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Old 17-08-2016, 09:00   #1
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Propane tanks

Skippers, I have to switch from natural gas to propane cooking gas for my Catalina. As far as propane tanks (bottles), what size or shape is the most common for boats? And, do they have to stand up or can they lie on their sides?

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Old 17-08-2016, 09:24   #2
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Re: Propane tanks

10 lb. tanks seem to be the norm, usually two in an aft cockpit storage. It cannot be kept within the boat as propane sinks into the bilge. I carry a few smaller camper cartridges as well.
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Old 17-08-2016, 09:29   #3
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Re: Propane tanks

it depends on your use and needs.
if 5 pounds propane lasts you a year, no sense in buying 10 pound bottles. having a second bottle merely keeps your use continuous when the first bottle empties, which usually happens when cooking coffee at 0355, and have a hard jones on for for it on your night watch where 7-11 is not found.
remember the gas neeeds to be kept away from cabin and engine areas and has regulations specific to its use an storage.
as for storing on its side--only special bottles function in horizontal mode. 20 pound and 10 pound i have found for my camp vans.
i prefer to keep gas bottles on taffrail,upright, astern and overboard. less propensity for destruction of self and boat should a darwin moment occur with tank changes.
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Old 17-08-2016, 09:47   #4
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Re: Propane tanks

I have 2 fibreglass 20lb tanks located on my aft pushpit. One supplies to my BBQ the other is independent and supplies to my galley stove, through safety valve of course. They last me the entire season, 4-5 months.
Fibreglass tanks are basically half the tare weight of the regular steel tanks and fairly translucent, able to see the liquid level which makes it convenient for monitoring. They also are certified much longer, I believe 15 years, or more.
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Old 17-08-2016, 10:01   #5
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Re: Propane tanks

For a Catalina 27 I may suggest doing away with the expense and hassle of a propane conversion and just use an Origo non-pressurized alcohol stove. They work fine, don't go boom, you don't need to find a spot to store propane, and are reasonably cheap.

If set on propane, what everybody else said - make sure it could never vent into the boat.
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Old 17-08-2016, 17:41   #6
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Re: Propane tanks

If you're planning on going far away from the US, the horizontal tanks can be a pain to get filled, they are almost entirely unknown the places we've been in the South Pacific.

Four our usage, we have 2 9 kilo tanks, which last 10-12 weeks per each. We are full time cruising.

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Old 17-08-2016, 18:13   #7
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Re: Propane tanks

I carry 3 x 4.5 kg tanks..... they fit in the gas locker, they aren't too heavy to handle when full, and they give a nominal 1 month each.
Marine LPG Cylinder | Specifically designed for marine useStainless Steel Tanks & Pressure Vessels

Be aware.... they do not test or fill the f/g ones in NZ or Oz.

Only ones designed to be used horizontal should be fitted horizontal....
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Old 18-08-2016, 07:44   #8
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Re: Propane tanks

Propane tanks are made to mount either horizontally or vertically. Be sure to buy the type you want. If you mount a vertical tank on it's side, it will deliver liquid propane instead of gas.

Trident Rubber Company, the hose manufacturer, sells a nice selection of tanks. Any good marine store should be able to get what you want.

I stock fiberglass tanks in 11 and 18 pound sizes.
Lehr 11 lb Propane Cylinder Composite Lightweight Mfg# LPT11
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Old 21-08-2016, 03:35   #9
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Re: Propane tanks

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Propane tanks are made to mount either horizontally or vertically. Be sure to buy the type you want. If you mount a vertical tank on it's side, it will deliver liquid propane instead of gas.



Trident Rubber Company, the hose manufacturer, sells a nice selection of tanks. Any good marine store should be able to get what you want.



I stock fiberglass tanks in 11 and 18 pound sizes.

Lehr 11 lb Propane Cylinder Composite Lightweight Mfg# LPT11

HopCar, can you enlighten us as to what effects UV have on the fibreglass tanks over time? I am thinking of one not in a locker, but permanently mounted on a bracket on the rail and fully open to the elements.
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Old 21-08-2016, 06:28   #10
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Propane tanks

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HopCar, can you enlighten us as to what effects UV have on the fibreglass tanks over time? I am thinking of one not in a locker, but permanently mounted on a bracket on the rail and fully open to the elements.

Our two ragasco fiberglass tanks have been outside for 6 years now. The plastic is a little faded, but beyond that I see no change to them at all. I honestly don't even think the plastic has experienced any embrittlement !!


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Old 21-08-2016, 06:41   #11
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Re: Propane tanks

When you are buying tanks, pay the money and get the aluminium ones. Mine are 12 years old and still going strong. I did have to fit new valves 2 years ago.
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Old 21-08-2016, 06:45   #12
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Re: Propane tanks

+1 on the aluminum cans
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Old 21-08-2016, 06:57   #13
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Re: Propane tanks

-1 on Aluminum

Too expensive.

I use steel and paint them
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Old 21-08-2016, 08:07   #14
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Re: Propane tanks

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When you are buying tanks, pay the money and get the aluminium ones. Mine are 12 years old and still going strong. I did have to fit new valves 2 years ago.
Not available in S. Africa - steel and GRP only. GRP are VERY expensive but steel cost around US $15 as a deposit as only the gas company can "own" them. GRP are only available in marine shops here.
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Old 21-08-2016, 08:28   #15
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Re: Propane tanks

Propane is available on tank exchange only in many parts of US. Thankfully, Ace Hardware still do it the old fashioned way and fill your tank.
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