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Old 03-22-2010, 02:48 AM   #1
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Hi everyone, new poster here.

I have a question, I'm hoping to leave for the South Pacific next year, ending up in New Zealand. I have a CNG stove/oven. I currently have 4 bottles, each lasting about a month or so. Is it possible to get these filled in the South Pacific Is.?

I'm facing a choice, either acquiring more bottles if not available, or converting the cooker to LPG. I'd rather stick with CNG if possible, just for the added safety.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:30 AM   #2
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Hello and welcome to our forums, Once you leave the Americas it will be unlikely that you will be able to find Natural gas to fill your gas bottles - until you reach NZ.

Here is the link to NZ gas :- HERE

Here is a good link covering conversions :- CLICK
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:17 AM   #3
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Hello and welcome to our forums, Once you leave the Americas it will be unlikely that you will be able to find Natural gas to fill your gas bottles - until you reach NZ.

Here is the link to NZ gas :- HERE

Here is a good link covering conversions :- CLICK
Thanks a lot for this info. Maybe converting to propane would be the ideal solution. I'll give it some thought.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:31 AM   #4
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Welcome Aboard, Salty Pete!

We've been poking around the South Pacific for the past and have only been able to get Butane in French Polynesia and Pago Pago. It doesn't work so well for me with our Magma gas grill but my wife says she can't really tell any difference with the galley stove. I've just purchased a half dozen little disposable Coleman gas cylinders for the grill (available at the local Try-N-Save in American Samoa for under $2.00 each!) which should see us through the next year of Sunday evening barbecues.

And for what it's worth - we've been able to get our American style gas bottles filled without any trouble throughout the past 15 years' sailing across the Pacific, SE Asia, Red, Med & Caribbean and Central America with no hassles, adapters, gravity fills or any of that jive. The ONLY problems were in a few places where gas vendors would not fill our tanks because of a bit of surface rust which was "fixed" with a can of spray paint and cured with aluminum tanks.

And believe me - everything changes once you've been away on your boat a while... so keep your options open for life after New Zealand.

Be sure to look us up when you get out here, okay.

To Life!

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Old 03-22-2010, 11:39 AM   #5
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The NZ web page on Natural Gas does not indicate that it is available as CNG in bottles. Even the "outdoor lifestyle" link on the page is talking about piping gas to the decks and patios of homes. I haven't heard of anyone crossing the Pacific with CNG-fitted stoves.

I know that many people are afraid of propane/butane, but having lived with it and used it on our boats over the past 20+ years, I'm not sure that safety is such an issue. Yes, one needs to be aware of wear of the hoses, the smell of the gas should it escape, and having it in a locker that vents overboard, not into the bilge, and turning off the gas at the bottle if one is leaving the boat for any amount of time. The gas smell is pretty strong so one should be aware of problems long before enough gas has accumulated to be a danger.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:29 PM   #6
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Over a quarter million cars converted to CNG in NZ - Not sure of the status of marine use of CNG. Any NZ members out there!
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:43 PM   #7
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The availabiity, or not, of CNG caused me to raise an eyenbrow as the week before last I was aboard the Norwegian Coast Guard's latest aquisition, the 92 metre, 4,000 ton ship Bergen which is to 85% powered by LNG. New and environmentaly friendly technique. I just would not like to have a big LNG tank in the middle of my boat.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:40 AM   #8
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Over a quarter million cars converted to CNG in NZ - Not sure of the status of marine use of CNG. Any NZ members out there!
If they can fill up cars, I should be able to fill up my CNG Bottles. The place I fill them up now has a large compressor, piped into a natural gas line for the building. It runs for an hour and fill's up 5 bottles at a time.

Anyway, thanks for the responses and warm welcomes to this site!

I am very impressed with the cruising experience on this board. I'm leaning towards this idea. Trying to acquire 4 more CNG bottles if I can find them cheap. Fortunately, I've got the space to stow and secure them. That would last me at least 8 months of cruising, 8 bottles total onboard. This would be good for 6 months in the S. Pacific, and to tuck away in NZ for the storm season (my current plan).

I'd also like to get the burner conversion kit for my stove to run on propane, and haved that and a propane regulator handy as a backup. I can always do the conversion while cruising too. I've heard cruising is working on your boat in exotic places.

I'm getting very excited about this adventure.

Thanks again for the help.

Pete
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SaltyPete' date='22 March 2010 - 08:40 PM View Post

I'd also like to get the burner conversion kit for my stove to run on propane, and haved that and a propane regulator handy as a backup. I can always do the conversion while cruising too. I've heard cruising is working on your boat in exotic places.

