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Old 11-05-2009, 20:58   #1
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Propane or Butane for Paciific?

We have been in Europe the past few years and have used Camping Gaz butane which is easy and not too expensive. Now we are in the Caribbean and Camping Gaz is available some places but not everywhere. Next year we will continue west thru Panama to the So. Pacific and then to New Zealand.

Should we switch to Propane? (The stove will operate on either) If so what adapters are needed to have them filled everywhere? Should I buy aluminum or fiberglass tanks?

Thanks for the help and any suggestions.
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Old 11-05-2009, 23:22   #2
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If you ever get to Oz...

If you ever get to Oz then you will need to be able to use propane. Butane might be available, but it would not be common.

I have seen stainless steel tanks for sale at an extortionate price.

I doubt if any of the refillers would be happy with aluminium or fibreglass tanks as they are (to the best of my knowledge) not used here. They may refuse to touch them.

My installer accepted a steel tank on the basis that it would be exchanged each time it was refilled but that is reaching an envelope edge.

I brought a second galvanised tank for not too much money and it looks much sturdier than the steel one. I believe these are fully acceptable for marine use. This would be the way to go if you can get one. Make sure it has been recently tested.
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Old 12-05-2009, 21:04   #3
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Similar in NZ as Boracay has set out for Australia except that aluminium tanks are allowed. Pretty certain you will not find butane anywhere here for refilling and think you will find that the same throughout the South Pacific and Papua New Guinea.

Standard fittings at refill stations are for POL and QCC connections (if you are not familiar with those a google will turn up photos of equipment with them on).

The tank must have been tested within the last 10 years by an authorised tester.

We use two 9kg hot dipped galvanised tanks on board and as Boracay says they are very rugged and suitable for the marine environment - ours are 14 years old now with no corrosion but I keep them painted.
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Old 22-05-2009, 05:29   #4
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In Vavau, Tonga, you can have every bottle filled. Here in New Zealand, there is only butane and you must have certified bottles. We bought two aluminium 4,5 kg bottles here in NZ.
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Old 22-05-2009, 06:10   #5
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Originally Posted by happymonster View Post
... Here in New Zealand, there is only butane ...
Isn't LPG (propane) the standard fuel for BBQ's, gas stoves etc in New Zealand?
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Old 22-05-2009, 14:28   #6
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Isn't LPG (propane) the standard fuel for BBQ's, gas stoves etc in New Zealand?
Well, as far as we know, you'll have your bottles filled at the gas station with butane. I don't know about other possibilities over here to have your bottles filled. So, no matter if you use your fuel for BBQ or heating or cooking, it is butane.
Maybe there are other cruisers here in NZ with more experiences??

BTW: Here in NZ you can have your bottles filled only if they are certified. We had old European bottles and we had to buy new ones. The blue Campingaz bottles will not be filled!

Greetings,
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Old 22-05-2009, 14:44   #7
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New Zealand uses propane. Guaranteed.
John
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Old 23-05-2009, 04:26   #8
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Thanks John.

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New Zealand uses propane. Guaranteed.
John
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Old 23-05-2009, 19:51   #9
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We have aluminum tanks and normally fill with propane. But in French Polynesia and in Tonga the tanks were filled with butane as propane is not available there. Same tanks were again filled with propane in New Zealand.

Had to take our tanks to a dive shop to have the required engravings showing certification to New Zealand requirements. Cost about $20 NZD per tank to have them certified and engraved. Refills then no problem.

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Old 25-05-2009, 11:06   #10
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Just one data point - Jimmy Cornell has done three circumnaviations and uses Camping Gaz type 3 kg butane tanks and claims "are widely used in Europe and we had them easily filled in all the countries we visited."

Interior Comforts — JimmyCornell.com
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