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CNG tank fill or exchange... PNW... Anacortes, Port Townsend???

Discussion in 'Cruising Sailors' started by genec, Oct 21, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. genec

    genec

    Joined Dec 30, 2010
    188 posts, 57 likes
    Pacific Seacraft Orion27
    US HP: San Diego, M: Anacortes
    Well, I had a list of places that USED to do this... but apparently, not any more.

    The fuel dock on Shelter Island in San Diego did tank exchanges for about $35. But I have long since moved from that area... and now, after some 3 years or so, my cooking fuel is getting low.

    Seems the only places are in Seattle... that is, if they DO in fact fill or exchange. (I suspect they fill vehicles with accounts... not tanks from boaters... will do some more phone calls though).

    Meanwhile, if any boaters out there in the Seattle area know of any place that still does CNG fills or tank exchanges... please share the info.
     


  2. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    3,777 posts, 552 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    As far as I know Harbor Marine in Everett still does. Boaters Discount in Laconner still does as well, but they are closing their doors as of this January. Port refused to renew their land lease.

    Boaters Discount would always have their exchange tanks filled in Seattle. Need to find out where. Let you know when I do.
     


  3. John Nantz

    John Nantz

    Joined Jul 1, 1998
    2,964 posts, 41 likes
    Hunter Legend 35
    US Poulsbo/Semiahmoo WA
    Go to Sure Marine in Ballard. http://www.suremarineservice.com +1 (206) 784-9903
    For info, many years ago I tried filling my tank at a place that serviced vehicles and got read the riot act (by Sure Marine) as it wasn't authorized. However, maybe the times have changed though. An adaptor would be required if this is possible but don't ... DO NOT ... ask Sure Marine for one! (Unless the rules have changed)

    A tank lasts a long time. On our Alaska trip which was 77 days and mostly anchoring out, the first tank lasted until we were almost home! And that, by the way, included numerous sumptuous salmon dinners by the Admiral. Ahhh .... what memories!
     


  4. genec

    genec

    Joined Dec 30, 2010
    188 posts, 57 likes
    Pacific Seacraft Orion27
    US HP: San Diego, M: Anacortes
    Indeed, a tank does last a long time... just local island cruising, a tank has lasted me 3 years, and still has gas left.

    I thought I had a list of places that carry/supply CNG as at least a tank exchange, but as I call around, these places no longer do that, or no longer exist.

    Will continue to call around and amass a list of what I find.

    Thanks for the input. Hate to think I have to go to CA to get CNG, but they have a lot of fill places there.
     


  5. genec

    genec

    Joined Dec 30, 2010
    188 posts, 57 likes
    Pacific Seacraft Orion27
    US HP: San Diego, M: Anacortes

    Harbor Marine in Everett no longer does this, neither does Boaters Discount in La Conner. After a dozen phone calls around the area, it appears Sure Marine in Ballard DOES still do this... but your tank has to be in current hydro. They really don't want to do this anymore. 1 800 562 7797 or 206 784 9903

    For hydro, they recommended Fire King.

    There are a number of CNG fill stations in and around Seattle... but they only fill cars, and apparently only connect to "special automobile fill connections." You can find these fill stations at CNGprice.com

    So CNG is basically OUT in and around Seattle... at least as a boat cooking fuel.

    Oddly, CNG is very available in California... oh well.
     


  6. Richard19068

    Richard19068

    Joined Jun 11, 2004
    783 posts, 75 likes
    Oday 31
    US Redondo Beach


  7. genec

    genec

    Joined Dec 30, 2010
    188 posts, 57 likes
    Pacific Seacraft Orion27
    US HP: San Diego, M: Anacortes
    Wow, uh, that seems like a real kludge item... it does not "regulate" in any way... there are just two gauges tied together with a manual valve...

    And from my experience filling 72cu.ft. SCUBA tanks... those tanks should be cooled as they fill... as in a tub of water.

    I shouldn't complain, as I am running out of solutions myself... but I hate to see something that is patently unsafe being used like this.
     


  8. genec

    genec

    Joined Dec 30, 2010
    188 posts, 57 likes
    Pacific Seacraft Orion27
    US HP: San Diego, M: Anacortes
    BTW I just exchanged emails with a sales rep in the CNG industry... "oh yeah we get lots of calls like this..."

    Um, hello... those are potential customers folks... maybe having a solution for "those kinds of calls" would be prudent. :solame:
     


  9. Mark Maulden

    Mark Maulden

    Joined Jan 25, 2011
    1,921 posts, 225 likes
    S2 11.0A
    US Anacortes, WA
    I keep two 1.8 gal propane tanks on the stern pulpit. One continuous hose through the combing routed to the stove. Lasts me about 3 months of almost continuous use. I like the small tanks as they are outside and no vents to worry about. And you can walk to a service station if needed without a lot of weight. Almost all service stations have propane.
     


  10. John Nantz

    John Nantz

    Joined Jul 1, 1998
    2,964 posts, 41 likes
    Hunter Legend 35
    US Poulsbo/Semiahmoo WA
    Thanks for checking out refill sources. Just tried calling Cascade Natural Gas in Bremerton where I stopped years ago to find out about refilling. The thought was that things may have changed ... and they did! Got transferred to a person in Idaho and she said they no longer fill anything, not even vehicles. However, the internet search showed other places nearby in Bremerton that supposedly do vehicle CNG filling so that much is good.

