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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Default Butane Vs. Propane

    At the moment I am using Butane for cooking on the boat - correction SHMO does the cooking.

    I am considering changing from the Camping Gaz cylinders to Calor Propane mainly due to cost and ability to cook during the colder winter months.

    Unfortunately the gas locker will not take two calor cylinders although it will hold two CG cylinders so any spare calor cylinders would have to be stored in the lazerette.

    Any thoughts on the subject?
    “Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity”
    Skype id:cliffillupo
    Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Nr Plymouth

    Default Re: Butane Vs. Propane

    Hi Cliff,

    I'm surprised you need the greater capacity unless you're living aboard, and even then, from our experience, a single C Gaz cylinder would last us about a month, so even in this rip-off country, not that expensive. We have only had a problem on about three occasions with winter/cold weather cooking, but got over the problem simply by putting one of the cylinders in the cockpit locker adjacent to the calorifier if it looked like especially cold weather was due.

    Ok, the Health and Safety Gestapo would frown from on high I know, but the need was so rare, that we felt it worth the risk. It's not something I'd be happy with on a long term basis though.

    Granted we only tended to cook more than one meal a day (far too hot!) perhaps 2-3 times a week, but otherwise used gas 'normally'.

    The easy availability of CG, not only in this country, but also everywhere we visited (unlike Calor) was our other major consideration. We would make the same decision again.

    Cheers Jerry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester

    Default Re: Butane Vs. Propane

    Spare gas bottles should not be stored in any locker other than one dedicated to the purpose and vented in the same way as the locker for the inservice bottle. In practice many people, I suspect, do as you suggest, and end up with them any way up as well.

    Can you not contruct a simple inner locker within the lazerette that can be vented and that will keep the bottles upright and secure. You list woodwork as one of your hobbies!
    Sea Wych Owners Association:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Stavanger, Norway

    Default Re: Butane Vs. Propane

    standard calor gas is butane, the orange cylinders are propane camping gaz is also butane, but much more expensive than normal calor. You can buy a connector from a caravan shop, which allows you to connect a proper calor gas regulator to the top of a camping gas bottle.

    The only reason for changing to propane (which works at a slightly different pressure and MAY need a different regulator) is if you are boating in cold weather, as propane has a lower freeze point.

    Some of the gasflow regulators will cope with both propane and butane
    "Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
    Robert A Heinlein

  5. #5

    Default Re: Butane Vs. Propane

    For LPG (propane) and assuming using own refillable cylinders it is usually recommended that one empties the cylinder completely before refilling to avoid a build up over time of the butane which exists with the propane and boils off last.

    Unless one has 2 cylinders then to do this one has to vent gas to waste before refilling. Convenient way is to have two cylinders and swap over when one empties - also means that you never run out at sea if a full cylinder always on hand.

    In response to Cliff's question, I would never consider carrying any PG inside the boat except if as a propellent in an aerosol can or the lighters for the stove. Even the small can of butane for refilling the stove lighters goes in the gas locker.

    <span style="color:blue"></span>

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Default Re: Butane Vs. Propane:re; Ships cat

    generally speaking,its unusual for people to have their own refillable cylinders in U.K. and Europe.You simply return the empty cylinder ( on which you paid a deposit eons ago), and take away a full one, paying only for the gas.
    I changed to propane (although I have regulators for both propane and butane ) in 2003 when the new gas system went in. A small cylinder lasts ages, as previously said. Mine lasts 6 months of endlessly boiling kettles. Most cookers will run on both gases,but propane does run at a higher pressure - you may find that your burners `pop` when you turn off the control quickly rather than slowly turning it down and off. The best bit with propane in our colder climate is that it works on the coldest days,afloat or ashore. Butane is a real pest in this respect.

  7. #7

    Default Couple of points ...

    LPG = Liquid Petroleum Gas and is NOT just limited to Propane , Butane is LPG as well.

    Butane can fail to vapourise sufficiently at temps below freezing - making the burner spit or refuse to light. Propane vapourises at far lower temperature and is the choice for colder climates - such as where I live in Latvia.

    I maintain a boat and holiday home in UK and only one time have I had trouble with Butane - that was with the HH at start of March season - when temp dropped to below freezing at night - making the gas fire splutter and go out. Cahnged to propane and never had problem since.

    IMHO - unless you have desire to a) store gas bottle outside of any locker in open air - normally the bottle will work as most lockers are near waterline ... with subsequent slight temp protection (my boat suffers no problem with its Calor Gas butane in its self drain locker ...), b) really sail in REAL cold weather .... c) wish to venture further north and cruise winter months .............. then Butane is fine.

    In moderate climates it really is down to personal choice and ease of supply.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    Default Re: Butane Vs. Propane

    We keep the spare camping gaz bottle in the anchor locker, held in place with shock cord. As the locker already has an overboard vent/drain, no further modification is needed!


  9. #9

    Default Re: Couple of points ...

    LPG = Liquid Petroleum Gas and is NOT just limited to Propane

    Agree absolutely, strictly the term covers all liquifiable petroleum gases.

    However, in most parts of the world propane (actually containing some butane as well, amount depending on the country and - sometimes - time of the year) is sold without further qualification as to composition to consumers under the name LPG. So no one should get the impression that if they are buying "LPG" that they are getting the lower vapour pressure butane.

    <span style="color:blue"></span>

  10. #10

    Default True ... but

    Sorry to labour this John ......... but reason that it is labelled LPG is because Propane is the normal supplied domestic gas bottled and piped in many european and northern locations ... actually a mix of Propane and Butane
    To obtain Butane in most places like these is actually quite difficult ....... except if you want to fill a cigarette lighter !
    It's a bit like a Vacuum Cleaner being called a Hoover - its association rather than fact - doesn't take long for label to say same ......
    and I must qualify this now - my Inspectors cover approximately 8,000 M. Tons of Propane, 2000 M. tons of Butane each month as part of our Inspection work - along with full analysis .....

    I don't disagree with you - but we have to be acreful as there might be someone who slips up on it and may have an accident.

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