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MK 1 propane conversion

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danno
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MK 1 propane conversion

One of the upcoming projects we are planning is to convert from CNG to propane.  Where would the propane locker on a MK 1 be installed?  The CNG bottle lays horizontal under the portside aft seat.  This would be a great "out of the way" spot for propane, but I know it's not a safe arrangement for it.  Anyone have any ideas or pics of a MK 1 propane install?  I see lots of discussion for the MK 1.5s and Mk 2.

Thanks!

Dan & Amanda Reed
1989 Catalina 36 #947 Miss America
Fin Keel Std Rig
FL Panhandle

Channel Islander
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My 1984 has the propane locker installed in the aft locker, on a platform that keeps it out of the way of the steering gear. 

Nick Tonkin
Website Administrator, C36/375IA
C36 tr/fk #255, Santa Barbara, CA 

danno
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Thanks, Nick.  I was going to measure when I get to the boat again to see if the Seaward rectangular locker will fit there under the "hump" in the aft locker seat.  I was hoping for a recessed locker, but doesn't look like many options for that.

Dan & Amanda Reed
1989 Catalina 36 #947 Miss America
Fin Keel Std Rig
FL Panhandle

LeslieTroyer
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on my MK 1 it the propane hangs off the port stern.  Propane is heaver than air so sinks if released, CNG is lighter that air so rises - Propane needs additional safeguards to be safe.  There are ABYC and CG requirements that the propane locker must be 100% enclosed to the interior of the boat, and must have a vent line at the bottom that drains overboard.  Additionally the locker can not be dual purpose.  I was going to mount the tanks in the anchor locker (I don't like the way it looks on the stern) - but the dual purpose clause makes that not work.  There are also regs on the locker lid such that if there is a lid over the locker (like your lazerett lid) that lid can not physically close if the propane locker is still open.  There are commercial lockers that meetg these spec's but they are expensive.  I've seen some that hang off the stantions that look nice - 

The boat also did not have propane alarms in the bilge (on my to do list).  

Be safe and make sure you get it inspected afterwards.

Les

Les & Trish Troyer
Mahalo 
Everett, WA
1983 C-36 Hull #0094
C-36 MK 1 Technical Editor. 

bakerha
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Dan and Amanda:
I made the conversion several years ago after CNG became impossible to get in the Mid-West (and expensive if you could find it).  New stove with oven also as I could not find the orifice's to convert our old one.
I installed the box in the aft lazerette as in the picture and I'm sure it does not meet all the legal requirements but I tried!
The box is made out of 1/2" ply - sealed and painted. It is vented Top and bottom, contains the regulator, solenoid, and space to store my small bottles used for my grill. It also has an lpg sensor inside so I would know if there is a problem with the connections or the bottles. I mounted an lpg sensor in the bilge near the stove as well.  So far so good.  I used a Fireboy S-2A control system mounted aft of the refrig on the aft galley bulkhead. The Admiral loves the stove and oven!
As you can see I had to trim the rudder flange about 1/2" to get the box in, but have had no ill effects from that.
Box external dimensions are 16 wide,13/ 1/4" depth, 16 3/8" high. The bottom flanges out so it could be bolted directly to the shelf. I'm not sure how consistent our boats are, so I would highly recommend careful measurement before you go to far. My first attempt at a box was about 1/2" to big and no matter what I tried (bfh)- It would not fit.
Hope this helps
I'm trying to find time to do a full Tech article for the site - will let you know if I get that done.

_____________
Harold Baker
S/V Lucky Duck
Sandusky Ohio, Great Lakes
1989 C-36 mkI TR/WK M25XP

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Parsons
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That construction looks slick, Harold!  You say that it's vented top and bottom, but of course the bottom one is the one that counts in case of a leak.  Does the bottom vent go to a tube an through-hull out the stern?  Did you have room for a tank solenoid valve inside your box?  I'm guessing with those dimensions, you use a 10-pound propane tank.

John Parsons
1999 Catalina 36 Mk II - Hull 1771
Tall Rig, Fin Keel
Bay City, MI, USA

bakerha
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John / Dan:
Sorry I didn't get back to you right away - been on an extended trip to the North Channel and just got back home.
Any way - Yes - vented top and bottom. There was a vent hose left over from the old CNG stuff so I used that near the top.  I put a larger vent at the opposite bottom corner as well. It goes to it's own through hull.  I figured - air in the top - out the bottom - for better air flow - and to act as a safety if the lower vent got plugged. Spiders are very busy beasts! All the LPG components are in the box with a single new hose to the stove through a special fitting.  I will try to find my parts order to give you an idea what I installed too.  The tank is a fiberglass - 11lb Trident from West Marine. It was the largest I could fit in the space I had. I built the box around it and the components. I like the fiberglass tank, No rust and you can see how much propane you have left.  I was concerned about the capacity but we are just refilling it now for the first time since new.  We don't spend a lot of time cooking on the boat but we do our share and have made several 6 week trips since it was first installed.

