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Old 01-11-2017, 08:32 AM   #21
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Indeed this is what is worrying me. I would not like to do an install that my insurance will say is not correct forcing me to redo it differently. I am in favor of the "do it once but do it right" concept
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:55 AM   #22
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I would NOT put it on the swim step. In my experience, anything on a swim step is sacrificial as soon as you hit any kind of water. I expect you spend most time in the river systems? But the St Lawrence and Lake Ontario can easily generate condition that I could take out a swim step mounted propane locker. If that happens, then you could be creating a much, much bigger danger.

I'd get a locker made specifically for propane, and come up with the best location possible. And I think it's OK to run a drain hose to direct where any leaking propane goes. Just keep the hose size large, and run it on the exterior of the boat.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:06 AM   #23
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As the Technical VP of ABYC i attended every technical meeting and prepared the meeting minutes and the updated standards. I oversaw committee actions and helped find applicable statistics and engineering solutions. Compliance with ABYC does NOT require a drain running down past the gunwale. This ABYC committee is made up of boat builders, propane appliance builders, boatyards, surveyors, the USCG, boat owners, Boat US and several insurance companies. In the opinion of the committee and with approval of the ABYC Technical Board, the 20" rule was deemed adequate. The reasoning for this requirement built on the requirement for gasoline fuel tank vents which must not be closer than 15" from any opening into the hull.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:16 AM   #24
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I can see all that as reasonable.....but it has been interpreted differently by one surveyor at one time and that didn't seem reasonable to me.


If you were the unlucky recipient of a letter from your insurance company requesting that you fix it to the surveyors satisfaction....that would have been a big problem.


Unfortunately it is very difficult to wave that piece of ABYC literature in anyone's face describing "reasonableness" when your survey has some 2 sentence excerpt from ABYC guidelines printed out that looks so nice and official.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:22 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by kev_rm View Post
Am curious folks thoughts on propane detectors... I see them in cabins... should they not be in the bilge? (or both?)
I just came to like them the other day, it turns out. The pressure gauge on my regulator was broken so I replaced it. This entailed removal of a bunch of fittings and replacement of a few because they had been assembled with some form of loc-tite or permatex that would not let go, one joint in particular.

Anyway, I put it all back together with Rectorseal #5 and turned the gas back on, and about 5 minutes later our alarm went off indicating gas in the locker. Making a long story short, some residual hard sealant had prevented one of the joints from sealing and I had a leak. Without the detector I wouldn't have know.

Now, before anyone scolds me, I'll do it myself. Yes, I should have hit the joints with soapy water to leak test after making the repair, and I didn't. I usually do, but didn't this time. There's a good lesson there as well.

As for locations, one of my detectors is in the bottom of the propane locker. That's where 90% of the joints and devices are located, and the highest probability location for a leak. The second is under my cook top somewhere since that's the only indoor gas appliance. I'm actually not sure exactly where it's located, and never will unless I need to tear out the cook top or oven at some point.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:33 AM   #26
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Compliance with ABYC does NOT require a drain running down past the gunwale.
I'm not sure if this was in response to my suggestion of a drain hose, but if it was....

I didn't mean to suggest the drain needed to go down past the gunwale. Just that by using a drain hose, the owner might be able to direct the discharge to more easily comply with the 20" rule.

As a non-professional my experience with all this is limited, but I have always found the ABYC guidelines to be well reasoned, objective guidelines that address real safety risks. Not bureaucratic regs for the sake of regs.

Unfortunately that doesn't stop people like psneed described from treating that as such, and playing the role of un-thinking bureaucratic enforcer. But I suppose we will always be stuck with such people.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:52 AM   #27
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Greetings,
"...one of my detectors is in the bottom of the propane locker." That is the location of our only detector as well, for the reasons given.
Regarding AYBC "standards"...I'm fine with them until, as Mr. ps. notes, some surveyor takes them as LAW and includes his interpretation of them in an insurance survey requiring compliance or no coverage.
Therein lies Mr. L_t's problem. How does one second guess a surveyor's opinion X number of years down the road when the next survey is required by the insurer? Perhaps Mr. L_t can hire an "accredited" surveyor to advise as to the best location and state in writing that it complies with what the insurance company (AYBC) requires. Yes, an added expense but a document in writing on the insurance file may avert any future problems, should they arise.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:06 AM   #28
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I'm just curious...... Meeting ABYC standards is often called out as an insurance requirement. Has anyone ever seen this in a policy? I never have.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:16 AM   #29
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Greetings,
Mr. tt. I think the inference is by default in that the "surveyor" must be "certified". I suspect part of a "surveyor's" certification is at least being aware of AYBC suggestions.
IMO there is "certified" and certifiable. Sometimes, one and the same. I'm sure we all have a story, of some sort, regarding insurance surveys and the lunacy that has ensued.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:40 AM   #30
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I'm not sure if this was in response to my suggestion of a drain hose, but if it was....

I didn't mean to suggest the drain needed to go down past the gunwale. Just that by using a drain hose, the owner might be able to direct the discharge to more easily comply with the 20" rule.

