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Thread: Purchasing a 1987 38-200: The Refit Begins!

  1. #31
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    Just a quick comment on stoves, I changed from the original CNG stove to a Force 10 propane stove two years ago. Until the change, I didn't realize what a hunk of junk the CNG stove was. The Force 10 is a pleasure to cook with.

    Other than that, a 2 1/2 gallon propane tank holds more energy than the two gigantic CNG cylinders did leaving a big storage space open that wasn't there before. The back of the boat is lighter now due to one aluminum tank replacing two 3000 PSI pressure vessels. I believe the 38-200 has two built in compartments for propane tanks.

    There are almost no CNG dispensers near where am so I spent 3 days eating crackers when I misjudged the amount of CNG available (the reserve tank was empty and I was in Alderbrook at the bottom of the Hood Canal).

    The final nail in CNG's coffin was the supplier in Sidney on Vancouver Island raised the price to $130 a tank and I had to get two filled. The equivalent amount of propane was $1.79.

    Most problems with propane come from gross misuse of it eg portable tank heater, portable stove etc. Set up to Coast Guard standards, it is a reasonable fuel to use and it is available everywhere.
    Bob Morrison
    1987 E-34 Hull #15
    "Terra Nova"

  2. #32
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    While I no doubt plant to convert our stove to propane one day, it simply isn't in the cards right now so cng or a portable propane grill/burner on Deck with have to do.

  3. #33
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Correct me, but I thought you could convert CNG stoves to propane.

    New burner jets, sniffer, solenoid--

    What makes that undesirable?
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  4. #34
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    For my '87, the parts were totally unavailable. I converted using available parts. Not satisfactory. The stove is not a place to play around. Too dangerous. Blowing myself up was not an acceptable option although others might think differently. All I can say is the CNG/propane stoves in these boats is a piece of junk.
    Bob Morrison
    1987 E-34 Hull #15
    "Terra Nova"

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Williams View Post
    Correct me, but I thought you could convert CNG stoves to propane.

    New burner jets, sniffer, solenoid--

    What makes that undesirable?
    You are right and this is the route we will eventually take.

  6. #36
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supersailor View Post
    For my '87, the parts were totally unavailable. I converted using available parts. Not satisfactory. The stove is not a place to play around. Too dangerous. Blowing myself up was not an acceptable option although others might think differently. All I can say is the CNG/propane stoves in these boats is a piece of junk.
    I Agree, and then there is the age and condition of the whole stove or range assembly after 30 years of salt air. I have seen vintage stoves that still ran - pressure alcohol, CNG, and propane - many of them were pretty close to their end-of-life. Some were scary.

    Quite a few were painted metal and others had low-quality "stainless steel" and were never more than re-labeled lightly-marinized RV items when new. Not just EY boats, but most other makes of boat as well.

    About the only widely-distributed brands from the 80's that endure are the Force 10 and the Origo line. Both were and are relatively expensive. Just an opinion, mind you, and certainly YMMV.

    There were some imported up-scale ones like the Broadwater (from AU) in the 90's, but they disappeared from our stores.... always wondered what happened to them.

    There are the stock ones that European boat builders have been installing like the Eno and a French company whose name I forget. SS frames, but again, time takes its toll on all.

    For all the touted safety pluses of CNG, around here it's really difficult to get a tank refilled. Really difficult. Like any high-pressure tank, you have to test/recertify them after xx years, too.

    While propane is fine (used it for ten years on prior boat), we are happy with the Origo. No hoses and electrics to maintain. Twenty years of use now, and counting.
    Worth noting is that if you have any pressure gas system all of the hoses are due for replacement after XX years. I read where they mandate a replacement in less than a decade throughout the UK, for instance.
    (Having visited the still-floating hull after an LPG explosion blew the whole deck off the evening before, years later I can still recall the sight clearly.)
    1988 Olson 34 #8
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    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
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    Portland, OR USA

  7. #37
    Principal Partner u079721's Avatar
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    I've mentioned this before, but pretty much everything about the use and filling of the CNG tanks kind of scared me. I used pressurized gas cylinders at work, so I knew what kind of precautions ought to be taken with any of them, let alone ones filled with flammable gas. These cylinders didn't even have a cap on them to protect them during transport! (I used to wonder what would happen if I had a traffic accident while driving a full tank out to the boat.)

    I found an alternate fuel filling station about 50 miles away that offered CNG for buses. I then found an adapter online that allowed me to fill up the tanks from the filling stations. But the stations had two different pumps, one at 3000 psi, and one at 4500 psi, and there was nothing to keep you from filling our small tanks - meant to use the 3000 psi level - with the higher pressure of gas. There was also no requirement that my tank be pressure tested prior to filling up at the pump. To be safe I did find a way to get mine tested at a local dive shop every few years. About the only good thing was the cost, since filling the tanks myself cost all of $0.47 a tank at the filling station.

    Had we kept Rag Doll much longer a conversion was definitely in our future.
    Steve Christensen
    Twin Cities, MN
    Former Owner of Rag Doll
    1989 Ericson 38-200
    Hull Number: ERY38318C989
    Universal M40

  8. #38
    Principal Partner Tom Metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Williams View Post
    Correct me, but I thought you could convert CNG stoves to propane. New burner jets, sniffer, solenoid-- What makes that undesirable?
    Twenty years ago it was not a problem. The stove on Xanthus was built by Seaward Products, labeled as Gas Systems, or something like that. Seaward products had a bunch of parts in a kit that made the conversion to LNG easy.
    The propane orifices are smaller than natural gas so it is not as simple as just drilling them out. The oven regulator was something I didn't want to deal with so I bought the kit.

    Back when I did it there was a market for CNG tanks... I doubt it exists any more. I've tried a couple of times to sell the regulator on sailing sites with no luck.
    Tom Metzger
    E-34 Xanthus

  9. #39
    Principal Partner GrandpaSteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Metzger View Post
    Twenty years ago it was not a problem. The stove on Xanthus was built by Seaward Products, labeled as Gas Systems, or something like that. Seaward products had a bunch of parts in a kit that made the conversion to LNG easy.
    The propane orifices are smaller than natural gas so it is not as simple as just drilling them out. The oven regulator was something I didn't want to deal with so I bought the kit.

    Back when I did it there was a market for CNG tanks... I doubt it exists any more. I've tried a couple of times to sell the regulator on sailing sites with no luck.
    Maybe because the regulators usually don't break. My CNG works great, and I have a bottle filling station in Plymouth Meeting PA and Coatesville PA. Filled my tank last time for less than $2.00.

    It all depends on the availability of CNG in your area. The CNG systems work. Propane is much easier to get worldwide though.

    CNG Bottle fill station - http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...hp?albumid=311
    Last edited by GrandpaSteve; 11-21-2018 at 09:25 AM.
    1987 E32-III "Glory Days"
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    Slip in Rock Hall MD.
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