I'm getting very excited about this adventure.
I think that you're making a mistake in trying to have both CNG and propane. West Marine has an advisory on marine stoves, Stoves

When we lived in Boston there was much concern about the dangers of CNG, since CNG was transported to Boston in specialized ocean tank ships which contained enough CNG to flatten the entire city if it ever accidentally exploded in the harbor. It's been more than twenty years since that article was published so my memory of the details are vague, but it made me sit up and take notice back then.

It seems to me that the only benefit of CNG is that it is lighter than air. It does not provide as much heat as propane, it is stored under significantly higher pressures, and it is hard to find. I would not want three or four CNG tanks rattling around in my boat - corrosion could make one's boat a floating bomb.

The safeguards for marine propane stoves include remote shutoff of the propane at the bottle, automatic shutoff at the burner, and sometimes a propane sniffer as well. If you have to wire your boat to accomodate propane, why bother with both? And if you only convert the stove burners but not the entire gas system I think it would be the worst of both worlds. If the only place you can get CNG outside the US is in New Zealand, and I'm not sure that marine CNG bottles would be filled there, why bother carrying the system?

Read the West Marine advisory link and maybe you will reconsider.

Fair winds,

J
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:08 PM   #10
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I think that you're making a mistake in trying to have both CNG and propane.West Marine has an advisory on marine stoves, Stoves

When we lived in Boston there was much concern about the dangers of CNG, since CNG was transported to Boston in specialized ocean tank ships which contained enough CNG to flatten the entire city if it ever accidentally exploded in the harbor.It's been more than twenty years since that article was published so my memory of the details are vague, but it made me sit up and take notice back then.

It seems to me that the only benefit of CNG is that it is lighter than air.It does not provide as much heat as propane, it is stored under significantly higher pressures, and it is hard to find.I would not want three or four CNG tanks rattling around in my boat - corrosion could make one's boat a floating bomb.

The safeguards for marine propane stoves include remote shutoff of the propane at the bottle, automatic shutoff at the burner, and sometimes a propane sniffer as well.If you have to wire your boat to accomodate propane, why bother with both?And if you only convert the stove burners but not the entire gas system I think it would be the worst of both worlds.If the only place you can get CNG outside the US is in New Zealand, and I'm not sure that marine CNG bottles would be filled there, why bother carrying the system?

Read the West Marine advisory link and maybe you will reconsider.

Fair winds,
J
Thanks for the safety advisory Jeanne. My thoughts were to leave the CNG system in place, until I ran out. Then, have all the parts ready to convert to propane at that point in time while cruising. However, I think I'll look into doing the conversion before going.

From what I've researched, I just need to replace the burners on the stove, get the remote shutoff's in place, and construct a propane locker to vent overboard. I wonder if my CNG regulators would work with propane, I have two of them currently (one's a backup). I'll provide updates as I gather the knowledge of how to do this.

Thanks again for the help.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:49 AM   #11
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I'm 99% sure that the 1/4 million cars in NZ run on LPG, which is propane, not CNG.

CNG is not sold in Australia, either, but we have many cars that run on LPG including nearly all taxis.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:13 AM   #12
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I'm 99% sure that the 1/4 million cars in NZ run on LPG, which is propane, not CNG.

CNG is not sold in Australia, either, but we have many cars that run on LPG including nearly all taxis.
According to official studies:-

Between the 70's and 80s alone CNG was commonly used in New Zealand in the wake of the oil crises, but fell into decline after petrol prices receded. At the peak of natural gas use, 10 percent of all New Zealand's cars were converted, around 110,000 vehicles.

The biggest problem being the fact that natural gas has to be compressed to a VERY high pressure (where it remains as a highly pressured gas) - unlike LPG, which when bottled is in liquid form at a much lower pressure and which has a strong foul smell additive for safety.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:05 PM   #13
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Well, converting my CNG stove to propane seems to not be a solution. I contacted the manufactorer directly about a conversion kit, Tasco, they told me due to liability reasons...they do not sell the kit anymore. They would, however convert the stove themselves for 75% of the price of a new one.

So, basically, I'd have to replace everything if I want to go to propane.

I've done a bit of research, and am considering this stove as a replacement...

http://www.defender....319792&id=60353

It's a non-pressurized alcohol stove/oven. It seems very efficient, uses 6-8 hours of cooktime per quart of alcohol. My CNG bottle has 17 hours of fuel, and I can easily cook a month on that. So, one gallon of alcohol a month should be more than enough for cruising. That means, 12 gallons stow away, I could cook for a whole year. Heck, might as well store 20 or 30 gallons to offset the weight of my heavy CNG bottles..

No gas, no pressure, simple safe and easy. Any thoughts? This stove has very good reviews.

Thanks again,

Pete
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:46 PM   #14
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Here's a review.

http://www.onboardwithmarkcorke.com/...go-stoves.html

I'm really leaning this direction. No gas, nothing pressurized. Just need to safely stow the alcohol, which shouldn't be hard.
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