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Discussion Starter #1
I own an Islander 36 and am in the process of installing a propane stove/oven. I''m looking for suggestions on where to stow the LPG cylinder. I''m thinking of building a cylinder locker and installing it into my starboard lazarette so the lid opens to the sky. I''d rather not have it on deck. Any other idea''s?
 

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I just went through this myself. The boat that I purchased had a totally illegal propane system.

I found that retrofitting a boat for a proper propane system was terribly expensive. I already had an almost new LPG stove but when I added up the cost of doing the system corrently I could buy a new stove for less. If you do the system right, you are buying a long list of expensive items with a few not so expensive items thrown in: Tank (go aluminum), shut off/connector, servo-valve (solinoid), properly made up gas lines, a sniffer/shut off switch/and carbon monoxide alarm, either a manufactured pre-fab tank storage unit or else building a proper storage well (sealed air tight with a hatch that opens directly to the sky {rather than ino a locker)with a drain at the bottom and a vent at the top; Both the drain and the vent opening over the side above the heeled waterline and no electrical connections within the container), tank hold downs,and a bilge blower system.

Given that I have seen way far more boats that burned or blew up because they had propane and a diesel than I have seen gasoline engined sailboats catch fire or burn, and that like most people I would be hesitant to buy a boat with a gas engine, it seemed obvious to me that LPG was a really bad idea.

I ended up deciding to install an Origo 600 non-pressure alcohol stove/oven. (Defender Marine has the best price.) The Origo is the safest of stoves that you can buy with almost no moving parts. Alcohol is easy to store.

Origo''s do not have the dangers and poor performance of the older pressurized alcohol stoves. The Origo burners have nearly the same heat output as a Marine LPG burner and more than twice the heat output of a normal pressure alcohol burner.

I have used an Origo on my last boat for over 13 years and they are really wonderful to own. I have spent too much time in my life searching for small propane leaks, to ever want propane on a boat of mine. Beside installing the Origo was way less expensive than putting in a proper LPG system.

Another really neat system (especially if you are going offshore) is the Wallas Stove and Oven. These burn diesel fuel in sealed compartments (no oil burning smell) so you only carry diesel fuel onboard. These are really well built units and although quite expensive are still way safer and well less expensive than installing an LPG system.

Jeff

Just my two cents here.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jeff: Thanks for your commonsense reply. I currently have CNG on my 1986 Hunter 45 and was thinking of converting to LPG. I think my current CNG locker could be converted to properly handle propane tanks but all the attendant equipment would make the job way too expensive. I''m told my current CNG stove can''t be legally converted to propane hence a new stove (around $1K+ plus new tanks, regulators, etc). I had Origo''s on my other boat (H37) and found it worked "ok" I just didn''t think it was as hot as the CNG and I didn''t like filling the burners.
Anyway, your reply has me thinking I''ll probably just stick with the CNG.

Thanks

John Fletcher
 

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If you do decide to go to LPG, I do have a two burner LPG Hillerrange with oven that is virtually new and that I would be willing to sell you quite cheaply.

On the other hand, the trick on the Origo is to find a laboratory bottle to hold the alcohol. Also use a wooden dowel and gently slightly increase the detent in the screen. Then filling is really easy. The heat content is virtuall the same as a typical marine CNG burner and only slightly less than a marine LPG burner.

Cheers
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the suggestions. I''ve already bought a Seaward 3 burner range ($800 through Boatersworld) and a LPG locker kit with alum. cylinder and everything built in from Sailnet for just over $300. The only thing I''m lacking is a sniffer. I''m planning on building the locker into the starboard locker so the top is just under the hatch. I will seal all around it so there is no chance of leakage below deck. Hope I don''t turn by boat into a liquid asset!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Although propane is certantly the most dangerous fuel, the only story I ever heard first hand on the loss of a boat was with alcohol, presumably the safest fuel. It just goes to show that care is required with any installation. That being said propane is far and away the hottest and most convenient and converting a CNG stove to propane is just a matter of changing the orafice. There is essentially no difference other than that between CNG and propane appliances.
 

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Actually, marine propane burners do not have significantly higher heat output than a catalyzed alcohol burner (such as Origo). The last time I researched this the heat output of an Origo was something like 3200 BTU''s vs something like 3500 for propane. This compares to a pressure alcohol stove at 1700 BTU''s and pressure kerosene/diesel at 4100 BTU''s. Typical CNG burners had substanially less output than either Propane or catalyzed alcohol.

People often judge alcohol based on the poor peformance and safety of earlier pressure alcohol stoves. While Propane has more heat per pound (another reason that many people eroneously think that propane burners put out more heat), it is the burner confiuration that actually determines the amount of heat that is produced.

