Sunday, July 07, 2013

RETHINKING PROPANE ON BOARD


I ran out of propane just before the end of last season. Rather than refill my 11 pound propane tank I figured I'd use one of my backup systems either my  Coleman PefectFlow 1-Burner Stove or the portable Butane cooktop to use for cooking until the end of the season. Which I did with no problems even while moving back on board following superstorm Sandy. This spring while getting BIANKA ready for the season I had surprise that was somewhere between "uh oh" and "yikes".
While cleaning under the stoves stainless steel cooktop I had found the header pipe that feeds the propane to the stove burners and oven had become severely corroded:


If this pipe starts leaking it would start dumping propane into the cabin when I was cooking or using the water heater and that's not a good thing.  While I was looking at the problem I also notice some of the burners were showing signs of corrosion too::


Looks like a little more replacement costs will need to be added into the fix.
Since the stove is 26 years old it is to be expected. Then I began thinking do I really want to pour $100 plus into the propane stove that is already 26 years old? The hose that supplies the propane gas to the stove is also twenty six years old. Maybe that should be replaced too? Then there is the Paloma on demand hot water heater also twenty six years old. How much life is left in that unit? So with these questions in my mind I decided to change the way I use propane on board BIANKA and not repair the stove. I'll be posting on my plans in future posts.


3 comments:

John Rushworth said...

Hi Mike. I had a good think about Gas. I feared the risk of explosion so have gone to a denatured alchol stove. http://on.fb.me/13EIYLX I did consider James Baldwin's route http://www.atomvoyages.com/cys/atomstove.html too.

Capt. Mike said...

John:
I still like cooking with propane. I'm just rethinking how I will use it on board. The rusted feeder pipe and the fact that it is delivered through hose that is twenty five years old has me looking at simpler yet more versatile solutions. Which I'll be trying out this season.

John Rushworth said...

Hi Mike. I agree re cooking with Gas (Propane or Butane) is easy/controllable. for me it was the safety issue. I used a 2 channel alarm http://www.asap-supplies.com/brands/pilot but one of the detectors went down. As you can see they are quite costly and the issue was where to locate the detector heads. Obviously the bilge was the place for one and the other directly under the cooker but the bilge is not a good place for a detector due to moisture, so in my mind it was effectively useless. Having known a boat low up, I was determined to find a safer/cost effective and simple solution. I guess for you it comes down to location of gas bottles, quality piping and fittings and valves with auto shut offs. Also flame out devices. Look forward to seeing what you come up with.