We needed to replace and diversify the cooking gas system.
When we bought Maringret the gas system was fitted out for exclusive use with German gas cannisters. We first has to convert that to fit UK cannisters and subsequently international fittings.
We had learned from cruising with the Maxi that dealing with gas bottle fittings is just another nightmare for cruising boats. Each country (at least in Europe) seems to have their own standard of fitting which is held up as the optimal standard but is really just another proprietary system. There is no bottle exchange as you cross from one region to another, there is no cross-filling (well at least not officially) and adapters between systems were either “not to be trusted” mechanical fittings or lengths of hose with different fittings on each end. When we converted to UK fittings after purchasing Maringret we were left with 2 German bottles which had no value at all in the UK – we finally were able to give them to a visiting German boat.
While we had the galley disassembled (click here for details) we decided to replace as much of the gas system as was feasible – 30 years is a long time for something in the marine environment. It turned out that the copper tube running from the galley to the anchor locker was glassed in – extracting it would be messy and extremely disruptive.
We cut the old tube close to where it exited the conduit and joined it to a new section of 8mm tubing. We put a cutoff valve at the back of the shelves over the stove, this was the point of easiest access to physically turn off the gas in a hurry. Just inside the stove bay we needed an adapter to change from 8mm copper tube to flexible hose which would complete the connection to the gimballed stove. It was a nominal cost to order a shutoff on this convertor so there is another cutoff at the rear of the stove bay where the copper tube changes to flexible hose. We used copper compression olives as they are easier to deform for a seal.
Maringret had a Truma gas solenoid fitted when we bought her. The unit was working perfectly but as it is an electro-mechanical unit and situated outside the boat in the anchor locker (near the gas bottles but also near the salt wat coming off the anchor chain) and we thought it worthwhile to replace it. Also the activator switch for the old unit had failed (although we had fixed it) and it turned out that the activator switch had been redesigned along with the solenoid – we went ahead and replaced both parts.
At a 2009 boat show we came across Will Hayward who had set up a company (W Hayward Engineering) to manufacture and sell a “universal gas adapter system” (our words not his). He had a prototype to display and had other prototypes going through the certification process at that point. A year later and the system (GasBOAT) was certified and in production. We had wanted to replace our gas system as parts were 30 years old and had been looking for a solution to the gas bottle fitting conundrum. This seemed to knock both problems on the head.
The GasBOAT system feeds to a low presure gas line. GasBOAT is a regulator with a single gas input hose ending in a generic and proprietary fitting – optionally a fitting can be used that accepts two input hoses. The generic fitting on the end of the hose(s) then mates with the various adapter fittings which are approved fittings for the different gas bottles. By having the 2-hose configuration the system can be switched from an empty bottle to a full one without switching fittings.
The Truma solenoid was a direct replacement, we then connected that to the 2-hose Hayward system. The adapter kit includes one of each adapter fitting so connecting 2 of the same bottle fitting at the same time is not possible. The solution is to buy a second adapter (they are sold spearately or as a collection) or to use a generic type of gas (Gaz being the prime example) to operate the stove until you can switch the main bottle. As far as we know the French Gaz system is pretty well worldwide but it is butane not propane and so will be less desirable in colder climes.
In the UK Truma is almost exclusively caravan oriented, it was quite a bit of trouble to get the part we needed as Truma UK kept sending us to caravan dealers who were not interested in what a boat needed.
- Domestic usage has been fine, we will be testing the foreign conversions as we move into different gas areas.
- Having crossed Europe we have not had a single problem.
- We can highly recommend this system!
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