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Old 08-03-2016, 07:20 PM   #1
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Convert electric cooktop/oven to propane

We are very experienced long distance cruisers and liveaboards on our 40' sailboat which we purchased new in 1995. I've installed a Force 10 propane stove and then rebuilt that stove.

We are seriously looking at trawlers in the 50' - 60' size and $500,000 range. My wife is adamant she wants to cook with gas.

I want to have a big solar array/battery bank/inverter boat so we can minimize generator usage. We spent 4-years cruising in Mexico with fewer than 90-days in a marina. We've not needed to connect to shore power since 2000.

We looked at a very nice 2000 Cheoy Lee 61 today that had all electric cooking. I asked the salesman, who is a friend, very experienced captain, liveaboard, and owns a boat maintenance business, about switching the electric to propane.

He said it was almost impossible to get USCG approval for propane stove installs on interior cook areas. He also said ABYC standards prohibit electric to propane conversions on power boats where the cooking equipment is in an interior area above a sleeping area or bilge. He also said no insurance survey would approve a gas stove installed in an interior galley.

This is all news to me and seems very confusing. We are looking at a Selene 53 with a Force 10 propane stove/oven installed in a interior galley area.

What are the rules for converting electric cooking to propane cooking in big power boats?

Thanks
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:34 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. T. Not allowed propane conversions? Now THAT'S a new one...

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Old 08-03-2016, 07:53 PM   #3
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What about installing an induction burner and using your battery bank + inverter + solar panels?
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:55 PM   #4
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I'm curious to hear what comes of this...
We are in the process of ordering a new American Tug 395 and that boat is available with a propane stove/oven and there is bilge space below the galley. Very curious!
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:56 PM   #5
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Take whatever you like off that boat and replace it with anything you wish.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:00 PM   #6
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I never heard of those restrictions for a pure recreational vessel. Maybe inspected or charter....but I don't think the restrictions are that tight even for those vessels....


I am interested as I took out my electric stove and oven, replaced it with a 3 burner propane cooktop and a large convection oven in the dead space where the old oven was.


http://www.pcmarinesurveys.com/Safe%...stallation.htm








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Old 08-03-2016, 08:10 PM   #7
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I've got propane onboard and I also prefer to cook on gas. But before I converted from electric to gas on a boat, I'd purchase and try a induction cooktop. I'm told it responds as quickly as gas but is much more precise. It also cools to the touch immediately. The pots and pans need to be magnetic and flat bottomed to work, but that's not a huge obstacle.

Buy one, bring it home and take it for a spin. It won't cost much to try it. Whattayagottolose?
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:30 PM   #8
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We have both gas and a single inductive cook top sitting on top of a 5/8 slab of starboard on the 3 burner propane cook top. We have always had gas when we could in dirt houses. I must say this inductive cooking is OK. Quick, precise and does not heat up the boat. We both like it.

The down side I show 75 12 volt amps being sucked out of my batteries to feed the inverter when it is fired up. Ouch! So it will be used when the generator is running only or on shore power. Still have propane, propane grill and big burner outside. No worries.

The amp draw is an issue for me but maybe not for you. Not too sure about the propane probitition of which you speak. Sounds like BS to me.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:43 PM   #9
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I think propane is fairly common on interior cooking areas. I would have your friend/salesman/repairman to provide those rules and or regs. on that subject.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:01 PM   #10
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Everything you need to know about propane on a boat:

Safe Propane Installations | West Marine
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tacomasailor View Post

What are the rules for converting electric cooking to propane cooking in big power boats?

Thanks
Quite simply, there are no legal rules for pleasurecraft (There are rules for commercial craft). See my Safe Propane Installations on Boats on how to do it according to ABYC and NFPA Standards.

PS. I'm ABYC Standards Certified.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:07 PM   #12
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I prefer propane over electric, but if your larger boat runs a genset 24/7 it matters less.
With propane, your insurer may want the installation certified by someone qualified, ? the installer.
Marine propane stoves have auto gas shutoff in the event of flame failure.
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Old 08-04-2016, 05:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
I prefer propane over electric, but if your larger boat runs a genset 24/7 it matters less.
With propane, your insurer may want the installation certified by someone qualified, ? the installer.
Marine propane stoves have auto gas shutoff in the event of flame failure.
Sadly, not all - only newer ones. For that reason, when and if I sell Lotus, the perfectly working 4 burner gas stove will no longer pass for a gas certificate, and will have to go, even though I have remote solenoid shut-off and we have never had an issue with burners blowing out.

However, I suspect the advice given to the OP was some talking out of a hole in his head, as others have pointed out. Sort of like the electrician that advised my brother that you can't put solar panels on a tiled roof. Brisbane is full of tiled roofs with solar panels on them, ours included.
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Old 08-04-2016, 06:25 AM   #14
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"He said it was almost impossible to get USCG approval for propane stove installs on interior cook areas."

