Is this SAFE? - Propane tank - SailNet Community

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Old 05-06-2012
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Question Is this SAFE? - Propane tank

We've decided to upgrade our stove/oven system from alcohol to propane. We have an older Morgan OI33 and there really isn't a good place for a propane locker, without major work. So I built a tank holder out of aluminum and plan to mount it to the stern, above the shear. The top of the tank is above the combing and I'm concerned that in ideal conditions a leak could flow into the cockpit. Now if that did happen it would likely flow harmlessly out of the cockpit drain, and I plan to remount and seal that assembly. But, of course it's possible that the drain could leak or be plugged and lead to propane getting to the bilge..and then..bad.

So. Opinions please. See attached images. Ignore the plywood, it's just for the mock-up mount. Thanks!

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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Is this SAFE? - Propane tank

Not ideal, but you already know that.

Are your cockpit drain outlets above or below the waterline?
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Is this SAFE? - Propane tank

Insofar as the cockpit drains are above the water line, I can't see a problem with it.
In a big storm, I would switch off the gas bottle, however , in case a big wave tries to rip it off with the gas valve open.
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Is this SAFE? - Propane tank

I'd suggest moving the installation inboard of the pulpit and attaching to a stanchion, possibly resting on the gunwale for stability. Mr. Murphy loves anything that can be hit by another vessel, a dock, or some one backing down near your boat. Kinda like transom hung self steering vanes, dinghies on davits, etc.
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Is this SAFE? - Propane tank

The cockpit drains through a single drain, centerline, above waterline.
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Is this SAFE? - Propane tank

My propane tank on my Morgan 33 O.I. is located inside a custom made, plywood compartment situated in the aft, port compartment. There are two valves on the tank, one electronic that is connected to a sniffer, and the standard, manual valve. The tank has been there for more than 20 years with no problems of any kind--ever. It is protected from the elements, rust free, and the line to the stove is easily accessed and checked periodically. I only turn it on for cooking, and as soon as the meals have been prepared, both valves are turned off. The hatch opening to the aft, port compartment is a bit too narrow to accommodate the tank diameter, but only by 1/2-inch. Therefore, a bit of work with a jig-saw quickly provided easy access, without causing any structural problems.

I'll try and shoot some photos of the tank box when I go back to the boat on Thursday.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Is this SAFE? - Propane tank

If you didn't have that hanging off the stern you would probably never be hit there or run into something when backing down. The possibility of lots of propane escaping in a short period of time is kind of scary.

Paul T
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Is this SAFE? - Propane tank

I will do my best not to run into or be run into by anything...
I will always have the tank valve off when not in use (underway, near things that hit boats). So the tank itself being damaged enough to leak would take a pretty serious and accurate hit.. a risk I'm willing to take.

I should mention that all other aspects of the install will be standard. Solenoid valve, sniffer in bilge, panel at the stove, single gas line through the boat to stove...
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Re: Is this SAFE? - Propane tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailMonkey View Post
I will do my best not to run into or be run into by anything...
I will always have the tank valve off when not in use (underway, near things that hit boats). So the tank itself being damaged enough to leak would take a pretty serious and accurate hit.. a risk I'm willing to take.

I should mention that all other aspects of the install will be standard. Solenoid valve, sniffer in bilge, panel at the stove, single gas line through the boat to stove...
Kind of sounds like you had your mind made up before asking for opinions

Paul T
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: Is this SAFE? - Propane tank

Pretty much, but when I was putting it on the boat I got concerned about the possibility of a leak getting in.. Just wanted to see what other's thought of it before I drilled any holes.

Thanks so much for the replies!
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