Date: Mon Jul 26, 1999 1:20 pm

We just bought a '77 Seawind II. She is currently called 'Tropical Tom' This weekend I want to work on the gas stove and bottle storage. Currently the gas bottles (2x11 lb) are sitting on the cockpit floor, and are covered by a plywood box that stretches the entire width of the cockpit behind the mizzen, and about 2.5ft in length. I'd like to move them, or move one and get rid of the other.

Does anyone have any suggestions? So far I have thought of

1/ one bottle upright on the cockpit in a box fastened to the mizzen (don't know where the drain overboard would lead)

2/ in a single box set into the seat beside the helmsman's seat

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Date: Wed Jul 28, 1999 10:08 pm

Solution has the gas bottle mounted just forward of the stern rail and aft of the winch. The lower lifeline has been replaced with a 2" by 1/4" stainless steel bar which was has a "U" bent into it to fit around the gas bottle. The bar stops just short of the vertical section of the stern rail, and a separate "J" shaped piece is boled to both the bar and to the stern rail to make the connection. The is another U shaped stainless bar which is bolted to the main bar to fully encircle the gas bottle, clamping it in place. The forward end of the bar is secured to the after lifeline gate stanchion by another "J" shaped piece. The "J" shaped pieces are needed to be able to adjust to the angles (the stern rail and stanchion are not perpendicular). Be careful to install high enough to clear the winch handles.

This works well, and is not too ugly. The main downside is that the gas bottle (it is an 8 pound cylinder, kind of hard to find - I don't think there would be enough room for a standard 10 lb cylinder) is exposed to salt spray and needs frequent repainting. I guess an aluminum one would be better......

Date: Sun Aug 20, 2000 5:21 pm

Voyager still has the original Galley Maid alcohol stove, which works well but it's time to upgrade to propane. Has anyone done this? I'm wondering how you store propane, where the cylinders go, and how you made a safe propane locker

Date: Mon Aug 21, 2000 12:49 pm

I uograded 2 years ago from CNG to Propane, in prep for my year around the Atlantic and Caribbean islands.

I preferred the new, non-standard low aspect (fatter and shorter) 10 lb bottles. I have two, and would have them aluminum rather than steel, if available. The non-standard format meanes that you have to have your bottle filled rather than simply exchanged, but you have to do that with US bottles in European standard countries anyway, and I would not trust some of these

exchange bottles anyway. Just make sure that you buy from Trident the "European Adaptor along with the bottles.

Trident (and Defender) also sell a full containement system for one such low aspect 10 lb bottle, including electrical solenoid valve and lower vapor exit fitting for purge, even a site and connector for a butane/propane camping bottle for emergency!

The ideal place for this low aspect locker is on deck and the half moon aft cockpit platform on the same side as the propane range (port side for me). It makes a wonderful seat for the helmsman, just at the right height, allowing you to lean on the pulpit or on the outboard lashed on the pulpit side. Just add a plastic tube to the purge hole and carry the leak vapors (if any) over the transom. An Offshore Insurance surveyor accepted the approach for Lloyds and Axa reinsurers.

I would do exactly the same on a repeat, except for aluminum bottles, since you can't exchange them anyway, and that would avoid unsightly rust on the deck under the stored spare bottle, which I located just ahead of the lifeline opening opn port side.

Date: Mon Aug 21, 2000 2:09 pm

My boat, #087S, came equipped with propane. The tank is in a small locker on the starboard side of the cockpit glassed in the half-moon seat behind the wheel.

Date: Tue Aug 22, 2000 10:18 am

Propane Project:

Our 1982 Seawind came equipped with propane and so far we consider it an acceptable design. It should be easy for you to follow. The propane tank is located in the starboard quarterdeck , starboard of the steering seat, and below deck with appropriate overboard discharge in the event of a sudden leakage. The propane cylinder (15 lbs) and gage is located within a round fiberglass container with two discharge hoses leading overboard. A fiberglass flange sits over the cutout opening and a wooden teak lid covers the container so that a flush seat remains. A hose leads

from the propane tank under deck to the rear of the gimbaled, 3 burner range and oven located on the port side just forward of the galley sink. A electric shutoff is located below the electrical switch panel to turn the system on or off. This is in addition to the manual shutoff at the tank site.

When traveling we carry a 2nd 15 lb bottle within the cockpit as a spare so that when we run out we simply swap the bottles and fill the empty when convenient. This is important as in some areas It can take a week or more to obtain a refill.