USCG "approval" is for charter boats that carry many pax for $$$$'

A range conversion will be almost impossible.

Sell the AC unit and purchase a real marine propane stove.

You might contemplate what the Brits call a HOB. The range has a very nice broiler built into the oven space.

I guess BBQ , standing out in the rain isn't popular there.

For the range I prefer a RED light to illuminate when the gas solenoid is on , LED would be cheap .

And a second wired in item, a hand wound 2 hour timer , that is not easy for kids to reach , and provides insurance the range unit wont be on "forever" by accident.

If you will be cruising and prefer anchoring out to the marina life , you might contemplate a Propane reefer .

A silent 20# bottle once a month is so much easier to live with than creating 200AH per day , every day .

Servelle makes better insulated units for the Amish lifestyle , same guts as the RV units.
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Old 08-04-2016, 06:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
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"He said it was almost impossible to get USCG approval for propane stove installs on interior cook areas."

USCG "approval" is for charter boats that carry pax for $$$$'

A range conversion will be almost impossible.

Sell the AC unit and purchase a real marine propane stove.

If you will be cruising and prefer anchoring out to the marina life , you might contemplate a Propane reefer .

A silent 20# bottle once a month is so much easier to live with than creating 200AH per day , every day .
Never seen a propane refrigerator on a boat that complies with ABYC Standards (pilot light, room sealed combustion chamber, ventilation). Some insurance companies see this as an issue.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Tacomasailor View Post
We are very experienced long distance cruisers and liveaboards on our 40' sailboat which we purchased new in 1995. I've installed a Force 10 propane stove and then rebuilt that stove.

We are seriously looking at trawlers in the 50' - 60' size and $500,000 range. My wife is adamant she wants to cook with gas.

I want to have a big solar array/battery bank/inverter boat so we can minimize generator usage. We spent 4-years cruising in Mexico with fewer than 90-days in a marina. We've not needed to connect to shore power since 2000.

We looked at a very nice 2000 Cheoy Lee 61 today that had all electric cooking. I asked the salesman, who is a friend, very experienced captain, liveaboard, and owns a boat maintenance business, about switching the electric to propane.

He said it was almost impossible to get USCG approval for propane stove installs on interior cook areas. He also said ABYC standards prohibit electric to propane conversions on power boats where the cooking equipment is in an interior area above a sleeping area or bilge. He also said no insurance survey would approve a gas stove installed in an interior galley.

This is all news to me and seems very confusing. We are looking at a Selene 53 with a Force 10 propane stove/oven installed in a interior galley area.

What are the rules for converting electric cooking to propane cooking in big power boats?

Thanks
Your friend/salesman is either feeding you a line of BS or he doesn't have any idea what he is talking about. There are thousands of boats out there (including mine) with propane stoves and ovens fuelled by propane, ABYC compliant and fully insured.

You can't "convert" an electric stove to propane but you can certainly replace it with an approved marine propane stove. The propane system must meet ABYC standards but that is not difficult.
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:01 PM   #17
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.............If you will be cruising and prefer anchoring out to the marina life , you might contemplate a Propane reefer ......
I've never seen one for sale. That is, and ABYC marine one. I don't believe it's possible to make one that would meet the ABYC requirements.
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
"He said it was almost impossible to get USCG approval for propane stove installs on interior cook areas."

USCG "approval" is for charter boats that carry many pax for $$$$'

A range conversion will be almost impossible.

Sell the AC unit and purchase a real marine propane stove.

You might contemplate what the Brits call a HOB. The range has a very nice broiler built into the oven space.

I guess BBQ , standing out in the rain isn't popular there.

For the range I prefer a RED light to illuminate when the gas solenoid is on , LED would be cheap .

And a second wired in item, a hand wound 2 hour timer , that is not easy for kids to reach , and provides insurance the range unit wont be on "forever" by accident.

If you will be cruising and prefer anchoring out to the marina life , you might contemplate a Propane reefer .

A silent 20# bottle once a month is so much easier to live with than creating 200AH per day , every day .

Servelle makes better insulated units for the Amish lifestyle , same guts as the RV units.

Another home run by FF. Very good advice.
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:38 PM   #19
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I've never seen one for sale. That is, and ABYC marine one. I don't believe it's possible to make one that would meet the ABYC requirements.

Why should ABYC matter? The insurance company is the only one that counts.
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Old 08-04-2016, 04:00 PM   #20
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Why should ABYC matter? The insurance company is the only one that counts.
My concern is my family's safety and following the ABYC "codes" insures that the system is installed as safely as possible. While I have and recommend insurance, my insurance company does not have the expertise in this area that the ABYC has.
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