Friday, 23 December 2011

A very pleasant surprise!

After completing the blackwater tank Dennis moved on to the gas locker in the cockpit.  The locker had been designed to take 6kg calor gas bottles.  We’d been advised 6kg was a better size and weight to manage on the boat.  It seemed a very sensible suggestion until we discovered there was only £3 difference in the refill price between 6 and 13kg.  Suddenly our future gas bill had doubled.

I had asked if it would be possible to modify the existing gas locker to take a 13kg bottle and was informed it wasn’t practical.  We had therefore resigned ourselves to the increase in the cost of gas.  The inspection of the gas locker also revealed it wasn’t compliant with the gas regulations.  Whilst it had a gas drain in the base of the locker it also had side opening doors.  The regulations require the bottle be secured in a vessel sealed to the height of the gas bottle regulator.

The solution was to remove the doors and replace them with a panel.  The top would then be cut out of the locker to allow access for bottle replacement.

Well it didn’t quite work out that way.  Dennis did some serious thinking during the night and modified a suggestion of mine.

One of the original front locker doors has been recycled as a hatch door.  The really good news is there is sufficient height in the original locker to allow a 13kg bottle to be inserted through the hatch.  Even better; there is sufficient room for three bottles.  I estimate being able to use 13kg bottles is likely to save us approximately £1500 over the next five years.  Dennis is welding the new front panel on the locker as I write this post.  He has already welded in the gas bottle securing chains and the structural “lip” around the new hatch. 

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