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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Dangerous propane systems
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Thread: Dangerous propane systems Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-27-2012 05:13 PM
MarkSF The factory installation in my Bristol 31.1 has the drain blocked on port tack if you are heeled over sufficiently. This also results in salt water in the locker which causes corrosion of the bottles. The best solution I could think of was to have smaller bottles, and raise them up on blocks. Alternatively, reef earlier!
02-25-2012 05:26 PM
mitiempo I don't think there is anything wrong with a rail mount. It is however vulnerable to damage, as are BBQ's or anything else rail mounted.

Another option might be a box on the aft deck inside of the rail.
02-25-2012 02:40 PM
billsull
A belated question

I wish I had caught this thread a few weeks ago...

I am concerned about my propane system as set up by a prior owner. I have a Seaward propane locker installed in the starboard cockpit locker. The Seaward is a nice unit (and they have great customer service), but I have always understood this particular design to be one that should be installed on deck. Mine has a drain in the bottom of the locker that goes directly to a dedicated through hull fitting located just above the water line when the boat is not heeling. This fitting is below the waterline on a port tack. The bottle feeds a three burner stove in the galley. An additional problem with the current setup is that the propane box blocked easy access to the cockpit locker. I couldn't even get into the cockpit locker to do any maintenance until I recently lost 60 pounds (let's just call me "gravitationally challenged" - I have more to lose!). The thought of getting in and out of there in a seaway is frightening.

On my good old boat (Allied Seawind 30), there is no space for this box on deck. I thought I had a solution when I came across the Torrid Bottle Mount for a 6# aluminum propane tank. I would put the bottle on the pushpit rail, put the regulator / solenoid in a watertight NEMA box also on the rail, run the hose from the solenoid directly to the stove through vapor-tight fittings on deck and in the bulkhead belowdeck between the cockpit locker and the main cabin. The solenoid wiring would run separately to the switch.

I bought the new tank, regulator, hose, solenoid and was getting ready to order the mount when I saw posts in this thread that raised issues about mounting a bottle on the rail.

So, finally, my question:
Should I keep the current setup, go with the bottle on the rail, or is there another solution I'm not seeing?

Feel free to critique my plans - I'd rather get flamed here than on the boat

Thanks in advance... Bill

Current Installation:


Torrid Mount:
LPG Bottle Mount System : Torrid Marine Water Heaters

Proposed Bottle Location:
01-25-2012 11:25 PM
mitiempo I think a propane stove with the proper installation can be very safe. Nothing beats the convenience of propane.

For weekend use alcohol can make sense for some and as posted the total cost is less.

I have used alcohol and kerosene in the past and didn't like either - but the kerosene was better than the alcohol.

I have cooked on a propane Force 10 3 burner with oven/grill for years and wouldn't give it up. As a liveaboard it gets daily use.
01-25-2012 05:53 PM
SlowButSteady
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Exactly.

Alcohol does have its downsides. The flame can be hard to see so you cannot tell if a burner is on. As well one of the-by products is water, environmentally sound but can increase the humidity in the boat.
We've been through this several times in SN. The difference in the amount of water produced by an ethanol stove verses a propane stove is absolutely trivial.
01-25-2012 04:55 PM
MarkSF As far as I know, the main reason for not having propane bottles on the transom is in case you are hit from behind by another boat. I realise that this is a very small risk.

"The rules say that everything within 27 inches of the cook stove should be flame resistant, yet in 40 years of cruising, I have never once seen this done in any boat. Have any of you seen it?" Not unless teak is consider a flame resistant material
01-25-2012 04:47 PM
Brent Swain Friends have their propane bottles in an open rack, beyond the transom, but the rules say they should be brought inboard in a sealed locker, for "better drainage"?
I use 1/4 inch sch 40 thick walled stainless pipe , but the rules say I should switch to flimsy copper or rubber ,then have to worry about bulkhead chafe, something which is impossible with stainless pipe.
I can easily reach my propane tanks from my companion way, but the rules say I should use a far more complicated electrical device. I have a high pressure stainless ball valve shut off in the cockpit, but the rules say I should not have this alternative option.
The rules say that everything within 27 inches of the cook stove should be flame resistant, yet in 40 years of cruising, I have never once seen this done in any boat. Have any of you seen it?
Fortunately, in Canada, they would need a search warrant from a judge, which I could challenge, to come aboard and check my propane system. Then I could argue that the requirement that I use the less safe system that they advocate, is a violation of my charter right to life liberty and security of the person.
01-25-2012 04:22 PM
jackdale
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post

I believe, though, that a propane installation can be safe if it is properly installed (to AYBC standards ) and operated.
Exactly.

Alcohol does have its downsides. The flame can be hard to see so you cannot tell if a burner is on. As well one of the-by products is water, environmentally sound but can increase the humidity in the boat.
01-25-2012 03:14 PM
MarkSF The Origo burners are rated at 6800 btu, and the ones on my Shipmate propane stove are 7000 btu. So if the Origo spec is true, they should be fine to cook with. Mine cook well but do take a while to boil the kettle.

I believe, though, that a propane installation can be safe if it is properly installed (to AYBC standards ) and operated.

However, if starting from scratch I'd think about alcohol too. The stoves are pretty much identical in cost, but the propane installation needs about $600 of extra equipment, in cost of parts alone - and that's if you do have a locker. It's really hard to add a good locker installation to the AYBC standards if you don't have one already.
01-25-2012 03:04 PM
RobGallagher This thread is very interesting to me. My previous boat had a quality pressure alcohol stove and oven. The oven was useless as it never go hot enough to cook anything. The burners would eventually get hot enough to cook, but the burners where so small and took so long to heat up it was a struggle to cook.

I was thinking that my next boat would have a propane stove. Now this thread has me thinking...

Am I wrong to assume that none pressurized alcohol burns at the same or lower BTU than a pressurized alcohol stove?

When I cooked for a living and when I cook at home it is always with gas. It's hard to get things done properly without it. I'm wondering if the trade off for safety is worth the culinary delights?
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