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  Propane Locker (Van_Isle)
Posted: 10:28:46 pm on 7/28/2014 Modified: Never
 
Anyone who has done so care to share how they incorporated a propane locker into their C&C 27?

North Saanich, B.C.

  Re: Propane Locker (davidww1)
Posted: 11:10:42 am on 7/30/2014 Modified: Never
 
For what it's worth, there was a fellow at our club, now departed, who had the job done and he was appalled at the time and cost involved. The locker was at the aft end of the Mk III's starboard seat and I think they started with a commercially available form, then modified it to fit.

I have an L-shaped bracket on the pushpit that I mount the tank on when I need it. Not attractive, but it works and the cost was reasonable.


David Weatherston
Towser, Toronto
C&C 27 Mk IV

  Re: Propane Locker (Van_Isle)
Posted: 5:34:47 pm on 7/31/2014 Modified: Never
 
Thanks David

That's about the only spot I thought one might fit. My tank is on the pushpit as well, but I don't remove it (composite tank). Regulator, pressure gauge, tees with manual shut-off valves, solenoid all reside on the pushpit ... although while the tank is on the port side 'upright' the rest of the gear is on the starboard side 'upright'. separate continuous run hoses lead to BBQ, galley stove and cabin heater. I'm looking to have the installation reworked as the regulator location (as I am told by a propane installer) violates the maximum distance requirements to the tank. Also I want to free up some space on the pushpit for my dingy outboard.

If you go by the ABYC standards, the mounting of the tank and other apparatus on the pushpit violate a couple key requirements:

A-1.7.6 Cylinder And Connected Devices - Location and Installation:

1) 'protected from the weather and against mechanical damage' - not sure how you do that with the bare tank, solenoid, regulator, etc. hanging off the pushpit.

2) 'installed in a ventilated location on the exterior of the boat where escaping gases will flow directly overboard' - with a stern wind I'd say it's just as likely to have the gasses flow into the cockpit rather than overboard, to say nothing of flowing into or being sucked into the boat by the bilge blower system ... the cowl vents are right adjacent to the tank and other apparatus.

ABYC wants a sealed propane locker able to be opened only from the top and directly to the atmosphere, or if the sealed locker is installed inside another locker then the opening top should be as high and close as possible to the locker opening. So I'm wondering if this would be satisfied by having one of the pre-made lockers installed aft of the starboard cockpit locker on a sliding 'tray' that you pull forward. Haven't taken any measurements yet but it would be a tight fit and both the manual bilge pump and blower would have to be relocated.

I've got a number of other things to clean-up on the propane system. For example the hoses pass through the deck and bulkheads without the proper kind of seals. I am rather disgusted actually at the 'professional' who installed this setup for the PO of the boat! I haven't used the system since I purchased the boat.


North Saanich, B.C.

  Re: Propane Locker (davidww1)
Posted: 10:06:21 am on 8/1/2014 Modified: Never
 
I think it's probably impossible to satisfy all the requirements. If you have a sliding tray, how do you make its lid as high as the lid of the locker that contains it? For that matter, if you have a locker within the cockpit, how can you ensure that escaping gas goes overboard rather than down the companion, as the coaming is higher than the bridgedeck? The best solution is an open transom, but I'm not sure I want to take a chainsaw to Towser's stern.

The best idea I could come up with is to put the gas bottle in the anchor locker (deck-level lid, protected, vents overboard - but then you've got to find a route for 20-odd feet of gas line through the boat - and you've lost half of your anchor locker.

I reckon I'm grandfathered, as both a licensed installer and my insurance company approved the installation, but if push came to shove, I'd argue that I have a measure of mechanical protection by virtue of mounting the tank inside the pushpit. I really should have a Sunbrella cover made for protection from weather, though, even though the tank is mounted only on the rare occasions when we cruise.

A small point – I wouldn't worry too much about gas being sucked in by the bilge blower. It's a bilge exhaust (or should be), not a positive ventilator, plus any gas floating about in the vicinity of the cowl vents is likely to be quite diffuse.


David Weatherston
Towser, Toronto
C&C 27 Mk IV

  Re: Propane Locker (Van_Isle)
Posted: 2:25:18 pm on 8/1/2014 Modified: Never
 
You're probably correct.  

