but the same width.

Why go for a 2 burner when a three will fit in nearly the same space - you won't regret going for a 3 burner. It's true that all three are not used often, but it does happen and it speeds things up.

If your plans include extensive cruising in BC, realize that CNG is not readily available up here.
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Old 05-21-2007
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BTW, might want to bookmark this locator page, since it can help you pinpoint various sources for CNG.

Might want to look at these stoves here.
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