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Old 19-02-2011, 05:49   #1
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Systems on Propane ?

Campers are set up so everything (stove,gen.,refrig.,etc.) runs on propane.Is this possible on a boat? thanks.
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Old 19-02-2011, 06:27   #2
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Gemiini 105 cat has propaine refrig, but that' the only one I know of.
Most boats just have Propane stoves, ovens and grill on the stern rail.
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Old 19-02-2011, 06:42   #3
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The thing that makes propane safe on a boat, besides a "perfect" installation, vigilance, and maintenance of the system, is the fact that after cooking, you do NOT shut off the burner... you flip off the solenoid switch and wait for the flame to go out. (3 sec) THEN, you turn off the burner's valve, and stove's main valve. This way you know the system is off, and lines purged! It is not safe to keep interior propane lines pressurized all the time.

Exceptions? A couple... First off, propane refrigeration like a Dometic, is an option on "level boats" only. They work very poorly on a heel. I have seen one installation that seemed safe enough...

It was on a catamaran that was kept anchored out and facing the wind.
OUTSIDE, on the back deck, down in a vented well, was a portable "Dometic" ice chest style propane fridge. The LP tanks were in a remote vented location, and had a "T" in the line. This allowed a solenoid actuated shut off, in the hose that went inside the boat to the stove, but the other hose to the LP fridge was always on.
I suppose it could be done on an anchored out house boat as well?

My friends did this for years, and never blew themselves up... but I still feel that leaving the system pressurized is too risky for my blood.

Campers are a totally different animal. The refrigerators are vented directly out the camper's wall, as is the furnace. (This is not just about propane leaks, but carbon monoxide poisoning as well.) Also... propane goes down. A very small amount of gas would presumably get out through the numerous air leaks near the floor of the camper. It has no bilge.

Hope this helps... Mark
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Old 19-02-2011, 06:47   #4
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A propane fridge needs a pilot flam to continually burn. Not so flash on a boat, but I am sure if there was a market there could be some device invented to auto strike it when the fridge needs to come on..... OK OK I just thought of 67 reasons why that may be unsafe....
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Old 19-02-2011, 07:13   #5
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I was wondering about the venting issues on the fridge and oven.Also,I am wondering about running a propane powered engine for propulsion.
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Old 28-02-2011, 03:53   #6
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Re: Systems on Propane ?

The propane just provides power to the fridge and the generator. The electrical system is most likely ran through a battery first. So leaving the battery connected after storage will drain it slowly, just like leaving a car in storage. The harness you connect to the vehicle you use to tow the trailer will also provide a charge to that battery. The generator will replace the auto's alternator when stationary.
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Old 28-02-2011, 05:20   #7
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Re: Systems on Propane ?

Of course.

My PDQ catamaran came factory with propane fridge, stove, and hot water, to which I added an externally vented space heater.

Yes, the propane fridge would not work so well on a monohull since they need to be reasonably level (I think the door must be facing fore or aft), but it works fine on a cat, even off-shore. I would not be comfortable leaving the propane on while I was away for any extended period; however, with the turn of a switch it will go to 12v or 110v, eliminating the conflict.

A stove requires fresh air if run long; a window should be cracked. Oven also. CO monitors are always a good idea, whatever the fuel source.

The propane frig flame is VERY small (like a grill lighter). Still, it is normal to vent the heat away from the fridge and through the deck, to increase efficiency.

Sure, a propane engine is possible, but unheard of for practical reasons (expensive fuel, big fuel tanks, impossible to refill at the fuel dock).

Yes, the installation meets all required standards. They are more involved than for a camper, I think, but I will not repeat them here.
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