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Old 05-09-2008, 05:58   #1
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CNG

What is the crusier experience on the availabilty of CNG in your travels? The question of course later becomes whether there is an availabilty reason to convert from a CNG system to a propane system.
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:13   #2
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Don...

CNG is almost completely unavailable in foreign ports and rarely available any longer in the US, at least in the southeast. We had a CNG system in our old boat that was great, and safe, but when we moved to Florida we discovered CNG was all but unobtainable and when so was really expensive--$39 (US) for 40+/- hours of burner time.

The good news is that most CNG appliances can easily be converted to Propane/Butane with only a change of burner orifices. The bad news is that, for safety sake, one needs a new pressure regulator with a solenoid cutoff valve which isn't inexpensive; and, a well sealed, properly vented gas bottle locker.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:19   #3
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I saw on tv the other day an ad for using CNG in cars but there was a website that had a home CNG compressor... It hooked up to your house natural gas line and then compressed it and allowed you to fill your tank for a car... should work the same way for a portable tank. I dont know the price though ...
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:56   #4
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If you can, postphone any rash decision to switch. Regardless of which political party ends up in the Ex Br office, the energy situation will undoubtedly result in CNG becoming FAR mopre popular than propane and therefore much more widely available.
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:00   #5
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Still becomes an international question.
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Old 08-09-2008, 21:32   #6
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I had CNG on my old boat. The whole "I don't need to worry about blowing myself up" thing was nice, but the availabilty was crap. Also the ability to store it in the cabin was almost forgotten to me until this post got my memory working again.

Propane has been much better. The tank seems a lot bigger (I have a 20lb), or it lasts longer, or something of that sort. I have to deal with the blowing-ourselves-up aspect now, but propane is much easier to find.
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Old 08-09-2008, 22:40   #7
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I use to maintain the CNG compressors here for the City and it was a maintenance nightmare. When the things ware out the City plans to drop them. As it is they are phasing out the CNG vehicles for the hybrids. A couple more years the only thing left will be some buses.

I doubt very much that CNG will become popular again unless gasoline reaches $5 gl. here in the US. But when gasoline goes up so does everything else including natural gas.

Propane is much cheaper to produce and store. CNG requires up to 4500 psi pressure vessels and high pressure lines and pumps. Propane can be run thru a reinforced rubber hose.

Safety wise CNG is safer in low lying areas, like sail boats, but the new technologies of today brings propane up the list. With sniffers, auto shut off and special storage containment propane is no worse then having an internal gasoline fuel tank, actually safer.

Gasoline tanks are not pressure tested to the extent of propane. On boats, in some cases, I doubt they are pressure tested at all.

Everywhere I've been in the S. Pacific I've seen the BBQ style bottles for rent/exchange in most market places. But yet have ever seen CNG. It cost too much for the equipment to pump and dispense.

And for the home pumping units. It would take all night for one to fill up a cars vessel and they cost over $3000.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:48   #8
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My house stove has propane, but my condo has natural gas (and I'm not rich just stuck at the moment with the house but we work in a different state). I notice that water boils much faster at the condo. So like anything there are pros/cons in each use.

Guess what would really help answer this question would be to hear from people who have CNG and whether they have any problems filling their tanks.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:28   #9
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Don't know what your cruising grounds are Don, but CNG won't be easily found anywhere on US east coast or the Bahamas. Have met a few cruisers who had CNG, all switched to propane. Is your boat equipped with CNG?
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Old 18-08-2011, 12:25   #10
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Re: CNG

If anyone is looking for CNG along the west Coast of British Columbia: River Marine in Vancouver has an exchange program for CNG tanks and they have a list of other suppliers in coastal British Columbia. It isn't as hard to get here as it first seems and it is way less expensive than propane. 2250 psi (last us about 19 days if cooking). for 19$ including fees and taxes. I love the safety aspect of it and besides I cook with natural gas at home too.
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Old 18-08-2011, 12:43   #11
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Re: CNG

mexico doesnt have cng, at least not readily found. mexico DOES have propane.
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Old 18-08-2011, 13:10   #12
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Re: CNG

Well, Enjoy Mexico!!! I'll keep that in mind if we charter that way. Our lil' boat will be seeing just the north west coast ... lots to see, just not as warm
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Old 18-08-2011, 13:43   #13
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Re: CNG

I've been lucky so far, my marina exchanges CNG tanks, so I don't have far to travel.
The tanks ( I have two) last a long time for me. I make coffee and occasionally breakfast, pasta, rice..etc.

I have a stern rail propane BB-que..for the steaks, burgers, fish etc.

I have no plans to convert..I do mostly coastal cruising..these days. So no plans on hitting foreign ports. I just filled a tank..that lasted 5 years.
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Old 18-08-2011, 14:56   #14
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Re: CNG

san diego has one place for cng--i donot know where it is, but a former neighbor did that...
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Old 18-08-2011, 15:16   #15
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Re: CNG

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorrieanne View Post
If anyone is looking for CNG along the west Coast of British Columbia: River Marine in Vancouver has an exchange program for CNG tanks and they have a list of other suppliers in coastal British Columbia. It isn't as hard to get here as it first seems and it is way less expensive than propane. 2250 psi (last us about 19 days if cooking). for 19$ including fees and taxes. I love the safety aspect of it and besides I cook with natural gas at home too.
G'Day all,

Can't agree that CNG is cheaper. Using the posters numbers or 19$ for 19 days worth of cooking... hmmm, that's about a dollar a day.

I just did a LPG tank exchange (not the cheapest way to go, either) here in CA: 20$ for a 9kg/20 lb/5 gal tank. This size tank lasts us around 3 months of full time liveaboard, or about 90/20=~0.22 dollars per day. Quite a lot cheaper.

There is also the storage issue -- LPG packs far more energy in a given volume than pressurized CNG. Years ago I did a SF-Hawaii-SF trip in my Yankee 30 which had CNG. Took three tanks with us (hard time finding space for them in that smallish boat) and we nearly ran out on both legs. Had to ration hot water! At that time (1983) there was only one depot for exchange on Oahu... and it was on the other side of the island from where we were. I doubt if that situation is much better today. Further, I have never seen a CNG availability in the Pacific islands we've visited, but LPG is universally available, even in pretty out of the way places (Solomons, Vanuatu Banks group, etc). You may have to decant from exchange tanks, but you can get it.

So, Don, the suitability of CNG depends on your usage style, cruising grounds and pocketbook. If you have any offshore cruising in mind, I would surely do the conversion.

Cheers,

Jim
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