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of the more important pieces of gear on board is our new Magma gas BBQ
grill. I pit the grill together according to the directions, and attached
it to the stern rail with an extra-cost bracket. (Of course...). Now
the real reason for having a stern rail becomes clear!
For now, we will run the grill off portable propane
containers. However, eventually it will be connected into the boat's main
LPG system (of course, getting that system completed first would be a big step
in the right direction!).
We used the BBQ successfully all season, going through a
couple bottles of propane. I covered the grill with the blue nylon bag
that comes with it, since Heidi is going to make a Sunbrella cover to match our
Toast canvas. This bag deteriorated in the sunlight, and was severely
ripped by the end of the season.
When I removed the grill a few days before we pulled the mast,
there was a lovely KER-PLUNK as the venturi tube, which had somehow unthreaded
itself from the bottom of the grill, fell into the water when I removed the
grill cover. I ordered a new one--they're not too expensive, fortunately.
Heidi made a new grill cover out of the same
toast Sunbrella we use throughout the boat.
use a small bag that hangs off the stern rail to store three small camp propane
cylinders (a bag that is made for the purpose). In addition, we store
lighters and the regulator in the bag. However, more storage space was
needed for our long cruise in 2002, so I decided to try an idea I had read about
somewhere. Why do I want so many cylinders on board? Mostly for
convenience. I don't feel like chasing them down in random ports down the
coast, even though these cylinders tend to be found everywhere. If I have
the room, why not store more than we need? Plus, these cylinders, with a
special adapter, can be used to fuel our main stove in the cabin if our big
cylinder becomes empty.
Why not, you say, just run our
grill right off the main tank? Well, that would be nice. I hope
maybe to do this eventually. However, on our boat, the main tank is
located on deck just aft of the mast--the best compromise solution based on so
many difficult factors, safety being the frontrunner. To run a hose aft to
the tank--note that each appliance must be a continuous length of hose
from the tank tot he appliance, not teed off another line--I would have to run
the hose inside the cabin, much like my hose to the galley stove. Well, I don't
really want to drill another huge hole in my cabin trunk and run another ugly
fuel line through the head before it can become hidden behind cabinets in the
salon...it's just a logistical problem on our boat. Eventually, I may even
consider a smaller, second LPG tank located on the stern rail or something, to
which I can connect the grill. This seems to be the most workable
solution, and perhaps will replace our storage system someday. But I like
my $10 storage tube, filled with $1.49 LPG cylinders, rather than another $200
aluminum LPG tank, thanks.
I purchased a length of 4"
schedule 40 PVC pipe, a threaded cleanout (cap) fitting, and a blank end
cap. I had heard that the little cylinders would fit snugly inside this
pipe; you can clamp or otherwise secure the pipe to the stern pulpit or backstay
or something. I glued the appropriate ends on after trying out the
cylinders for fit inside. Maybe this isn't the prettiest solution...but
then again, it's not that bad either. And no, it's not a potato gun or
whatever. I think I'll put big letters
on the side of this thing so that it will be self-evident what it's for.
It does look a little like a depth-charge launcher or something, though.
Maybe the PWCs (Personal Water Craft--jet skis) will give me a wide berth just
weren't kidding about the snug fit--it's perfect, really. The cylinders
fit very nicely
inside. I tied strings to the bottle necks so that I could pull the tanks
out of the deep cylinder. Five cylinders fit perfectly inside 3' of PVC
pipe--perhaps this is a bit long, but it's really on board just for the
cruise. Later I'll remove it and revert to the bag only for standard
weekend-type sailing. When we need the extra stowage again, I'll reinstall
the pipe. The bystander comments are already beginning, though...I rode in
on the launch with someone after I installed the pipe and they were just idiotic
about the whole thing. Geez, you try a little ingenuity and some people
look at you like you're crazy. Plus, they didn't get my joke about the PWC
thing...well, they can think about it while they're at the office, as well as
puzzle away about how someone could (gasp!) put something that didn't come
directly from West Marine on their boat. Me--I'll be cruising, thanks,
with lots of propane for my grilled burgers. :<p I like my
To allow any propane fumes to
properly vent, I drilled a 1" hole in the bottom cap of the pipe.
With the pipe angled slightly, the vent is free to release any vapors.