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Old 07-04-2013, 20:44   #16
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

Sorry we don't have any solar. But we have a gen-set, and 3 large house battery banks.
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Old 07-04-2013, 21:35   #17
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

We seem to average about 7 months per 20lb tank but in the summer we barbecue a lot and then we're using a third 20lb tank. We'll soon see how long into the upcoming season last year's bbq tank will last. We were both surprised to see how long our propane was lasting with our dickenson force ten stove. Prior to living on the boat, we spent about six month living in our travel trailer and we went through a 30lb tank about every 2 weeks. Mind you, we had propane stove, hotwater and 3 way fridge in the trailer.
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Old 07-04-2013, 22:26   #18
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

We have two 2.2 gallon tanks that last 4 - 6 months when cruising full time in Southern California or Western Mexico.

We have big solar panels and batteries and use the microwave a lot. We also heat water with diesel fuel so the only thing the propane is used for is the Bar-B-Que and Force 10 stove.

I make coffee and tea with an electric kettle (BIG batteries and inverter) and we rewarm with the Microwave as well as baking potatoes for the first 8 minutes in the microwave.

We do bake several times a week and use the Barbie a lot to cook fish and veggies.
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Old 07-04-2013, 23:06   #19
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

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Originally Posted by BlueWaterGirl View Post
Boat Alexandria, we unfortunately do not have enough solar panel power. That is actually our next big project. It doesn't seem like we'll get enough though, especially since we cruise mostly in the Desolation Sound (British Columbia) area. Also, I keep hearing that most people do not get enough solar to power everything they need. Am I wrong? What's your solar/battery set up?

Thanks again, everyone! Cheers!
I have 500 watts of solar and 8 golf cart batteries. The cost is about $1500 so maybe this is too much. Then again, I use it for motoring the boat as well and for a lot of things.

When it is overcast or I need higher temperatures for roasting or baking or if it is just cold and I need to heat the boat.. a wood stove. You can make one for free from an empty gas bottle and a 3 inch steel pipe. On most shorelines driftwood is abundant and available everywhere. Gas is probably not a good long term solution do to the risks involved, and the availability. It is getting more expensive with time, and will do so exponentially in the future. Unless you are making biogas from your
composting toilet + compost (which is a good idea) and while it wouldn't supply all your cooking needs, could come to around 1/4 to 1/2 of them. When complemented with electric and wood, this could be the ideal solution.

Wood is the best possible way to cook bread, fish and most things roasted... there is no substitute for the smoke flavor.
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:32   #20
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

I have an electric oven (microwave/convection) - but I have a generator.

I also have an

for those times when I dont want to use the generator.
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:39   #21
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

3 to 4 months in the sub tropics, where I dont use hot water a lot. (Gas hot water system) So its just gas stove and gas barbie. Gas bottles are 4.5 kilo (I have two mounted - one plumbed in and one spare). Three months seems to be fairly popular response.
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:24   #22
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

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3 to 4 months in the sub tropics, where I dont use hot water a lot. (Gas hot water system) So its just gas stove and gas barbie. Gas bottles are 4.5 kilo (I have two mounted - one plumbed in and one spare). Three months seems to be fairly popular response.
Do you use propane or butane, and which is easy to source in your region?
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:40   #23
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

LPG - I think its what you would call propane - LPG is easy to get and get bottles refilled.

We use bottled LPG at home for our stove and have two 9 kilo bottles plumed with a cutover switch. They last about 3-4 months each as well!
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:03   #24
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

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LPG - I think its what you would call propane - LPG is easy to get and get bottles refilled.

We use bottled LPG at home for our stove and have two 9 kilo bottles plumed with a cutover switch. They last about 3-4 months each as well!
In Europe you will find a mix of butance only, propance only and propane with butane.

The difference used to be the required regulator pressure, 37 mbar for propane - and better in cold climates. 28 mbar for butane.

These days it is possible to get a 30mbar regulator which is supposed to be capable of working with either gas system.

It is my understanding that Propane is easier to source in polynesia
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:20   #25
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

You'll want 2 tanks...one in use and the other to replace when it goes empty in the middle of cooking something... hopefully coffee of something... that is unless your propane locker can handle two tanks with a transfer valve with takes a NY minute to switch over. Shiva's propane locker is too small so I have to switch them out... spare lives in anchor locker which is ventilated and has a drain / weep.

Getting refills and matching threads was a problem in the Caribe years ago... maybe that's changed. Ten pounds will last a few months of constant use for galley only in my experience living aboard.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:31   #26
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

Our 10 pounders are aluminum and easier to handle than the big ones. Our cruising area (Mostly Bahamas ) has enough "filling stations".

Here in Hopetown you leave the empty on the grocrey dock and it majicly appears full in a day or so.

Solar is great but I find it hard to believe you can cook real meals unless you have huge battery banks and 3-4 large solar panels. Inductive heat (Stove-oven) takes a lot of power.

Nothing like a fresh baguette from the oven!
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:40   #27
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

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Originally Posted by BlueWaterGirl View Post
Bobconnie, we also can a lot of food before big trips, so that shoud help. Would you exlain a little more about your vented storage? Sorry, I'm a complete newbie to this topic. We are getting a 20lb locker but we'd love to keep an additional one on hand.
BWG... This didn't seem to get addressed, so I thought I would help with what little I know... "vented storage" Just like the location where your main tanks will be... if enclosed in a locker/lazzerette etc... The space MUST be vented with drain outside the boat... Propane is heavier than air and must have provisions to be "vented" somewhere and not collect in areas of the boat like the bilge = BOOM!

Picture a drain as if it were a water drain system, but... ends up OUTSIDE the boat somewhere....

BUENO?

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Old 08-04-2013, 05:53   #28
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We're on 3 months now with our 20 lb tank, we get 90 to 120 days.

As has been mentioned you should have 2 tanks. When you run out, you may not get more for a few days. If not enough room for 2 20's then a 20 & a 10 or 2 10's
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:58   #29
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

I wrote an article for Cruising World awhile back that might prove helpful as you install your system.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:05   #30
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Re: Propane Usage for Liveaboard Couple?

We cook all the time and use around 1 tank every two months. Also our generator runs on propane but we almost never run it. Using solar to charge our 3 8D bats. We have always 3-4 spare bottles which we keep tight and outside. No box built for spares.
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