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latogato 02-12-2009 06:59

LPG Fittings Required for Circumnavigation
Greetings All,
This is my first post on the forum, so please forgive any first time mistakes. ;)

I have been told that getting your LPG cylinders filled around the world is a challenge at best. I have heard that exchange programs are more common than filling stations.

I am planning a 2 year circumnavigation that will begin in the Bahamas in Jan 2010, and I want to buy as much as I can (afford) in the US before leaving and having to pay importation duties etc etc.

Is there any information on LPG fittings and adaptors that will ensure we are able to eat hot food on our travels? We are not the first to circumnavigate, so I am hoping there is plenty of first hand advice available here.


slomotion 02-12-2009 08:33

Welcome, John

You can get some information at Click on Countries, select a country, and under Marine Services on the left of the page you can click on LPG.

Our cruising experience was confined to the Bahamas/Caribbean, and it's been a few years now so maybe things have changed. But our experience was as you have been told - exchange places are more common than than refill stations. However, propane is in very common use in the Caribbean. We were almost always able to get our original tank filled if we were willing to leave it for a day or two. Also, several times we managed to intercept the local propane supply truck and those guys were always happy to fill our tank for at a discount price - cash only.

In general and as long as you are not in a hurry, mon, you can get your tank filled just about anywhere that has propane in the Bahamas/Caribbean. Obviously, you want a spare tank - we had a total of 3. In Martinique (I think) we had to buy an adapter - I don't know the specs and there was no choice - you had to buy it or they wouldn't fill your tank. It cost $10 nine years ago.

Cheechako 02-12-2009 10:05

no worries.....
John, almost every cruiser I know is using an expensive non corrrosive LPG tank. They are not exchanging those for steel. It may take a little extra effort, but even if you have to hire a taxi (or motorcycle!) you can get it filled. They seem to last forever.... especially the further south you go. (too hot to cook, food too cheap ashore) Have two tanks (one for the BBQ?) , that way you can fill one whenever it is convenient. Your biggest problem will be remembering to stay well back when the guy filling your tank lights up that cigarrette while he's doing it! If there is a need for cruiser's to get their tanks filled......... a 3rd world entrepenuer (sp?) will fill the nitch to feed his family! I have spent an afternoon making trips on the back of a 250cc motorcyle with a 5 gal jug of diesel in each hand...... Not sure my arms will ever be the same though.... point is ..... there is always a way!:thumb:

MarkJ 02-12-2009 16:47


Originally Posted by latogato (Post 368184)
I have been told that getting your LPG cylinders filled around the world is a challenge at best. I have heard that exchange programs are more common than filling stations.


Welcome! :)

1st rule of circumnavigatiing: DO NOT listen to advice from cruisers!!!

There is NO problem getting your gas tanks filled for at least your first 17,000 nms. Thats as far as we have got so far. :)

Never need to swap. you would have to buy a new bottle to swap anyway as each country/company has their own.

We are still using the same fittings. They remain the same till Europe and then I guess we go to the harware store buy a different $5 fitting and change over, or buy a new $30 bottle and a new $5 fitting.

Propane V's Butane: Shove either in a standard bottle! Let all the previous gas out before filling with the new gas.

In Malaysia we have needed to decant gas from a 14kg bottle into our 4.5kg bottles with a jury rig attachement (no smaoking!) but then we found there was a place to take them and they did them cheaper with the regular fittings!

You will find that the rest of the world more often used gas for cooking so virtually every country is ready for you! :)

Gas lasts so long that one specific difficult area is normally transited beffore th gas runs out :)

Second rule of Circumnavigating: Have fun! :)

PS We bought a new steel tank recently as one is expiring and we just lacquered it :)

jkleins 02-12-2009 16:52

We always carried two tanks and when one was empty we just kept an eye out for a gas refill place close to the dinghy dock or a place where one of the locals would get it filled for you in town for a small fee. We would fill where it was easy and not worry about it if it didn't look convenient.


MJWEENZ 02-12-2009 17:42

LOL. Went to 3 places in Port Clinton to have our propane tanks filled this spring, both less than 2 years old. Was told by one place the inspection was not current even though the tank was still sealed from the manufacturer, told by another place the valve was bad. Eventually went to a place that filled RV tanks and he knew exactly what to do. He got a good laugh from our story from the other places. :D

jglauds 02-12-2009 18:27

Hi John:

First, I expect we'll cross paths over the next few year; we leave in January for a 2-3 year circumnavigation, from Florida.

On the subject of fittings, our 44' cat came with butane tanks and fittings (French). I finally found an adapter from Fawcetts in Annapolis to let me take propane. Like some of the comments, I'll be taking a few tanks -- non-steel -- and plan to wing it ... worse comes to worst, a pipe shop can assemble some adapters and fittings.

Raw fish ain't bad either, if marinated :)

Smooth sailing


ile de Grace

latogato 17-03-2014 19:28

Re: LPG Fittings Required for Circumnavigation
Gosh, I'm a little embarrassed... I guess I bought the boat and spent the last 4 years cruising and not logging onto this forum!!

Thank you to all the folks that responded to my question... as it turns out we have had NO problems with filling our LPG tanks. We are currently in Panama and use a jury rig to decant from a local tank to our tanks. No problem...and no smoking ;)

I suppose I need to check what email address I have listed as I do not recall ever receiving notifications of your reply posts.

FSMike 17-03-2014 20:52

Re: LPG Fittings Required for Circumnavigation
Glad y'all had a good time. I'm always amused how simple supposedly difficult things can turn out to be. Fair winds.

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