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Old 01-09-2017, 09:06 PM   #1
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Propane tank - best onboard location?

Hello,

Context:
Currently my BBQ is on the flybridge and using disposable propane tank. My galley cooktop also use propane disposable tank. Next spring I plan as an improvement to install a cooktop on the flybridge along with the BBQ and also propane tank from which to run line to the galley and flybridge in order to get rid of disposable tank.

My plan:
I have read all recommendations/standards from ABYC and equivalent from transport canada in order to make the modification properly.
I will run two separate lines from the tank to the galley for one and flybridge for the other through the boat in the double wall. Each line will come from its own solenoid on the tank so will be independant. The lines will be made of standard propane specific hose with no connection between the tank and the appliance.

Initially I planned to put the tank in a locker on the flybridge but based on standards and recommandation I will not be able as it will be difficult to find a place where any potential leak will not be able to flow onto a window or opening to the inside.

So I plan to store the tank in a locker on the swim platform at stern as this will allow a potential leak to flow directly overboard and allow me to run the line straight through the boat double wall.

Do you see any issue or potential danger to do so?
Where is located the tank on your boat?

My main concern is that the swim platform is washed while under way so the locker will get wet. My solution is to put the tank on a support in the locker so it stays higher then the water that may come in by the event at the bottom of the locker.
If anyone has any advice or recommendation I will be pleased to read it.

Thank you for any help!
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:44 PM   #2
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I don't see a problem with the usual 20lb propane bottle mounted and connected properly on the flybridge. Plenty of ventilation, presuming the flybridge and locker are open. Hard to imagine enough gas making it down into an open window or door.

Mounting the bottle in a vented enclosure on or above the swim platform shouldn't be a problem, if it's legal, until you back into a piling and knock it loose. You don't own the tank; you trade it in for a refill and the tank owner is responsible for its maintenance and certification. Thus there's really no concern for corrosion of the tank; I'd wonder about the pressure valve and hoses you're responsible for in a wetted enclosure.

Ours is the typical TT installation, in the louvered flybridge cabinetwork.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:52 PM   #3
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My concern with putting in on the flybridge is that ABYC states that the tank should be stored in an enclosure which allow a leak to directly discharge overboard. However I have windows on port and starboard side of the flybridge and also a hatch door aft from it. But I admit I may be taking these a bit too much to the letter. This is exactly why I wondering what you people are doing.
My concern with the swim plaform was indeed that it is a "first hit" place in case of handling incident.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
My concern with putting in on the flybridge is that ABYC states that the tank should be stored in an enclosure which allow a leak to directly discharge overboard. However I have windows on port and starboard side of the flybridge and also a hatch door aft from it. But I admit I may be taking these a bit too much to the letter. This is exactly why I wondering what you people are doing.
My concern with the swim plaform was indeed that it is a "first hit" place in case of handling incident.

This is only own uninformed opinion....

I look at propane as behaving much like a liquid. It will flow downhill. In a locker, you need a drain. If water will drain overboard, so will propane. If you put water in the locker on the flybridge and it would drain into an open window, then probably not a good spot for propane. If the water wouldn't drain into the window, then air wouldn't worry about it.

One suggestion would be to install in the galley a combination gas detector solenoid switch.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:51 PM   #5
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Too bad you presumably don't have a pretend smoke stack.



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Old 01-09-2017, 11:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHeckrotte View Post
I don't see a problem with the usual 20lb propane bottle mounted and connected properly on the flybridge. Plenty of ventilation, presuming the flybridge and locker are open. Hard to imagine enough gas making it down into an open window or door.

Mounting the bottle in a vented enclosure on or above the swim platform shouldn't be a problem, if it's legal, until you back into a piling and knock it loose. You don't o5wn the tank; you trade it in for a refill and the tank owner is responsible for its maintenance and certification. Thus there's really no concern for corrosion of the tank; I'd wonder about the pressure valve and hoses you're responsible for in a wetted enclosure.

Ours is the typical TT installation, in the louvered flybridge cabinetwork.
Exactly! This explanation is complete. We have a duel 20# setup under the fly bridge compartment vented to the outside. Were we to have a similar bar-b-q mounted as the OP the line run would be simple vs: running one from the swim step. Too, that swim step tank would need to be aluminum that close to salt water (assuming we are talking being on salt water)

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Old 01-10-2017, 05:16 AM   #7
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The catch phrase I am using using is xx inches from any hull opening.

I think it's 20 something, so my flybridge mounted tank is 20 something from any windows below.

