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Newbie questions - gas and staysails
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Hugh Birley
13 Posts
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17th April 2019 - 8:11 pm
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Hello All

I'm the new owner of Carronade. She's berthed in Palma Mallorca so I'm looking forward to some sunny summer sailing. I'm mostly a dinghy (FF) sailor but I've done quite a bit of sailing on friends' bigger boats and recently did a NY to Antigua via Bermuda passage, so I'm hoping to build on my experience and take a Coastal Skipper or ICC.

Anyway, I've been doing a few jobs, mostly successful, but I'm hoping for advice on a couple of things.

Stove - Carronade has a Taylor cooker. I see from the threads that it was put in by Geoff Doggett in 2004 when he removed a gas installation.. 

I've so far spent over £200 on replacement parts and washers at eye watering prices, and the thing now works more or less, but it is pretty primitive to my mind and makes the interior smell of paraffin. I'm thinking of putting in gas (I could have bought a new cooker practically for what I've spent on the Taylor!) but want to know any useful tips. Primarily does the gas bottle enclosure have to be a dedicated one or could it sit inside a deck locker?Maybe the stern locker which is well ventilated? And do they have to vent direct through the hull or could I for example create a joint in a cockpit drain hose and use that?

Staysail

I've inherited a hank-on staysail in bag. I have a furling jib/Genoa, but in a big blow I'd prefer not to distort the sail if it's reefed on the furler if it's possible to rig a staysail on the auxiliary forestay. But this isn't rigged on Carronade all the time and it has no obvious means of rigging an appropriate halliard. I can't find any mention of this on sail plans so maybe I'm barking up the wrong bit of wire!

Any comments appreciated and taken in good humour.

Good to be part of the Twister brigade. I love her already!

Hugh Birley

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Stephen Moorey
268 Posts
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17th April 2019 - 8:52 pm
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Hi Hugh,

Congratulations with your new boat.  Allthough I don't know, im sure the gas locker needs to be that and only that. and a vent not connected to anything else.  Helix has a gas locker in the stern under the tiller.  the locker vents through the hull.  When I have the gas connected I leave the gas locker door open to remind me to shut the gas off when not in use.

Best Wishes.

Stephen

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Peter Mulville
210 Posts
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18th April 2019 - 3:45 pm
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Hi

Many Twisters have a removable inner forestay to which you can hank on a jib. Mine spends most of its time on the port shrouds. When needed it secures just aft of the main forestay on a U bolt through the deck. I have a slip on rigging screw thing that tightens it. You can sail with it rigged but have to furl the main genoa to tack. It's easy to set up in shelter and I have set it up and hanked on the jib ready for use which I then secure in a sailbag. I've never actually used it in real need but, sailing on my own, it's a comfort that I can easily get rid of the big genoa and set much smaller sail.

My Father regularly used it in the Caribbean when working to windward. Once there are more than a few rolls in the roller furler performance drops off. He said that it's also easier to sheet the smaller sail and because it is a better shape the boat can still point.

The halliard is exterior.

If you go to the top of the mast, or send young light person with camera to the top of the mast, I'm sure you'll find something that you can shackle a block to. If nothing else you could hang a tang off the existing fitting for the forestay.

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Justin Butler
149 Posts
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18th April 2019 - 11:39 pm
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Hi Hugh,

Congratulations on your new boat. I've considered the gas thing at some length (as I'm sure you and many others have) my bottle is in a dedicated locker with a dedicated vent through the transom. I'd venture there isn't a single part of it that's gas tight, it's just lip service to the regulations ultimately. I intend to remove it (all) and install one of those dometic alcohol stoves this year when I've finished refitting the navigation area and rewiring. I'm a little maintenance weary at the moment if I'm honest! My gas locker is behind the Cockpit.

Regards,

Justin

Roquetta

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John MacMullen and Ann Musgrave
154 Posts
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22nd April 2019 - 7:03 pm
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Hi Hugh,

Just noticed your post. If you go to the 2015 magazine in the archive you will find an article that we wrote on fitting a detachable inner forestay. The only bits that 'cost' us were the mast fitting and the double ring foredeck fitting ... both from Wichard and quite expensive. However we looked around on the www and ended up getting them from a chandler in Spain at a considerable discount. The stay is an old 'cut down' forestay which also made the cut down pennant and provided the rigging screw. Using the short pennant  allows for easier set up and also the shorter length of the removable forestay is such that it can be pulled down tight to the cap shroud chain plate when not in use and with no annoying tail snaking around.

Good luck with Carronade, last seen by us with Geoff aboard, on the E. Coast.

John

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Philip Collcutt
42 Posts
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6
26th April 2019 - 5:54 am
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Hi Hugh,

We inherited our gas installation when we bought Sea Miste and we have not had to change the layout as it works well for us. 

