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Old 19-10-2015, 16:14   #1
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Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

Hi folks, I'm trying to get info on the availability of propane in the Marquesas and other parts of French Polynesia. Specifically, I'm curious about the gas cylinder valves used on fork lift vehicles commonly found in the port districts for loading ships. I'm pretty sure they are using these because they can be used in warehouses. My reason is that I'm going to be bringing my 15 horsepower Lehr outboard, and I carry three 7.5 gallon GRP fork lift tanks (made in Norway) aboard as fuel for my RIB. I want to set it up so I can also fill my domestic, galley propane tanks with the appropriate adaptor hose.

I found a company (GasBOAT 4018 Adaptor Kit) that supplies the adaptors shown. Does anyone have contacts in the marine industry that might be able to confirm that these tanks are available in FP? I use the lift truck tanks because they are configured to provide LIQUID fuel in a horizontal position, and they fit perfectly in the RIB athwartships, under the seat.
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Old 19-10-2015, 17:08   #2
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

Outside of Tahiti it is pretty much gravity fill, even if you have it filled for you by a local. Every island has bottle exchanges where you can leave a deposit, fill your tanks, and return the bottle for the deposit back. Adapters that fit FP bottles can be hard to find outside of Tahiti however. A bit of a catch-22 if you want to do it yourself.
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Old 19-10-2015, 18:44   #3
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

kiltym, are you in Polynesia now? Do you go, on occasion, to the commercial docks where there might be forklifts? Could you ask where they get their tanks filled? Many thanks.
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Old 19-10-2015, 19:14   #4
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

Sorry, no longer in FP.
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Old 19-10-2015, 19:53   #5
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

No propane in FP, only butane. Works fine on the galley, may want to double check the outboard. The picture you posted is of a fiberglass tank, did not see the adapter. It's a good idea to pick up your adaptor before you leave. Tahiti, Rarotonga had a proper filling station with all the adapters as did Tonga believe it or not. Everywhere else in FP will be the hang in the tree method using their rental tanks as mentioned previously. Have to imagine their forklifts will be using their system.


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Old 19-10-2015, 20:06   #6
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

We got our US bottles filled in Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva this season. I don't recall anywhere we went in the Tuamotus that looked like they'd fill bottles from elsewhere. They may exist but you'd have to look around. Propane this year was difficult to get a few times and even the locals were running short in some places due to seemingly sporadic delivery ship schedules. Gasoline wasn't any issue.

We couldn't find just a HP connector to screw into the bottle in FP to make a gravity fill setup for our bottles. Lots of LP connectors available, but obviously the threads are backward and one shop pointed out that the seal configuration is a bit different. Checked at numerous places and was told the HP connectors without a regulator are getting harder to find. I got the impression the intent now there is to have the regulator attached directly to the bottle to minimize the high pressure hose risks.

I ended up buying a regulator with a longer neck on the HP side. I cut the connector off, drilled and tapped it to accept a barb connector, and then used that to gravity fill our tanks. Clearly you don't have a certified fitting at that point so the usual cautions and disclaimers apply. You'll have to use your own judgement.

Just a potential heads up if you're going further west...I've been warned that it's unlikely I'll be able to get my US fiberglass tanks filled anywhere in NZ or Oz as they don't recognize the certifications. We'll see when we get there.
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Old 19-10-2015, 21:06   #7
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

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Originally Posted by Hobie_ind View Post
............

Just a potential heads up if you're going further west...I've been warned that it's unlikely I'll be able to get my US fiberglass tanks filled anywhere in NZ or Oz as they don't recognize the certifications. We'll see when we get there.
I've just been through the hoops in NZ with my stainless tanks ( they didn't like the boots that were vulcanized on when they were made) but eventually they tested and passed them...

However under no circumstances will they test F/G ones... and no test = no fill.

Dunno about Oz.

