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Old 18-03-2010, 17:57   #1
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Propane Tank Storage?

We are getting ready to install a new propane stove in our Catalina 30 and I'm wondering where those of you who use propane store your tank at. Our boat has a mount for a 50lb cylinder already installed in one of the lockers in the cockpit. I see some folks think that the only safe place for propane tanks are on deck and not in an enclosed area but I'm wondering why there would be a mount which seems to be factory installed in the locker.

Anyway as always your insight is appreciated.
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Old 18-03-2010, 18:41   #2
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My solution

I had a propane locker mounted in my lazerette. It was a commercial product retrofitted by the previous owner. It was properly installed with a drain to the exterior under the transon counter via a throughhull. I just didn't want propane below decks. I removed the locker (and gained valuable storage). I added a stern rail mounted holder and I sleep more soundly. Everyone has to decide what suits them. I have seen propane lockers which were designed and molded as original equipment and I would have been perfectly happy with them. I've also seen some which I would never use. Some older yachts use deck lockers which can also be used for deck storage of lines, fenders, etc. That is a great solution also.
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Old 18-03-2010, 20:13   #3
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If the locker is completely sealed from cabin and any below decks area AND well ventilated overboard then I see no problem storing propane there.

Enclosed is OK as long as it is well drained and ventilated.
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Old 18-03-2010, 20:31   #4
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Of the 4 cruising boats I've owned, I used the 1 lb propane mini-tanks you can buy at convenience stores for just over $2 each.

I know many will laugh, but on the 2.5 month cruise I just finished I went through 8 which cost about $20 total. Hard to argue with the economics of that. Not for every cruising situation I realize, but something to consider for smaller boat cruising.
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Old 18-03-2010, 22:32   #5
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Cockpit locker for me. Sealed wih a drain from the bottom. Shutoff solenoid, and leak monitoring are in there as well.
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Old 19-03-2010, 04:49   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelshooter View Post
... I'm wondering why there would be a mount which seems to be factory installed in the locker.
Anyway as always your insight is appreciated.
There wouldn’t be - It’s almost certainly NOT a factory propane cylinder mount.
I’ve never seen a 50# propane cylinder (standard sizes 10#, 20#, 30/33# 40# 100#)
A 40# residential bottle is fairly large and heavy, about 12" diameter x 30“ long (high*), and weighs 70# full.
Nobody in their right mind would do so.

* most propane cylinders are upright vertical (plumb) mount only, though horizontal types are available.

For relevant standards on Marine LPG system Installations, See ABYC A-1 MARINE LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LPG) SYSTEMS

Here ➥
http://www.abyc.com/committees/A-01.pdf
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Old 19-03-2010, 04:54   #7
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50 lb? Lotta propane. I built a locker w drain to hold two 10 lb tanks. They reside inside, acess from cockpit. Hatches only allowed tanks of 11" max diameter. Bought the fiberglass lite tanks. Best value in those dimension criteria.
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Old 19-03-2010, 21:26   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
Of the 4 cruising boats I've owned, I used the 1 lb propane mini-tanks you can buy at convenience stores for just over $2 each.

I know many will laugh, but on the 2.5 month cruise I just finished I went through 8 which cost about $20 total. Hard to argue with the economics of that. Not for every cruising situation I realize, but something to consider for smaller boat cruising.
These small bottles must be stored with the same level of caution and safety as larger propane bottles.
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Old 19-03-2010, 22:32   #9
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A locker that vents overboard. Vent it also to get any moisture / condens out - or else you end up with rusty regulator.

On deck - great if you have space, but protect from direct sun and water.

b.
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Old 19-03-2010, 22:45   #10
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These small bottles must be stored with the same level of caution and safety as larger propane bottles.
I agree for the most part but being notably smaller often opens safe storage options more easily than with larger tanks. It's much easier for example to unplug a 1-lb tank an set it outside than it is a 25 lb tank.

I also will propose that having a half empty 1 lb tank leaking it's contents is less likely to build up to explosive levels than half a 25-lb tank leaking.

