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Old 06-24-2008
I33 I33 is offline
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Tank-to-tank filling?

Originally Posted by donradclife View Post
No problem with refilling the tanks with the old valves this winter in the Caribbean. I also have a hose and a bunch of fittings to refill my tanks by decanting from locally available tanks when they won't fill mine or try to charge me too much.
Do you need to do anything more than connect a hose between the two tanks, invert the full tank and elevate it above the tank being filled? How do you know when the process is complete?
s/v Truthsayer
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Old 06-24-2008
Don Radcliffe
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You can speed the process up two ways--

1. Leave the full tank in the sun and cover the tank being filled with wet towels. It usually takes about 3 hours, but you can also leave it overnight.

2. You can vent the tank being filled by opening the vent in the valve with a screwdriver (that is how most of the older filling stations work), but you better not do this in an open field, and not in the marina. If you use this technique, the tank is full when liquid starts coming out of the vent.

You can tell how full a tank is getting by lifting and shaking it, or weighing it if you want to be really accurate. Likewise, a tank is empty when you can;t feel any liquid inside when you shake it.
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Old 07-05-2008
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Propane usage

Island Breeze has a Force 10 4 burner stove with oven. She carries two tanks. I'm not sure how many pounds, because they're rated in gallons. They're about half again larger than the home barbeque size you can get at Home Depot, the neighborhood convenience store, etc.

Anyway, I lived aboard the boat for 2 1/2 years, cooking almost every day. I only used the oven once--the A/C couldn't keep up with the extra heat in Miami. Besides, the combo microwave-convection oven works better. Anyway, I installed the new aluminum tanks about five years ago, and the first one just ran dry. If all you are doing is cooking, they last a long, long time.

Personally, I wouldn't even nightmare about having a propane reefer aboard. Having a fire going that I couldn't eyeball would scare me senseless, btw.

On my own boat, an old Morgan 36T, I'm completely refitting the galley, and it's going to have a 2 burner propane cooktop and a microwave-convection oven. After seeing how long the propane has lasted on Breeze, Ruffian is going to get the tiniest gas bottle I can buy. This shouldn't be a real problem, since Ruffian is used to daysail and an occasional overnight stop somewhere. My second reason for wanting a little tank is that I don't want to have to lug a 20+ pound tank around to get it filled. (Blown out back--not laziness.)

The other thing I am a fanatic about is having a 'sniffer' aboard. They aren't cheap, but they work. The whole system sniffs the bilge, which is where propane will go, and won't let you turn the propane tank on if it smells propane. My own experience is that it doesn't seem to like any petrochemical smell, because after spilling a little diesel while changing Racors, it absolutely refused to let me cook until I had the bilge cleaned up. Not a bad thing, I think.

If it were more common and easily available, I'd go for CNG (compressed natural gas), but that stuff is about as easy to find as chicken lip soup.

Cap'n Gary
S/V Island Breeze
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