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Old 28-07-2016, 18:18   #1
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LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

Ever since my first boat the gas compartments always givin me problems. Usually they where designed for special bottles / cylinders.

I end up just putting them out on the deck somewhere out of the way close by.

Are there any problems with keeping the bottles outside? Dangers? Risks?

I just got a local bottle today and of course it doesnt fit into the compartment which is in the back of the locker which I have to remove everything from to get to. So I removed the hose and extended it outside so I can easily change it.

But seeing that most boats have lockers I am just wanting to make sure I am not building a bomb on the back of my boat.

Thanks
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Old 28-07-2016, 18:24   #2
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

My bottle are mounted to the rail, no locker. They hang over the aft where any potential gas leak goes overboard.
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Old 28-07-2016, 19:02   #3
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

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Originally Posted by frogvalley View Post
My bottle are mounted to the rail, no locker. They hang over the aft where any potential gas leak goes overboard.
Would you happen to have a photo? I just have mine on the aft deck. Would like to see some mounting options.

Thanks
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Old 28-07-2016, 19:32   #4
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

I made a simple 2' capped, PVC pipe that holds 3 bottles. Drilled a few holes around the bottom & mounted to the stern rail.

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Old 28-07-2016, 19:48   #5
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

deep thought,

Suggest you get galvanized tank (s) or have them galvoed. Otherwise, they rust quickly.

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Old 28-07-2016, 21:34   #6
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

Whatever you do you want to make sure that if you have a leak from the valve, the propane can't get inside your boat or a locker. Think of it like you are running water out of the valve and visualize where the water could go. The ONLY safe place is to go off the boat with no chance of accumulation in a locker or your bilge. If it does, then you have made a bomb. It will not dissipate and a spark will set it off. It is much heavier than air and that is what makes it dangerous around lockers and boats without a means to discharge it overboard with a drain. I have a locker with a drain to the outside and that is the way most boats are set up.

Worthington makes some small tanks that might fit your propane locker. Check them out.


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Old 29-07-2016, 04:30   #7
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

Lots of people do it, and you probably won't blow up. Probably you won't have a leak at all, and if you do, probably the wind will be right, and the spilled gas will go overboard rather than back over your deck and down into the cabin. But is "probably" good enough? Only you can decide.

Besides the small but real risks, propane tanks on your deck or rail will cause clutter and windage, and give your boat a definite "trailer trash" look.

I wouldn't do it on my boat, but plenty of people do it, so -- it's up to you.

Good on you for asking the question.

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Old 29-07-2016, 04:53   #8
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by J
Think of it like you are running water... It is much heavier than air...
This is the key. Propane is heavier than air, and will flow downwards. Think about where a leak will flow to. If it can flow to anywhere that it would accumulate, then you have a problem. If it will flow down and off the boat, then you do not have a problem. It really is just that simple.
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Old 29-07-2016, 08:18   #9
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

Hanging from the stern rail works for me but I only use it for my rail mounted grill. In the states rust is not an issue, tank exchange places are everywhere. It's not real pretty but I am not sufficiently motivated to make a cloth cover. I seen some decent looking galvanized tanks of 10-15 lbs but swapping out the larger tanks is convenient. Below deck I use a single burner run off 1 lb bottles but no way would I stow a large tank below. Too much of a hazard for little benefit.
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Old 29-07-2016, 08:27   #10
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

Nothing wrong inherently, but you have to consider and decide upon the following issues (not in any order of importance)
1. Is the place on deck protected in a way that a stray wave cannot damage the installation?
2. Are the materials of the tank/s & regulator prone to rust?
3. What is the path of spilled gas? is it certain to go outboard towards the sea or to be taken off the boat by wind? Or differently asked - is there a danger of the gas being spilled into the boat itself? (normal dedicated gas locker has a drain to the sea)
4. Is it elegant looking?
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Old 29-07-2016, 08:29   #11
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

DO NOT put propane tanks inside the vessel unless it a dedicated designed locker. I've use the stern pulpit before also. It's pretty easy to devise a method.
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Old 29-07-2016, 08:48   #12
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

FWIW: Propane tanks are, sez the safety regs, to be mounted in a DEDICATED locker (no other "stuff" whatever to be placed in it, ever), and that locker is to be furnished with a drain ("drain" rather than "vent" cos propane is heavier than air) that leads directly overboard. The locker is to be TOP LOADING, so that if there is free propane in it, the propane cannot "fall out" when the hatch is opened as it would if the locker had a "door" on the side.