    Based on past experience with the CNG tanks I have to say they are nice to use, except for their weight of course. Our boat does have an excellent location for a propane tank should it come to that. The Starboard aft cockpit seat was apparently designed for a propane tank to be placed under it but I'd prefer to stay with CNG.

    Having never had to deal with "current Hydro" because all one had to do was exchange the tank, this is something else to find out about. Sure Marine was always a nice place to stop in at because of all the various things they had for sale. A huge inventory of anything gas related including stoves and heaters.
     


  11. Richard19068

    Richard19068

    Joined Jun 11, 2004
    783 posts, 75 likes
    Oday 31
    US Redondo Beach
    You regulate the flow through the valve with the red handle. Can go as slow as you want so you don't heat up the cylinder too much. Yes, it is manual regulation and you wouldn't want to f up but it is very easy to keep the flow down.
     


  12. Richard19068

    Richard19068

    Joined Jun 11, 2004
    783 posts, 75 likes
    Oday 31
    US Redondo Beach
    I think the problem is that nobody in the CNG "industry" wants to bother with a boat owner who wants to buy what is about one dollars worth of gas every few months or a year.
     


    Alan Gomes likes this.
  13. genec

    genec

    Joined Dec 30, 2010
    188 posts, 57 likes
    Pacific Seacraft Orion27
    US HP: San Diego, M: Anacortes
    OK, that makes sense... what however doesn't make sense is that there ARE CNG filling stations around, and that these exist without provision for filling older cylinders.... with the exception of some kludge "adapter." (and yeah, at $150, it is vastly cheaper than the several thousands of dollars to "upgrade" to propane.)

    If there is an existing CNG market... why don't they support all CNG users?
     


  14. Richard19068

    Richard19068

    Joined Jun 11, 2004
    783 posts, 75 likes
    Oday 31
    US Redondo Beach
    I assume it is because the volume of business, at least from what I see here in the Los Angeles area, is in busses, shuttles, trucks and cars that take a lot of fuel. Selling small quantities of CNG in portable tanks for cooking just doesn't pay, especially when the bulk of the "portable" gas market is taken up by propane. It appears that CNG as cooking fuel for boats and RV's is a dying business.

    Cheers.
     


  15. genec

    genec

    Joined Dec 30, 2010
    188 posts, 57 likes
    Pacific Seacraft Orion27
    US HP: San Diego, M: Anacortes
    My point is that the CNG market is not dead... just the ability to fill certain portable containers has died... the market and the actual "stuff" are still there... in a different delivery form. If I had a CNG vehicle, I could get the gas.... at several locations. So it seems to me that there should be a way to "extend" that delivery system to accommodate the old style tanks... apparently the ebay "adapter" is the only solution.

    I guess I have to convert to propane... sigh.
     


  16. genec

    genec

    Joined Dec 30, 2010
    188 posts, 57 likes
    Pacific Seacraft Orion27
    US HP: San Diego, M: Anacortes
    OK, a bit more on this, as I chase this issue back to California... My old fuel dock on Shelter Island is "currently out" of CNG, but they say they do still do tank exchanges. Of course, out of fuel... nothing to exchange... SOL.

    However Dana Point still has tanks, and does exchange... $35 for exchange... $175 for a complete tank...
    Dana Point Fuel Dock
    http://danapointfueldock.com/
    34661 Puerto Place
    Dana Point, CA 92629
    949.496.6113

    And just looking at conversion prices... $1000-$1500 for a new safe* oven/stove, $400-$600 for a propane locker... another $300 or so for hose, sensors, switch and alarms... and unknown miscellaneous stuff. IE a couple of boat bucks to go to propane.

    *safe, as in a stove designed for LPG... with sensing thermocouples and shutoff system.
     


  17. smokey73

    smokey73

    Joined Oct 26, 2010
    730 posts, 164 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US Beaufort, SC
    So, if you can find source of current hydro'd full tanks for $175 each you could easily buy 5 tanks for $875 and just keep them stored safely ashore tilll you need them (within an area with a vent so that a leak doesn't accumulate since it is lighter than air). This should last a long time consdering the usage that most have indicated. Wish I could find a source of filled tanks here on the East Coast. Sounds like a solution to me!
     


  18. Richard19068

    Richard19068

    Joined Jun 11, 2004
    783 posts, 75 likes
    Oday 31
    US Redondo Beach
    You are right but it's like entertainment is still available but the delivery systems have changed. Video tape, cassette tape, CD's on the way out... :wahwah:
     


  19. Mark Maulden

    Mark Maulden

    Joined Jan 25, 2011
    1,921 posts, 225 likes
    S2 11.0A
    US Anacortes, WA
    I’ve been sailing the PNW and BC waters since the 70s. CNG is not dead..It really never evolved after it’s inception. Propane regulations/systems evolved such that propane aboard vessels is considered safe and is much more convenient as long as it is installed and used correctly. I don’t remember any CNG availability in BC..Going further north to AK, I’m pretty sure nothing was up there (CNG)..CNG just never really caught on around here...
     


  20. Rodsails

    Rodsails

    Joined Aug 15, 2011
    24 posts, 4 likes
    Hunter 45 Legend
    US Holland
    I purchased an adapter 2 years ago for filling my tanks and friends. Kind of scary the first time. There's lots of utube videos explaining how to do it. I just set my tanks in the back of my car and put 70 cents of fuel in each of them. My caution is to make sure the tanks are still in the safe date for refilling. If not you can take it to a dive shop and have them check it & recertify it.
     


    jon hansen likes this.


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