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Old 25-02-2014, 11:56   #1
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US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

I've spent the last few hours trying to find some clearly written laws, but all Ive found are references to other laws & unsearchable google-books that should have the laws but don't, or sites with some groups recommendations on how a propane system should be installed (but not necissarily the minimum legal requirements).

I'm not interested in group's recommendations. I'd like to know the cheapest, minimum legal requirements that I can use my propane tank to cook with in my sailboat & not get a fine? Similar to the liability insurance version of an LPG setup.

As far as I can tell, there is no such info in an easily intelligable & readable website online. It's really a big spaghetti mess & I'm no lawyer.

I've heard from other boaters that the Coastguard is OK w/ your setup as long as your tank is not stored inside. Other boaters say you can have a tank inside if you're at anchor, just don't go cruising with the tank inside. Do boaters not get inspected while at anchor? I've read that they get inspected while at the dock.

From what little of the US laws that I could find, it looks like I'd have to have a remote shutoff valve set up (money), and the switch has to be near the stove. Is it OK to have a 20' flexible rubber hose, or do I need to install copper tubing. All this stuff is important - to not get a fine. I know, it's all about safety & not blowing up my boat, but manually shutting off a tank every time really doesn't seem all that unsafe, but what do I know? Anyways, I just want to avoid fines so is there a good website that doesn't just reference code-books w/out links or quoting the actual codes?
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Old 25-02-2014, 12:13   #2
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

Look at the ABYC 'standards". No law that I know of in the US
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Old 25-02-2014, 12:23   #3
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

ABYC is the standard. You will not get a fine from anyone... unless you blow up and damage someone elses property or life. I dont believe there is any requirement for a shutoff solenoid. You can manually shut the tank valve as many of us did for decades.
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Old 25-02-2014, 12:33   #4
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

No law , no fine !
Shut off should be on the cylinder not at stove , elec or manual !
Where the law gets involved would be on a commercial , passenger boat .
Hundreds of thousands of boats use propane with " no Problems ".
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Old 25-02-2014, 12:38   #5
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

Are you an end-user/consumer/boat owner, and not a boat manufacturer, broker, or vendor?

If you are the former, then laws are not likely to affect you, unless you do something unsafe that creates a liability (your boat exploding affects others, for example, or fumes from an unventilated camp stove asphyxiate your guest). Also, if you do something that violates voluntary standards, that could affect your insurance.

If you are the latter, then product liability might be something about which to get professional advice.
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Old 25-02-2014, 12:55   #6
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

I agree with the others--no federal laws regulating propane cooking stove installations in recreational vessels, at least as far as I know. The U.S. Coast Guard may have regulations for galley equipment on commercial vessels. There could be some state requirements also, although I don't know of any. Insurance companies undoubtedly have their own requirements. If you comply with ABYC standards, you'll be fine.
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Old 25-02-2014, 13:03   #7
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

The only rule/law that I know of is... don't blow up. Which means, don't do something stupid or half-a$$ your set up.

Do things the proper way.
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Old 25-02-2014, 13:07   #8
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

All very true, which is why I love sailing. The safety police haven't been around....yet.
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Old 25-02-2014, 13:07   #9
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

I find it kind of strange that the possibility of a fine worries you, but the possibility of suffering debilitating 3rd degree burns followed by a prolonged and painful recovery (or death) does not.

Anyway, if you're interested in a SAFE installation, the ABYC codes are the way to go.
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Old 25-02-2014, 13:16   #10
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

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Old 25-02-2014, 13:21   #11
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

I do not have access to the ABYC code book. Is copper line ok with the ABYC? For propane runs
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Old 25-02-2014, 13:28   #12
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

"but the possibility of suffering debilitating 3rd degree burns followed by a prolonged and painful recovery (or death) does not."
Big assumption there. I wouldn't make such an assumption about anyone I don't know.

As far as the ABwhatever standards, I'll jump right on, just give me a moment to check my moneytree.
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Old 25-02-2014, 13:58   #13
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

If you can't afford a safe propane installation, don't have one at all.
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Old 25-02-2014, 14:30   #14
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

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Originally Posted by brantleychuck View Post
I do not have access to the ABYC code book. Is copper line ok with the ABYC? For propane runs
The standards do permit copper line of a specific type however I advise against it as copper becomes brittle with vibration. Your rig is vibrating almost all the time even if you don't feel it. This is the same reason solid copper AC conductors are not acceptable on a boat.

There is no "law" in the US or Canada regarding LPG installations on pleasure craft although in both countries ABYC standards are routinely accepted by the courts as "the" standard and most certainly accepted by your insurance company as the proper standard of installation.

Safe Boat Propane Installation.

PM me with an email adrress and I'll hook you up with the ABYC standard
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Old 25-02-2014, 14:33   #15
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Re: US Laws on a Propane Gas Stove in a sailboat

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Originally Posted by brantleychuck View Post
I do not have access to the ABYC code book. Is copper line ok with the ABYC? For propane runs
Copper can work harden and break if not supported properly. I also think you would want to decouple both the tank and stove vibrations from the copper with flexible propane fuel line.
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