Date: Sat Sep 2, 2000 4:06 pm

Our Hull # 59, only 2 later than yours, was built and rigged (from the factory) with a propane locker. The locker is outside just to the right of the steering "seat", starboard after corner of the cockpit. It is a cylindrically-shaped locker, which had a tacky cover of some sort over it,

but I replaced it with a teak wooden cover. The locker has a vent line directly to the transom. The regulator and valve is on top of the 20-gallon squatty-round tank. The propane lines are double-shrouded through the hull (accessible) to behind and beneath the left side of the stove, where ANOTHER shut-off (inline) valve exists. Everything has worked beautifully for 23+

years, and we can even bake bread in the oven. The stove has 4 burners and is fully gimbled. Gourmet cooking is not unheard of aboard SUNPOWER!

I have thought that (eventually, post college bills & retirement), to go cruising for an extended period of time I will modify and build another locker probably underthe other corner and perhaps mount one or two of the aluminum cylinders (never rust), again with outside drain, so that our

capacity would insure never running out. With the single tank, we unfortunately DO run out, and then have to use the BBQ grill or whatever until we can get refilled, sometimes not convenient, but on Lake Champlain it's not been that bad nor often.

I'm interested in how anyone else has fit in space for an OUTSIDE-DRAINED propane locker, and other safety considerations, too. Hope this helps.

Date: Wed Sep 6, 2000 7:26 pm

Saw your description and to which I agree. Our propane system is very much the same except our tank is 15lb. With regards to running out of fuel, we made a frame out of 2 X 8's which fits just aft of our instrument panel, and within which we store four 5 gallon diesel fuel jerry jugs and one extra 15 lb. propane tank. That way when we are traveling for an extended time, 3 months or more, and we run out of fuel, I can switch the spare in place in 5 minutes or less. Then we can refill at our convenience which is some areas can take a week or more. This past winter while in the Exumas we had to refill twice, once in Nassua and once in Georgetown. On both occasions it was wonderful to have a second tank. We observed other sailors that had only one tank and they were in a jam if the bottle could not be refilled on the same day. Reality is it can take anywhere from 1 to 3 days to get it refilled.

Date: Mon Sep 11, 2000 8:17 am

I beleieve I spoke last July about my propane locker arrangement above the aft cockpit platform (port side, same as the oven/range): I used the Trident minilocker available from Defender, which comes with a squat 10-15 lb bottle, and is all equipped with solenoid valve and drain (I fitted a hose which goes over the taffrail, tied to the aft cleat to make sure it does not lift or fall back into the cockpit side), and even a special attachment for a spare camping cannister for emergency! I also have a spare bottle tied up just forward of the port rail lifeline opening, and carry a "European Adapter", also from Trident, which was useful in some place that did not have one. I would use aluminum bottles if I had to start all over, because of the rust stains on deck (none in the locker). With these 10 lb bottles, and despite French cooks on board, I only had to refill twice, in the Canaries and St.Martin over th year, and still have the spare bottle full!

The locker is a wonderful seat from which to look forward above the dodger and survival inflatable case, while leaning the right arm on the wheel and the left arm on the Seagull Outboard tied to the forward rail of the pushpit. Since my Windhunter autopilot gave up after a few days at sea, I and my crew had plenty of time to love the arrangement, which lightened the "slavery of the helm", except in stormy conditions when it is bettter to sit low!

Date: Wed Aug 15, 2001 10:40 am

All of Bert's advice is sound re: the LPG but I have just done him one better. The Seaward company has a locker that with very little modification will fit into the aft area of either cockpit locker. Since I believe my long distance cruising days are limited now I have installed their new four # unit, aft, in the stbd locker on a sliding tray that hides the unit just fwd of my stern rode locker and leaves plenty of room to get in and out of the lazarette. The vent tube is a MUST and is vented to a thru-hull low on the transom.

With a little creative plumbing I installed a shower head on the mizzen while I lived in the Caribbean. No Sand in my cabin and easily extended for washing the salt of the fittings.

To all re: the auto pilot I just mentioned , the ST 5000... I have no need for the shower head any longer so the control head for the pilot is mounted to the mizzen, (harness hidden with the mast), just between the folding cockpit table and below the mizzen gooseneck (raised eight inches for headroom). All of the instruments are now mounted in a custom made, fiberglass pod on the coach roof. I'll try to attach a photo of the unit before it was painted and installed.

Date: Wed Aug 15, 2001 11:44 am

Indeed this LPG solution is smart, but mine avoids a thru hull, does not take space under deck, and provides a comfortable seat for helm handling and horizon inspecting. You are the best judge.

Date: Sun Aug 26, 2001 5:04 pm

I am even reluctant to remove the heavy rust staining the deck where the spare propane bottle was lashed, evoking so many memories of fine cooking by one of the crew, a charter and offshore racing cook. This rust is one reason among many to go aluminum, although I would paint them white, probably, to delay corrosion. Am still very satisfied with the 10lb low aspect bottle stroed in Trident mini-locker as a perfect seat for the helmsman to watch over the dodger.

