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Old 10-15-2019, 09:59 AM   #1
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Propane tank size

My KK42 has a tiny propane tank. It's an aluminium 11 pound (2.4 gal) tank. Is this common? Seems silly small. We plan to head to the Bahamas this winter, and as first timers, I'm wondering how hard and expensive propane might be to purchase there. A bigger tank seems like a no brainer. Must it be aluminum? Thanks for any advice.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:35 AM   #2
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Before I can answer a question about tank size, we need to know if your propane tank is safely stored. To be to ABYC standards, it needs to be stored in a sealed compartment that vents overboard. I’m already guessing this is not the case. So how is your propane stored?
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:59 AM   #3
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Actually, I believe it is properly installed. It's in a sealed plastic case. Vented into the engine room then out the hull. With a solenoid valve control in the galley.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:06 AM   #4
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I have two of those tiny bottles on my boat. We are a couple living full time and cooking daily with propane stove/oven and occasionally on the outdoor grill. Typically both bottles last 4-6 months.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:09 AM   #5
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Actually, I believe it is properly installed. It's in a sealed plastic case. Vented into the engine room then out the hull. With a solenoid valve control in the galley.


I hope you mean the vent runs through the ER then out the hull...
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:24 AM   #6
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Exactly. Through the engine room. Not into the engine room.

And yes we only use it for the stove/oven. It did last about 2 months. So I guess I'll buy another tank. Just seems kinda silly to have several tiny tanks. Then I have to store them properly.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:56 AM   #7
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I have 2 20 pound steel BBQ tanks that are connected through a "Y" to the solenoid control valve. I leave one tank open and the other closed. When it becomes empty it is a quick change to the other tank. Close the empty one and open the spare.

I only use the propane for cooking so I get several years on a tank.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:43 PM   #8
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I have 2 20 pound steel BBQ tanks that are connected through a "Y" to the solenoid control valve. I leave one tank open and the other closed. When it becomes empty it is a quick change to the other tank. Close the empty one and open the spare.

I only use the propane for cooking so I get several years on a tank.

Thatís what we have as well. While we have two 20 lb tanks, one lasted us 3 months of daily use.

Jim
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:29 PM   #9
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I would go with a 5 gallon/20 lbs steel tank if it fits in the compartment. Nothing is cheaper. Aluminum tanks are lighter, bigger and more expensive but their life expectancy is the same as steel. Fiberglass tanks are lighter, bigger, more expensive and very difficult to have rectified. Steel tanks are so cheap you usually buy new instead of rectifying.
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Old 10-15-2019, 07:33 PM   #10
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We have 3 x 30lb aluminum tanks stored in a fly bridge locker. Two regulators, one for galley stove, one for a deck grill. One bottle lasted five months of continuous cruising, so two should be sufficient in most cases. The tanks are manageable to refill if we are at dock and have a vehicle. About 50 lb when full. Filling by dinghy and taxi certainly possible but it would not be a happy day.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:21 AM   #11
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Propane tank

The current locker is small and only the 11 lbs bottle fits. So I'll need to change the whole setup to upgrade the tank size. Which I don't have a problem with.

I'm just wondering if propane is hard to find in the outer islands of the bahamas? Or outrageous expensive? I've read a lot but it hasn't come up so far.

And thank you all for your comments. As a newbie I appreciate it.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:24 AM   #12
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I'd be tempted to keep the existing locker and make an appropriately sealed / vented storage location to carry another 1 or 2 of the 11lb tanks. You can get them in steel as well if desired. Just be aware that 11lb tanks come in both a short, fat version and a tall, skinny version, so make sure you get the correct shaped ones for your locker.

In the event of cruising somewhere that I'd likely have to carry the tanks to be refilled, I think I'd rather have more, smaller tanks instead of larger ones.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:26 AM   #13
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:36 AM   #14
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We have 2 11 pound bottles that last 5-6 months of full time cruising. Propane is available in the Bahamas as it has replaced kerosene in the out islands. However, like everything else, it is expensive and a refill may take several days to be sent off island and returned. So fill up when you can, not when you are empty.
Enjoy the Bahamas.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:10 PM   #15
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We go 2 months full time cruising on a 5 pound (~1 gal) tank with some left over. We carry a full spare but have not needed it. Propane stove top only; don't use the oven. We use 1# cans for the BBQ grill.
Sorry no clue about Bahamas propane availability.
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:00 PM   #16
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Our KK42 has a box on the upper deck, outboard of the flybridge, that holds two of those tanks. Each one last a bit over a month for stove/oven use for three people living aboard. The previous owner installed a brand new box with solenoid and hoses before we bought the boat. If I were doing it, I would probably look at converting the stbd side flybridge locker to a propane locker, looks like it would hold two of the bigger bottles and we only use the flybridge for storage anyway. Probably be different if we were boating somewhere that wasnít snowing.
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I'm just wondering if propane is hard to find in the outer islands of the bahamas?
Check out this website. Under 'Geographic Index' there is a list of most, if not all, cruising destinations which detail availability of goods and services.

Bahamas Cruisers Guide
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:08 PM   #18
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The only places that I know of that you can get a tank filled is in George Town and Nassau (as of two years ago). You can send a tank via the mail boat to Nassau but it can take a week so.

I know Iím going to get some grief for this this suggestion but you can fill your small tank yourself. Bring 1 or 2-20 lb tanks from the states and store them outside on the flybridge. Have two male to male tank fittings with 4-5í of propane hose to join the two fittings. When your small tank is empty, connect it to the 20 lb tank. Hang the 20 lb tank upside down over the little tank and open both valves. The liquid will flow into the lower tank. Vent the smaller tank. Youíll know when itís full the same way as when you take a tank to be filled in the States. It will go faster if you do it in the shade and/or wrap your smaller tank in a wet towel. Based on the outside temperature it can take a couple of hours.

Weíve done this and have also paid propane shops to fill our 20 lb tanks where all they have are 100 lb tanks. And of course the usual warnings, no smoking or open flames. Do it on the beach.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:25 PM   #19
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Two 20lb. tanks last us about 3 months.
We use stove, oven and BBQ daily.

Safe Boat Propane System Installation
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:02 PM   #20
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That’s what we have as well. While we have two 20 lb tanks, one lasted us 3 months of daily use.

Jim
Me too. I have 3 tanks under the starboard helm bench on the fly bridge.

I would not store propane inside the boat.
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