Empty CNG tanks

debonAir

Member III
I was just at Corp Brothers in Providence a few days ago. Dropping off my CNG tanks for good. I spent two months this Spring looking around for CNG exchanges or fills and gave up. The typical reactions was "CNG? what's that? Oh hold on a sec..." then an older person gets on the phone "We haven't had that in decades.". When I finally found Corp Bros I thought I was all set but, as derekl says, they're broken.

I spoke with the guy there for a while in person. The issue is that they have a pump they use to pressurize the tanks and the pump is broken, and is so old that they can't find parts for it. He said "Whenever the guy comes with the new parts he finds they don't fit and are the wrong parts".

The bottom line is that the CNG for boats business is now completely obsolete and the equipment needed to use it is broken and not being fixed. I was glad Corp Bros. took my tanks off my hand as the metal recyclers in the area won't touch them.

If you really want to keep on using CNG, the only option in NE seems to be to get one of the $150 filler-adapters on eBay, find a vehicle filling location that allows you access without supervision, and hope you don't blow yourself up. You can probably get used tanks from Corp Bros for cheap now though :) (actually I bet they won't give then out at any price due to liability issues)

I found a cheap propane stove on craigslist that was a perfect drop-in replacement for my tired CNG unit and hooked it all up the last few days with a Trident regulator/solenoid/sniffer/controller. It wasn't so hard and I was surprised how thick the gas locker walls were drilling the hole for the hose clam. Haven't settled on a permanent home for the gas sniffer box yet, but made coffee this morning with no fuss.

The best part is the full 10lb Aluminum tank is noticeably lighter than the empty steel tanks I use for the grill and way lighter than the CNG tanks, I also recovered two large fender's worth of room in the stbd. laz.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Maybe this has been answered:

Many '80s boats had molded propane lockers in the stern seats. Were some fitted with CNG stoves and tanks anyhow? Why CNG for some and propane for others? If an option, what was the appeal of CNG at the time?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I recall the buzz about CNG. Touted as being much safer because it's lighter than sir.
Given that EY would install any kind of deck gear the customer wanted, and also install a Yanmar diesel on demand, it seems reasonable that they would accommodate a request for a CNG range. Perhaps?
 

GrandpaSteve

Sustaining Member
CNG was called SAFGAS by the people who marketed it. It was because a leak was considered safe since it is lighter than air and floats away instead of settling in the bilge as a flammable pocket of gas like propane leaks do.
 

GrandpaSteve

Sustaining Member
Maybe this has been answered:

Many '80s boats had molded propane lockers in the stern seats. Were some fitted with CNG stoves and tanks anyhow? Why CNG for some and propane for others? If an option, what was the appeal of CNG at the time?
My boat has a propane storage locker under the starboard stern seat, but it has CNG from the factory.
 

THFSAILS

Luna
I have Breaking NEWS for all those out there with empty CNG tanks. Corp Brothers in Providence Rhode Island has repaired their fueling facility and is once again filling tanks. I got a tip from someone on the forum and called Corp. They are a bit disorganized at the moment but I was able to stop by with my old empty tank last week and swap it for a new FULL one. Total cost $54. I say if you have a need for a refill, call them. Its worth the trip.
 

debonAir

Member III
Wow, just in time (NOT!). I'm glad I took that as a sign to swap to propane. The stove is being used almost daily anchored at Martha's Vineyard and no signs of needing gas after a month... but if I do, I just take the little light aluminum tank to shore and pick which refiller I want to fill it.
 

Thaddeus

Member I
Having Corp Bros. down something had to be done. I am on my second tank using the two valve adapter. I agree with everyone's comments from being dangerous to easily done. GrampaSteve knows.
 

p.gazibara

Member III
If an electric refit is in order, induction cooking seems to be on trend these days. No more explosive gas, seems pretty great.

I remember when we ran out of propane sailing from Cabo to La Paz, we made coffee and cooked in our little 300 watt rice cooker. It felt really good to have redundancy even though we could only cook when the sun was up.

I’m probably going to do a galley refit at some point, and when we do I will most definately build a small induction cooktop into the counter. We will still probably cook mainly on propane, but I’m curious to see how feasible electric cooking is. Induction cooking is supposedly much more efficient which also means less heat in the galley in the tropics.

You can get an induction cooktop on Amazon for under $100.
 

GrandpaSteve

Sustaining Member
1800 watts isn't really great, that is a 15 amp draw off of an inverter or generator. I would still need an oven too. When my CNG time is up (self determined) I will go to propane.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Frank Gehry's $7 million boat, Foggy, has no stove. It has only a single microwave . I asked the captain how that works, given the long deliveries required, imagining heating up MREs after a long watch, followed by C-ration strawberry jam. Meals, says I to him, are what you look forward to at sea, is it not true?

"Well," said Captain Mike with a smile, "we're catered."

How easy it is to misunderstand the very rich! I see now there is no need for propane if the chef is directed to stock the yacht freezer well with pheasant.

gehry.jpg
 
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