We consume one propane bottle (6 lb) about every three weeks when cruising full-time. After six weeks, we’re down to our last bottle and looking for propane. We recently did a few things to extend our range:
1. Two more bottles.
Now we can go 12 weeks before we’re down to our last bottle. I built the racks out of Starboard. Using a router table, I cut bowling alley gutters so the boards nestle into the pushpin for snug lashing. David at Fabric Works in Waltham, MA did a great job of sewing Sunbrella covers for them.
2. An electric kettle.
I figure about half of our propane consumption goes to making our morning coffee. We run the kettle off our 300-amp-hour lithium house battery bank. Our 3000 watt inverter converts the power from DC to AC for the kettle. Boiling the water draws about 3% of the power out of the house bank. With good sun, we can replace that power with our 600 watt solar array in less than 20 min. By the time we’ve finished our coffee, the battery bank is back to where it where it was when we started boiling the water. With the electric kettle we should be able to significantly reduce our propane consumption. Many sailors are going over to an all electric galley. I can see the attraction, but for now, I think we’ll stick with a hybrid approach.
Just this week, we were unexpectedly gifted a folding bike named Grapenuts. Now when we go for propane, we’ll have wheels.
We sleep amidships so the V-berth on Sundance is primarily used for storage. When folded, the bike takes on a triangular shape and fits perfectly in the forepeak. The storage bag keeps the boat clean. It’s an amazing bike.
More on this machine, and it’s name, later…