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  1. #1
    syd's Avatar
    syd is offline Registered User
    Location : Boat's in Chatham, I'm in Essex
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    Jun 2001
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    Default LPG Conversion. Advice Please

    Hi all,
    I want to convert my 5.7 Mercruiser to LPG. I have seen DIY kits for sale for around 525, and I have had a quote from a marina to supply and fit one for 4000 . Does anyone know where I might get it converted for less than four grand? Or could you give me advice on the DIY idea?
    Thanks in advance
    Sid

    I can resist anything, except temptation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    6,925

    Default Re: LPG Conversion. Advice Please

    The kits for sale at around the 500 mark are more than likely for cars than boats. Theres a big difference i the way the tank is set up, vents etc. I would be very careful as these would just turn your boat into a floating bomb.

    Basically the kit for marine use is a lot more complicated in its set up. The only other thing to bear in mind is that you will get a small drop in power out put, mainly in the mid range. On the plus side the engine will run a lot cleaner and the fuel is kinder to it, but do make sure you have the proper valve seats as in unleaded petrol.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    265

    Default Re: LPG Conversion. Advice Please

    I can speak from practical experience having done an LPG conversion AND converted back.
    The 525 you quote is far too cheap. A good DIY kit with a decent size tank will be nearer 1200. A tank alone is over 400
    I undertook a conversion on twin 4 cyl 2.0 L petrols, and did it to the LPG Association code of practice 18: 1999.
    I did in fact get some car parts, and some parts used in the marine world, in particular the tank and all the fittings.-this I still have, & would be for sale.- 260litre of gas capacity.

    To cut a long story short, I did get it all going, after really struggling with the carburation- BUT! There were 3 major problems.
    1/ In the end, I realised MY particular engine configuration, was never going to give a good power output with decent consumption, ie it was going to be too expensive to run. Bigger engines are better, but still only give 80% of the power output.

    2/ At the time I started it, LPG marine of Poole, who were the main converters in the area, had a virtual monopoly, by virtue of the fact that they were issuing certificates, which was the only guarantee that you could get re-fuelled. I was lucky, in that one place who was not tied to them, inspected my installation and agreed to refuel me. This certification requirement may still be the case.

    3/ The number of refuelling points is still low, and in most installitions, the dual fuel arrangement, means a limited LPG tank. Also LPG prices are not as low, by comparison, as they were.

    So in due consideration of the above I decided to cut my losses and convert back.

    So my advice is. If you cannot afford to get it done by official converters- don't do it. If you can afford it, think very carefully.
    It is indeed true the engines run nicely and keep cleaner, but that is not a justification for change. Maybe think of a diesel conversion.

    I hope this helps



  4. #4
    Guest

    Default Re: LPG Conversion. Advice Please

    The two postings here are completely out of date. In fact verging on the dangerous. DIY kits are for cars and you need the right connector to ensure you can refuel on the water. I had my boat converted last year and have used nearly 3000 litres of gas. I have suffered no loss of power and I will have paid of the conversion - 3200 for 38 galls on a V8 225 Volvo.
    Contact Marine Gas Services who are the Calor approved installers and get the facts from them - email is marinegas@aol.com
    As to the question of fueling points, firstly if you do your boating in the Solent there are points at Sparkes Marina in Chichester Harbour, Port Solent, Cowes Yacht Haven, Hamble point Marina, Yarmouth, Lymington and Cobbs Quay in Pooole.
    There are sites on the East coast and in the South West with more going in.
    I have spent 800 on gas this season, if I had used the same in petrol @ 89p (marina price) it would have cost me 2,360! I have done more boating, gone further and had more enjoyment out of my investment than the yaer before when I ran on petrol. But don't take short cuts!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    265

    Default Re: LPG Conversion. Advice Please

    You clearly did not read my posting proplerly. I stated, that although some parts were for a car- in fact only the vapourisers, the rest was using marine equipment. There is no way I could re-fuelled on the water. The tank and all the valves etc were to the same standard as today, ie conforming to the relevant code of practice.
    I am an engineer, and there is no way that I would have converted, if for one moment I thought it was dangerous.

