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Date Posted: - Monday - 07/21/08 - 5:59pm
Author: Al LaChance
Subject: LPG tanks

Hello again all,
Just wondering who has lpg on their M31 and where are you putting the tanks and the regulator? Curious as to whether anyone has bought a box or have you just built your own? Where did you put the box? And lastly, what size tanks is everyone using?
I am converting over from cng. Anyone need tanks or a regulator and hoses?

My Best to one and all,

Al LaChance

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Replies:

[> Murre's Minimalist Set Up -- Randall, - Monday - 07/21/08 - 10:01pm

Murre uses LPG (propane) to fuel a galley stove (factory: Coleman) and a heater (Force 10: “Cozy Cabin”).

The bottle is located in what I presume to be a factory-included box on the cockpit deck just to port of the mizzen mast (see photo). This box attaches to the aft cabin bulkhead, is bottomless, and “floats” above the deck about ¼” to allow leaked-gas to drain away. Gas hoses enter the cabin through a hole in the deck just under box.

I have always used a standard 20# steel barbeque gas bottle, which just fits in the box. I installed two cocks immediately after the regulator, one for the stove and one for the heater, so I can “charge” interior hoses separately or together as dictated by need.

The steel barbeque bottle is strictly a weekender’s solution. I go through two 20# tanks a year (more or less) and have a grocery store within one minute of the marina. I figure that’d be roughly one bottle a month if I were living aboard.

What works:
-I can easily reach the box/bottle from the companionway hatch and without leaving the cabin. This means I can control gas flow into the cabin at the bottle nozzle without the need for a solenoid (more stuff I don’t want). I can drain interior lines by shutting gas off at the bottle and letting fires burn out before closing the gas knob on the stove or heater. Because interior lines are never charged unless in use, interior leakage risk is minimized.
-The box is a convenient storage receptacle for sail ties, pieces of string, gloves, the block and harness used for the anchor snubber, and the dingy rowlocks.
-It functions as a stool for standing on when putting on the mizzen sail cover.
-It’s also a great table top for your chart if you don’t mind it blowing overboard next second.

What doesn’t work:
-The box takes up deck space I’d like to use for other things—mainly sitting and drinking beer.
-The cockpit deck location provides good ventilation if there is a breeze, but in a flat calm, any leakage at the bottle would find its way into the cockpit well, and eventually under the hatches into the bilge. Placement that was outside the cockpit and that would allow only overboard drainage paths would be better. Good luck finding that place.
-The box can only hold one bottle, regardless of size. Given how tough it can be to judge the content level in a propane bottle, I live in constant fear that because I used the heater last night, there won’t be enough gas to boil water this morning and I’ll have to go without coffee, which is about as near the end of the world as one can imagine.

I favor being able to light a fire without the need for electricity (solenoid), and so will likely stick with this set up, but would like space for an additional 20# tank. I’ve toyed with sealing off the deck-accessible part of the ice box, which I never use as I never use ice, for full bottle storage only. Just haven’t got to that.

Click to enlarge:
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[> [> LPG tanks -- Craig M31-25 Hibou, - Tuesday - 07/22/08 - 1:49am

Our set up on Hibou is the same as Randall's, except that we have a spare tank mounted forward of the mainmast hidden under a nail barrel with the East India Co. logo and RUM burned into the wood. ;-) I need to post those updated photos.


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[> [> [> LPG tanks -- Al LaChance M31 #152 Hexli, - Thursday - 07/24/08 - 5:52pm

Craig,
I would love to see the pictures of the rum barrel and how you have a tank in it!
Thanks

Al


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[> [> Propane locker -- Steve M-32 #59, - Tuesday - 07/22/08 - 11:48am

Since I'm rebuilding I've looked at lots of the pictures and really given it some thought. Randall's box seems to be the standard way to go and I don't think any of the boxes are factory. One problem that Randall addressed that is a major (to me) issue is that his box does not meet ABYC and USCG regulations because of drainage. Because LPG is heavier than air it has to be able to drain overboard without the possibility of getting inside the boat. Because the cockpit drains on the 31/32 (I don't know about the others) drain out under the water the LPG has no where to go and can fill the cockpit well, leak into the lockers and cause a real problem. Two possibilities have occurred to me. One is that on a 31 with the raised lazarette section all the way aft that area could be sealed off and use one or two horizontal marine propane tanks with a drain under the stern. The other is that a box similar to Murre's could be built but sealed completely with drain lines running out to the hull on both sides so as to allow LPG to drain while on either tack. I personally like the idea of using the lazarette since that would free up all the area in the cockpit but I don't have that option on my 32 so I'll probably go with the box.


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[> [> [> LPG storage locker. -- Gitano, - Tuesday - 07/22/08 - 1:55pm

I have a custom locker recessed in the aft starboard deck, adjacent to the helm seat. The box is built out of marine ply, is fiberglassed in with West Systems epoxy, and has a box cover. The drain spills overboard above the water line. I can send photos if you like.


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[> [> [> [> LPG tanks -- Al LaChance M31 #152 Hexli, - Thursday - 07/24/08 - 5:54pm

Would love to see the pictures of your custom work. Trying to make a decision as to what is the best for me. Thanks for the time taken, in advance.

Al


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[> [> [> [> [> Propane Tank Locker -- Gitano, - Thursday - 07/31/08 - 1:01pm

Hi Al,
Sorry it took me awile. Please follow the link below to the Flickr photo reg. for photos of the propane tank locker on Gitana Vela. Please email me if you need additional information.
Regards,
Gitano.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/18774897@N08/


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[> [> [> more on propane tanks -- Randall, - Monday - 07/28/08 - 1:03am

Craig,

You MUST post photos. Besides being funny, I'd like to see the bow propane locker you refer to. The location of my fore-hatch seems to preclude it.