Bottles are most commonly ordinary steel and are therefore best kept away from briney water since they rust readily. "Plastic" tanks are available but they are expensive.

Immediately next to the tank valve is to be a solenoid shutoff for EACH propane using device in the boat, and from that shut-off to the device the hose run is to be CONTINUOUS, only one coupling being permitted, and that is the one on the device. Hose is preferred over tubing due to tubing's propensity for cracking under vibration.

Each solenoid is to be operable from a switch next to the relevant device. The wiring leading to it is not to be attached to the propane hose within the propane locker.

So there you have it. Just about as easy as squaring the circle :-)

TrentePieds' installation is pretty good, but I find that in practice the ONLY sensible way to get wiring to the solenoid is to cable-tie it to the supply hose. The last thing you want is to have 14 gauge wire dangling about loose in a propane locker. Some desk-bound bureaucrat blew it on this one :-)! The two tanks are 20lb tanks which is an odd-ball size, meaning that I have to take them out and re-fill them rather than just exchange them as is the modern trend with 30lb bottles.

The bottles are held in a rack in the locker. It fixed part is shaped to the diameter of the bottles, and a similar shaped clamping piece slides onto a piece of stainless steel threaded rod and is secured with a wing nut.

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Old 29-07-2016, 08:50   #13
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave22q View Post
Hanging from the stern rail works for me but I only use it for my rail mounted grill. In the states rust is not an issue, tank exchange places are everywhere. It's not real pretty but I am not sufficiently motivated to make a cloth cover. I seen some decent looking galvanized tanks of 10-15 lbs but swapping out the larger tanks is convenient. Below deck I use a single burner run off 1 lb bottles but no way would I stow a large tank below. Too much of a hazard for little benefit.
Propane has a Relative Effectiveness Factor of 1.95. That's the equivalence in destructive power compared to TNT. So one pound of propane is theoretically equivalent to 1.95 pounds of TNT. Dynamite has a Relative Effectiveness Factor of about 1.25. One stick of dynamite weighs typically 190 grams. So a one-pound propane bottle is theoretically equivalent, in explosive power, to 3.6 sticks of dynamite. "Theory" and "practice" are not exactly the same (the propane has to be perfectly mixed with air to achieve this power, etc.), but -- does it matter whether its 3.6 sticks or, say, 2 sticks? What would that do to the inside of your boat, and the people inside, if it went off?

You might want to consider a proper gas locker, tightly sealed, with an overboard drain, as is required by different codes.
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Old 29-07-2016, 09:44   #14
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

I have read that a proper locker has to open directly to the air (in addition to the previously mentioned requirements (sealed, dedicated, drain overboard, etc). True? Also that the drain had to be a minimum distance from the engine exhaust or another hole in the boat (bilge, vent, etc).

I had thought about installing a dedicated propane locker inside my sail locker, but I can't really do this if the propane locker can't be placed inside a another locker. I could put it into the aft locker with an opening to the air, but this would place the drain too close to the stern exhaust. It seems to be impossible to properly retrofit a propane locker.
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Old 29-07-2016, 10:20   #15
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Re: LPG Gas Bottles in OR out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
deep thought,

Suggest you get galvanized tank (s) or have them galvoed. Otherwise, they rust quickly.

Ann
Anyone have any pros/cons about the aluminum tanks, aside from cost?
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