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Old 14-02-2011, 17:09   #1
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How Much Propane Do You Use ?

Was not sure which sub forum to post this in but I am intending to ditch the CNG stove currently in my boat and either replace or convert it to propane. I have a suitable location for propane storage and am trying get an estimate on what I should expect to burn in the way of gas per month living aboard in the tropics with a wife and 2 small kids. Probably will tie gas grill into house propane system as we prefer to grill as much as possible. Thanks

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Old 14-02-2011, 17:29   #2
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In the past year cruising in the tropics, cooking two meals a day for just me, I've burned through about 50 pounds of propane. You'd likely double that for a family. And a grill must use a bit more. Luckily, in SE Asia propane is easy to get.

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Old 14-02-2011, 17:48   #3
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family of four,baking bread twice a week a 50 pound bottle would last 4-6 weeks
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Old 14-02-2011, 19:21   #4
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Two of us use a 2.5 gallon can (approx. 10lbs) every 5 weeks. The barbie (large Magma) is separate and uses about 4-5 1lb cans during the same time span. We do quite a bit of baking and generally use the BBQ 4-5 times per week.
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Old 14-02-2011, 19:26   #5
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On Insatiable II (2 POB, some baking, water heating, BBQ etc) a 9 kg tank lasts about 3 months, +/- 10 days or so. Longer in the tropics, shorter in colder places.



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Old 14-02-2011, 22:44   #6
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G'day, mate. 2 POB, 2 kettles of water a day for the cuppa, 2 to 3 sessions of baking per week and 1 meal a day on the stove top, about 20 pounds every 10 to 12 weeks. We carry an extra 20 pounder for occasional grilling and back-up. Cheers.
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Old 15-02-2011, 00:24   #7
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We use one 20 lb tank every 4 months, with a 10 lb tank as emergency back-up. Two people on board; rarely eat ashore. Use an electric bread machine, so don't bake bread in the oven. But do use the oven at least once weekly to bake other things likes cake or cornbread or muffins, etc.

This has been consistent usage rate for 5 years, sailing mostly in heat of the tropics.

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Old 15-02-2011, 02:15   #8
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Living aboard in So Cal and my wife cooking/baking/roasting her heart out, we went thru 3.5 gallons about every 6 weeks.
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Old 15-02-2011, 04:27   #9
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I get 20 - 25 days from a 9 lb tank and I don't have either a BBQ or a microwave. That includes baking twice a week.
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Old 15-02-2011, 04:30   #10
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Cruising Bahamas. Three meals a day, most days. Bread baking. 10 pounds every 21 to 25 days. This has been our usage every season for the past many, many years.
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Old 15-02-2011, 05:17   #11
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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
family of four,baking bread twice a week a 50 pound bottle would last 4-6 weeks

Is that a family of 4 or 14????????? Time for those kids to flee the nest, they're too expensive

Its interesting to read this as my gas usage has been up and down dramatically across the world as we changed different gas types, different filling stations, 3 different regulators.

I have just bought a new regulator for the original system (USA/Aus) and am hoping there was a leak in the old regulator.

10 pounds = 4.5KG
Europe Camping Gaz 2.7KG Butane seems to last a bit longer than it should weight for weight.
Turkey: 2kg Well, they are Turkish and you are not. A half-full gas bottle is probably a generous favour to you, but as they are swap bottles you could pull out your trusty portable fish scale and check the weight of the cylinder! Keep that scale for the rest of the world too!

I think the most important thing is to over budget for gas. As soon as one bottle is empty get it filled as your other one may run out early.

Remember gas bottles ONLY run out when you are using them!

Baking can use an extraordinary amount of gas and I wonder if it when the gas is turned right up - preheating etc - if it blows out more than what is effectively heated? Is it like an engine where the economical cruise is vastly lower than top speed? Maybe some people who have a oven thermometer have studied this?

Most important is not to worry about the cost of the gas. Who wants to be sitting around saying "Lets stay within the budget" after someone has sugested baking a double chocolate cake with cream filling, icing and knobly bits on top?


Or a roast dinner!!!!!!! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Notes on a Circumnavigation.

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Old 15-02-2011, 05:31   #12
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One of the tricks for longer lasting propane is to switch to a breadmaker instead of using the propane oven for this. A typical bread maker will use 0.5kWh for a bread start to finish.

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Old 15-02-2011, 05:31   #13
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My propane lockers will only hold 5# cylinders; one for the stove, one for the BBQ. My oven is electric (microwave/convection). I burn through a 5 pounder in 3weeks on the grill, and 4-6 weeks on the stove. I carry an aluminum 20# on deck when cruising and use a transfer hose to fill the little guys from it.
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Old 15-02-2011, 05:55   #14
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For full time liveaboard... we use a 5 gal = 20 lb bottle about every 4 months. Weight is important on a trimaran, so we don't use the traditional two tank set up, we just carry one aluminum bottle. We have cruised both sides of the Caribbean and never had trouble finding propane.

When it runs out, we use a screw on adapter that fits the current hose, and allows us to cook with those little green camper stove bottles. (It will stay in the existing propane locker). These are good for a couple of weeks, until we can find propane.
We carry a number of these little bottles in a "vented overboard" locker, as the Magma grill also uses them.

We do not have an oven and have never missed having one! We make bread, cookies, brownies, pizza, cake, etc, on the stove top, either with the pressure cooker, (not under pressure), or using a Dutch oven that sits on the stove.

This system has served us well for 15 years!

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Old 15-02-2011, 06:00   #15
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With four people aboard in the tropics we used about 20 lbs every 3 months. We carried two 20 lbs cylinders. Fairly frequent baking with a tiny oven, which helps because it is so quick to heat up. Keep in mind that the newer valves required in the US mean you can't fill the tanks with as much propane, so they are somewhat smaller capacity than in the past. Propane is generally easy to obtain anywhere I have sailed between Labrador and the Panama Canal, but it is wise to have two big tanks so you can begin to look for gas when one tank goes empty.

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