Similar concept to Marks in his Coots fake smokestack.

If his is legal, so is mine I figure.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Too bad you presumably don't have a pretend smoke stack.



Mark:

I note that your propane locker is mounted above two opening windows. That is exactly what should be avoided.
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:13 AM   #9
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If I read it right, the ABYC states that the tank should be stored in a locker having a leak exhaust at the bottom of the locker that discharge overboard and the locker should open only from the top.

Just to avoid any misunderstanding, I am not saying anybody made something wrong just try to get as much info as possible to make it right
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays View Post

I look at propane as behaving much like a liquid.
Well, it behaves like something heavier than air anyway

Am curious folks thoughts on propane detectors... I see them in cabins... should they not be in the bilge? (or both?)
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:27 AM   #11
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They should be located at the lowest point were propane flow, so I would say near the galley floor and in the bilge.
I plan to put two of them, on in the galley and one in a forward bilge just below the galley, just in case.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:20 PM   #12
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Propane Sensor/Switch

If you want two sensors and a switch as well, take a look at this one:

CruzPro GD25 LPG gas vapor detector and gasoline / petrol monitor and alarm sports variable sensitivity, controls lpg solenoid and bilge blower

It also switches off the solenoid after sixty minutes, which is a good thing. I have one and it works quite well.

These are available in the U.S. from Downwind marine

CruzPro GD20 Gas Vapor Detector with Controller - Detectors & Controls - Galley, Stoves & Barbeques - Downwind Marine
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:49 PM   #13
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ABYC A-1 Propane Systems for boats.
1.8.6
Locker vent openings shall be located at least 20 inches (508 mm) from any hull opening to the boat interior.

There are hundreds or thousands of boats out there with LPG lockers on the bridge. To my knowledge they all pass survey. I have not heard of a surveyor who objected.
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Old 01-10-2017, 02:34 PM   #14
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ABYC A-1 Propane Systems for boats.
1.8.6
Locker vent openings shall be located at least 20 inches (508 mm) from any hull opening to the boat interior.

There are hundreds or thousands of boats out there with LPG lockers on the bridge. To my knowledge they all pass survey. I have not heard of a surveyor who objected.
This! Don't sweat it. Must be the doldrums of winter...
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Old 01-10-2017, 02:48 PM   #15
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ABYC A-1 Propane Systems for boats.
1.8.6
Locker vent openings shall be located at least 20 inches (508 mm) from any hull opening to the boat interior.

There are hundreds or thousands of boats out there with LPG lockers on the bridge. To my knowledge they all pass survey. I have not heard of a surveyor who objected.
At least one surveyor I know of suggested that "hull opening" did not include superstructure....only the hull.

I disagree .... I would rather have a bit of propane come through an open window 20 inches from the tank...than from a drain that concentrates it only 20 inches from an engine room air intake grate leading directly to the bilge.

If it IS true that ABYC meant hull only was allowed the 20 inch separation...then that is just one more bone I have to pick with their reasoning.
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:03 PM   #16
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One thing I hardly understand is the requirement to have the locker opening only from the top. While I understand that opening from the top will not allow any propane to exit the locker, at the same time it looks a bit illogic to me as if the locker is vented as required it won't ever contain any propane.
Does any expert have another view on this?
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
One thing I hardly understand is the requirement to have the locker opening only from the top. While I understand that opening from the top will not allow any propane to exit the locker, at the same time it looks a bit illogic to me as if the locker is vented as required it won't ever contain any propane.
Does any expert have another view on this?
Just trying to make it more idiot proof I would guess. That way of thinking would fit with many of their requirements.

Lack of maintenance or attention to detail might allow it to leak propane to places the drain would normally take it away from.
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:16 PM   #18
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The ABYC standards are intended to be performance standardss. They are not requirements. Here is a quote with my emphasis added.

"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.



I was the Technical VP of ABYC for years.
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:30 PM   #19
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The ABYC standards are intended to be performance standardss. They are not requirements. Here is a quote with my emphasis added.

"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.



I was the Technical VP of ABYC for years.
Thank you for this clarification!
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:44 AM   #20
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Unfortunately if not in black and white by ABYC, the interpretation by Surveyors and their reports by Insurance companies can be subject to whims or unsubstantiated beliefs.


Such as the propane mounting on Mark's Coot or any flybridge mounting that is not in the approved locker description with a drain running all the way down past the gunnel.


Following a rigid interpretation can make abiding by your insurance company directions to correct "deficiencies"... difficult at best.
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