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Old 29-06-2012, 16:22   #1
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36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

I would like to convert my electric stove to LPG and the electric hot water tank to ‘on demand’ LPG.
I am considering keeping 2 40 Lb bottles on the sun deck of my 36 Mainship AC motoryacht.
Should these be kept in some kind of bottle rack? If not, how did you mount yours?
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Old 29-06-2012, 18:43   #2
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

Last week I saw someone with two 40 pounders hanging off their aft rail. I don't know if it was a custom rig or not. I've often seen it done with smaller bottles. On a trailer I owned I had a coupler that allowed me to switch between the two tanks and feed into a single line. This would let you feed a single selenoid, which you'll want for safety.
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Old 29-06-2012, 19:31   #3
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

I'm getting ready to start my instant hot water and lpg this week. I'm interested to head from others that have experience to answer your question.
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Old 29-06-2012, 19:43   #4
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

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I'm getting ready to start my instant hot water and lpg this week. .........
Do you have just one Instant Hot Water heater feeding more than one sink, shower, etc. and how?
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Old 29-06-2012, 19:45   #5
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

I have on demand hot water and it's pretty nice. The basic unit was about $200 for a ventless unit. It's a great way to get good performance from a small investment. Traditional hot water hearers cost a lot more just for the unit and the installation is far more complicated.

You need a proper storage locker for the propane bottles. First, steel tanks suck. They rust inside of two years. The more expensive fiberglass tanks will last far longer and are lighter. Aluminum tanks are quite good too but more expensive. You need a locker that drains overboard and not connected to the living quarters. Propane is heavier than air and settles in low places then explodes. You need to do things by the book for propane.
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Old 29-06-2012, 20:10   #6
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

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Do you have just one Instant Hot Water heater feeding more than one sink, shower, etc. and how?

I have the Excel ventless instant lpg water heater. 2 sinks and 1 shower. 1 sink and 1 shower are in the head. Seperated by a wall. Galley sink on the other side of the wall. Very short run from the heater to the water output. Lpg will be in the back of the boat in vented locker.
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Old 29-06-2012, 20:26   #7
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

I am in the propane camp, used it for years. It has a much higher BTU rating, will cook faster and your consumption will be less. There was a study done many years ago relating to safety. Propane came out near the top compared to other fuels including alcohol for being safe. If it leaks, you will darn sure know about it, it stinks.
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Old 29-06-2012, 20:26   #8
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

In my float home I have a Paloma vented that services the galley and head. Works a hot damn but I'd go with the ventless too, as long as it has the O2 sensor. The pilot on the vented can actually blow out in a high wind. The propane goes off when it happens but still ...
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Old 30-06-2012, 02:03   #9
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

I have an aft cabin 36 mainship.
There is the galley and head sink/shower forward and another head sink/shower aft. Would a long run between the forward and aft compartments work with a single 'on demand' or would I need 2 of them?
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Old 30-06-2012, 04:57   #10
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

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Would a long run between the forward and aft compartments work with a single 'on demand' or would I need 2 of them?
What will be the issue is how many taps you use at one time. All on demand heaters have a gpm rate that they work at. The Excel ventless is what we use too. It seems to heat fine as fast as we can pump. The separation of the taps only adds a slight decrease in temperature at the farthest tap. At the heater you control the burner rate and the flow rate to adjust the temp. You can of course mix cold with that. A shower usually does not require the hottest water but it will heat as much for a shower as you care to do so. Doing two showers at the same time probably isn't possible at the rated flow rate of that unit.. At a slow rate and high burner the water gets very hot! They do make non ventless heaters that can handle 10 gpm but you probably can't pump that much water. They make them big enough for a whole house too but they wouldn't be what you would use on a boat.
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Old 30-06-2012, 05:10   #11
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

BTW, the Excel has no standing pilot light. It runs on two D sized batteries that detect the flow of water and create a spark ignition. In any case there is a thermal-couple to kill the burner when there is no flame. It means that if the propane is on and the water is on you have nothing hot until the water flows. It lights the burner in about 1 second. You probably won't leave the propane always on.

The ventless on a boat is a really nice fit. Not having a pilot light means I don't have to light it of fuss with it. Our old one had a pilot light and I was always adjusting the level of the flame as it went out easily and would prevent the burner from working. As it got old it took a long time lighting the pilot so it would stay lit.

Ours is actually located inside the shower. I crack open a port and the heat off the top of the unit dries up the head after a shower quite well. In cold weather it adds heat. The Oxygen sensor will cut off the burner if it detects low levels of oxygen.This also prevents CO from incomplete burning due to low oxygen. You would be wise to have a CO detector on the boat in any case. I've had them detect an exhaust leak on the engine. It's stuff to be aware of burning propane in a closed space.

Our last heater was 20 years old this year and parts were getting hard to find so this replacement is smaller and easier to use. If you look at the cost of a traditional boat hot water heater the installation is far easier with the on demand system and the cost is about 1/3. If you are carrying propane then it's easy.
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Old 30-06-2012, 07:55   #12
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

Last time I read the ABYC guidelines for propane appliances (excluding stoves), they needed to be vented. More specifically, both combustion intake air, and exhaust needed to go to the exterior of the boat, and there are various requirements for distance of the vent from windows, doors, etc.

Granted, ABYC are guidelines, not laws, but there is generally good thinking behind them. How are you guys viewing your projects relative to these guidelines? Are the guidelines not applicable as I'm recalling, which is entirely possible? Or is it just a risk/reward tradeoff that you feel is acceptable? I'm not trying to judge, just curious.
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Old 30-06-2012, 08:29   #13
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I am installing a vented unit in the aft lasserette on my boat behind the generator. The area is separated by a solid wall to the living compartments and is vented for the diesel generator, plus it has another vent I intend to use for the heater. All that along with the fact that the unit is designed for RV use and has some built in safety features makes me feel pretty good about it. I'll be so glad to get rid of the old smelly hot water heaters.
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Old 30-06-2012, 10:53   #14
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

If you need to put it back into some corner venting can be the better route. The ventless units do generate water and CO2 as part of the combustion so venting is needed in some way to remove the moisture. Ours is in the head and I have to vent that too because the shower makes moisture. If you can combine the venting either with a flue or some other way then you solve the real issues you can not ignore. The supply of oxygen for combustion for the water heater is usually no problem but venting the moisture and heat is. You can do it activly with a flue or passive by the nature of where it is installed. I have no trouble using ours literally inside the shower itself. The old one ran fine there for 20 years.

The ventless heaters are safer than a stove. They don't run for extended periods and in fact operate only as you turn the tap on and off. They have three mechanisms to shut off the propane automatically. Oxygen depletion, lack of water flow, and lack of flame. The main burner will not come on without electronic ignition first. The opening of the main valve is active to open and passive to close. My stove has nothing at all. If the stove flame blows out the propane will not stop and I'll need the propane sensor to let me know and hope I don't blow up first. The stove needs venting of the moisture too.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:52   #15
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Re: 36’ Aft Cabin Trawler/MY LPG Question

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.......Ours is actually located inside the shower. I crack open a port and the heat off the top of the unit dries up the head after a shower quite well. In cold weather it adds heat.
I have not yet had the opportunity to look at one of these units live.
I assume if you installed it in the shower thay are waterproof?
Can you post a pic of your installation?

Thanks in advance.
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