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Join Date: Jan 2007
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I don't think that you need to worry about the proximity to the exhaust line, as the air is indeed a good insulator. Your engine is going to sieze before it gets hot enough to make the exhuast line into a torch.
When I was hemming and hawing about sticking with propane or converting to alcohol (I'm a bit nervous about sailing with a big tank of pressurised, volatile gas) I had some email correspondence with a person who installs these things on land and in marine environments. He stated that a propane explosion can only occur when the correct mix of propane and air occurs. If there is too much air - the stuff won't blow up, and if there is too much propane - it can't blow up.
I think that the thing to concentrate on is ensuring that the vent you run from the bottom of the locker is as far from the exhaust as you can get it.
Also - if you are planning on installing a propane sensor as a safety measure, I recently learned that they can be set off by a lot things other than propane, so you might want to bear that in mind when you are locating it. I put two sensors on my boat and one works well, but the other one goes off everytime I plug the batteries in to charge as they produce gas during the process.
When the batteries are not connected to shore power, and there are no other fumes: i.e.: when we are sailing and there is air moving through the boat, there is no problem.
Good Luck !