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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    27

    Default Filling propane bottles

    Hi - we currently have a US 9kg propane cylinder that came with our boat (which we bought in America) but as we're based in the UK we switched to the red Calor Gas propane cylinders.

    Due to the size of our gas box we can only fit the 3.9kg red bottles in which seem to be going up in price every month. As we live aboard a 3.9kg bottle lasts just under a month.

    We've seen adaptors that in theory will allow us to fill the US cylinder at an autogas filling station. However, from what I've read so far filling these at UK filling stations is a bit of a no-no unless they are fixed in place such as would be in a caravan.

    So it seems we're stuck with the Calor whilst in the UK. However, this summer we're leaving the UK and planning on cruising through Denmark and Sweden and then on to the Med in 2011.

    We don't want to waste money on buying the wrong bottles or adaptors and was wondered what other peoples' experience is with the following:
    - getting propane tanks filled in Scandanavian countries
    - getting propane tanks filled in Mediterranean countries
    - getting propane tanks filled in the UK (so allowing us to use our US propane cylinder)

    Many thanks,
    Nichola
    Yacht Emerald

  2. #2
    ebo is offline Registered User
    Location : Greece and IoW
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Hi,
    we've been in the med for 5 years. Portugal to Greece. Plenty of Camping Gaz around in garages, supermarkets and chandlers but not much propane. If you keep your calor propane bottles there is no guarantee that gas refilling station will have a connector or the will to refill. Can you change to butane? If so I would change to Camping Gaz before leaving UK. Hope this helps,

    ebo

  3. #3
    ebo is offline Registered User
    Location : Greece and IoW
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    Oct 2009
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    p.s. Welcome to the forum.

    ebo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    165

    Exclamation propane

    Quote Originally Posted by nicholat View Post
    Hi - we currently have a US 9kg propane cylinder that came with our boat (which we bought in America) but as we're based in the UK we switched to the red Calor Gas propane cylinders.

    Due to the size of our gas box we can only fit the 3.9kg red bottles in which seem to be going up in price every month. As we live aboard a 3.9kg bottle lasts just under a month.

    We've seen adaptors that in theory will allow us to fill the US cylinder at an autogas filling station. However, from what I've read so far filling these at UK filling stations is a bit of a no-no unless they are fixed in place such as would be in a caravan.

    So it seems we're stuck with the Calor whilst in the UK. However, this summer we're leaving the UK and planning on cruising through Denmark and Sweden and then on to the Med in 2011.

    We don't want to waste money on buying the wrong bottles or adaptors and was wondered what other peoples' experience is with the following:
    - getting propane tanks filled in Scandanavian countries
    - getting propane tanks filled in Mediterranean countries
    - getting propane tanks filled in the UK (so allowing us to use our US propane cylinder)

    Many thanks,
    Nichola
    Yacht Emerald
    Be carefull we live aboard in Europe all the time and can tell you that European boats are NOT alowed to have Propane on them only butane

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    169

    Default

    We also have US propane bottles, now in the Med. It is always tricky but so far we have always managed. If we did not have such large bottles that rarely require filling (once a year) or they did not fit so snuggly into their box then we would probably change to Camping Gas here.

    We have put together various fillers/connectors/adapters and can fill from LPG autogas stations or from the commercial gas fillers if we can find them.

    Just got our bottles refilled yesterday in Preveza, Greece so that's us sorted for another year. It wasn't easy though - it never is - you need time in a place and to talk to the locals.
    Petronella - John & Gill

  6. #6
    vyv_cox's Avatar
    vyv_cox is offline Registered User
    Location : North Wales, sailing either in the Aegean or Milford Haven
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    14,398

    Default

    You are correct about filling bottles on forecourts. Most countries will not allow it, especially Spain and Italy, where self-service is less common and the attendant will not do it. In UK it is also not allowed, although you might get away with it if nobody sees you on a self-serve forecourt. Bottles are routinely refilled in Holland and Germany, although it may be difficult to find just where. I had lived in Holland for five years before I found the local refiller! Don't know about Scandinavian countries. Autogas has very limited availability in Greece, only a few garages in the Athens area have it.

    As said above, Camping Gaz is pretty universal in much of Europe so you may be best going with that.

    Boats in Europe not allowed to have propane aboard is news to me. I know loads that do.
    Answers to some technical queries at http://coxengineering.sharepoint.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Petronella View Post
    We have put together various fillers/connectors/adapters and can fill from LPG autogas stations or from the commercial gas fillers if we can find them.
    Thanks for all the advice.

    John and Gill - what type of connectors do you have to fill the US bottles?

    We're now thinking that a dual Camping Gas / US bottles system is how we'll go as we have 2 leads from our regulator so will adapt 1 for camping gas. Our US cylinders should last us 3 months each and we have 2 of them. We can then use them up and whilst trying to find somewhere to fill them keep a couple of camping gas bottles to use in the meantime. If we can't find any autogas we'll just keep getting the camping gas refilled.

    How long does a 2.7kg camping gas typically last?

  8. #8
    vyv_cox's Avatar
    vyv_cox is offline Registered User
    Location : North Wales, sailing either in the Aegean or Milford Haven
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    May 2001
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    14,398

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nicholat View Post
    How long does a 2.7kg camping gas typically last?
    For us, two people, two burners, grill and oven, around one month. We carry two bottles in the gas locker and sometimes a third in the lazarette.

    Check prices in the countries you are visiting before buying the bottles. They vary enormously, France and UK being high. Holland used to be cheaper but I left six years ago so don't know now. The gas is far cheaper in Spain, Italy and Greece than in UK and France. Buy in camping shops (and supermarkets when in Europe) rather than chandleries, if convenient.
    Answers to some technical queries at http://coxengineering.sharepoint.com

  9. #9
    changeman is offline Registered User
    Location : Cornwall winter, France Summer
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    223

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    Met some Aussis in Port St Louis who found a couple of abandoned gas bottles and proceeded to decant the contents into to their own bottles via a connecting hose.
    Not for the faint hearted!
    ChangemanCR
    "Some days you are the bug; some days you are the windscreen".

  10. #10
    jmac is offline Registered User
    Location : UK, Malta, USA
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    100

    Default

    A couple of points from personal experience that may help you.

    We had our boat commissioned from new last year with Propane - the red Calor ones. We did not try to refill seriously since we only ran out of the 1st bottle on the way to the Canaries. In the canaries, they would only offer to sell an 11kg bottle of propane. Happily this has a uk Butane screw adaptor on it. We decanted some into our small bottles and connected the large bottle to our main system. (We have an enormous gas locker). We are still using the large bottle 4 months later and the small bottles are untouched apart from occasional BBQ use.

    To be honest, I'd take the easier if more expensive Camping Gaz route you have suggested unless you are going to the Caribbean where you can get your Calor gas bottles refilled easily.

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