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Gas locked inside a locker


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I need to build a Gas Locker for Carpe Diem.

I had planned to build a sealed locker with a drain to outside and locate this inside another locker which ultimately drains to the bilge.  The alternative is hang the gas bottle off a transom step or cut a hole in the side of the cockpit - neither ideas I like.

It occurs to me that if there is a gas leak in the locker and the alarm starts going off, one will need to open the sealed locker to investigate, this could potentially result in gas flowing into the bilges.

I am wondering if anyone knows if having a draining locker inside a non draining locker meets the regs?

Thanks

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15 hours ago, CarpeDiem said:

I need to build a Gas Locker for Carpe Diem.

I had planned to build a sealed locker with a drain to outside and locate this inside another locker which ultimately drains to the bilge.  The alternative is hang the gas bottle off a transom step or cut a hole in the side of the cockpit - neither ideas I like.

It occurs to me that if there is a gas leak in the locker and the alarm starts going off, one will need to open the sealed locker to investigate, this could potentially result in gas flowing into the bilges.

I am wondering if anyone knows if having a draining locker inside a non draining locker meets the regs?

Thanks

here's what the gas regs say

3.4.3 Boats
A cylinder compartment shall comply with the following:
(a) Not be accessible from an enclosed section of the boat.
(b) Be designed to—
(i) house cylinders and their associated equipment only; and
(ii) allow the cylinder to be positioned in the compartment without obstructing the
drain in Item (h); and
(iii) permit easy removal of the cylinder(s) and the operation of the cylinder
valve(s).
NOTE: Consideration should be given to the location of the associated equipment when
determining the compartment size.
(c) Be constructed of material that is water and corrosion resistant.
(d) Be capable of securing the cylinder(s) when full.
NOTE: For requirements of securing method, see Clause 3.3.1.
(e) Be sealed to prevent gas vapour from entering any enclosed section of the boat.
(f) The access door or opening shall be openable without the use of tools.
(g) Where the access opening into the compartment is other than at the top, a lower
vertical return or lip of at least 100 mm shall be provided along the full length of the
opening.
(h) Have a drain in the base of not less than 19 mm diameter, which is led outboard,
without pockets that could retain water, to a point lower than the locker bottom. The
outlet shall be positioned such that it cannot be submerged.
(i) Not contain any electrical equipment other than a non-sparking shut-off device.
(j) Have a sign clearly indicating that only cylinders and their associated equipment are
permitted in the cylinder compartment.

So I think the answer to your question is no, your idea would not satisfy the regs

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Hi CD,

I have been planning on doing fairly much what you are proposing. My gas locker is within the cockpit locker, that is open to the bilges. The current gas locker is sealed around the bottom and sides but open at the top. I am planning on putting a drain in the locker to go overboard.

I don't have a lot of time for regulations, I am keen to do something that increases the safety of my boat, not to comply with the pieces of paper. In my view, having a drain overboard makes the set up intrinsically safer, in that if a leak occurs it is passively directed overboard. Gas is heavier than air, that is why it sits in the bilge... To open the cockpit locker lid to access the shut off valves doesn't change any risk I feel. If you have an alarm, at least you are aware of the issue and can take other measures, such as shut down all ignition sources, evacuate etc. Not having a drained locker means your bilge and fill up while you are sleeping off the last bottle of rum, so the residual risk is far greater. I guess its the difference between complying with 80% of the requirements on a boat that predates the requirements, or attempting to comply 100%, and never actually implementing the project, so you comply with zero (and have substantial residual risk)

We always turn our bottles off manually, none of the lectrical stuff that can fail. That and my boat pre-dates gas regulations.

The other option is to get an induction cook top and ditch gas altogether. Apparently they are the latest trend in the tropics, keep the boat much cooler from wasted cooking heat. All you need is 2 tennis courts of solar and a gazzillion dollars worth of LiPeFe batteries, and some fancy controllers to stop them from catching fire... (yes, I am being factitious...) But then you can be fully off-grid.

PS, Come to think of it, I could seal the top of the locker with an insert / 2 nd lid. But that would be an impediment to turning the bottles off manually every time we use it. I wonder which is safer, a system that allows safe behaviours and good practices, or a fully sealed system that complies with the regs?

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Carpe Diem

ph Angus Willison on Monday and ask him ( head safety inspector YNZ ) then let us all know.

I noticed a few of the RNI boats had a Aluminium cylinder hanging off a bracket on the stern rail

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5 hours ago, Fish said:

 

PS, Come to think of it, I could seal the top of the locker with an insert / 2 nd lid. But that would be an impediment to turning the bottles off manually every time we use it. I wonder which is safer, a system that allows safe behaviours and good practices, or a fully sealed system that complies with the regs?

This is exactly the set-up on Stepping Out.  The gas bottle sits in a separately boxed compartment in the cockpit locker, and drains to the rear of the cockpit (open/scoop transom, so no issue there).  A simple flat lid sits in a short rebate in the top of the gas box, fingerhole to pull it up.  Closing the locker clamps the gas box lid closed as well.  Simple, effective, compliant.

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  • 2 months later...
On 27/06/2020 at 9:09 AM, Fish said:

 I wonder which is safer, a system that allows safe behaviours and good practices, or a fully sealed system that complies with the regs?

It's far safer to use safe behaviours and good practice but the Regs often work to ensure that does not happen.

I had MNZ situation not long ago where MNZ think 2 small ladies who run a decent sized vessel are safer trying to hump a 70kg anchor from the lazarette to the bow using sidedecks 200mm wide then deploy it with nothing there to assist with doing that, than it is to use a state of the art tested and approved beyond every other anchor in the world which weighs 22kg and can live on the bow. The reason is simply MNZ can only work on weight. So this boat and crew are being put in genuine risk purely to satisfy the Regulations.

One last week pretty much the same. A commercial boat with with a known weight in the bow issue is being forced by MNZ to fit a huge heavy lump of dumb steel anchor when it too could use the most Approved anchor in existence that would save 40kg in the bow but again the Regs only allow for dumb, stupid and often less safe then is very easily achievable, and often at less cost.

I could continue this list of examples of cock wombles win over common sense and safety for quite a few hours.

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I was going to reply to Carpe Diem's post with the question, would you rather do something that improves safety but does not comply with the regs, or do nothing in order to comply with the grandfather clause of the current regs.

In the commercial regulatory environment, it is harder to apply judgement and own that risk yourself.

PS, It Got, are you still having a bad day? I've been hoping you'd change your name back again, just so we know which one of your personalities we are interacting with today ;-)

 

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I think the locker sitting inside a space that can’t itself drain is simply crossing fingers and hoping for the best. What you are expecting is that the gas leak  will not occur when the boat is heeled over or moving around in waves. You are also hoping that the gas leak will not be so much that it will overwhelm the drain.

If you are going to the trouble of building a locker then build it to spec, It’s not that hard, go for a stroll and see what others gave done on similar boats

 

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