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Old 17-07-2019, 09:51   #1
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Composite Propane Tanks

I am cruising in the USA, now in Maine.

I need new propane tanks and have seen many boats use composite bottles.

However they all appear to be 12.5 inches wide. These will not fit in my Moody’s locker.

Has anyone found composite tanks with smaller diameters that are less than 18inches tall?



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Old 17-07-2019, 10:15   #2
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Composite Propane Tanks

There are smaller ones, I believe some were sold by or for Lehr propane outboards. I don’t know the size though.
Most of us stay with aluminum, I believe the composite ones have a limited life and can’t be recertified? There is something that makes them less desirable and it may be that.
Not sure what, but there is some issue with them.
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Old 17-07-2019, 10:26   #3
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Re: Composite Propane Tanks

Like you I can find two sizes, but both appear to be 12” wide even the smaller Lehr tank which appears to be just a rebranded tank and nothing special.

Not fiberglass but would this work? 10.5” diameter and 16.5” tall
https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com...-p/vts-233.htm
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Old 17-07-2019, 11:39   #4
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Re: Composite Propane Tanks

The Swedish company that developed the composite propane tanks tried to make them in America, but were unable to meet quality standards. It seems that American workers just could not make them safely. All of the US made tanks were recalled several years ago although the original Swedish made tanks are still safe and legal.

I have two of them and would not trade them for anything: lightweight and non-rusting they are perfect for marine use. The 5 gallon tank is the same size as those found at the tank exchanges at Home Depot and the 3.5 gallon tank is about 10” in diameter.
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Old 17-07-2019, 12:07   #5
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Re: Composite Propane Tanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodland Hills View Post
The Swedish company that developed the composite propane tanks tried to make them in America, but were unable to meet quality standards. It seems that American workers just could not make them safely. All of the US made tanks were recalled several years ago although the original Swedish made tanks are still safe and legal.

I have two of them and would not trade them for anything: lightweight and non-rusting they are perfect for marine use. The 5 gallon tank is the same size as those found at the tank exchanges at Home Depot and the 3.5 gallon tank is about 10” in diameter.
Your post could be interpreted as all tanks were recalled, so just to be clear...

I’m not going to do any research, but there was only one company manufacturing these tanks that had a recall. We bought ours from Trident, available through Defender and West Marine in the US.

No recalls with these tanks and we are happy with them.

Cheers!

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Old 17-07-2019, 12:16   #6
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Re: Composite Propane Tanks

The recall was on company called ‘lite’ I think. The Viking ones all seem to be 12inch diameter; even the 3.5 gallon one.
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Old 17-07-2019, 12:33   #7
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Re: Composite Propane Tanks

I am under the understanding that all composite tanks are condemned after 15 years "for safety". So bear that in mind, or at least look it up to see if that number is still relevant.

I know that some composite cylinders cannot be re-certified at all, meaning they are only good 5 years.
Viking claims you can use their network to recertify and that they are the only company that can be recertified by VIP without pressure testing.

"Viking cylinders are the only composite cylinders that can be requalified by a simple visual inspection."

Years ago my wife and I were looking for composite cylinders, but cost and complication of requalifying drove us away from them. We bought an aluminum propane cylinder to save some weight and simply rubbed it down with concrete sealer on a rag: 5 years later and it looks brand new. We purchased it used for very little. An alternative to consider.
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Old 17-07-2019, 13:10   #8
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Re: Composite Propane Tanks

I have an aluminum tank from 1987, looks about like the ones I bought in 2017.
I did have to have the valve changed on the old one though, guy who did it needed a 6’ cheater bar to do it.
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Old 17-07-2019, 16:18   #9
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Re: Composite Propane Tanks

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Originally Posted by Mark Thurlow View Post
I am cruising in the USA, now in Maine.

I need new propane tanks and have seen many boats use composite bottles.

However they all appear to be 12.5 inches wide. These will not fit in my Moody’s locker.

Has anyone found composite tanks with smaller diameters that are less than 18inches tall?

I follow the industry pretty closely and don't believe there are any for sale in the USA/Canada.


I would suggest the aluminum ones with a float gauge. The price is similar, they last longer, and the only disadvantage is that they are very slightly heavier. Compare the full weights of similar sized cylinders, since they're all light enough to be easy to handle when empty.


The 10# aluminum cylinders are 15.9" high and 10.3" diameter. They fit most lockers, and weigh 19.7# full. I have a similar steel one, they're a nice size and very easy to handle.



For comparison, as noted above, the total weight of a full 10# capacity aluminum is 19.7#, and the total weight of a full 11# capacity composite is 19.6#.


Or, the full aluminum 20# weighs 34.2#, while the full 17# composite weighs 27.3#




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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I did have to have the valve changed on the old one though, guy who did it needed a 6’ cheater bar to do it.

That sort of torque requirement is typical.
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Old 17-07-2019, 16:24   #10
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Re: Composite Propane Tanks

One nice feature of the composite tanks is you can see how much liquid is in it.
If you are cruising to other parts of the world they can be a pain in the ass to fill and get re-certified. Probably only makes sense if weight is a key issue for you. We have one aluminum and one composite. I just had to decant my composite on the boat as I could not get it filled in Australia or certified.
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Old 21-07-2019, 17:02   #11
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Re: Composite Propane Tanks

I follow the industry pretty closely and don't believe there are any for sale in the USA/Canada.

Wrong. I was looking at one about three weeks ago in Trotac, a Victoria BC chandlery. My problem is that the recalled ones gave the rest of the non-recalled ones a bad name. Apparently a number of places in BC just got lazy and said they wouldn't refill any composite tanks, even though there are decent tanks out there.
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