_____________
Harold Baker
S/V Lucky Duck
Sandusky Ohio, Great Lakes
1989 C-36 mkI TR/WK M25XP

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bakerha
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John / Dan:
Sorry I didn't get back to you right away - been on an extended trip to the North Channel and just got back home.
Any way - Yes - vented top and bottom. There was a vent hose left over from the old CNG stuff so I used that near the top.  I put a larger vent at the opposite bottom corner as well. It goes to it's own through hull.  I figured - air in the top - out the bottom - for better air flow - and to act as a safety if the lower vent got plugged. Spiders are very busy beasts! All the LPG components are in the box with a single new hose to the stove through a special fitting.  I will try to find my parts order to give you an idea what I installed too.  The tank is a fiberglass - 11lb Trident from West Marine. It was the largest I could fit in the space I had. I built the box around it and the components. I like the fiberglass tank, No rust and you can see how much propane you have left.  I was concerned about the capacity but we are just refilling it now for the first time since new.  We don't spend a lot of time cooking on the boat but we do our share and have made several 6 week trips since it was first installed.

_____________
Harold Baker
S/V Lucky Duck
Sandusky Ohio, Great Lakes
1989 C-36 mkI TR/WK M25XP

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danno
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Excellent job on that locker, Harold!  I like the idea of the fiberglass tank.

-Dan

Dan & Amanda Reed
1989 Catalina 36 #947 Miss America
Fin Keel Std Rig
FL Panhandle

danno
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Harold:

Did you find that the 20' wiring harness that came with the fireboy system was sufficient?  Actually trying to decide if a 20' hose will route safely or if I'll need to get a hose made to avoid any couplings.

Dan & Amanda Reed
1989 Catalina 36 #947 Miss America
Fin Keel Std Rig
FL Panhandle

danno
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Thanks for all the feedback.  I'll have to break out the tape measure again when I get back to the boat and do a bit of ciphering, trying to figure out where I can sacrifice the least storage.  So far, right above the steering quadrant seems the best option as stated, especially as the seat already is raised where it would give clearance for it.

I have seen a few pictures of MK 1 boats without the hump in the stern locker lid that are advertised as having propane.  Curious where did they put the locker on these, as I've not noticed any tanks hanging on the rails.  Anyone seen this before?

Dan & Amanda Reed
1989 Catalina 36 #947 Miss America
Fin Keel Std Rig
FL Panhandle

William Miller
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The 1990 MK1 have a walk thru so the tank is in the stb back locker

Bill Miller
S/V Lorraine
Pacific Northwest,Sound Sound
Grapeview,Wa
1990 Mk1

danno
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On the last trip to the boat, we got EXACTLY one meal out of the CNG system before the bottle was empty... finished... dead.... ceased to produce gas... y'all get the point, I'm sure.

With the lack of CNG on the East Coast, and the bottle being due for inspection/replacement, the propane project just moved up the list.  It looks like Force 10 and Dickinson both make a 2-burner unit that is essentially the same size and should be nearly a drop in replacement.  Any experience here with the two brands and pros/cons to each?
 

Dan & Amanda Reed
1989 Catalina 36 #947 Miss America
Fin Keel Std Rig
FL Panhandle

LeslieTroyer
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You may be able to get new oriffaces to go from natural gas to propane from the vendor.  No need to replace the whole stove.  I know when I went the other way I drilled the orifface on my shop heater 30% bigger -  

Les

Les & Trish Troyer
Mahalo 
Everett, WA
1983 C-36 Hull #0094
C-36 MK 1 Technical Editor. 

danno
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Definitely a consideration, Les.  I had actually done the research to find the correct orifices to switch to propane.  My concern is that the ABYC standard, I believe, requires that all burners on propane appliances be fitted with thermocouple protection.  The old Regal stove that we have does not have thermocouples  on the cooktop, only the oven.  It also appears that most of the parts for the Regal GSI stove have been discontinued, so I'm being careful in how much we invest in upgrading the unrepairable.  Still doing some looking in the retrofit direction, but ultimately want to ensure the boat is safe, and insurable!

 

Dan & Amanda Reed
1989 Catalina 36 #947 Miss America
Fin Keel Std Rig
FL Panhandle

LeslieTroyer
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My stove does NOT have thermocouples. I also don't have propane alarm (it's on my wish list).  The only thing the insurance company wanted was to replace the propane hose running to the heater. It wasn't labeled for propane usage and has hose clamp fittings.  

Les

Les & Trish Troyer
Mahalo 
Everett, WA
1983 C-36 Hull #0094
C-36 MK 1 Technical Editor. 

danno
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That's something else I'll have to account for, the hose going to the stove, as it is very specifically labelled "SAFGAS".  Thanks for the reminder!

Dan & Amanda Reed
1989 Catalina 36 #947 Miss America
Fin Keel Std Rig
FL Panhandle

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