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Old 09-04-2008, 12:12   #1
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Composite Propane Tanks

Some of you may be aware of, or, perhaps, already own (in which
case this may not be of interest to you at this time!) composite
Propane tanks. Briefly put (and follow some of the links I put
next if you don't already know about them), composite tanks won't
rust, won't corrode, are lighter than aluminum and way lighter
than steel. Minor size and capacity differences exist between
composite and steel or aluminum tanks, but are minimal in most
cases. They're taller by a bit, so if clearance is an issue for
your application, they might not work. Do a google on fiberglass
or composite tanks for an education - I think you'll be as taken
with this technology as I am. Also have a look at these links:

Here's just a few sources and prices, most of which are for the
"Lite" brand, and the 10 and 20# sizes...

http://www.ragasco.com/files/documen...jyrer_2006.pdf (a
maker's comments)

Composite Propane Cylinder by Ragasco (info about Ragasco - another maker - on a boat)

Clear, Fiberglass 20-Lb Propane Cylinder Tank 102, 10=130

Clear, Fiberglass 10-Lb Propane Cylinder Tank 130, 20=130

Lite Cylinder lightweight LP bottle/tank 20=86

LITE CYLINDER, See Through Propane Tanks all 100

LITE CYLINDER, See Through Propane Tanks Ragasco, different maker - 100

Trident Marine: New Products -
but the cylinder looks and specs exactly like the Ragasco

Only places I could find the Trident was in Canada. Here's a
couple of sources:

http://www.pridemarine.com/index.cfm?category=10202|10880&product=2287231

TRIDENT PROPANE FIBERGLASS TANK 17 LB The Binnacle: Your Complete Online Marine Store

Now, on to my story:

I had to get a replacement for my old-style valve on my 10#
aluminum tank. I brought it with me when we came ashore for
family stuff.

Fortunately for me, I was directed to Blossman Gas in Clayton,
GA, where it was accomplished in short order, inexpensively ($25
all-in) and refilled.

However, on the way in I'd noticed one of the composite tanks
sitting at the entrance door, and pointed it out to Lydia.

So, I casually inquired as to how much they were. $65!!
Needless to say (well, maybe not needless, but in any event) I
took one, filled. The circumference at its widest part is 3/4"
less than a steel tank, so it will drop right in where my barbie
tank is now.

Significant differences between it and a steel or alumiumum tank
are that it's slightly taller in the collar, and that it doesn't
have a tiny ring bottom, but, instead, is functionally flat.
That flat also results in its not being "rounded" at the botttom
of it, in the event, such as we, for our barbie mount, your
receiver is shaped like the ball-shaped base of most tanks. In
our case, it will just result in its sitting higher, which is of
no concern. It's a Ragasco, in the event that you feel the Lite
brand is critical to what I'm about to say:

Conversation with the manager, Sanford Thompson, revealed that
they had not had any success in moving them. That's cuz, of
course, they're more expensive than steel tanks, and most
landlubbers have no interest in tanks which won't rust,
particularly in this exchange-a-cylinder refill market, at about
double the cost of a steel spare/replacement.

When the comment about their lack of success, and the likelihood
of other branches being in the same non-boat, came up, I
immediately thought of this list, and other sailors, too, of
course (I'll be publicizing this on all the mailing lists and
forums I annoy).



I have no financial interest in this - just an excitement at
being able to find a tank at a price I'm willing to pay when I
already have a sufficiency of aluminum tanks. The technology
really tickles my fancy. That I'm able to pass along a deal is
small payment for the learning I've received here :{))

L8R

Skip

PS this from Sanford just a few minutes after sending my mail lists (not forums) this same message:

Thanks to you we have sold the ones we have here at this store. I will
start forwarding the other requests to our other stores that have
inventory and they can ship them as needed until they run out. I may
even have a distributor that may want to get rid of some inventory (He
has about 150 of them).
Thanks again for your help.

Thank You,
Sanford Thompson, Clayton, GA #406
706-782-8305


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Old 09-04-2008, 12:56   #2
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This was discussed a long time ago on this forum.

composite propane tanks

Fiberglass propane cylinders

Refilling Propane cyls

and so on................................................ _/)
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:58   #3
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sorry, I missed the ability to buy them at $65...
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Old 09-04-2008, 13:10   #4
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Not much use if you can't have them filled outside the USA.
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Old 09-04-2008, 13:27   #5
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I just looked at one here in St Lucia, and it was $189 for a 15# tank, so something under $100 sounds pretty good, but its probably too tall for my locker.

I am still using my Australian galvanized tanks, but can't get them filled in the US. The Caribbean islands will fill anything.
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Old 09-04-2008, 14:21   #6
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Thanks Skip. As del said, these tanks have been discussed before, but I think you've brought some good new info to the forum, and lots of great links. Cheers.

Kevin
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Old 09-04-2008, 14:32   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Pope View Post
Not much use if you can't have them filled outside the USA.
From another (SSCA) Forum:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L
Are they generally fillable outside the US?

Paul L
Yes....100% DOT certified.


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Old 12-04-2008, 13:55   #8
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One big advantage of composite propane tanks is that you can see how much gas is left
Fastcat 435
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Old 21-07-2008, 11:41   #9
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I had no issues having it filled in Bahamas or Turks and Caicos.
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Old 21-07-2008, 12:28   #10
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I have the Light Cylinder and would not recommend it. It's great idea but the top has a steel fitting that the valve screws in to. Mine has rusted and I don't think it will be long before it will be totally useless. The aluminum tank I have hasn't shown any signs of corrosion and when I replace the Light Cylinder it will be with an aluminum tank.

Tim
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Old 21-07-2008, 12:42   #11
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Aloha Tim,
Just a question but did you contact the factory and ask if they have or could provide a stainless or brass/bronze fitting? They certainly could use the marine business.
regards,
JohnL
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Old 21-07-2008, 12:52   #12
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No I haven't asked about stainless or bronze fittings. The valve is brass. The fitting that it screws into is steel. That with the salt water is causing bad galvanic corrosion. The tank is less than two years old. The steel fitting is molded into the top of the tank. I'm not sure that it can be replaced. If you would like I'll send you a picture. A bronze fitting and valve would be the best solution. IMHO

Tim
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Old 21-07-2008, 14:25   #13
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Downwind Marine, in San Diego has them. Here's the link: LPG Tanks, Lockers & Cannisters* - *Galley, Stoves & Barbeques* - *Downwind Marine Inc
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Old 21-07-2008, 15:16   #14
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Aloha Tim,
Thanks but I understand and don't need a picture. If I remember right those cylinders are made in Tennessee? I once called their company from Lexington because I wanted to buy a couple of small tanks but they hadn't started making them yet. Anyway, I hope you can sort it out.
Kind regards,
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Old 21-07-2008, 16:00   #15
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Would a coat of lanolin stop the corrosion? Those composite tanks seem ideal for cruisers but the rust thing has me a bit worried.
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