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Old 08-03-2018, 14:14   #1
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CNG vs. Propane?

Looking at boats for sale, some have Propane stoves and some older ones have CNG. Is CNG readily available or if purchasing a boat with a CNG stove should one budget a conversion/replacement? Cruising area East Coast US, the Bahamas and Caribbean.

Thank you for your input.
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Old 08-03-2018, 14:16   #2
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

CNG is (or was) a good idea that never worked out. Availability is limited at best.

If you look around you can find it here and there in the US but down island I think you may be out of luck.

Maybe others have more recent knowledge of down island availability but I would convert the stove to propane.
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Old 08-03-2018, 15:16   #3
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

Some people only need to refill once a year so NBD long as it's available in one of your regular spots.
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Old 08-03-2018, 15:31   #4
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

Wont matter much, you can convert the CNG stove to propane. Propane is difficult enough to get to, dont go with CNG.
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Old 08-03-2018, 16:20   #5
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

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Some people only need to refill once a year so NBD long as it's available in one of your regular spots.
Not so likely with CNG as with LPG. CNG is only compressed gas, and so the capacity of a tank is much much less than that of a similar size propane tank.

IMO not suitable for more than weekending or short stay cruises, even if fill stations are around.

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Old 08-03-2018, 16:33   #6
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

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Some people only need to refill once a year so NBD long as it's available in one of your regular spots.
Maybe for weekenders and daysailors but when we lived aboard we ran through a 20 lb propane cylinder in 6-8 weeks. CNG I think would go much faster.
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Old 08-03-2018, 16:36   #7
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

If you buy a boat with a CNG stove price in a conversion. CNG is almost impossible to find and refill. LPG on the other hand can be refilled at almost every gas station.
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:38   #8
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

We had CNG on our sailboat and really liked it. in 7 years, we only had to refill the tank 3 times.
Yes, it is harder to find.
It was suggested if you buy a boat with CNG, factor in conversion to propane.
If you do that, not only do you have to convert your oven/stove, you need to have a dedicated propane locker. You can put a CNG tank anywhere....you can't do that with propane.
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:54   #9
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

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Maybe for weekenders and daysailors but when we lived aboard we ran through a 20 lb propane cylinder in 6-8 weeks. CNG I think would go much faster.
This matches our experience with propane and we cruise the same area the OP has proposed. We have always had same day access to propane.
I don't believe you could cruise that range with CNG due to lack of availability.
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:56   #10
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

Our boat had CNG and it was impossible to find anywhere to refill it. There are a few CNG filling stations for city buses and garbage trucks in urban areas but you need an adaptor and they fill to 3500 PSI if I remember correctly. Our CNG tanks were rated to 2500 PSI so you are basically turning the valve quickly when it hits 2500 PSI. There are some youtube videos describing how to do it but it wasn't something that I was willing to mess with.

Ended up replacing it with an origo alcohol stove and we've been very happy with that.
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:56   #11
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

Can one convert a CNG stove to Propane without to much difficulty or is one just better off buying a new propane stove?
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:35   #12
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

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Can one convert a CNG stove to Propane without to much difficulty or is one just better off buying a new propane stove?
From what I've read, it's not a major issue to make the change, but you have to either have a dedicated, sealed propane tank locker, vented overboard or hang the tank off a railing away from the boat. You can't just replace a CNG tank with a propane tank. Seems that replacing the tank can be more of an issue than converting the stove.
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:45   #13
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

Not at all difficult or expensive. The two use different pressures . A simple matter of changing the orface valve. Most regular home gas appliances brand new will come setup for low pressure piped ng, even where none is available, just as standard. But also come with the hp lpg orfice, takes about 2 minutes to unscrew and screw, like a light Cheers
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:47   #14
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

Safe Boat Propane Installations
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:24   #15
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Re: CNG vs. Propane?

Propane has twice the BTU rating of natural gas. Why would you want natural gas?
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