Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-07-2010, 15:56   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: canaduh
Boat: o'day 302
Posts: 75
Propane-Powered Generator

hello, havent posted in a while after a great first season in bahamas.with the next season creeping up on us, we have started looking into the new toys for this season.
i saw on jay lenos green garage they were promoting a propane generator.this appeals to me greatly as the carb will never "gunk" up, and maintenence should be less then a normal gasser.with the honda 2000 watt invertor on the top of my list, i thought i should at least see if anyone is using a propane generator and what they thought of it. with fuel prices climbing steadily, propane seems to be holding out not to bad.the honda may be replaced with a propane unit with the right feedback.....
the one shown used 1lb bottles.i was thinking about running a 20lb tank and hose into it for ease of refueling. this unit would be used a few hours a night for battery topup while runnings laptops ect.

lemme know what you think!
__________________

__________________
countrybimm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 17:03   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,373
You will have the same concerns with a propane generator as a propane stove. Propane is heavier than air and is highly explosive. If you have a tiny leak and fill the bilge with fumes you are sitting on a very large bomb.

Other than that, propane is fine.
__________________

__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 17:15   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Blue Stocking's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Georges, Bda
Boat: Rhodes Reliant 41ft
Posts: 4,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
You will have the same concerns with a propane generator as a propane stove. Propane is heavier than air and is highly explosive. If you have a tiny leak and fill the bilge with fumes you are sitting on a very large bomb.

Other than that, propane is fine.
Actually--Skipmac,

When you think about it,-is it much more dangerous than gasoline?
NFPA says a teacup of gasoline completely vaporized in a 10x10x10 room has the explosive power potential of 3 sticks of 40% ammonia gelatin (dynamite).
The gasoline vapor is also heavier than air, but does have a narrower explosive range, 1.4-7.6%.
Cant remember from my Fire Service days, the range on propane.
__________________
so many projects--so little time !!
Blue Stocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 20:37   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,373
Would have to research the relative properties of gasoline vs propane but bottom line, either one can go boom without a lot of persuasion.

With proper care and caution either could be used safely. After all I do have a propane stove but also have a propane locker vented overboard and a solenoid to turn off the gas at the tank as soon as cooking is done.

However for a generator that would potentially be used more long term, lots of vibration that might loosen fittings, etc I think propane in a generator might be a higher risk.

Bottom line, for a built in generator go diesel. For a portable the Honda 2000 is hard to beat. Fueling with propane or gas would work as well for me in that situation. Again would have to research the details but would prefer the fuel that was: cheapest, easiest to buy and store, least storage space per run time.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 20:39   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 5,766
Avoid at all costs......unless you really like buying propane. Derate about 30% or get a bigger gen that burns more fuel!!
__________________
Sailmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 22:28   #6
Registered User
 
Viking Sailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: Fantasia 35 - s/v Feeling Good
Posts: 1,074
Here is an example of a tri-fuel conversion kit. I don't know anything about the company or the quality of their products and service. I know that there are other companies offering conversion kits. I currently don't have a generator but intend to get one soon. I will convert it to run on gas and propane.

Tri-Fuel Kit for Honda EU2000i

__________________
Viking Sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 23:31   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: canaduh
Boat: o'day 302
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
You will have the same concerns with a propane generator as a propane stove. Propane is heavier than air and is highly explosive. If you have a tiny leak and fill the bilge with fumes you are sitting on a very large bomb.

Other than that, propane is fine.
i thought the same way before i started cruising.then over half the boats i went on ran propane stoves,and denatured alcohol was tough to find for our stove.due to the face that everyone ran propane.the whole sailboat propane bomb to me is a myth as i dont know anyone who blew there boat up due to that reason. as for propane usage, i really dont see it being that much more then gasoline generators and buying jerry cans of fuel.whether im hauling a propane tank,or a jerry can, its still buying fuel to me....what im looking for on this thread, is propane consumption, and output/reliability....
__________________
countrybimm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 23:42   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,016
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrybimm View Post
...what im looking for on this thread, is propane consumption, and output/reliability....
Search propane and petrol (gasoline) in Wikipedia. Compare the energy content by mass (Joules or BTU/bushel :-))

Propane is easy to obtain in most places. The filling fittings, and the upside down bottle dance, can be cumbersome. But then petrol is easy to find too. Alcohol is the most pathetic of fuels.
__________________
daddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 23:42   #9
Registered User
 
Viking Sailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: Fantasia 35 - s/v Feeling Good
Posts: 1,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrybimm View Post
....what im looking for on this thread, is propane consumption, and output/reliability....
Here you go!!!