Date: Sat Sep 1, 2001 6:16 pm

I read about installing the Seaward propane locker in the aft section of your cockpit locker. I recently pulled the rusted CNG stove and tank system from my boat with intentions of replacing it with a propane
system. I also bought a Seaward locker simply because it was the least expensive and the dimensions fit. I have not installed it yet because it seems to be a tight fit and I am concerned about keeping the vent hose on a continuous downward slope. Did you install the 5 lb. tank model or the 10lb. model? How much cook time do you get out of 1 tank? I have not purchased a stove unit yet. do you have any recommendations, make, size, new or used?

Date: Sat Sep 1, 2001 8:28 pm

My 10 lb bottles lasted several months: 4 changes over one year offshore, for 2 to 4 people aboard including some very talented cooks. I also converted to propane from CNG as you can't find the latter outside the states.

Take aluminum bottles, they stay clean and you don't exchange bottles anyway, but should have your own refilled. Get a "European adapter" and make sure to recover it each time.

I am very happy with my Trident minilocker, as a seat on the side of the helm, tucked in the port quarter besides the lazarette. It is thus on deck, with the vent led overboard by a plastic pipe, avoiding a new thruhull. The bottles are squatter than normal, but no problem once you have decided not to exchange.

Date: Sun Sep 2, 2001 2:14 pm

To make it easier to answer several inquiries I have received by private email I'll supply these photos to the entire group as it may be helpful to other supporting members.

A few of my innovations that may help someone in the future.

The Seaward locker epoxied to the hull and cockpit locker.

Note the cross bolt that secures the unit in place. Drawer slides are powder coated.

Date: Thu Sep 6, 2001 3:44 pm

I recently experimented with my Seaward/Hillerange alcohol stove and oven. I did fine with the three burners, although I created about a 12 in. flame the first time. I primed the oven properly, and lit the burner without a problem. The problem was that I tured it up too soon, and the venturi

effect doused the nozzles on the left side of the burner while the middle and right hand nozzles burned bigger. I thought that the burner had changed into a higher-capacity mode. It did not, but was sending raw alcohol out of the left side, resulting in an inferno that was fortunately, safely

contained within the confines of the oven. However the fumes from the burning of raw alcohol were bad and I had to open all my hatches.

I relit the oven and had no further problems. I was able to get the temperature to 450 degrees in a reasonable amount of time, and I boiled a pot of water on one of the burners in two and a half minutes.

I concede that alcohol stoves can be dangerous, but I fail to see how propane is safer since it can settle into the bilge. There has been at least one case where propane was set off by the sensor designed to warn the boat owner of its presence. Even if you have a dedicated propane locker, what of your tubing, its fittings, and the oven itself?

I'm not saying that I'll never install a propane stove, but I do have reservations about it due to the nature of propane. I don't see the higher burning temperature for propane as a valid argument against alcohol. However, I do agree that the capacity for alcohol to flare up, if improperly

primed, is a valid argument against the usage of an alcohol stove.

Any thoughts and suggestions on the matter would be appreciated.

Date: Thu Sep 6, 2001 11:01 pm

I agree about the propane risk, having been heavily involved in international LPG and LNG shipping (liquefied flammable gases) and terminalling, including negotiating and implementing multibillion dollar projects, eg, LNG from Indonesia to Japan with 7 ships costing a billion USD. Propane and butane are more hazardous than CNG (methane ot natural gas) because CNG is lighter than air, so small leaks will not accumulate in the bilge and fill up the boat from the bottom.

However, I did change to propane for the convenience, being a trekker that went through the kerosene, alcohol and butane or propane, so I had full experience with all. A dedicated container with open venting outside is key, and then you rely on multiple valves, the bottle's manual valve and a solenoid valve downstream ahead of the stove. CNG is just not available in most countries outside the US.

A propane or CO sensor may help, but the smell of "gas" (mercaptans added for safety) is unmistakable, and you must air very carefully (no electric switching, no light and no sparking in any form, etc.) and completely if that happens, while closing the manual valve and looking for the leak(s).

Ovens are riskier than open burners because they are harder to light properly (long ramp, not very accessible or visible), and because a larger volume of unlit gas may accumulate. This is one of the reason why I replaced the typical 3 burners + oven by a 2 burners plus a simple 3" high grill with a sparker lighting. I also get more storing room under the range.

Good luck in your choices. Zillions of charters with more than a few lackadaisical tourists on board cannot be wrong, and their statistics speak a lot more than a few horror stories, no matter how true they may be. Whales attacks are more frequent, and that is one reason to select a Seawind II, one of the few non-metallic boats to survive such attacks.