Steve,

I wonder about drainage from a propane locker like mine. Like you suggest, I've thought of sealing up the box and running drain hoses to each side of the hull, but I wonder if a line to BOTH sides would be necessary. One could argue that if one drainage line is plugged because it's under water, then the other is needed. And a response would be that if one is under water, that means it's blowing like stink and the boat's healed over and any leaked propane that builds up in the box is going to blow out the box lid (assuming the lid is vented or even just loosely fitted—like mine), and the gas that doesn’t blow off will drain out the hose when the boat comes back to an even keel. I’ve always thought of two drainage hoses as you describe, so this is a recent idea. I bring it up because I can imagine a path for the port drain line, but the starboard is going to cross my engine-access path and so is trickier if not downright out of the question.

Thoughts?

RR


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[> [> [> [> Drain lines -- Steve M-32 #59, - Monday - 07/28/08 - 12:09pm

The scenario I'm thinking about is you are sailing heeled over let's say on a port tack. The port side drain line will be up in the air and any leaking gas will have no where to go except out the lid which we want to avoid since it defeats the purpose of a drain line. We want to have a starboard drain line as high as possible so it is below the locker but above the heeled waterline. I'm thinking that the drains should drop through the deck (~ 1") then maybe another inch or two of drop heading out to the hull sides. We don't need much as we're not trying to drain large amounts of gas at once (I hope :-) I would think that a drain routed from the locker, through the deck, along the forward side of the well bulkhead (inside the boat) and along to the hull wouldn't interfere with access very much. As I'm writing this I remembered that you have a quarter berth while I don't. That probably makes a big difference in how we view the drain line route. Also, don't forget that while I have a fair amount of sailing experience and know systems pretty well, my knowledge on these boats in mostly theoretical as the only thing I'm sailing at the moment is concrete. Anybody with more experience with this please jump in.


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[> [> mariner 31 -- Laurence Shephard, - Monday - 10/20/08 - 11:17pm

Hi,
I am thinking of buying a Mariner 31. I don't know much about these vessels, (but you guys seem to know a lot about them. ) What do you think about them as cruisers? The boat needs work done to the deck, inside and painting to masts and hull. Is it difficult (and expensive) to work on these boats? Also what are they like as liveaboards? Are they big enough to be comfortable? I'd appreciate any info you guys can give me.
Laurence


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[> Propane -- Doug Wilson, - Tuesday - 07/22/08 - 5:54pm

I built a box similar to Randalls, but lower and wider. It holds two 2.5 bottles.
I removed an expensive fiberglass locker from down below, took up way too much room.
I feel the propane on deck is far safer than where it was.
Doug.


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[> Propane locker -- pete, - Sunday - 08/17/08 - 8:09pm

Thanks Steve for the photos, I am building one similar to what you have setup. Will have a matching hatch cover on the opposite side.. Again, thanks this helps me 'figure' out how to go forward.


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[> Rum Barrel Photos -- Craig M31-25 Hibou, - Monday - 08/18/08 - 9:33pm

OK, I can't find the directions for posting photos so here is the link to the pics on my on-line album:

http://www1.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=227548587/a=85268984_85268984/fromupload=true/imagecount=6/videocount=0/t_=85268984

I hope this works. As a bonus there's a photo of Hibou sailing to port taken from our deck at home.


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[> [> Works great!--looks cool. -- Randall, Murre, - Tuesday - 08/19/08 - 5:51pm

Have to admit, for all my noodling over ideal propane tank placement, I never thought of that space before the main. Thanks for sharing the photos. Certainly it answers "drainage" issues.

What's the track of the gas line once it enters the cabin?

Are there any other connections between the tank and stove?

How big is the tank--ten pounds?

When you turn gas on at the tank, do you leave the line charged for extended periods?

If I remember right, Pardey has a similar set up on Taliesen but just aft the mast and talks about having a manual shut-off just inside and under his coach roof.

Thanks again for sharing. Love the barrel--fits the boat nicely--but might it make life difficult when one enters cruising grounds where actual pirates abound? :)

RR


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[> [> [> LPG tank / barrel -- Craig M31-25 Hibou, - Wednesday - 08/20/08 - 2:02pm

The tank mount was already there when we bought the boat so I didn't think of it either.
This is just a spare tank so it isn't plumbed.
Yes, it is a 10 lb. tank. And yes, we leave the lines charged.
By next summer we will have a couple cannons mounted to repel any would be pirates. ;-)
BTW, Murre looks great! All your hard work really paid off.


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[> Small tank on the stern rail -- Jared, - Monday - 09/29/08 - 1:33pm

I've got a small tank (I'm pretty sure it's a 6lb) mounted on the stern rail. The previous owner had a short hose coming off the tank to a regulator that just sat on the deck not bolted down or anything (sketchy). Another hose ran off of that, through the stern anchor rode hole (sketchy!), and up to the two burner range inside. There was no solenoid shut off.

I recently moved it from the starboard stern rail to the port stern rail, added a solenoid shut off, mounted the regulator next to the tank, and added a proper through deck fitting. The bottle is kind of small but we don't have an oven. I live aboard most of the time and have only filled the bottle once in 9 months.

Pictures:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3248/2899484360_e5e6d63771.jpg?v=0

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3161/2898641059_6d577d55cf.jpg?v=0
The hose running to the top there is for the BBQ.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3008/2898641187_aedfd557f4.jpg?v=0


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