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Old 02-06-2016, 13:15   #1
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Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

Hi all. Apologies if this has been covered already - the internet is terrible here and I can't search the forum very effectively.

What cooking gas connection do they use in the Gambier Islands? US or French (or other?)? Can they fill US tanks (via gravity fill or otherwise)? If not, can you buy their tanks and fittings in Mangareva?

I'm in Galapagos right now. They can't fill US tanks here and I don't want to have to buy one of theirs and all the fittings and blah blah blah.

Cheers CF community!
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Old 02-06-2016, 14:13   #2
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

French fitting.

Bring your own hp hose and connectors. Ice and sun available locally.

b.
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Old 02-06-2016, 15:36   #3
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

We had our US tank filled in Santa Cruz 3 years ago. They even had the adapter for US Horizontal tanks, which I have never seen anyone else have (except our own).

In the Gambier, you will not be able to acquire the fittings you need to gravity fill, nor fill your tanks. If you are lucky, you will find the fittings in the Marquesas, and if not lucky, not until Tahiti. You can buy regulators in most islands, but not the free-flow fitting needed for gravity fills.

I would try to get it filled in the Galapagos if you plan on spending some time anywhere before your get to the Marquesas. In Nuka Hiva someone can fill your tanks, for a fee.
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Old 02-06-2016, 17:13   #4
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

Thanks Kiltym. I might have just sent you a message via your blog. s/v Irie?

The guys at the gas station here are telling me it canīt be filled........... but it wouldnīt be the first time things have been not exactly as iīve been told. I will research more. I just really wish my Spanish was better....... Might be tough to get the US tank fitting and hose here too, never mind the French fitting for the other end. The one i have is attached directly to the regulator so thatīs no use otherwise I could sacrifice it and use the spare regulator. Do you remember where you got it filled in Santa Cruz?

Weīve got 3 months supply left in one full tank. Plan is to work our way up to Marquesas for the Cyclone season and not be in Tahiti until about this time next year..........
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Old 02-06-2016, 17:35   #5
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

If you have a spare regulator for your home tank, then, with some limitations, this may be possible to get converted (one way conversion) to a plain (non-regulated) fitting.

Now on the French shore, you can do the same trick (you need one French fitting that you are willing to cannibalize ...)

What is more difficult to convert are snap on fitting. We were on Mangareva long ago when the fittings were of the the screw me type.

If you speak some French ... you should have zero problem finding the right people to help you out.

PS Try to get there before Bastille Day. The dancing is pretty spectacular.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 02-06-2016, 17:37   #6
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

Racking my brain.

It was on the edge (back) of town, and a hardware type store I think. The store itself was not very big, but they had a number of warehouses on the property. Can't really remember much more. They did gravity fill it, but had all the connectors. I think maybe an agent knew where it was. We didn't use her, but I think she was who told us about it.

In Nuka Hiva you can get it filled easily. Other islands not unless you have the French fitting, and a US fitting, and some hose. Sometimes the French fitting was available in Nuke Hiva, but if you did not bring your own US side, it won't help much anyway.

Hope this helps, but can't offer much more unfortunately.
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Old 02-06-2016, 17:39   #7
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
If you have a spare regulator for your home tank, then, with some limitations, this may be possible to get converted (one way conversion) to a plain (non-regulated) fitting.

Now on the French shore, you can do the same trick (you need one French fitting that you are willing to cannibalize ...)

What is more difficult to convert are snap on fitting. We were on Mangareva long ago when the fittings were of the the screw me type.

If you speak some French ... you should have zero problem finding the right people to help you out.

PS Try to get there before Bastille Day. The dancing is pretty spectacular.

Cheers,
b.
I tried drilling out a few French regulators with no success. It might be possible, but probably not with a hand drill. The only solution was to get a French fitting without regulator shipped in from Tahiti, but the hardware store in Nuka Hiva apparently has them, but not the 6 months we were there.
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:24   #8
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

A cruiser should never become attached to their gas bottles. Just ditch your US ones when you get to Polynesia and get some of theirs . Chop off your US reg and buy a local one and off you go.

Polynesia only has Butane as far as I can tell.

You could buy regs in Mangareva last month.

You cant get bottles filled but you can exchange local bottles, or buy them.

If you have the right free flow gear - look for the regs that they sell in welding shops for oxy / gas cutting - you can of course fill your own by gravity from the local bottles... They were all the same size 9 or 11kg I'm not sure which. 

Cheers
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Old 03-06-2016, 04:49   #9
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

I recall it being hard to find the FP fitting as well without the built in regulator. Pretty sure you can get a U.S. Tank filled in Tahiti but the exchange bottles were much cheaper fills. Guy we cruised with some had a propane fridge so he was constantly figuring out the local options.

Bottom line, do whatever you have to to leave with full tanks including buying a new tank full if needed.
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:00   #10
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

Hey thanks a lot everyone.

I've just ordered a custom-fabricated US-style fitting from a machine shop here in Santa Cruz with a 2.5m hose attached to it and an Ecuadorian fitting on the other end. It wasn't cheap ($80 for the US fitting......... but the guy is machining it out of solid blocks of bronze after all!) but should do the trick. I'll go in with another cruiser to buy a tank here, lend him my new fitting and we should both then be able to 'fill' our tanks by gravity fill. I've never done it myself so any advice on that is also welcome (is my hose length about right? I figured the longer it is the faster the fill because you can get the tank higher, but then more 'gas' is retained in the hose. Is there also a pressure drop proportional to hose length?) Hoping to then sell the Ecuadorian tank back to them here.

