Propane is potentially the most dangerous substance carried aboard any
vessel to the point that many seek equipment using alternative fuel sources.
Unfortunately this equipment is presently considerably more expensive
than the LPG equivalent. Although, at the time of preparing this report,
there is no legislation for the use of LPG on small sea going craft, in
recent years most insurance underwriters insist that LPG systems comply
with ‘best practice’ before giving cover to a vessel to include
the use of gas. The basic recommendations are –
1 Gas locker
– must be self contained
– should be constructed of steel or GRP so as to be leak proof
– must drain from the bottom leading directly overboard above the
– if drain has a seacock (required if it is below the healed waterline)
it must always be open apart from times when water is likely to enter
– the locker must be securely fixed within the vessel
– the gas bottle(s) must be securely fixed within the locker
– a flexible pipe (BS 5482/3, about £10+) runs from the gas
regulator to a through-bulkhead fitting (about £4.50) mounted in
a hole at the top of the locker. This pipe is date stamped and should
be changed every four years.
– copper piping about (£1.60 a metre) is used throughout the
system between the locker fitting and the last bulkhead before the cooker.
Wherever it passes through a bulkhead a compression gas fitting (about
£4.50 each) must be used. The piping must be secured along its length
in such a manner that it cannot vibrate.
3 Cooker connection
– an armoured flexible pipe is used (about £12+) between the
final bulkhead fitting and the appliance. This is also time significant
and should be changed every four years.
4 Bubble tester
– should be fitted in-line as near as possible to the regulator,
preferably immediately on the outside of the locker, to indicate if gas
is still flowing through the system when the valves are ‘off’.
This gives a method of testing that each valve in the system is working
5 Shut-off valve
– should be fitted in an easily accessible place as near as practicable
to the cooker so that it can be quickly and easily isolated.
6 Marine type gas detector
– (about £100) should be fitted with probe at low point in
bilge. If required these are available (at extra cost) with two probes.
– solenoid valves are available which are “normally closed”
– that is the valve opens when the solenoid is energised. The valve
is opened and closed by a clearly labelled switch panel near the stove
which contains an indicator light to show when the valve is open.
8 Cooker devices
– many modern cookers have safety devices built-in that require
you to hold in or turn the knob of the stove for a few seconds until the
burner is warm. Some also have thermocouple safety shut-offs on all burners.
These notes are offered solely as guidelines.
Any queries should be referred to a registered Corgi marine fitter and
the preferred option would be to have the system installed or checked
by such a person.
The prices quoted are rough guidelines and will vary from supplier to