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S&S Swan General - Propane locker for 43
01 July 2013 - 16:20
#1
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

Propane locker for 43

Dear All,

My son and I removed the propane locker from the stern of our 43 this past weekend.  The box was built into the area just abaft the back of the cockpit coaming and forward of the backstay.  Not a bad place but it limits the usefulness of the small lazarette.  Where have you located your propane tanks?

Thanks,

Chris

05 July 2013 - 06:47
#2
Join Date: 25 July 2012
Posts: 30

Hi Chris,

 

I have 2 vertical gas bottles in a life raft container just aft of the main cabin hatch.  I found a container that had the height I needed then shortened it by cutting a slice out of the middle.  The gas hose and the solenoid cut-off wire come out of a 25mm hole in the bottom (which is big enough to allow leaking gas out if ever) and into the boat on the aft side of the main salon/galley bulkhead.

I changed the sliding hatch forward for a non-slider, which gives me deck space for my real liferaft (which you cannot see because it is not aboard at the present time).

 

One other change from original 43' you will see in the photo is the opening portlight in the galley; I changed both port and starboard to give air while in the galley/chart table area.

 

This gas system has never been a problem for us.

 

David  43/12

 

2 gas bottles aft of the mast

07 July 2013 - 14:22
#3
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

Dear David,

Thank You!  First, let me say that your boat is beautiful!

I like the idea of keeping the propane on deck as you have done - even if the container leaked, the propane would dissipate.  Very smart set up and it looks good too.

The problem I am now confronted with is the large hole in the deck that housed the propane container.  It's a rather large hole, I will post pictures next time, and I am also concerned that it has jeopardized the integrity of the hull.  So, I have come to the realization that work will need to be done to sure up this part of the deck and that rather than completely rebuild it. 

This lady, my boat, is full of surprises!

I also noticed your new portlights - they look great.  What brand did you decide upon?  I am leaning toward Atkins for the cockpit but would be interested to know your opinion.

 

Thanks again,

Chris  Mabel's Casse Tete  43/003

21 July 2013 - 15:39
#4
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

All,

Attached is a picture, which is also posted under the forum thread re toe rails, of the propane locker hole at the stern of my boat.  My concerns are that the size of the hole may have compromised the integrity of the stern are of the boat. 

Professor, maybe you have an opinion.

I also don't like the fact that so much of the limited storage area is taken up with propane storage.  I don't plan to live aboard anytime soon, if ever, and would like to install a much smaller propane tank so I can use this locker for storage.

 

I will keep  you all apprised of my progress.

Fair Winds,

 

Chris

Propane locker area

21 July 2013 - 18:52
#5
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Chris
The backstay load is aligned with the transom, this means the transom conveys the load to the side decks, and the deck forward of the backstay chainplate is not highly loaded. Suggest you check the aft corners of the opening for cracks, if there are any, reinforcement is recommended.
A question referring to the edges of the opening - is the deck of sandwich construction here, with a foam core between two GRP skins?
Kind regards
Lars

22 July 2013 - 18:31
#6
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

Dear Lars,

Thank you!

The deck here, as elsewhere on the boat, is not cored.  I do not believe, however, that the stringers are present here as they are elsewhere.  There is a little delamination which I will repair.

This is what I would like to accomplish:  since the hole is there, and you have made me feel much better about the impact it has on the integrity of the boat, I would like to use it for both a propane locker and for storage.  Ideally, I will be able to locate a long, horizontal propane cylinder which could be captured in that area and also allow access.  In the current setup, the propane box was glued and screwed to the deck so there was no way to get easy access to the area around it.  Further, I don't need a 20 pound propane container; 10 pounds would be perfect but I would be willing to go for 6 pounds if I can find the right one. 

I found a 6 pound vertical cylinder that had a 6 inch diameter but is tall.  If there is a place on the starboard side, I could build a box below the deck, glassed in with a vent overboard, and purchase an 8 inch hatch to allow access to the tank.  Then the current access hole could be used as storage.

I worry that with my limited experience using my boat that I will make a permanent change that needs to be undone!

So, thank you for putting my mind at ease about the impact of the hole.  And any further advice about propane location will be gratefully accepted.

With warm regards,

Chris

22 July 2013 - 19:09
#7
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Chris
Thank you for the information about the deck construction. This confirms that early hulls have single skin decks.
A propane installation is quite demanding if done according to regulations. A separate gas tight and drained locker (drains both up and down) away from openings into the hull is required for the tank, and it must not be used for other purposes. I know some older boats which preferred alcohol for this reason. If you have natural gas available that is also a possibility, but filling may be a problem in some areas.
Kind regards
Lars

22 July 2013 - 22:56
#8
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

Dear Lars,

Well...I had Natural Gas on a previous boat and, as you suggested, could not find anyone to fill the tanks!  I love the idea of natural gas but I think I will have to stick with propane.

With regard to installation, I am not taking any chances and will definitely install in a sealed container that is vented.  I need to think about this and try to configure a solution that allows storage and a sealed area.  Not a lot of room so I need to keep looking for a small propane canister.

When I come up with a plan, which may be in the winter, I will pose it and see how you like it.

With warm regards,

Chris

23 July 2013 - 18:43
#9
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

Dear Lars and All,

I have done a little research and here are two thoughts:  Lars mentioned alcohol ovens for older boats and it seems that the technology has improved; mounting a 6 pound vertical propane tank on the stern rail and covering with sunbrella.

Several cruisers speak highly of the Origo 6000 alcohol oven.  I am not ready to buy now, but I will definitely look into it.

Propane users have mounted  one or more 6 pound vertical propane tanks on the stern rail; these are about 23 inches tall by 5 1/2 inches in diameter.  A stainless rail mound is available but some have used fender mounts.  The best setup was completely covered with a custom made sunbrella cover that matched the bimini and dodger.

Chris

23 July 2013 - 21:28
#10
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Chris
Mounting the propane tank(s) above deck is a good way of solving the ventilation requirements. Do you have composite tanks available there? They have the added advantage that the level of liquid can be seen through the wall.
Kind regards
Lars

23 July 2013 - 22:33
#11
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

Dear Lars,

Yes, composite containers are available here and are cheaper than aluminum but I have not seen one in the long, skinny variety.  No rush, however, as you well know!

Chris

25 July 2013 - 15:45
#12
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

Dear All,

The Professor researched information about composite propane containers that we agreed would benefit the forum. I have added another link at the bottom.

The cylinders were originally developed in Sweden, by
http://www.compositescandinavia.se/ and at the time most people thought it impossible to make a gas tight laminate. It appears this company is in the process of being bought by a bigger actor.

According to this information the US cylinders are in principle the same
http://www.litecylinder.com/ourstory.aspx

Unfortunately there are serious problems, and if Lite is the only US manufacturer as they say then composite is not an alternative there.
http://www.sotar.com/lite-recall.html

And another Scandinavian Company, http://www.ragascousa.com/specs.html and the affiliated US distributor.

Fair Winds,

Chris


25 July 2013 - 18:30
#13
Join Date: 15 April 2011
Posts: 393

My mistake - I see that the last company listed in the above entry purchased Composites Scandinavia, which had already been mentioned by the Professor.

 

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