As far as safety, I actually got a small discount on my marine insurance when I removed my propane system and went to an Origo. Catalyzed alcohol stoves do not have the risk of a flare up (if filled properly) and sure beat trying to find gas leaks, something that I have spent way too much time doing. At least in my lifetime I have seen far more sailboats lost to propane explosions than to gasolene engine explosions and yet most sailors these days would not consider having a gasolene engine. Go figure.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Unless I''m mistaken most propane burners have anywhere from 5000-8000 btu burners, that would almost double the output of alcohol. Undoubtably propane is dangerous if mis-used or mis-installed but installed properly I can''t imagine spending time chasing leaks. I worked for 15 years as a plumber and installed many miles of gas and propane piping, it''s not that difficult to do it well. The analogy to gas engines is not well founded as other reasons the gas engine are shunned is the delicacy of the ignition system in a salt environment and the much shorter range per gallon. Those points aside, if one feels unsafe or unsure of a particular system by all means go for peace of mind.
 

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Your right , my stove tops burns up to 8000btu. Also have gas engine. I guess I will blow up one way or the other if I dont crash my motorcycle first.
thomas
 

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No one above seems to be aware that "sealing off" the bottom of the propane locker is NOT the thing to do. Since propane sinks in the atmosphere, it creates the hazard of its leaking into the bilge, where a spark could blow up the boat. This is why CNG is considered preferable, because it rises, and will then dissipate into the atmosphere with no danger of explosion. If the bottom of the propane lockeer is sealed off, any leaking propane will end up filling the locker, just waiting for an errant spark to set it off. Propane lockers should have bottom drains leading overboard to a point above the waterline so any leaks will definitely go overboard and not into the bilge. CNG is much safer and easier to work with, but is a lot less easily available, so most installations go with propane, but follow the rules carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It was stated in an earlier reply by Jeff that the locker propane is stored in be drained from below above the WL. I hope we all know that propane is heavier than air. I don''t believe you can get CNG reliably anywhere but the states and it''s harder here than for propane. If you can''t fill your tanks the system is very safe......but useless.
 

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And for the alcohol afficionados, when you go to Europe, make sure to take enough with you for the entire trip. The most we could get for our stove in Ireland, Scotland, England and France was half pints, at great effort, from the occasional pharmacy. Of course we also had to be in port for the week it took for them to get it, too.
 

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Ahoy jeff , Big Red 56 here , still got that stove I''m looking . What is it and how cheap is cheap, you know me? If any of you guys could have seen the set up in my boat when I bought it this year you would have had a heart attack. When I removed the rusted cast Iron propane 4 burner stove with oven and the oversized rusted tank kept in the lazarette I knew this was a charmed vessel. And you know the yard had the nerve to yell at me for dumping the whole hissing mess in the dumpster! Heck that dumpster had plenty of holes in the bottom. Anyway I gained an inch of water line so thats the good news. I''ll make a proper job of it the next time but like my plumber commrade said if you ain''t qualified stay out the galley. I was thinking about a propane engine any one have any ideas? Big Red 56 the Pirate
 

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The stove in question is a two burner Hiller range with oven. It had one season of use during which it made a couple cups of coffee. It has peizo-electric starters and is spotlessly clean. It appears to be of all stainless steel construction. It is gimballed (technically hinged because it can only rotate on one plane and gimballed implies rotating on all planes. The stove sells for approximately $1200 new at Defender or West. I would like to get soemwhere between $500 and $600 for it.

Jeff
 

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Big Red, when I used to live in Wash DC some of the gas service men had natural gas engines in the trucks. Maybe you could loan me an eye patch and we could get one for your boat!
thomas
 

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Ahoy , thomasstone , I was thinking a forklift or I know some commercial cleaning machines and construction machines used inside use propane because the fumes are ok inside mall and construction sites. Keep in mind I haven''t much space. only need 25hp max. As far as the eye patch you can earn one right here on sailnet of course you''d have to draw a little blood and laugh like a maniacal idiot, like me ,when some fool hangs is self while trying to scuttle your argument. Your post har ta day earned you the rank of bildge rat, next step scurvy knave and so on. Keep trying. I''ll be watching wit me one good eye. Big Red the Pirate of Pine Island.
 

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Although propane is certantly the most dangerous fuel, the only story I ever heard first hand on the loss of a boat was with alcohol, presumably the safest fuel. It just goes to show that care is required with any installation. That being said propane is far and away the hottest and most convenient and converting a CNG stove to propane is just a matter of changing the orafice. There is essentially no difference other than that between CNG and propane appliances.
Serge Testa had an alcohol stove blow up during his round the world voyage, some burns to himself and extensive damage to the interior.
 
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