    You will also note, I specifically advised against converting oneself.

    I do accept, if done well, then yes, you do save money or at very least you can go further for the same money. However unless the boat, or at least the engine is fairly new, then there can problems.
    Volvo have in the past stated ,that they would not warrant THEIR engines if they had been converted to LPG-quite understandable.
    So this raises the question. If you loose a valve, piston etc etc while the engine is in warranty, who pays?
    NOT the LPG converter, and probably not the engine manufacturer- It ends up with the poor punter.

    Just a point, but worth taking into consideration

    Lastlly, there has been lots of scare mongering over how dangerous LPG is- floating bombs etc. In actual fact, boats that are converted, are safer that petrol ones, by virtue of the fact that you ARE dealing with fuel at highish pressures.

    My conversion was in fact less dangerous than some of the early officially converted ones, which did not have auto shut-off valve from the cylinder- they were manual.

    I am sure for every story of success, and I am glad yours is, there will be others offering the other side of the coin.
    Mine was a cautionary tale




  6. #6
    aztec's Avatar
    aztec is offline Registered User
    Location : Poole Dorset
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    Oct 2001
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    Default Re: LPG Conversion. Advice Please

    hi, email me with the details as my best mate's cousin has his own business doing just this. can't promise anything at this stage but any info passed to me will be passed to you.

    s.amos@ntlworld.com

    regards steve.


  7. #7
    KevB is offline Registered User
    Location : Kent/Chichester
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    Jul 2001
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    Default Re: LPG Conversion. Advice Please

    I had my boat converted by Marine Gas Services in April this year, I have two 5ltr volvo engines and carry about 220ltrs of LPG. The boat runs fantasticly on LPG very smooth and very clean. I think there are in fact more LPG refilling stations on the south coast than there are petrol. At 30p per ltr LPG is great value for money compared to petrol. I have refilled about 15 times this season and have saved in the region of 1800 compared to using petrol (this takes into account you lose about 10-20% in range compared to the equivalent amount of petrol).

    The only down side I have found is cruising range, With the capacity we have we can cruise for about 3.5 hours before needing a refill, this means we have to fill up most times we go out and can be a bit of a bind. If you have the space for more tanks then obviously you can go further. I think the average price for a single engine conversion by MGS is 3000 and 5000 for twin. MGS and CalorGas are offering 1 years interest free credit on the cost of the conversion at the moment.

    Another thing to take into consideration is the resale of your boat, I have this weekend done a deal on a new boat and got 9k more for my current boat than what I paid for it. If you take into consideration the cost of the conversion @ 5000 I am still 4k up.

    The initial outlay for the conversion does put a hole in the pocket but allows you to use the boat without having to worry to much about the cost.

    If I was to buy another petrol boat, a conversion to LPG would be the first thing on my list.

    Kevin.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    Default Re: LPG Conversion. Advice Please

    Out of interest, why did you go LPG when 5-6months later decided to replace your boat. Was it because of the fill ups every 3-4 hours?

    RM.


  9. #9
    KevB is offline Registered User
    Location : Kent/Chichester
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    Jul 2001
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    Default Re: LPG Conversion. Advice Please

    We bought the boat in April this year and had it converted straight away. This is our first boat and over the past six months have realised we need some additional things. Firstly cabins, our current boat has a V berth and aft cabin and with a 10 year old son a bit more privacy is needed. The other reason for changing is due to the cruising range we have with LPG.
    We joined Chichester yacht clubs motor section and regularly cruise in company, the vast majority of these boats are diesel and often foray off to weymouth/channel isles/France. We have missed some of these cruises due to our cruising range and when we do go often have to hold everyone else up whilst we are refuelling.
    If our boating was confined to the Solent and or we had space for more LPG I wouldn't be changing.

    Kevin.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    1,062

    Default Re: LPG Conversion. Advice Please

    Sounds like your making the right move, range of LPG boats is a common problem.

    RM.


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