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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #1  
Old 06-03-2008
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Propane Use

I am trying to estimate the amount of propane tankage would be needed for a full time cruiser. Currently I can carry in a safe locker 20 lbs. The possibliltiy is there to add a second 20 lbs. While desirable - is it necessary?

I know it depends on the daily demand, but I was wondering what do full time cruisers on average use in say a month or three month period?
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Old 06-03-2008
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My refridge is a Dometric which is propane 'powered' (i.e., a propane flame heats a alcohol tank which boils and then cools) - sounds funny but makes ice cubes and takes me off the electric grid entirely.
I use a 20 pound tank every 3+ weeks just to cool my booze so to speak, and my boat carries two tanks. Using propane for cooking doesn't seem to affect the time line too much. Tony Smith and his son took a Gemini trans-atlantic on one tank, 23 days IIRC, reefer and cooking.
Those folks that cruise on Gemini's report about the same, 3 weeks or so a tank - some add an extra tank just because it's better to know you have a back up - beats eating cold Dinty Moore.
If you have the room, add the backup.
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Old 06-03-2008
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I would carry 2 and plan on doing just that. What if the one tank you have stops working for some reason ? You can't run down to the hardware store and get a new one.

Also I would look into the new fiberglass tanks, lighter and you can see how much progane you have in the tank.
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Old 06-03-2008
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Tak...we ususally went 2-3 months on a tank and the only use was for cooking. We had 2x20lbs and it was nice to always have a backup ready since you always run out when cooking dinner! The other advantage is that if a tank gets a leak in a fairly deserted spot where you can't get a new one...you're still OK.
The other "redundancy" option is to carry some of the green camp propane bottles (needed for the bar-b-q anyway) and the adaptor hose that allows you to use them on a standard tank fitting. On a boat your size...this may make more sense given the need for storage for other stuff.
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Thanks so far.. more input would be appreciated ..

As a side note for clarification, the Caliber 40 has a aft/port propane locker that will hold two 10lbs tanks. Currently I only have one 10lb tank for weekend cruising and anticipate adding a second. On the aft/Starboard side is also a locker / vented but I think the intend was a ice cooler - nice idea but currently only holds misc stuff and 2-3 green coleman tanks for the Magma. It needs to be enlarged (doable I believe ) to add 2 additional 10lbs tanks. Lugging 4 10lb tanks around port looking for refill may need a solution but having backup seems prudent.

I like the idea of a adaptor for the little colemans as an emergency back up.
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Old 06-03-2008
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I wonder why????

I keep wondering why no one ever mentions the other adapter? the one to go from your 10 lb propane bottle to the Magma grill! Those little green bottles are disposable---not supposed to be refilled! Therefore, the refillable bottle is the "green" way to go----don't fill the landscape with empty coleman bottles! In the long run, if storage space is available, the second propane tank is cheaper to use on your Magma grill, as well as for backup. And the positive shut off valve on the top is less likely to leak and fill your boat with explosive gas than the little rubber plug on the coleman bottle. I got the adapter and connector hose at a camping and military store called Uncle Sam's. I have two propane lockers, but have seen a 5 lb refillable bottle hanging in a canvas bag on a friend's boat, right under the grill on his stern rail.
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tak--you don't need to lug around 4 tanks, looking for a refill! The name of the game is refill when you are down to two! (G)
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Ragtime...two good suggestions!
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Old 06-03-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Tak...we ususally went 2-3 months on a tank and the only use was for cooking. We had 2x20lbs and it was nice to always have a backup ready since you always run out when cooking dinner! The other advantage is that if a tank gets a leak in a fairly deserted spot where you can't get a new one...you're still OK.
If Cam was sailing primarily as a couple, then his experience is consistent with the old rule of thumb that I recall: One pound of propane per person per week.

That's for cooking only, in temperate areas. More in colder regions and somewhat less in the tropics. More if you have propane appliances beyond the stove/oven.
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Old 06-03-2008
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We have two 10 pounders. One tank usually lasts from 21 to 26 days. The variation I think is due to the fact that in a lot of spots in the Bahamas they don't really fill the tanks right up. We cook most meals and bake bread. I wish we had room for 2 twenty pounders. If you're going to cruise you'll need at least two tanks no matter what size as once one is empty be searching for a spot to re-fill it.
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