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Every day, Something new
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there - anyone know where I can have my propane tank refilled in the BVI?

I've been set to a few places only to find all they do is swap out tanks.

The tank on my boat is a nice Fiberglass one and I don't want to lose it.

I assume if anywhere it will be in Road Town, but I'm looking for details (Business name? Where to dock or Dinghy to? anything that will help me find a place.)

Many thanks
 

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I most often get mine filled by simply by walking up to one of the LP trucks while they are filling the tanks at one of the marina stores/ restaurants or near by homes.

Last time, I was had just checked in at West End when I saw a truck heading to Jolly Rogers and zipped over to the boat and picked up the empty tank and took the dink up to the Jolly Roger dock and walked over and they filled it as soon as they finished the Restaurant tank. It was cheaper than what I last paid in Road Town and didn't have to take a taxi or mooch a ride from friends.

Over the years, I've done this at several locations on Tortola, including Nanny Cay, West End, Cain Garden Bay and Trellis Bay. Since I always have two tanks I get the empty filled first opportunity when I make a change over.

When I'm gone for a while, I have a "Yacht Management" company look after the boat and they make sure both tanks are full at the start of my trips.
 

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Every day, Something new
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys....

I cycled into "Town" today to try and understand my options. I discovered the Shell place in Road Town is now "SOL" (I guess they are now partners, and at some point made a name change?) and I should be able to have my tanks filled there (but thanks for the warning Hud). Although just across the road from the bay, I could not see an obvious place to dinghy ashore nearby. To add to the difficulty I only have a row dinghy (no motor) and even if I could get to shore, I didn't see any anchored boats nearby.


I also found a gas station in East End that swaps tanks, but if you take it one day, they will fill it and you can pick up your original filled tank later in the week... so there ARE options.

Me like-y Reality Check's tip the best though and I'm going to check around the hotels/bars/stores in Trellis bay for what day the gas guy comes - I'll stake out my claim get a good book and wait him out - great tip. We are lucky enough to have 3 tanks, but I really do want to make sure I'm full before we head off on our next passage.


Thanks as always. You guys are great

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My tanks are Propane and the gas sold on the Island is propane (LPG). I understand butane bottles are tested to lesser pressure standard than propane bottles and that is why there would be a problem filling butane bottles with Propane. It is perfectly safe to fill propane tanks with butane (although you get less actual btu from your fill), it is not safe to do it the other way around.
 

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Freedom 39
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1,156 Posts
Quick hijack---------

Marinegirl405 we met last week, sort of. I just went to your blog and immediately recalled your bright orange dinghy and home port of Portland. Our very brief exchange happened when you and your spouse were preparing to leave the Simpson Bay Marina fuel dock about a week ago. There was a very strong wind on your port beam holding you to the dock. I was the guy that gave you a big push to help get your cat off the dock as we exchanged pleasantries. It is a small world.

Back on topic-----------------

If you should venture to St Thomas I would be glad to point you toward two places near Crowne Bay that will fill your propane tank while you wait.
 

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Every day, Something new
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Hi there Far Cry! It really IS a small world. I remember you helping us in St Maarten. (I didn't have the heart to tell you the American you were helping was actually a Brit! Although I was aboard with my US husband, so you were half right). We made the mistake of turning up to the fuel dock, just as the bridge had opened to let all the returning Heineken Regatta race boats back into Simpson Bay Lagoon. That really was a windy day, and we went from there, through the Bridge on the French side and upwind to the BVI.

Thanks for your offer of help if we reach St John.. It's not in the plan, but you know what happens to plans, so anything could happen. :)

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Back on topic, we've been out sailing for the last week or so. I'm back hanging out in Trellis Bay (Tortola) and once Monday hits, I'm returning to my Propane search - I have phone numbers, and I'm a girl with a mission. In the mean time I have at least 2 weeks of Propane still aboard, so nothing is desperate YET.

If all else fails I can rent a car, and go and provision like crazy at the same time... but I'm pretty sure it won't come to that.
 

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Every day, Something new
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Update.

OK - the Shell gas station in town that used to do fills no longer does - I guess there is some new safety rule in Tortola/BVI.

The only place in Tortola to get refills while you wait is at the SOL filling station. This is on the LHS of the road as you leave Road town heading East - in the Baughers Bay section. It's open from 7am-3pm (others told us from 8am), closed for lunch from 1pm BUT when I turned up at 2pm it was closed, they returned at just past 4pm and refilled the tanks of everyone waiting by then. At this point I was VERY glad not to have a cab waiting with me. You may be better to call ahead, or just expect to be on Island time.

Filling Depot is called the Baughers Bay Depot - phone to depot 284-494-2258 (Phone to main office - Jean Hill Depot - is 284 494 2107). If you are coming from the water it is NOT the place where the conspicuous big gas tanks and loading docks are - just a bit more N of here towards Road town along the Road Town bay coast line. I couldn't see an obvious place to dock/tie up - but marked on the chart the "Ferry Dock" area would still be a bit of a walk to carry a full 20lb tank

If you ask for directions you'll be told its opposite CSY (Caribbean Sailing Yachts) - however you won't find CSY on any maps/charts or signs since it is long closed... There a a number of nearby warfs and docks, but full of crusty older fishing boats and the types, no obvious place to tie up/come ashore that I could see. Perhaps someone can add a note if there is a good place to tie up.

Throughout the Island there are a number of petrol stations where you can SWAP tanks. and some where you can leave a tank one day, and they'll take it to be filled - you collect the next day (just ask around wherever you happen to be). From Trellis Bay the nearest is 3 miles away (Alphonso's garage in East End), so it made no sense to make 2 trips there for me, I decided to just do 101 jobs in a day with a rental car.

My refill of 20lb tank cost $27 each - much more than I'm used to paying elsewhere (even in the Caribbean so far - most to date has been $20)

I asked around about propane/LPG deliveries, but I could only find tanks being swapped out, nobody arriving with a gas truck. :-(

I ended up renting a car for the day to achieve this and a bunch of other chores (groceries, immigration extension etc). Best deal on a rental car was through Travelocity and National at the Airport (Since I was anchored in Trellis bay - that was just a 2 minute walk away - perfect) - I paid $37 including taxes (not taking insurance) for my rental for the day.

Thanks for your help and tips - Good luck to the next guy.
 
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