As a non-professional my experience with all this is limited, but I have always found the ABYC guidelines to be well reasoned, objective guidelines that address real safety risks. Not bureaucratic regs for the sake of regs.

Unfortunately that doesn't stop people like psneed described from treating that as such, and playing the role of un-thinking bureaucratic enforcer. But I suppose we will always be stuck with such people.
I might have a touch of that mentality but the reality is that I disagree that a boating guideline like some ABYC "suggestions" is one size fits all. Not necessarily that the ABYC suggestions are bureaucratic or unnecessary.

Any more than safety equipment isn't one size "list of required equipment" fits all vessels.

And having never this paragraph before.....

"As far as practicable, these standards and technical information reports are stated in terms of performance and are not intended to preclude attainment of desired results by other means. These standards are of general applicability, and there may be instances in which the particular use, configuration, or other characteristics of a specific boat, or classes of boats, may result in special requirements differing from the generally applicable standards........The standards and technical information reports are intended to achieve a specified level of performance, and it may be desirable and appropriate to attain that goal by a variety of means.


This is a good thing...It will soften my rants somewhat....and I can attach this to every insurance compliance letter that has some reference to a standard for an old boat where meeting the standard or the "interpreted" standard may actually be more unsafe or equal.

And the answer is both my recent surveys referenced ABYC recommendations and so have the others I have seen lately...

Here is one from my last survey that makes NO SENSE to me at all considering the tank was already installed and over 20 years old. How the heck could I comply with this unless I use the "catch all" reasonable paragraph I posted above? Thus my dislike for others to "interpret" a todays best practice on an old boat. A better recommendation would be to replace if unable to determine current serviceability of the tank by any tank certification process.

Here is the surveyor's recommentdation from the survey ....
"Comply with ABYC standards regarding manufacturing label
on fuel tanks."


The insurance company then often just "mark, bound, copy" these surveyor recommendations and makes insurance contingent on fixing the items cited.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:59 AM   #31
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What many surveyors, and others miss, is that each ABYC standard as an effectivity date. For instance: "A-1 MARINE LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LPG) SYSTEMS
Based on ABYC's assessment of the existing technology, and the problems associated with achieving the goals of this standard, ABYC recommends compliance with this standard for all systems and associated equipment manufactured and/or installed after July 31, 2014."


ABYC knows that it is impossible/impractical to bring old boats up to new standards. In certain systems, such as propane systems an insurance surveyor may recommend that the system be brought up to the latest standard. That is a reasonable request on most boats. But to bring the Electrical system on a 1980 Chris Craft up to the 2016 standards is impossible. To bring a 1990 diesel fuel tank label up to the 2016 standard is impossible.

Any experienced surveyor understands that the boat is built to the standards in effect at the time it was built. The USCG regulations also say the same thing. Boats must be in compliance with the regulations on the date they were built. There are a lot of 1960's outboard runabouts still gonig strong, but they do not have the built in flotation required by current law.

Think of it this way. When building codes change do we go back and change every existing house? No. When auto safety standards change do we go back and change every existing automobile? No.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:23 PM   #32
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I would like to thank you all for your posts on this subject. Here are my conclusions and plan as of now:
1. I will not install my propane tank on the swim step as like it was mentioned it is a target for anything that could be hit.
2. I will install my tank on the flybridge. I have some space on the port side under my flybridge dashboard, just need to check for the available height. If height permit I will fit a vapor tight locker with the tank inside and I will be able to install a drain vent that will drain on the forward-port side. There is no opening window below and the nearest opening is at more than 40 inches so I should be good. Any leak should drain directly overboard. Moreover this will reduce the hose length as the appliance on the flybridge will be at around 60 inches from the tank and the galley is right under the flybridge.
3. I will install a propane detector in the locker as well as in the galley (and for good measure I think that I will add another in the bilge under the galley ).
4. I will use propane specific hose for connection with flare fitting.
5. Each hose will go direct from tank to appliance.
6. Each hose will be connected to its own solenoid on the tank.
7. I will put a contactor with light indicator in the vicinity of each of the appliance, so on my lower helm dashboard for the galley and on the flybridge dashboard for the outside appliances.

I guess this looks like a plan

Thank you again!
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:45 PM   #33
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What many surveyors, and others miss, is that each ABYC standard as an effectivity date. For instance: "A-1 MARINE LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LPG) SYSTEMS
Based on ABYC's assessment of the existing technology, and the problems associated with achieving the goals of this standard, ABYC recommends compliance with this standard for all systems and associated equipment manufactured and/or installed after July 31, 2014."

ABYC knows that it is impossible/impractical to bring old boats up to new standards. In certain systems, such as propane systems an insurance surveyor may recommend that the system be brought up to the latest standard. That is a reasonable request on most boats. But to bring the Electrical system on a 1980 Chris Craft up to the 2016 standards is impossible. To bring a 1990 diesel fuel tank label up to the 2016 standard is impossible.

