2014 © Graham Rabbitts [You are welcome to use original material from this site, but the source should be acknowledged]

ARIADNE - TRUE

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GAS SYSTEM


The standard Rustler 36 arrangement has a a locker that takes 2 dumpy Calor gas bottles. The locker has a drain so that any leak in the locker should drain overside.


When cruising to France, I have usually set off with another dumpy Calor cylinder which is stored on deck lashed to the Monitor supports. I also carry an empty Camping Gaz cylinder in a quarter berth locker in case I need more gas while in France.(Being empty it is safe). As a further saving measure, I also carry a 750 watt electric hotplate which can be used when on shore power (which in France is always included in the marina berthing fees). Coupled with an electric kettle, gas consumption is significantly reduced.


FOR 40 YEARS I HAVE SAILED WITHOUT A GAS ALARM. It has never been a problem But I had one fitted when I had a new cooker installed this year.


Then I burned a bit of toast - and within seconds, the Carbon Monoxide alarm was beeping away!


More seriously, I  went on board after leaving the boat unattended for a week to find the gas alarm beeping. I very carefully opened everything up, including the hatches into the bilge. There was a barely detectable smell of gas. But I knew with total certainty that I had turned off the gas at the cylinder.


With ventilation the alarm stopped, but within minutes of closing the bilge hatch, it started again.  Worrying.


Worse, the gas bottles are in a locker that should drain overside. Even more worrying.



Then I had a flash of inspiration, and checked the unused, unconnected gas cylinder in the same gas locker. The cap was screwed on, but the valve was about an eighth of a turn loose. Clearly this had been sufficient to allow a tiny flow of gas. I checked the drain from the locker was clear, so it must have been that a tiny amount of gas had gone through the hole where the gas pipe leaves the locker and drained to the  bilge where the seriously sensitive Nereus alarm had detected it.


After closing this valve properly there were no more gas alarms.


So far as I am aware, I have not touched the valve on the spare cylinder. Has it been slightly loose since the cylinder was filled? Has it been knocked accidentally? Who knows?


The key thing is that the gas alarm did the job it was intended to. I didn't think I needed one before!


[The Nereus  alarm system is mounted next to the circuit breaker board. It is wired direct to the service batteries (via a fuse). The gas sensor is in the bilge. The Carbon Monoxide sensor is at waist level. ]