Date: Fri Sep 7, 2001 10:06 am

I have enjoyed my Galleymaid alcohol stove and had very little trouble with it. Getting parts is possible, since Galleymaid still exists and maintains a west coast office. I plan to remain a troglodyde. Obviously propane is more convenient.

Date: Fri Sep 7, 2001 11:03 am

When I first moved aboard GiGi (now Sea Quill) she was equipped with a magnificent cooking machine. It was a kerosene fueled and alcohol primed Shipmate built in the UK. Aside from always making sure that the kero tank was adequately filled & pressurized, the time-consuming priming/pre-heating issue and the safe storage of separate fuels I could well appreciate the B.T.U. efficiency of this combination over most alternatives. However well-tuned the burners I still found the cabin always smelled of kerosene whenever I boarded. I initially switched to LPG only for the odor free environment.

The 3-burner/oven, Taunton Industries ( ) stove I installed was almost new and had been discarded in favor of a four burner unit on a Moorings charter boat that had been converted to accommodate a change from bareboat to a "crewed yacht" status. It is still produced in its original/efficient design and parts are readily available. This refit found me making several replacements at a very reasonable cost. It should last another ten years.

I have found that the gas lines and connections I have used over the years, through two tank relocations, have proven quite reliable if installed with great care. My newest storage unit, that I have described will, once again, be plumbed with new hoses and connections.

The limited availability of CNG, high cost and its considerably lower fuel to storage capacity ratio virtually eliminated consideration even given it's safety factor rating.

New ABYS standards require pressure gauges on pressurized fuels to help indicate insidious or unexpected loss of cooking fuels. In my estimation they are not monitored frequently enough to be of much use.

Except for the virtually invisible flame of alcohol fires, as the fuel is easily spilled when refilling the reservoir, this fuel is probably the most efficient in production of heat to it's volume. However, having fought an accidental alcohol fire at sea during a trans-Atlantic delivery to Ireland, I was to be frightened of the flames I could not see in order to extinguish it. Water works fine but it tends to spread and splash the free flowing, very low viscosity, liquid to flesh as well as lockers and cabinets making the fire fight one that adds water to anything porous in the lockers another worry. Fortunately the alcohol evaporates very quickly and has almost no flammable residue.

One 'Safety at Sea' seminar in San Francisco, given by West Marine, several years ago, pointed out that the amount of potential hazards aboard almost any boat are better prevented from occurring by diligent maintenance and care when using hazardous fuels. Obvious diesel spills inboard are too often wiped up and casually emulsified with dishwashing liquids. The speaker indicated clearly that the hazard from residue that is not cleaned up remains flammable for months and sometimes years if it finds its way into the contents of cockpit lockers or floating in the bilgewater is also a given potential.

The choice of cooking fuel is always a personal one but each comes with its risks. Much the same as the sailor is always aware of the potential injuries to a crewmember being hit by a jibing boom so should we all be as aware and diligent of the variety of other hazards we welcome aboard our boats and work to lessen our risk potential with diligence and maintenance.

Date: Fri Sep 7, 2001 2:21 pm

The stove fuel issue is one that we have struggled with for 15 years on Silver Spray. When we moved aboard and planned to cruise for a couple of years, we convered the original alcohol stove to kerosend and was very satisfactory. Particularly after a flare up. It used Patria burners. We

then installed a Taylor "parafine burner" made in Great Britian. It has a cook top of cast iron and an oven. This has been a most satisfactory arrangement for us. We used the existing alcohol pressure tank for fuel storage. It does mean we have to carry kerosene, however, there is some

comfort in the fact that in a pinch the engine is very happy to run on kerosene. A quart of alcohol used for priming lasts several months when living aboard. The only time we experience kerosene fumes in the cabin are when the stove is not properly primed or the burners need servicing. We carry a couple of rebuild kits at all times - repair kits are also available in most countries. It seems that about once a year they must be maintained and new needle valves installed. One of the reasons to go to this stove, is that we also have a Shipmate cabin heater and a gimbled keosene stove that is for use in rough weather. Both have been satisfactory. The other reason for kerosene is its universal availablity and of course cost...Our decision was based in part on the fact that no retrofit was required for the Taylor Stove (it really is pretty also - polished brass and stove black ) - it fit in the existing stove well. As with all combustibles common sense and care are needed in operation, and I would never suggest kerosene to a boat that has strangers (charterers) or people not well versed in its operation.

Date: Fri Sep 7, 2001 12:28 pm

Having had both alcohol and propane over some 6 different boats we've owned, my thoughts are that both have their dangers and like anything else the operator must take the necessary cautions when operating the systems. Knowledge and experience both contribute to a safe operation.

