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Old 04-08-2012, 01:17 PM   #1
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Propane Stove and Gasoline Engines?


Would you use a propane stove/oven on a trawler or motoryacht with a gasoline engine?
I have used propane on all of my sailboats with diesel engines. I have always used the stove/oven with a remote shut-off switch and gas sniffers. The remote switch will shut off at the tank automatically if gas fumes are detected and it can also be shut off manually with the remote switch. I have always felt safe with propane on my boats and in my RV when I had one. We also were in the habit of switching the gas on when we used the stove and off when we weren’t.
I am asking this question because a propane fire is bad enough if I ever had one, but now add the gasoline to it and ka-freakin’-boom.!!!!
I will keep the propane in a compartment completely isolated from everything except for an overboard discharge vent to vent out any escaping fumes.
What say you?
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
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Yes, but I would be very militant in my inspection of the engine room for leaks and fumes and would have very specific safety processes in place. Gasoline fumes are heavy so in theory the boat would really have to be filled with fumes before igniting a propane range in the cabin would be an explosion/fire danger. But never say never, so I think safety would need to be in the forefront.

We know people with propane galley equipment in a gas-powered boat and they have had no problems. But they have long-established safety precautions they adhere to.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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We had a 1967 Chris-Craft with a propane stove and a gas engine. It was installed with a shut off valve and a proper propane locker. We had several surveys and no issues. We always ventilated and inspected the engine compartment prior to starting the engine. I think you'd be screwed if you had enough free propane to cause an explosion with either gas or diesel.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:27 PM   #4
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Yes.
We operated a twin gas-powered boat for years with a propane stove and installed a propane cabin heater. We had a fume alarm with the sensor in the lower engine compartment and a propane sensor/shutoff with two sensors, one below the stove and one below the cabin heater in the bilge compartments. The engine compartment sensor was wired off the starting bank on the battery side of the switch so it was always on.
Regular testing of the sensors can help peace of mind. Pour a little acetone on a rag and wave it by the sensors, that should trip the alarm and close the propane solenoid valve.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:55 PM   #5
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Thank all for the replies.
That is pretty much what I thought.
Now I feel better.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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Yes, with no poblem, three times in my boating history...

34' trunk cabin ship lap planked Johnson Bros. trunk cabin woodie with twin Chris Craft gas engines. Propane stove with tank in above cockpit deck storage box with 3/4" hose at bottom of box and fed through hull about 2' off waterline on starboard side.

37' raised deck sport fisher carval planked Freeport Point custom woodie with single Nordberg Knight gas, then converted to Perkins diesel. Propane stove with tank in above cockpit deck storage box with 3/4" hose at bottom of box and fed through hull about 2' off waterline on port side.

Uniflite fiberglass with twin screw gas engines and with propane stove and full oven. Propane tank in seemless-fiberglass cockpit floor level hatched bin with 3/4" o.d. flow line in bin's bottom corner to outside starboard hull.

Always had propane pipes with no junction from tank to stove/oven. Only junction was at tank and stove/oven. Had applcable shut off switches/valves and never left tank's valve open unless stove/oven was in use!
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
Would you use a propane stove/oven on a trawler or motoryacht with a gasoline engine?
I have used propane on all of my sailboats with diesel engines. I have always used the stove/oven with a remote shut-off switch and gas sniffers. The remote switch will shut off at the tank automatically if gas fumes are detected and it can also be shut off manually with the remote switch.
What say you?
___________________________________________

I don't care for anything that raises the fire/explosion hazzard.

But that said, my first boat, many moons ago, was a 28 Fiberform with twin gas engines and propane stove/oven. We were very careful with it and kept the propane turned off at the tank and always ran the blower, sniffed and smelled the bilge before starting.

On the bright side, gas boats have explosion proof ignition, alternators and starters and most diesel boats, not so much, using automotive/truck electronics. So maybe propane on a gas boat might be safer??

Just keep telling yourself that, but be extra vigilant in any case.

Larry B
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:07 PM   #8
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That's a good point Larry... re gas/diesel ignition hazards for propane fumes. We feel safe with electric everything and a very quite 7.5 Kohler gen set.

Of course our gen and twins are gas so we are military for bower time and sniffs in the ER.

Diesel power and electric everything would negate nearly all possible fumed explosions!
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:55 AM   #9
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Of course
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:51 AM   #10
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I don't see any higher risk of explosion by adding propane to a gas boat vs a diesel boat. Unless your thinking that the propane explosion will ignite the gas fumes. In which case I guess you may have a point. But dead is dead so what's the point? But then maybe you'll be more dead.

I had a propane stove on a sailboat with a solenoid cutoff and felt very comfortable with it. The solenoid cutoff had a light that illuminated when the valve was open. We only opened the valve when cooking.

Having a propane refig is a very different risk. One I would not have.
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