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post #21 of 41 Old 02-28-2013
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Re: Propane or alcohol

It all depends on the size of the boat and what other equipment you are installing to use a given fuel. I have an old kenyon pressure alcohol unit i have used for many years with no problems. ( i can make my own fuel for it) If not a live aboard and considering propane or alcohol conversion purchase a portable propane camp stove (they use the disposable cylinders) and see which you prefer to cook with. Here in the northwest you can find them used on craigslist for under 50 bucks. if you are liveaboard there are other concerns to think about are you also going to install a propane heater. Regardless of your choice attention to detail keeps bad stuff from happening.

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post #22 of 41 Old 02-28-2013
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Re: Propane or alcohol

Poker:

I've allowed my membership with American Boat and Yacht Council lapse. I would be curious about the recommendations in 2010 rewrite of standard A-3 Galley Stoves.

The last time I researched this I was also able to get detailed records from the Coast Guard and BoatUS. But I was not able to get those online at a level that provided useful information. I did call both and got more info.

What struck me at the time was that galley fires are pretty rare, but boats blowing up were way more common.

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post #23 of 41 Old 02-28-2013
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Re: Propane or alcohol

BoatUS has all their claims statistics online. 55% of all boat fires were caused by electrical faults and if I remember correctly all explosions were gasoline related.

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post #24 of 41 Old 02-28-2013
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Re: Propane or alcohol

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
BoatUS has all their claims statistics online. 55% of all boat fires were caused by electrical faults and if I remember correctly all explosions were gasoline related.
Are you seriously claiming there are no boat explosions due to propane whatsoever?

Try keywords "propane explosion boat" in Google.

"About 484,000 results"
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post #25 of 41 Old 02-28-2013
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Re: Propane or alcohol

I made no such claim. I merely stated that I have not seen one in sixteen years of marine claims investigations and BoatUS does not show any in their statistics. That's I why I asked for the source of the purported statistics that show otherwise.

I am asking a question not arguing.

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post #26 of 41 Old 02-28-2013
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Re: Propane or alcohol

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
I made no such claim. I merely stated that I have not seen one in sixteen years of marine claims investigations and BoatUS does not show any in their statistics. That's I why I asked for the source of the purported statistics that show otherwise.

I am asking a question not arguing.
The evidence from Google shows that if the BoatUS claims don't show a single explosion caused by propane, they either insure an extremely unrepresentative population, or their statistics are flawed. In either case, their statistics would not have much value.

I have zero professional experience in boating (just sailing for 40 years) but the only boat explosion I have second-hand experience of (saw the effects, fortunately a day after the explosion) was a power boat blown to high heavens by propane.

Just looking at the pictures at the top of the Google page reinforces my decision NOT to use propane in my boat.
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post #27 of 41 Old 02-28-2013
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Re: Propane or alcohol

I watched a linked u-toob vid of the destruction of a cruiser, sponsored by LLoyd's of London. In the propane blow-up test, they had to use successively larger charge s and ended up that the charge did the bulk of the damage after several runs at it.
This has convinced me that IF proper standards and practices are followed, propane can be as safe (or safer, no brow singeing flare ups!) than alcohol.
A propane stove is on my wish list. Were that all the safety jiggers that go along with it came as cheaply and easily!?

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post #28 of 41 Old 03-01-2013
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Re: Propane or alcohol

I just made an interesting find... when searching Google images for "boat propane explosion" I got tons of hits. However, when for my own curiosity, I changed to google.co.uk (British Google) and selected to only search contents from UK, there were handlful only..... then went back to the original search string and it turned out that pretty much majority of explosions did happen in US . Maybe the CE propane standards are not so bad after all as some claim... Either way, I am making no claims whatsoever, just posting my simple findings from google and leaving interpretation to whoever is viewing the images. Anyways, I love my propane marine heating and my propane stove :-)
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post #29 of 41 Old 03-01-2013
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Re: Propane or alcohol

From BoatUS website ...... they do mention one propane fire but that is only to be expected when you use a non-approved portable unit on a boat.

Causes of Fires Started Aboard
Click on the links below for more information:
1) AC and DC wiring/appliance - 55%
2) Engine/Transmission Overheat - 24%
3) Fuel Leak - 8%
4) Miscellaneous - 7%
5) Unknown - 5%
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 can’t 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 couldn’t see the flame. Unfortunately, he had succeeded, but didn’t 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.

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post #30 of 41 Old 03-01-2013
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Re: Propane or alcohol

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
From BoatUS website ...... they do mention one propane fire but that is only to be expected when you use a non-approved portable unit on a boat.

Causes of Fires Started Aboard
Click on the links below for more information:
1) AC and DC wiring/appliance - 55%
2) Engine/Transmission Overheat - 24%
3) Fuel Leak - 8%
4) Miscellaneous - 7%
5) Unknown - 5%
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.
Thanks for digging that up.

But come to think of it: it is indeed quite unlikely that propane would start a fire.

Do they have by chance a column where they show the causes for explosions?

Clearly, there are quite a few boats that explode because of problems with their propane systems (the second hit of the google keyword search shows one last month) so some of them must be insured by BoatUS.
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