Just to clarify, the lid of the sealed propane locker doesn't need to be at the same level as the locker that contains it. The requirement reads "If a LPG locker is installed inside a boat locker, the LPG locker shall be located as high and as close to the boat locker’s opening as possible". Also the LPG locker has to have a dedicated vent (minimum 1/2-inch inside diameter at any point - which means > 1/2 inch hose), running from the bottom of the LPG locker and discharging at a point below the bottom of the locker and above the static waterline and not closer than 20-inches from any opening to the boat's interior.  Keeping in mind propane is heavier than air, escaping propane in the LPG locker (tank, regulator, etc.) should flow like water ... unless pushed by air currents. Assuming a discharge through the transom, with the 20-inch rule I'd argue that manual bilge pump outlets and wet exhaust outlets wouldn't be a concern. Both would have to have propane fumes driven upwards into the boat through the hoses. If I have a leak in the exhaust I have other things to worry about! But the bilge ventilation would be a concern ... yes the bilge blower is 'exhaust' but on the port side (in my case right under the tank) the cowl vent is an 'intake' ... although the vent faces forward it's still an intake. I'm thinking at least it might be worthwhile swapping those around! Assuming I move the blower too over to the port side then that also puts the blower hose on the carb side of the engine (Atomic 4). I have more concern with leaks from carb / fuel pump / secondary fuel filter than I do from my brand new fuel tank on the starboard side (mind you the space is small enough it probably doesn't matter that much!).

For those of us with Mark III's or IV's with anchor lockers (mine is a Mk III), I don't think you'd be able to use any part of the anchor locker for propane storage ... or else you'd have to dedicate the entire locker to propane storage. Again from ABYC, "LPG lockers shall not be used for storage of any equipment other than LPG cylinders, cylinder valves, regulating equipment, and LPG safety devices". The lid would have to be retrofitted with a sealing gasket and the chain entry sealed off and I'm pretty sure the drain from the locker doesn't meet the 1/2-inch minimum inside diameter requirement. My boat also happens to have a windlass mounted in the lid of the chain locker.

In my case the tank hangs out over the transom ... so I don't have the 'mechanical' protection. It would be pretty intrusive mounted inboard of the railing, but perhaps I'll have to look at that.

North Saanich, B.C.

  Re: Propane Locker (Jeff)
Posted: 8:50:08 pm on 8/1/2014 Modified: Never
 
A previous owner installed a propane locker into the aft portion of the port side of the cockpit. It is a cylindrical tube vented at the bottom out the stern of the boat. Round access plate on top. The immediately previous owner to me removed the propane stove and associated gear though so I have just used it as a cleaning supplies locker and I store the extra 1 lb bottles that aren't attached to the BBQ in there.  If luck was ever to allow me to have an opportunity to spend an extended period of time on the boat away from humanity I would probably use it as a garbage locker.

C&C 27 Mk I #4
Clockwork
Port Stanley, On.
  Re: Propane Locker (mbasscc27)
Posted: 12:47:17 pm on 8/3/2014 Modified: Never
 
I am getting ready to install a propane locker aft of my starboard cockpit seat it is a 6 lb aluminum tank in a commercially made propane locker with an 8 inch deck plate used for the top. I will let you know how it goes, but when I bought the boat it had a 10lb propane cylinder just sitting in the bottom of the boat. And stored all winter with the cylinder on.

Mike Bass,
C&C 27 hull 165,
Pend Orielle, Idaho

  Re: Propane Locker (davidww1)
Posted: 11:22:40 am on 8/5/2014 Modified: Never
 
Since the subject of safety has been raised, let me add that when I questioned a friend who sells propane appliances about installation, he warned me to take all precautions, as propane is highly dangerous. Shortly after that warning, several people were killed in an explosion on a British armed-services adventure-training yacht (I find this remarkable, as I know a fellow who is responsible for the Canadian Forces' adventure-training yacht and he is incredibly safety-conscious, but perhaps this explosion was either a case of tunnel vision or just really bad luck). We consequently fitted a propane alarm with two sensors with our on-off solenoid.

As everyone enjoys expositions of others' foolishness, I thought I would pass on this rogue's gallery of bad setups at http://www.pcmarinesurveys.com/Safe%20Boat%20propane%20Installation.htm


David Weatherston
Towser, Toronto
C&C 27 Mk IV

  Re: Propane Locker (Van_Isle)
Posted: 1:42:04 pm on 8/7/2014 Modified: Never
 
I've seen that ... lots of good info there. Note the example of the factory C&C locker with the lid secured with 28 screws!

I have the solenoid,  detector and 2 sensors (1 under stove & 1 under cabin heater). Electrosystems, made right here in Victoria.

Most of the work I've done on the boat since buying it has been safety related - new fuel tank, fuel lines, hoses, thru hulls, rebuilt manual bilge pump, lifelines, etc.

North Saanich, B.C.