Testing Pacific Seacraft propane locker integrity - SailNet Community

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Old 04-23-2012
MC1 MC1 is offline
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Testing Pacific Seacraft propane locker integrity

The discussion of PSC propane lockers in another thread prompts me to mention . . .

When I bought my PSC 34, the surveyor noticed that when the boat was brought up to hull speed under engine power, a small amount of water began trickling from the propane locker down into the hull. While it's normal for PSC's to squat such that the propane locker vent holes drop a bit beneath the waterline when pushed hard like this, the trickle of water demonstrated that the propane locker wasn't completely sealed off as it should have been (in my case, due to a slightly misdrilled hole).

I recommend that all PSC (and other boat) owners that carry propane test the integrity of their propane lockers from time to time. My method for doing this is to temporarily plug the overboard vent holes and fill the propane locker with a bit of fresh water to see if I see it leaking down into the hull behind the rudder post.
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Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Testing Pacific Seacraft propane locker integrity

If you really want to get technical, you can do a hydrostatic test of the compartment like you would do for any tank aboard a vessel.

This is pretty much what MC1 says, except that you fill the locker to the highest possible point, which would be either the access coaming or the anchor chain hawsepipe. Once filled, you can look for leaks along all of the compartment boundaries.

I think that a couple of the common gas mixtures used for cooking can be heavier than air, making it important to determine if there are any points where gas could leak into the engine compartment, which has ignition sources.
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S/V ARGO - Pacific Seacraft 37 Hull No. 309
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