I don't believe that one is more or less dangerous but both have different dangers and again the operator is the key. With either system all you need is an operator that either does not have knowledge or experience or both and you now have a potential explosive situation, no pun intended. We presently have propane, and first used propane in the early 60's on a trawler which we lived aboard. This was before the days of sensors to determine if there were fumes aboard. Doing periodic inspections and correcting any deficiencies are also important to safe


Date: Wed Sep 19, 2001 9:38 pm

I also have a galleymaid stove but it is kerosene. You mentioned they are still in business, do you have a number or email address for them. I in need of a few replacement parts.

Date: Thu Sep 20, 2001 8:41 am

I called Galley Maid about 3 years ago. There number then was 561-848-8696. I think I got the number from Defender. If its changed Defender might have the new one.

I replaced my Galley Maid stove/oven with an Optimus 2-burner kerosene cooktop. It was fine when it worked but I had persistent problems with it leaking. I finally tossed it and order a propane system( tank, regulator, hose, stove etc.) As an interim solution , my spare stove, a 2 burner Coleman fuel cock top was mounted in the galley, That was 2 seasons ago. It works fine. Except for the fuel smell when you turn it off. If it breaks, I can replace it for < $40 at a local K-Mart. I probably will go to propane later, but its no longer on the priority to-do list.

Date: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:48 pm

Galley Maid Marine Products listed its address and phone number as 4348 Westroads Drive, West Palm Beach, FL 33407 (561) 848-8696. I don't have an e-mail address for them.

Date: Wed Oct 17, 2001 10:28 am

One more incident occurred that has pushed me into the direction of installing a propane stove. This was a leak where the valve control rod goes into the fitting of the oven burner in my alcohol stove. I am tempted to get rid of it and acquire a propane model instead of buying another

fitting for the existing stove.

I had seen some correspondence earlier with regard to propane storage in the SW II, one of which I believe was the Seaward locker for 4 lb. I remember viewing a picture of the arrangement, but had to delete it due to limited for data space in my hotmail account. If I could get it again I will go ahead and print it so as to have a reference in my hard copy archives, if

the sender would forgive my previous inattentiveness.

Date: Wed Oct 17, 2001 10:51 am

I'd be interested in hearing about other propane installations as well, although a 4 lb solution seems rather small. Is there anyone out there who has installed propane for both cooking and heating?

Date: Wed Oct 17, 2001 10:58 am

I also installed the same 4lb. propane locker from Seaward under the aft port lazarette on a sliding track. It works great.

Date: Wed Oct 17, 2001 12:22 pm

Funny you should make this decision at this time. The last time I used my alcohol stove, I wound up with alcohol all over the deck from a leaky fitting.

I'm going to put in a cockpit locker for a twenty pound steel tank. It should last for a long time and if the tank starts to show it's age, I'll swap it out at Home depot for a new one. The one thing to look out for in that case is to make sure that you don't get the tank that needs a magnetic key (triangle shaped notch) to refill.

Solution had this kind of arrangement. Art took it out because he wanted more foot room in the cockpit. The Baker's didn't seem to indicate that it was a problem for them. I also think it would be a good place to mount my compass (hopefully it won't affect the compass too much), gps, vhf, stereo and maybe a drop leaf table.

It's amazing how much is getting done now that I've got the gam to look forward to. My customers are not happy but let me see: SAILING OR PRINTING, SAILING or PRINTING, SAILING or printing, SAILING printing, SAILING.

Date: Wed Oct 17, 2001 3:57 pm

Just one quick warning - don't buy propane cylinders at Home Depot! I made that mistake for the heat on my houseboat, and still regret it.

They use a service to refill the cylinders, and a great many of them are out of date, illegal, and difficult to fill. The tank you buy will be an old one, not one that's new. They want $16 to swap tanks, but you can get a tank refilled at any propane station for $10-12... but most of the time

they cannot refill the Home Depot tanks because of flaws in the valves.

During the winter I burn 15-20 pounds of propane a week in the heater, so have experienced all of the issues with getting tanks filled.

It's best to get a tank from a real propane fill station.

Are you going to the GAM, too? It sounds like quite a few of us from the Bay will be there.

Date: Wed Oct 17, 2001 2:18 pm

I'd only exchange when I want to update my tank due to rust or age. There should be a date on the tank collar as well as on the valve. When I exchange, I have no problem going through the whole rack to insure getting a good one. I'll check with my propane refill station on the life expectancy of the tank.

Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 6:16 PM

I read your e-mail about installing the Seaward propane locker in the aft section of your cockpit locker. I recently pulled the rusted CNG stove and tank system from my boat with intentions of replacing it with a propane system. I also bought a Seaward locker simply because it was the least expensive and the dimensions fit. I have not installed it yet because it seems to be a tight fit and I am concerned about keeping the vent hose on a continuous downward slope. Did you install the 5 lb. tank model or the 10lb.
model? How much cook time do you get out of 1 tank? I have not purchased a stove unit yet. do you have any recommendations, make, size, new or used? I appreciate all your input. I purchased Wing #96 three months ago. I may be one of the younger Seawind owners (30), but I am slowly getting addicted to my boat and the Seawind cult. Wing needs a lot of work and although painful and challenging, the projects are still theraputic and rewarding. Much more so than my last 2 boats


First let me congratulate you on your purchase of a SW II. The group that so often meets here will prove to be possibly your very best resource as you work your way through your restoration. Welcome Aboard!

The Seaward locker assembly I have opted for is the smaller unit. Since I will not likely be living aboard any longer I felt certain that I would get more than a season of cook time on the 4 lb. tank with my more conservative, local cruising and weekending. The best reason for this assumption is that I usually got nearly five months from a ten pounder and I cooked frequently while living aboard in the Caribbean.

The vent hose should be routed to a through-hull fitting at the transom just above the highest waterline described when under power and at full "squat". I hesitate to vent it at either hull-side as the water pressure at a heeled angle may likely force seawater into the locker. The propane is heavier than air and will certainly vent far better vented lower than the provided location in the locker to prevent build up of fumes in the locker itself.

I intend to take some new digital photos this weekend of the various projects shaping up on Sea Quill. I'll take a few of the slide out storage tray for the Seaward unit and post them for you.

As for purchasing a stove the first question you must answer is just how much cooking do you predict. If simple heating up of coffee seems to be your most ambitious then the simple two burner, with a broiler unit from Seaward for about $600.00 may suffice ( I had one in my Southern Cross 31 and found it a fine stove). I do however find that I frequently baked bread and made fairly comprehensive meals for guests. This required an oven and a three burner cooktop. Most LPG stoves from the most economical to the sublimely well equipped run new from about $900 through about $1600 and are generally Seaward or Force Ten. Used units are often found from many consignment dealers but I caution you to find out if spare parts are readily available before you purchase used. I have been very satisfied with a three burner/oven unit that I salvaged from a Moorings charter boat shortly after it was converted from three burner to four burner. It is made by Casco Marine in Conn. any browser will lead you to them by typing in Casco. This past month I purchased all new burners, valves and the oven door glass from them for under $80 and rebuilt the stove after 7 years of live-aboard cooking.

LPG locker tray in position

LPG locker front view

LPG locker

Date: Wed Oct 17, 2001 10:34 pm

Steel tanks bleed rust in a very short time... 10 pounds lasts me more than six months living aboard... aluminum tanks are not traded, only refilled. Trust your own gear, not trade ins. Vented lockers are a prime safety item. They work!

Date: Thu Oct 18, 2001 1:10 am

Our Propane locker installation was a factory job, serial #129. Below the Starboard quarterdeck directly under the seat area is a round cylinder made of fiberglass with drains, an electric relay, and into which a 15 lb. propane cylinder fits securely. A nicely finished wood cover opens and closes providing a flat seat area. We carry with us on long voyages a second 15 lb. propane cylinder and when we run out of the first tank, change to the second tank which informs us that its time to start looking for a refill station. This system has performed well for over 14 years. On two occasions we had a major leak caused by a failure of the regulator valve, and on another failure of the pressure gage glass, in both cases venting all the propane harmlessly overboard. So

now we carry a spare regulator valve and of course the spare propane tank. This turns what could be a problem into a non-event. Its takes about 10 minutes to change the tank at sea.

We clean and wire brush the tanks periodically, then spray paint them with cold zinc to prevent rust. Some are well past (5 years) the date stamped on the tank, but refillers in this area do not check them for date compliance. Obviously aluminum tanks would be prefered but I've not been able to find such tanks of the same size and shape.

Date: Thu Oct 18, 2001 8:57 am

My hull #113 has the same arrangement. I've considered either raising the top (building a higher seat) or cutting off the bottom of the well and "splicing in" an extension of fiberglass to allow a larger tank to fit inside...Your thought's ??

Date: Wed Oct 31, 2001 10:59 am

I am happy with my Trident (Defender) minilocker which uses low aspect, larger diameter 10lb bottles, which are an excellent format. The locker sits well on deck on the space aft of the port cockpit locker. I made the mistake of buying steel tanks, will get one aluminum, and then a second spare one as the steel tanks reach their life limit.