And also...you can arrive with brand new alloy or whatever tanks from the US and they will still require them to be tested AFAIK... ( mine were 12 years since last test in NZ... test is good for 10 years.
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Old 19-10-2015, 21:44   #8
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

Thanks, folks! I love CF and the internet.
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Old 20-10-2015, 12:55   #9
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

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I've just been through the hoops in NZ with my stainless tanks ( they didn't like the boots that were vulcanized on when they were made) but eventually they tested and passed them...

However under no circumstances will they test F/G ones... and no test = no fill.

Dunno about Oz.

And also...you can arrive with brand new alloy or whatever tanks from the US and they will still require them to be tested AFAIK... ( mine were 12 years since last test in NZ... test is good for 10 years.
That's what I'd heard, so I'll likely just gravity fill mine from a cheap steel Kiwi bottle while we're there.
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Old 20-10-2015, 13:55   #10
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

Hi There

I have the same gas cylinders in New Zealand and it impossible to get them filled or certified for filling I purchased them in Aussie and bought them over. They have Aussie certification.
Would be easier to get a petrol outboard.

Raymond
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Old 20-10-2015, 14:47   #11
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

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Hi There

I have the same gas cylinders in New Zealand and it impossible to get them filled or certified for filling I purchased them in Aussie and bought them over. They have Aussie certification.
Would be easier to get a petrol outboard.

Raymond
Interesting Ragasco Composite LPG Gas Bottle

I thought NZ just followed along with Australian standards...

Australia takes global standards and modifies them - small nation syndrome.

NZ takes Australian standards and modifies them a bit more...smaller nation syndrome.
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Old 20-10-2015, 15:32   #12
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

Offence taken on comment "Small nation syndrome".
You may be surprised to learn that conditions in Australia are different than in your nation.
We are a little more conscious about human safety and a little less concerned about cost.
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Old 20-10-2015, 17:40   #13
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

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Hi There

Would be easier to get a petrol outboard.

Raymond
I wasn't going to say it, but I think the same. For long term cruising I'm not sure this hassles of a propane outboard are worth it. For weekend cruising in North America where the outboard goes long periods between use, I really think that propane makes sense as it helps with the problems of ethanol in fuel now.

However, for liveaboard cruising where you're using the outboard almost daily, freshness of the fuel, and the problems of ethanol in the fuel are far less of an issue. A cheap small Racor filter bolted to the transom and a filter when filling your Jerry cans from dodgier sources will resolve 98% of the issues of a petrol engine vs a propane one IMHO. Running the carb dry of fuel before longer crossing also helps to prevent issues from drying fuel in the carb.

In the past almost 2 years of cruising with our 2 teenage kids and a 4 hp - 4 stroke and a 15 hp - 2 stroke (we've got a spare inflatable dinghy to give the kids some freedom when we're in places with a lot a lot of other kid boats), I've literally spent maybe 45 minutes total cleaning the carburetor (and almost entirely from not following my own advice above) on the 4 hp outboard twice. That's far less time than I'd have spent gravity draining propane bottles and running rental bottles back and forth, not to mention potentially having to leave a more remote island earlier than we'd have liked to because we ran out of propane.

That said...one of the advantages of a Lehr out here is that i think it's highly unlikely it would ever get stolen. :-)

Either way....good luck and I hope you get away next year!
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Old 21-10-2015, 00:46   #14
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

Yes for propane--Taiohae Baie, Nuku Hiva--ask around town who to go see. He is located toward the island interior from the little store/town--I don't remember his name.
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Old 21-10-2015, 00:53   #15
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Re: Propane cylinders in French Polynesia

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Offence taken on comment "Small nation syndrome".
Goodoh!....your 'offence ' is noted...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mawtty View Post
You may be surprised to learn that conditions in Australia are different than in your nation.
Now that really would surprise me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mawtty View Post
We are a little more conscious about human safety and a little less concerned about cost.
Life down on the campo seems safe enough to me.....
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