Any experienced surveyor understands that the boat is built to the standards in effect at the time it was built. The USCG regulations also say the same thing. Boats must be in compliance with the regulations on the date they were built. There are a lot of 1960's outboard runabouts still gonig strong, but they do not have the built in flotation required by current law.

Think of it this way. When building codes change do we go back and change every existing house? No. When auto safety standards change do we go back and change every existing automobile? No.
Thank you for these two great posts showing the "qualifiers" that aren't often quoted with the "suggestions" that are often quoted line by line.

Unfortunately the misunderstandings by some surveyors and insurance companies plague boat owners that aren't as informed as many here.

So despite some who think this forum never changes peoples opinions or outlooks....I disagree, as it has refreshed my outside view of ABYC. But I suppose we will always be stuck with such people. ...
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:08 PM   #34
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Back to the OP question...

I think a bridge mounted tank is fine as long as the drain is 20" away from a window. I don't think there would be a question then on a survey.

My own tank is located in a bridge locker that has a side door, not a top opening. The door is over 20" away from any opening into the boat. The drain is on the outer side of the boat, opposite of the locker door and is also over 20" from any opening door or window. While the surveyor flagged my boat for failing the lpg pressure test, that was the only thing mentioned regarding the propane system.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:34 PM   #35
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Dave, what do you mean by failing the lpg pressure test?
By the way I like your boat very much
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:44 PM   #36
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Dave, what do you mean by failing the lpg pressure test?
By the way I like your boat very much
Thanks Lou,

The surveyor opens the propane bottle, powers up the lpg solenoid, and checks the pressure gauge at the tank. 3 minutes later check the pressure again. The pressure should not have dropped at all.

In my case, the pressure dropped some. There was a fitting that was a bit loose at the tank and that seemed to correct the problem, which made the insurance company happy. At some point I think I still want to pull the stove and check the connections behind it, but I am in no hurry.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:34 PM   #37
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Greetings,
Mr. tt. I think the inference is by default in that the "surveyor" must be "certified". I suspect part of a "surveyor's" certification is at least being aware of AYBC suggestions.
IMO there is "certified" and certifiable. Sometimes, one and the same. I'm sure we all have a story, of some sort, regarding insurance surveys and the lunacy that has ensued.

Certified by whom? ABYC, state by state?
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:44 PM   #38
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I might have a touch of that mentality but the reality is that I disagree that a boating guideline like some ABYC "suggestions" is one size fits all. Not necessarily that the ABYC suggestions are bureaucratic or unnecessary.

Any more than safety equipment isn't one size "list of required equipment" fits all vessels.

And having never this paragraph before.....

"As far as practicable, these standards and technical information reports are stated in terms of performance and are not intended to preclude attainment of desired results by other means. These standards are of general applicability, and there may be instances in which the particular use, configuration, or other characteristics of a specific boat, or classes of boats, may result in special requirements differing from the generally applicable standards........The standards and technical information reports are intended to achieve a specified level of performance, and it may be desirable and appropriate to attain that goal by a variety of means.


This is a good thing...It will soften my rants somewhat....and I can attach this to every insurance compliance letter that has some reference to a standard for an old boat where meeting the standard or the "interpreted" standard may actually be more unsafe or equal.

And the answer is both my recent surveys referenced ABYC recommendations and so have the others I have seen lately...

Here is one from my last survey that makes NO SENSE to me at all considering the tank was already installed and over 20 years old. How the heck could I comply with this unless I use the "catch all" reasonable paragraph I posted above? Thus my dislike for others to "interpret" a todays best practice on an old boat. A better recommendation would be to replace if unable to determine current serviceability of the tank by any tank certification process.

Here is the surveyor's recommentdation from the survey ....
"Comply with ABYC standards regarding manufacturing label
on fuel tanks."


The insurance company then often just "mark, bound, copy" these surveyor recommendations and makes insurance contingent on fixing the items cited.
I think the issue here, and I completely agree, is any notion that all boats of all ages should meet all standards. That's just silly, but seems to be the largest complaint when ABYC is used in the same sentence. I think this is a problem with surveyors and insurance companies, not ABYC. The guidelines need to be applied in the context of the boat. I can certainly understand an insurance company wanting to see really dangerous things brought up to snuff before insuring, but expecting the whole boat to be brought into compliance is just ridiculous.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:48 PM   #39
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Greetings,
Mr. tt. SAMS The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Inc.® - (SAMS®) and NAMS </title> <link rel="profile" href="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11"> <link rel="pingback" href="http://www.namsglobal.org/xmlrpc.php"> <title>The National Association of Marine Surveyors, Inc. are the two I am familiar with. I'm sure there are other accreditation bodies world wide

Just saw your post (#38) I agree. The problem does not appear to be with AYBC, only some surveyors.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:48 PM   #40
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There is no official certification. If you want to call yourself a surveyor, you are one. But there are two professional organizations. They certify their own members National Association of MArine Surveyors( NAMS) And the Society of Accredited MArine Surveyors (SAMS). It is hard to be successfull in surveying if you do not belong to one or both groups. Most insurance companies will only use someone who is at least a member of one of those two groups.
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