Date: Wed Oct 31, 2001 11:04 am

I shall add that the Trident mini locker comes with a bottom drain, to which I fitted a simple plastic hose that curls over the transom to vent above board. A surveyor liked the approach.

By installing the locker on the deck space aft the port cockpit locker, I did not lose inside storage and gained a welcome seating position near the helm that looks over the dodger forward. In resume, Tirent minilocker aft of a cockpit locker, plus 10lb aluminum bottle(s) make a great retrofit to any CNG and allow refilling offshore.

Date: Wed Oct 31, 2001 8:20 am

I'm just going to guess that your refering to the propane locker within the starboard quarterdeck. That being said, I would suggest that you go for removing the fiberglass container, use a dremil tool to cut from the inside all round up about 3 inches from the bottom, then using fiberglass

4" tape add sufficient amount to permit the larger height bottle and tape around the outside and then finish with the inside. Reinstall the container and you are complete. Note: A large sea coming from the stern can enter this container but will wash out again, however it could cause

rust on the container. We carry the 15 lb small bottle that came from Allied and a spare. I like it that way because I can run out and know when to start looking for a refill station which sometimes takes weeks in the Carribean island area. Sometimes its takes a week after you have

found one to get your bottle back as well. So having the spare one mounted in the cockpit with four 5 gallon containers of diesel makes for a nice setup.

Date: Tue Nov 20, 2001 12:52 pm

Another approach to forward visibility, if you don't have a propane bottle stored inside in its own vented compartment, is to go the Trident Mini-locker approach, using a 10lb low aspect bottle that should become the preferred standard one of these days, and placing it on one of the two spaces aft of the cockpit lockers, with a flexible vent over the rail.

I get a comfortable seat with eyesight above the dodger and even the liferaft cannister. And the advantage of windvane cum autopilot is that you can be anywhere on deck or inside the dodger, depending on weather...

I am curious if anyone has found a satisfactory place to build a
propane locker. The logical place might be in the after end of a
cockpit locker, but this part of the hull gets quite low in the water
on a fast reach and the drain for propane vapors would let the
seawater into the locker. I have seen a propane locker installed in
the center of the cockpit, but it is in the way there and propane
vapors might enter the cabin before they overflow the other sides of
the cockpit. I have seen bare tanks suspended overboard the stern
pulpit, and I think I have seen bare tanks on the cabin tank, but bare
tanks seem unsafe in a marine environment. So I still have a kerosene
galley stove.

Date: Wed Dec 19, 2001 8:46 pm

Quite a bit has been contributed to the website and this message-group regarding just your queried. There have been many varied alternatives and solutions and we have even posted a few pictures.

The pushpit mounted locker, available from Seaward, West Marine might prove the easiest and largely one that no one here could disapprove of with the possible exception of the additional weight astern. Bert, "Pianissimo", has installed a unique helm seat/locker to the port aft of the cockpit, that contains his fire gas. I am one of a few who have gone to the below the aft cockpit seat and aft of the locker's opening to give accessibility to lazarette contents and the LPG locker.

If the venting is the concern it should be pointed out that venting usually should be expected at a point just lower than the bottom of the locker. In a transom location just about amidships and above the "underway" waterline is perhaps the best location and has certainly served most quite well.

In a short time our website will be updated to reflect a tremendous amount of our collective thoughts, fears, solutions and the sharing that seems to benefit almost every one of the SW II owners.

We are happy to see another Florida yacht checking in. Happy Holidays


Dear Richard: as mentioned by Paul/Compass/SeaQuill, I converted from CNG to LPG for offshore by purchasing through Defender the Trident minilocker and low aspect 10lb bottle.

The locker is bolted on the triangular seating aft the cockpit locker hatch on the side of the kitchen stove (port side in my hull 80K). It provides an excellent seating position for the helmsman to reach steering wheel, windvane, autopilot control, and mizzen and staysail sheets, high enough to allow sighting the horizon above the dodger. Venting is overboard by a 2 feet long hose that curves over the transom: any leak may fill the tank locker by no more than a few inches, and will not invade the cockpit then the cabin and engine spaces.

My 10lb bottles averaged 3 months use, including some great cooks, and I had no problem filling them, blessing their weight much lower than the 20lb. Just make sure to also order the "European Adapter". The low aspect "fatter" bottle is an important contribution to easy storage as well as stability, and should become standard when designers and users wake up to this advantage. The argument that you should use a standard bottle for exchange does not hold water: you should not exchange bottles in backwood areas anyway, but have a spare bottle stored on deck (offshore), and refill the empty in the next suitable harbour.

My only second thought: I bought steel tanks (one spare), but I will change to aluminum as soon as my tanks become obsolete, because of corrosion resistance and aesthetics.