That will give me 6 months of gas. If i can find a French fitting in Mangareva (or maybe even Pitcairn? The last time i was there, back in 2003, they didn't have much but could figure out solutions for pretty much everything!) then great, otherwise i can eke it out until the Marquesas Islands in November.

Littlechay, I've no objection to buying the local tanks......... but i did pay quite a bit of money for my 2 large fibreglass ones and I like them because they don't corrode, are lightweight etc.
Butane is fine. It makes it a little hard to get enough heat for a decent stir-fry, but I can certainly live with that!
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:10   #11
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
Racking my brain.

It was on the edge (back) of town, and a hardware type store I think. The store itself was not very big, but they had a number of warehouses on the property. Can't really remember much more. They did gravity fill it, but had all the connectors. I think maybe an agent knew where it was. We didn't use her, but I think she was who told us about it.

In Nuka Hiva you can get it filled easily. Other islands not unless you have the French fitting, and a US fitting, and some hose. Sometimes the French fitting was available in Nuke Hiva, but if you did not bring your own US side, it won't help much anyway.

Hope this helps, but can't offer much more unfortunately.
Thanks again, yes this all really helps. I've been in Galapagos now for over two months so i kind of feel like i know it reasonably well. Was it by any chance 'Mechanica Gallardo'? If so, they no longer do fills. There's a new-looking petrol station that deals with all things fuel-related now, but they said it's not possible to fill US tanks here.

Last time i was in Mangareva (2003) there was very very little there. I'm sure it's changed a huge amount since then though, what with global 'development' and all. The Galapagos Islands are incredible. I did not recognise San Cristobal at all. Last time i was here it was dirt roads, a couple of shops and a couple of bars. Now there's everything under the sun (comparatively speaking!)!
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Old 03-06-2016, 11:19   #12
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

You wont find a French adapter in Pitcairn. These are Brits. But nowadays they got a lot of stuff in Mangareva.
And if not ask Fritz the Trans-Ocean representative in Rikitea and he'll have one shipped for you from Tahiti within a fortnight (or even in two days if you promise to pay the air cargo fee.)

Cheers Michael
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Old 05-06-2016, 00:10   #13
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

The last time I went through this, I bought a French tank fitting with a hose barb on it and used a hose clamp to fix it to the hose I brought from the US with a POL fitting one one end (sounds like you are having one similar fabricated in the Galapagos). I borrowed a French 11kg tank and used it to fill my US 9 kg tank.

There are two methods, but in either case if you are going from Propane (150 psi) to Butane (30 psi), it is best to bleed the old tank down to less than 30 psi before you start. Otherwise you will get a fairly sporty rush of gas into the FULL tank when you open the connecting valves. It only lasts a little while, but it will quicken your pulse, knowing that the Butane tanks were not designed for 150 psi (don't ask me how I know this).

1. Hang the French tank upside down in the sun above the empty tank, and cover the empty tank with wet towels. Hook up the hose, open the valves, and wait a minimum of 2 hours. No muss, no leakage, and you can tell how full the empty tank is getting by lifting it and shaking it. I have also had success leaving things overnight.

2. Hang the French tank upside down over the empty tank and open both valves. Then open the bleed valve on the empty tank with a screwdriver. When the escaping gas starts to spurt some liquid, shut the bleed valve, close both tank valves and disconnect. This is how they do it at the filling stations, and it will only take bout 10-15 minutes. However, you are releasing an explosive mix of gas, and it is IMPERATIVE that you are away from any ignition sources.

I have had good luck finding the barbed tank fittings for French, Italian, camping Gaz (comes with valve, and takes three 3 kg Gaz tanks to fill one 9 kg US tank) and Turkish tanks in the local hardware stores. However, some killjoy authorities frown on you filling your own tanks, so you need to be discrete. Sometimes I have had to get a local family to provide the local tank, and they are happy with the 2 kg left over in the tank when you are finished.
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Old 05-06-2016, 00:14   #14
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

Just to be clear about the bleed valve, see the picture.
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Old 06-06-2016, 19:56   #15
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Re: Mangareva Propane or Butane Fitting

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Just to be clear about the bleed valve, see the picture.
Brilliant, thanks very much Don.

I think iīm sorted. For the benefit of anyone that might be coming after me:

It turns out that Mechanica Gallardo do in fact stock US tank fittings as well as some others, but the only person who knows about them is the lady who runs the shop (the daughter of the owner, Senora Gallardo). It wasn't necessary to fabricate one, it cost $22 and they attached it to a 2.5m piece of high-pressure hose too. Furthermore, it turns out that they have their own adaptors for various tanks and will fill them. The guys at the cooking gas distribution centre will not tell you this - they'll simply say it's not possible to fill your tank in Galapagos. The cost as of now is $3.50 per kilo of gas, and they filled my tank full (it's a fibreglass tank so i can see the liquid inside it).

Next up, I'll be going back tomorrow to see if they have the french side :-)

Cheers very much for all the help and advice. I hope others can also learn from this short but informative thread; it's certainly been valuable for me.
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