Dangerous propane systems - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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Boatpoker, Is the pressure gauge just there so you can check for bleed down with valves closed? As a measure of propane in the tank it seems of little value ?

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post #12 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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Yes the pressure gauges are for leak checking, and AYBC requires them for that purpose. They don't give much indication what's in the tank.

I installed a Xintex leak detector recently that has one sensor. I couldn't decide whether to install the sensor in the bilge or under the stove. I put it in the bilge in the end.

Should I have put it under the stove?

Could I add another problem I found on my boat? The wires to the solenoid valve fastened to the gas line with cable ties. AYBC code is to run the wires separately in case they get hot, so they don't melt through the gas line. Going to fix that soon.

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay
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post #13 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
Love the article, but it's totally convinced me to never install a propane system aboard my boat. Origo, un-pressurized alcohol and reduced BTU's be damned. I'll wait the extra 5 minutes for my water to boil, thanks.
Surely the logical conclusion is to do a good, AYBC-standard, propane installation.

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post #14 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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Great post and very timely since I'm about to install such a system in my boat. The tanks will be hung on the stern rail so no locker is required. I would like to feed the fuel line through the deck using a bulkhead mounted feed through but that that would violate the no connection rule other than to the tank and the appliance. How is the line normally fed through the deck or bulkhead?
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post #15 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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In my propane locker the gas line just passes through a hole, with chafe protection provided by a rubber grommet.

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post #16 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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As to whether insurance companies ever read the survey...my insurance company sent a letter with a list of the surveyors notes...one was that the raw water strainer was located in the nav table. The agent did not understand when I informed them that I also stored the strainer there during storage.

They don't read or understand.

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post #17 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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Good post Poker!

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post #18 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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I'm with Bubblehead -- just use a non-pressurized alcohol stove and relax. I have an Origo stove and just about zero worries with regard to stove fuel. Overall, the installation is much cheaper, much easier, and much safer. Here the stuff one doesn't need with a non-pressurized alcohol stove:

- Tanks (the "tank" is in the stove; when it runs out, pour more fuel in it)
- Hoses/tubes/fittings (not necessary from the non-existent tank)
- Remote shut-off/solenoid (see above)
- Dedicated locker for non-existent tank (see above)
- Sniffer (it's extremely difficult to get ethanol to go boom-boom, probably couldn't do it if I tried)
- Extra $$ for someone to install the above stuff (obviously not necessary if you DIY)
- Extra $$ for insurance (some insurance companies will give one a break if there's no propane installed)


Stuff one does need with a non-pressurized alcohol stove:

- A match or lighter (piezoelectric sparkers tend not to work with a cold alcohol stove)
- An extra canister of ethanol (if you're away from the dock for more than a weekend)
- A little bit more time (keeping the cook pots covered makes more of a difference than the type of fuel)

Compared to propane stoves, alcohol stoves do seem a little pricy, until one adds up all the ancillary junk necessary for a propane stove. Once one adds everything up, alcohol stoves are a bargin.
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post #19 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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My first boat had a two burner propane stove, with the propane tank loose in the cabin, up under the cockpit! The very first thing I did was remove that. We used a camp stove in the cockpit or on the dock the first year, then added a used alcohol stove the next year as the boat was not worth the investment on anything nice.

Now we do have a nice propane setup with all the trimmings on our current boat. I could go either way, but that;s what it came with, and we enjoy a good oven a lot.

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post #20 of 47 Old 01-24-2012 Thread Starter
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From BoatUS insurance on causes of boat fires .....

6) Stove - 1%

Stove fires appear to be less common (1%) than in the past, probably due to fewer alcohol stoves being installed on new boats. Still, alcohol can be a dangerous fuel; though it canít explode, an alcohol flame is hard to see. One fire was started when a member tried to light the stove and gave up because he couldnít see the flame. Unfortunately, he had succeeded, but didnít realize it until he got a call from the fire department. Only one fire was started by propane; a portable stove fell off a counter and ignited a cushion.


We love to cook and eat well, so we'll stick to our 3-burner propane stove with oven that is installed according to ABYC standards.

Next time you heat up some beans on your alcohol burner, don't forget to take the label off the can .... As per ABYC the label is not fire retardent

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