Propane Box on aft deck

Jul 26, 2010

As part of refit, I am planning a wooden deck box for propane tank, behind cockpit. My boat has stove, and propane line that runs under cockpit lockers and emerges up through aft deck, but no propane locker. Putting propane box on deck makes venting simple, and can be a nice seat for aft deck BBQ spot.

I see a lovely deck box in this location in a 1961 magazine article on Challengers here on this site, but not sure it was for propane. I am wondering about size and design: what size propane tank to use, horiz or vertical orientation tank, should wooden box go all the way across deck (aft of cockpit coming) or only halfway, how high can box be to stay under backstay?

Anybody out there have a propane box on aft deck? What size tanks? Any photos?, And, sorry to be such a newbie, but I cannot seem to post photos here : Yet, I see photos. How is that achieved?


Alden Forum Moderator
Jan 24, 2006
Alden Caravelle 42 / Northern European waters
Re: Posting photos

Hi Joe,

To post photos look for the Upload attachment tab at the bottom of the Post a Reply or New Topic template window, browse to find your photo where you have it saved and then click to upload it. It's best if it's not too big a file: about 250Kb is fine.

I've no advice about propane - I got rid of the dangerous installation that came with my boat and installed an Origo Spirit hob and oven combo: dead simple; no pipelines; no problems with finding compatible propane/ butane bottles in different European countries; virtually maintenance free.

Apr 7, 2006
Ours is on the aft deck port side just behind the cockpit coaming. The tank is horizontal and your right- it's a great seat!

I tried a picture of it but its too many pixels- I'll try and figure that problem out.
Jun 28, 2004
Our propane box holds two tanks - originally 10 lb steel tanks but now 11 lb aluminum tanks, which are slightly larger. I had to rout out part of the box to fit the Al tanks in, so if starting from scratch the box should be a bit bigger. The box is 12 x 42 x 12" (ext) and is built of 7/8" solid mahagony. The lid is 3 1/2" high. Another 1/2 inch or so height and depth would fit the Al tanks well. The tanks are horizontal. Two tanks usually last a season, even with regular baking, and having two means you never run out while underway. The pictures show the box and layout, including the manifold for connecting both tanks and the solenoid. There is a drain hole visible that connects to a hose below deck that exits the transom; this vents any leaked gas, but of course you do not want that to happen anyway.



Oct 15, 2010
On our Caravelle Bounding Home, we were fortunate to have two storage boxes just aft of the cockpit and traveler. We were able to fit an eleven horizontal tank in one of the boxes. The tank is small enough that it might even fit under the helmsman's seat and still be high enough to vent overboard. Suggest that you put a splitter on the gas line that you can run a hose the sternrail. We have a removable Force 10 gas grill and now don't need to carry little bottles. I think there may actually be a law against leaving a grill permenantly mounted to the stern of a Challenger or a Caravelle.


Oct 6, 2013
Alden Challenger Yawl 38 Falmouth area soon Portsmouth
Hi guys - I'm a Challenger newbie! or will be in a week's time!
re 'propane box' on counter - in RJ O'Connell's reply - you show photo of the deck box. Is this the original fitted box by the builder? I'm looking into having one built as it is obviously useful for propane or extra storage. If the original then the measurements you mention are correct for a Challenger 38?
with thanks

Jon Barker - buying a Challenger 38 'Mohawk' (orig. launched as 'Prion' 949U)


Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
Hi Jon, I was just on my boat and the aft deck box measures; 13" high x 13" deep and 28" long. The lid is 2"+ high.
Jun 28, 2004
Hi Jon,

I just saw your earlier post, and see that you found my post here from a couple of years ago. The dimensions I gave are correct. I don't know when the box was added - it could have been original for all I know. My wife got the boat in 1978, and it was there then. It originally held two steel 10 lb propane tanks. The aluminum (sorry about the spelling) tanks are a bit larger and I had to rout out a bit of room for them, but they fit ok. Starting from scratch with Al tanks I would have made a larger box. The mahogany is old and matches the rest of the boat. In any case, you could build a box to fit your needs - size of propane tanks etc.- since there is a bit of room aft of the cockpit. Ours could be a bit larger and still fit. A slightly larger top could take a 40 - 50 W solar panel.



Oct 6, 2013
Alden Challenger Yawl 38 Falmouth area soon Portsmouth
Thanks Rick and Tom for your replies re deck box on counter. Looks like different sized boxes were built - perhaps dependent on builder and/or owners wishes? Great idea re a location for a reasonable sized solar panel - nice thinking!

Well, I'm now the proud owner of 'Mohawk and am driving down to Cornwall (Fal Estuary opposite Falmouth) Monday to move the yacht, Tuesday over to Gweek Quay Boatyard at the very top of the Helford River (narrow channel higher up and only accessible in good Spring tides! She will have been launched the previous day (Monday, 2nd Dec) from Pascoe's BY at St Just in Roseland - it's a truly gorgeous sailing area. The mouth and Carrick Roads area of the Fal are huge and on a good tide I think you can even reach the edge of Truro (Cornwall's county town with its magnificent, 'modern' Gothic cathedral built between 1880-1910. A great feat by the Victorians - emulating the great medieval and gothic builders of the past.) I would love to be able to keep her in the area as the sailing possibilities are vast - SW coast, Scilly Isles, Irish Sea, Normandy, Brittany, Eire, etc. However, my club is at Portchester at the N head of Portsmouth Hbr and only 80-90 min drive from home whereas the River Fal would take about 4 hours plus! Perhaps I'll just winter her there (as I'm doing this year) as all costs are lower than Portsmouth area as you can imagine!

Enough waffle for now! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving - and watched the partial demise of Comet ISON as it passed perilously close to the sun on 28th?

Best.... Jon (Challenger 38 Yawl 'Mohawk')