The gas locker is in the starboard cockpit locker and holds two Camping Gaz 904 bottles, one in use and one in reserve. The gas locker was replaced in 2002 with an identical design to the original but in a fireproof material to meet the then approved standards (Gas Safe?).  A removable lid is clamped to the top.  A plastic pipe drains the locker through the transom above the waterline.  A rubber hose stamped with an expiry date goes from the regulator on the bottle to a copper pipe which enters the box through a grommet. The copper pipe then runs to a gas tap in the galley from whence an armoured flexible pipe goes to the cooker. We turn off the galley tap and the regulator valve on the bottle after cooking.

We are not aware of any UK regulatory requirement to have gas systems certified on a regular basis by a Gas Safe engineer but we had the system checked by one during a refit a couple of years ago. He changed the rubber hose and regulator and the flexible armoured hose at the cooker both of which were quite old and issued a certificate. It is quite possible that a future purchaser's surveyor would look for current certificate but for practical purposes we plan to change the rubber hose and regulator from time to time (and more frequently than in the past!) and check all joints with soapy water.

We hope you get a lot of pleasure from Twistering!

Cathie and Philip 

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John Tetlow
204 Posts
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7
26th April 2019 - 10:44 pm
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Justin Butler said
Hi Hugh,

Congratulations on your new boat. I've considered the gas thing at some length (as I'm sure you and many others have) my bottle is in a dedicated locker with a dedicated vent through the transom. I'd venture there isn't a single part of it that's gas tight, it's just lip service to the regulations ultimately. I intend to remove it (all) and install one of those dometic alcohol stoves this year when I've finished refitting the navigation area and rewiring. I'm a little maintenance weary at the moment if I'm honest! My gas locker is behind the Cockpit.

Regards,

Justin

Roquetta  

I fitted a 2-burner Origo alcohol stove a couple of years ago and it has been very satisfactory.

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Justin Butler
149 Posts
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8
30th April 2019 - 6:50 pm
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Good to know John, I get mixed reactions about my alcohol aspirations confused

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David Hopkins
151 Posts
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9
1st May 2019 - 11:59 am
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I'm also in two minds about going to alcohol.

I have no experience of alcohol stoves and as much as the stove installation would simplify a lot of things my concern is how much fuel you need to carry and how much it burns? What's the fire risk compared to my gas installation? Can I make a brew quickly or am I going to have to mess about charging the thing up before use. I can't see how the fuel doesn't just evaporate when not in use.

I may just be looking for reasons not to change.

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John Tetlow
204 Posts
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1st May 2019 - 10:13 pm
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David

I carry 2 or 3 lite bottles of alcohol (l'alcool à brûler) which is readily available in France (where I keep my boat) in supermarkets and DIY stores.

I don't monitor the consumption and it obviously depends how much you cook so I can't advise you on that point.

The fire risk exists, as it does with any naked flame but you don't have any risk of an explosion.

It takes a few minutes to boil enough water for two mugs of tea. Slower than gas but I can't say I notice it being very long.

When the stove is not in use you avoid evaporation by placing rubber discs (supplied) over the fuel containers.

I think the best thing would be for you to visit a boat that has one and ask for a demonstration before you commit to buying one.

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Stephen Moorey
268 Posts
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1st May 2019 - 10:19 pm
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Hi David,

I suspect it all depends on ones needs.  I had a Origo meths stove on one boat.  At the time I liked it.  I did think it gave of an unpleasant smell.  It did evaporate and I frequently run out of fuel.  but it was simple and relatively safe.   Now I spend more time on my Twister,  The benefit of gas and having an oven, well I could not do without it.  The installation was simple.  I always turn the Gas off when not in use and am conscious it can be very dangerous on board.  Its personal preference really.  If I did not stay on board overnight, A meths stove might have been fine.

 

Stephen.

Helix

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Bob & Susie Duddridge
3 Posts
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12
15th May 2019 - 10:00 am
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Hi Hugh

I have a meths cooker on Asama (I had a meths cooker on my previous boat as well).  We have a Dulux outlet near us and I have found that I can buy meths in 2 litre containers at a reasonable price.  I see no reason to change over to gas.  Alcohol is clean and safe in my opinion - provided that you do not overfil the tanks.  With the addition of a small pressure cooker and a skillet we can and do cook almost anything.

An oven is just something else to clean!

 

Bob

 

Asama

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Hugh Birley
13 Posts
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13
24th July 2019 - 8:17 am
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Thank you all for your advice. I think I'm going to go for a spirit stove and convert the space currently taken by the Taylor oven and paraffin tank into a fridge.. cold beers are more important in the Med! Will keep you posted with progress when we start work in the winter.

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