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Old 12-01-2013, 08:32   #1
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Propane tank re-fill's

Hi I am currently getting our boat ready to do some extended cruising this fall and will be heading south to the bahamas and caribean. I know that here in Canada on lake Ontario when I require a re-fill of my propane a large majority of places now only do bottle exchange and do no fill your tank you bring in. Can someone get back to me who knows if down south it is the norm to fill your tank or exchange so I don't go out and purchase a nice propane tank that I can't get filled but would have to exchange.
Thank you, AL
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:38   #2
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

Mostly refills. In some places they do it by gravity! Get some good fiberglass or aluminum tanks.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:42   #3
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

Thanks Rick I this is the answer I was hopeing to hear.
Thanks, AL
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:53   #4
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

in mexico one is able to either return or replace--both ways work here. an dpropane is not a national treasure, as in usa...
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:44   #5
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

I traveled the ICW from Norfolk to Florida this fall, and I found it far more difficult to refill than it would have been to exchange.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:58   #6
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

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Originally Posted by tamif27 View Post
I traveled the ICW from Norfolk to Florida this fall, and I found it far more difficult to refill than it would have been to exchange.

Yes on the US east coast but it's all 20# tanks and many of us have 11# tanks but there are spots to fill on the ICW. For example, Titusville has the cheapest propane on the whole coast, and within walking distance. In Vero they will pick up and deliver. But, in most cases, it takes a cab-ride, or a friend with a car.

If you're off to the Exumas, best propane is in Nassau and Georgetown.

Waiting for the propane man in GT.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:09   #7
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

If you don't have it already it is worth it to carry a second tank, or a smaller spare one. Yes, you can refill, but they are not always the most convenient spots, so if you can wait a few days you often can get to a much better spot to do it. I carry enough onboard for fulltime living aboard, including baking, for three or four months. Just ask around the cruising fleet and someone always knows where the propane is.
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Old 12-01-2013, 16:07   #8
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

I'm sure there is a lot of variability, but how much propane do you use while aboard full time? Let's assume it's for cooking only.

Does a 20lb tank last a month? 2 months? More?
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Old 12-01-2013, 16:42   #9
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
I'm sure there is a lot of variability, but how much propane do you use while aboard full time? Let's assume it's for cooking only.
Does a 20lb tank last a month? 2 months? More?
A 10# tank lasted me at least 6 weeks. This was to make a gallon of coffee, and one full hot meal per day, plus a little incidental use.
I'd expect a 20# tank to last 2 months, or more.
Of course, YMMV.
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Old 12-01-2013, 17:41   #10
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With four person crew and a fair amount of cooking I get almost a month on 11# tank. I carry four and when I find a good spot I fill them all. Easier than looking around as they empty. Propane is fairly easy to find at marinas in Mexico.
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Old 12-01-2013, 20:09   #11
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

Unless we're doing an unusual amount of baking, 20# lasts about two months for 4 people. We also cook on our propane grill a fair bit, but I just use the little 1# cylinders for that.
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Old 14-01-2013, 12:08   #12
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

i cook a lot--my 20 pound tanks last me 3-6 months. now that i have a second tank, i no longer run out of propane mid passage...\lol
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Old 14-01-2013, 13:07   #13
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

My tank is very small, something like 1 gal. I can make it last a couple weeks or so for two people. We have coffee in the AM, usually a cold lunch, and some sort of cooked supper.

Pressure cooking, only boiling just enough water, stuff like that, really goes a long way to make not only water, but propane, last. I learned good conservation tips from The Boat Galley The Boat Galley
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Old 14-01-2013, 15:43   #14
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

A 11# tank lasts us 23 to 26 days. Three meals a day and baking bread. This has been very consistent over the last 20 years. We must cook more than most as everybody else seems to last longer.
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Old 15-01-2013, 05:29   #15
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Re: Propane tank re-fill's

I have 2 1# tanks. They last my wife and I about 6-8 weeks with a regular amount of cooking. We do not do much baking.

Is your boat with you in QQ or in Ontario?

In the Chesapeake, I found that hardware stores near marinas quite often have the ability to fill a propane tank. In the Caribbean, there are many places that you can drop off a tank in the morning and pick it up filled that afternoon or the next day. Best to have at least 2 tanks for continued use and flexibility.
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