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Old 12-02-2009, 12:14   #1
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Propane Tanks

hi all,

I am thinking about putting a propane stove in my boat. I can get a good deal of a locker which has the capacity to hold 2 - 10lb bottles. Not sure if this is enough propane, thinking i might have to get them filled quite often. Very general question, anybody have any insight into consumption rate of propane when living aboard. I plan on either using the stove inside or the barque outside once a day.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:29   #2
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A 10# propane tank perc'd a gallon of coffee and prepared 1 hot meal every day, for Maggie and I, and lasted about 6 weeks.
Your mileage may vary.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:35   #3
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Propane usage

FWIW, on Insatiable II we have 20 lb (9kg) tanks, and they last us approximately 3 months. We live aboard full time, so have 3 meals daily plus some bread baking etcetera. This data is from 6 years experience.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II
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Old 12-02-2009, 13:06   #4
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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
FWIW, on Insatiable II we have 20 lb (9kg) tanks, and they last us approximately 3 months. We live aboard full time, so have 3 meals daily plus some bread baking etcetera. This data is from 6 years experience.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II
Our experience was the same and we had an on-demand propane water heater that we used every day for showering.
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Old 12-02-2009, 13:10   #5
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May depend on where you plan to be. We used our stove a lot less in the Carribean. Usually had a 10 lb'er for the stove and a 5 for the BBQ. When the stove ran out (~ 5-7 weeks) the BBQ cylinder would suffice for a couple o f weeks until we got it filled.
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Old 24-06-2009, 08:16   #6
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As a sidebar, here's a Practical Sailor article that may be of interest:

http://www.practical-sailor.com/marine/propane.pdf

Also, from Dragged Aboard by Don Casey, The best place for propane tanks is on deck. If you want them out of sight, the locker you put them in must be vapor tight and separated from the boat's interior. It must open only above deck and have a drain at the bottom to let leaking gas escape over the side. Be sure the drain outlet is not located near any other hull opening and that it is always above the water, even when the boat is heeled. Aluminum tanks are more suitable for the marine environment. As a rule of thumb, expect to use about 1 pound of propane per person per week cooking three meals a day. So a full 10-pound tank should last a crew of two at least 5 weeks.

West Marine printed this:

How big does the tank need to be?
A general rule is that a person will consume 1lb. of propane per week for cooking meals. 10lb. of propane will operate an average stove burner for 43 hours. That translates into three meals a day for eight people for eight days or two people for about 40-50 days. Propane water heaters use about 0.5 pounds per hour of operation. Tanks are available in either rust free aluminum or powder-coated steel. The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) is the world's most highly respected boating industry technical organization, and sets voluntary standards for boat construction and safety in important areas like ventilation, electricity and plumbing. While not mandatory, we recommend that you follow ABYC guidelines so your installations are safe and because the systems should work better. The initials ABYC refers to either the group itself, or the standards that the group establishes.
ABYC Requirements for Onboard LPG Systems
  • Propane Lockers: isolated, vapor-tight and above the waterline with ventilation directly overboard
  • Tanks: made of corrosion-resistant materials with overfill protection devices (OPDs)
  • Pressure Gauges: installed in-line to detect system leaks
  • Solenoid Valves: required for remote shut-off if the tank valve is not within reach of the appliance
  • Supply Hoses: corrosion-resistant flexible tubing must provide a continuous connection to the appliance
  • Dedicated Vent: located at the bottom of the locker with a minimum 1/2" dia.
  • Warning Sign: with safety instructions located in the immediate vicinity of the cylinder
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Old 24-06-2009, 09:54   #7
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We live aboard 6 months a year and do quite well with 2 10 pound tanks. We have 3 meals a day, bake bread and quite often heat water on the stove. A tank lasts from 22 to 28 days. I think we cook more than most people as everybody else's last longer.
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Old 24-06-2009, 13:03   #8
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In the Carib, last season found it more and more difficult to get tanks filled. Some locations only fill certain types of tanks. Most will fill Aluminum tanks but some will only fill steel tanks but only if they are not used on boats.... I've only seen a couple of places that would touch the new fiberglass tanks which look like a good choice if you can get them filled.
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Old 24-06-2009, 14:06   #9
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Thanks Reality Check - I was looking into installing a composite tank to replace a steel one on my boat (the other is aluminum) and was concerned about refills in the Caribbean. Has anyone had a different experience?

Brad
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Old 24-06-2009, 14:09   #10
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Don't know about the Caribbean but in the Bahamas they'll fill anything.
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Old 24-06-2009, 14:18   #11
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In the past I have had no problems anywhere reflling either aluminum or steel, but again, I have no experience with the new composite tanks. My guess is that one is most likely going to run into problems in areas such as the French or Dutch Islands where regulations are apt to be more specific and more strictly enforced - does anyone know if composites are approved for use in either, or both?

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Old 24-06-2009, 15:36   #12
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Well...if someplace wants to be picky about filling your bottle...you could keep one of these around and with a few other hardware store sourced adapter fittings...you could put a deposit down and buy a couple of their full bottles, take em' to your boat, fill your own, then turn the empties back in (and hopefully get your deposit back ) If you don't get your deposit back...at least you got your propane...and a couple extra boat anchors...(or maybe a local would buy the empties off ya)
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Old 24-06-2009, 16:39   #13
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We get about 30 days from a10 lb. We bake, can, and prepare 3 meals a day. 2 people onboard. Have fiberglass tanks.
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Old 24-06-2009, 19:54   #14
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If any one is going to Panama you can buy aluminium 25 lbs tanks complete with propane in Colon for $25 (4 years ago) The propane costs $3.50 for 25 lbs.
The tanks come with a large bayonet connectors. The thread in the tank, 1" NPT, is the same as the US tanks. Just swap valves.
They also make smaller tanks.

The downside is that in the US you cannot get them filled, they are not certified for use in the US.

My wife likes to cook. 20 lbs in 3-4 weeks.
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Old 27-06-2009, 05:44   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
We live aboard 6 months a year and do quite well with 2 10 pound tanks. We have 3 meals a day, bake bread and quite often heat water on the stove. A tank lasts from 22 to 28 days. I think we cook more than most people as everybody else's last longer.
Our routine is very similar and coffee in the cockpit every morning is a must. We use about 1 pound a week from a 6 gal aluminum tank mounted on the stern rail. We have a portable Mr. Buddy Heater, 1 lb = 6 hrs on low. from 1lb cylinders.
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