Been a great number of years since I've seen you. We are Don and Brenda
Bundy, and live in New Port Richey, Fl.
We visited you once at the St. Pete Municipal Marina and you were a
gracious host and provided us with much information about the SW II.
Maybe we can finally repay your generosity.

Our vessel is serial #129 and contains the factory installation for
propane. The tank is located in the starboard quarter deck. A round
fiberglass cylinder shaped with a square top set back about 2" provides
room for a electric shutoff, and a pressure gage. A square teak lid
completes the installation. Within the bottom and side of the fiberglass
cylinder are vents which lead to the stern in the event of a propane
leak. We have experienced two major propane leaks over the years, one a
cracked gage lens, and the other a defective regulator, in both cases the
propane was harmlessly vented overboard. The metal propane tank within
the fiberglass cylinder is a 15 lb. unit. That's 13 lbs of propane and
two lbs. of metal container. We carry a spare 15 lb. unit in the cockpit
when on voyages over 2 months time, that way when we run out, we install
the second 15 lb. unit and we know that we need to begin looking for a
refill station. We have found that in some outlying islands it can take
up to a week to get your tank back, thus two tanks work better in this
situation. If we can be of further assistance, please advise. Our
installation is a factory installation and I believe could easily be done
by someone handy with fiberglass work. If you would like to see the
installation for yourself please advise. Sometimes seeing the
installation is better than a description. Some will indicate concern for
water intrusion, but in over 15 years of ownership we have not had that
problem or concern and over that period of time we've seen some rough
water conditions. We live about an hours drive from St. Peterburg.


I, too, installed propane but didn't want the hassle and risk of putting
tanks in a locker below. So on Voyager I bolted one tank (see picture) to
the stern. There's a plastic spacer under the tank mounts that's actually
bolted to the boat. Then studs stick up from the spacer and the tank fits
over these. Wing nuts and nylon washers secure the thing. The regulator and
solenoid are clamped to the stern rail, and a "T" with a shut-off feeds the
BBQ grill. A single long run of hose goes to the stove.

The spare tank is mounted on teak spacers with the upright studs next to
the mast. It takes just a minute or two to swap the tanks.

Both tanks are 10 pound aluminum. Each lasts about 6 weeks for continuous
living aboard of 3 people, with a lot of cooking and baking.

This arrangement has been quite satisfactory. I rather hate piling stuff up
on deck, but on a cruising boat it's awfully hard to avoid, between the
life raft, wind vane, anchors, etc, etc.




Jack: where do you get these 10lb aluminum bottles with lugs welded on the top and bottom crown, for horizontal stowing?

The bottles I know have simple crowns, top and bottom with taller and smaller diameter at top. I like my Trident minilocker for many reasons, including full protection of the hoses and solenoid valve, but your system would be excellent for my spare bottle. And the minilocker would accept the lugs, as it has a falt side at its larger end.


Date: Thu Dec 20, 2001 11:45 pm

I found these at West Marine. They're not cheap - as I recall something like $90 each. But I dislike the steel ones because of all the rust they leak. So far there's no corrosion on the Aluminum ones.

Date: Thu Dec 20, 2001 9:04 pm

Thanks! I totally agree with aluminum tanks, my one regret about my propane upgrade from CNG. I'll get these as my steel tanks get obsolete


Jack, I like it and I could have lived with that quite easily... Oh Well! A little late now.


Date: Thu Dec 20, 2001 8:28 pm

I, too, installed propane but didn't want the hassle and risk of putting tanks in a locker below. So on Voyager I bolted one tank (see picture) to the stern. There's a plastic spacer under the tank mounts that's actually bolted to the boat. Then studs stick up from the spacer and the tank fits
over these. Wing nuts and nylon washers secure the thing. The regulator and solenoid are clamped to the stern rail, and a "T" with a shut-off feeds the BBQ grill. A single long run of hose goes to the stove.

The spare tank is mounted on teak spacers with the upright studs next to the mast. It takes just a minute or two to swap the tanks.

Both tanks are 10 pound aluminum. Each lasts about 6 weeks for continuous living aboard of 3 people, with a lot of cooking and baking.

This arrangement has been quite satisfactory. I rather hate piling stuff up
on deck, but on a cruising boat it's awfully hard to avoid, between the
life raft, wind vane, anchors, etc, etc.

September 2004

4/6/05 11:08 am

When I got my boat it had a propane locker starboard aft. For years I used 20 lb steel gas bottles locally available in Trinidad. But of course the rusted, which did not matter since my passages lasted never in excess of 3 months. Now I bought a standard 20 lb aluminum tank and I am rather happy not to have to worry about the rust and I never ran out of gas yet.

I attach a couple of photos and I hope they might inspire you if only not to go this way.