Inverter Generator with CMD Triple-Fuel System

__________________
Viking Sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2010, 06:48   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,573
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
Cool!

CMD sells “Tri Fuel Kits” for a number of various Generator makes & sizes.

Central Maine Diesel (CMD)
1594-D Outer Hammond St, Bangor, ME 04401
Toll-Free: 1-888-899-0603
Phone: 1-207-941-1188
Fax: 1-207-941-1189
E-Mail: sales@generatorsales.com

More ➥ Triple-Fuel Generators - Operate on Propane, Natural Gas and Gasoline
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2010, 08:01   #11
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,948
Images: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrybimm
the whole sailboat propane bomb to me is a myth...
Propane IS explosive, and IS heavier than air. The possibility of turning the sailboat into a bomb is very definitely NOT a "myth." On the other hand, the dangers are manageable, and the risk is not as great as many would have you believe, but ONLY if you are aware of those dangers and manage those risks.
__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2010, 08:29   #12
Vendor
 
witzgall's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Boat: Camper Nicholson 44 Ketch
Posts: 1,773
It your plans include cruising away from the US, then I would forget the idea. Obtaining the propane would be more then just a hassle, it would be a huge problem in many places. It would not be such a big deal if you have to wait a few days to get propane every few months for cooking, but having to wait a day or two every other week becuase you are using that much more, would get real old, real fast.
__________________
witzgall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2010, 08:37   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: canaduh
Boat: o'day 302
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
It your plans include cruising away from the US, then I would forget the idea. Obtaining the propane would be more then just a hassle, it would be a huge problem in many places. It would not be such a big deal if you have to wait a few days to get propane every few months for cooking, but having to wait a day or two every other week becuase you are using that much more, would get real old, real fast.
i have thought about that point alot as well.gas is much easier to find.as the only place ive cruised this far is bahamas i cant really put alot of imput into locations.but, if it is like bahamas im not worried.with 5 20lb tanks secured properly in the sail locker/on deck etc, if i have to rent a cab one day a month so be it.we plan on sailing farthur south this year to hit D.R,turks(passing through), and virgin islands, i cant see propane being a issue in those places, though it might take a day of running around to fill up..roadtrip!
__________________
countrybimm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2010, 08:41   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: canaduh
Boat: o'day 302
Posts: 75
i love that tri-fuel conversion for the honda!....this is exactly what i was looking for, with the added benifit of being able to run both fuel sources...thx viking sailer
__________________
countrybimm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2010, 08:41   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,016
Images: 4
At risk of being labelled "Un-American" might I suggest to all you power hogs that you reduce your consumption? There is no cheaper, easier, or more efficient way to reduce your energy needs. On this 50 foot yacht I get ALL the electrical power I need from solar panels producing a peak of 250 watts, not very big. I lack nothing necessary. That's refrigeration, instruments, lights, computer, autopilot, etc. Only a few cloudy days in a row will force me to burn some diesel.

You can dump the heavy batteries, rid yourself of the fuel jugs, sail faster, free up deck space, live quietly, reduce maintenance, and on and on...
__________________

__________________
daddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
generator

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Air Breeze Wind-Powered Generator ? SimonV Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 6 13-06-2010 21:46
Powered USB Hub vs Powered USB Cables Bryan Kemler Monohull Sailboats 2 20-01-2010 16:24
Propane-Powered Dink Randyonr3 Engines and Propulsion Systems 10 26-12-2009 17:15
Propane powered refridgeration? vilanomark General Sailing Forum 19 16-04-2006 20:07



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:43.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.