I don't mean to imply that one should disregard the dangers of propane simply because it is stored in smaller containers. It's a potentially very dangerous fuel and the associated dangers should be taken seriously in all volumes.
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Old 22-08-2010, 06:08   #11
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For relevant standards on Marine LPG system Installations, See ABYC A-1 MARINE LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LPG) SYSTEMS

Here ➥ http://www.abyc.com/committees/A-01.pdf
Hi Gord can you steer me to C.G. regs that state tanks stored outside must have solinoid? I've kept my tanks outside on every boat i've ever had even large comercial fish boats. never been wrote up before.
now i have DCF on my butt, then again they also said the bowl of dog food was a hazered because child could eat it!
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Old 22-08-2010, 06:37   #12
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Hi Gord can you steer me to C.G. regs that state tanks stored outside must have solinoid? ...
No. I'd think that would be up to the DCF officer writing the deficiency.

However:

ABYC A-1 states, in part:

“... A-1.7.3 A readily accessible manual or electrically operated (e.g., solenoid) shut-off valve shall be installed in the low or high-pressure line at the fuel supply...”

And

“... A-1.7.6.1 LPG cylinders, cylinder valves, regulating equipment, and safety devices shall be readily accessible, secured for sea conditions, and protected from the weather and against mechanical damage, and shall be
A-1.7.6.1.1 installed in a ventilated location on the exterior of the boat where escaping gases will flow directly overboard,
or,
A-1.7.6.1.2 if the escaping vapors will not flow directly overboard, the cylinder shall be installed in a dedicated locker meeting the requirements of A-1.8 LPG LOCKERS...”

See ➥ http://www.abyc.com/committees/A-01.pdf
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Old 22-08-2010, 06:45   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelshooter View Post
We are getting ready to install a new propane stove in our Catalina 30 and I'm wondering where those of you who use propane store your tank at. Our boat has a mount for a 50lb cylinder already installed in one of the lockers in the cockpit.
Depending upon the age and location of your boat, the mount you are seeing may have been designed for a CNG (or "SafeGas") cyclinder. In the mid-80's quite a few boats--including Catalina's--were fitted with CNG rather than Propane stoves which were safer than Propane and quite convenient. Unfortunately, because of the difficulty of obtaining CNG, the practice has largely been discontinued.

West Marine, Defender and several of the other vendors offer a made-up Propane storage locker with proper venting that can be mounted in a convenient location aboard your boat. Frankly, you really don't need that big a tank. We use a 10# bottle the provides about 40 hours of burner time (5K BTU Burners) and have never had any difficulty. We carry a couple of disposable cyclinders ("Gofer Bottles") for our grill and an adapter that allows us to use these with our main Propane system when our main tank runs out and gives us plenty of time to "gofer" a refill.

I caution you to observer to prior suggestions on venting and gas sniffers. This installation is one that could prove very problematic if you are not thoroughly skilled.

FWIW...
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Old 22-08-2010, 07:20   #14
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hi Gord.
I read that too, it refers to sub-t boats i cant find anything making it a leagal requirement for non inspected vessels. common sense yes but leagal no?
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Old 22-08-2010, 10:19   #15
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There wouldn’t be - It’s almost certainly NOT a factory propane cylinder mount.
I’ve never seen a 50# propane cylinder (standard sizes 10#, 20#, 30/33# 40# 100#)
A 40# residential bottle is fairly large and heavy, about 12" diameter x 30“ long (high*), and weighs 70# full.
Nobody in their right mind would do so.

* most propane cylinders are upright vertical (plumb) mount only, though horizontal types are available.

For relevant standards on Marine LPG system Installations, See ABYC A-1 MARINE LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LPG) SYSTEMS

Here ➥
http://www.abyc.com/committees/A-01.pdf
A full 20# steel cylinder will weigh near 45 lbs, maybe thats what he meant? A 30# (very odd size but I've seen them on RV's, horizontal-mounted) might be around 50#. That would be a big space-user on a boat. I'd rather have two 20#'s myself.
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