How LPG can benefit the boat sector

How LPG can benefit the boat sector

On a walk along the canals in Camden Town or Warwick Avenue, where the series of boats and the landscape colours are reflected through the water, whilst your glance gets lost in the atmosphere of Little Venice, we have imagined how many cylinders could be carried by each boat docked at the berth. As a matter of fact, gas cylinders are also visible on some of them.

In a landscape like this halfway between fiction and the chaotic reality of the city, the view of steel cylinders on the boats creates a contrast to the natural scenery. Furthermore, the risks of both corrosion and accidents cannot be underestimated, due to the cylinders’ reaction to any weather condition and their explosive potential if not used with caution.

Therefore, as a huge portion of car drivers are moving on changing their car engines to LPG, even these other conveyances could take advantage of this cheap and clean fuel. LPG is beneficial for both indoor and outdoor use, such as cooking or heating, and also for the growing boat sector.

LPG powers yachts and recreational boats, harbour & work vessels (patrol boats, cleaning boats, harbour tubs, small ferries and harbour maintenance crafts), and can also be used by commercial crafts (fishing boats, life boats, small ships, short and longer range shipping). By promoting LPG even for these means of transport it may also lead to higher safety standards and benefits the environment.

Why LPG?

This sector may be encouraged to use LPG because not only is the price cheaper as it is already  for car owners – a litre of LPG costs less than half the price of a litre of petrol – but we cannot ignore the effect it may have on the environment.

As a cleaner engine, it produces much lower emissions, indeed, as LPG Exceptional Energy has mentioned, LPG is not a marine pollutant and emits 96% less particulate matter. It means exhaust fumes and smoke are practically eliminated and noxious gases are nearly eliminated as a result of the improved combustion of LPG, completely in contrast with what happens to petrol, especially at engine start up.

An LPG conversion of Marine engines reduces completely any emission of benzene, xylene, toluene, naphthalene (poisonous to oysters and mussels) and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Because of the absence of petrol acids and carbon deposits in LPG combustion, it means less wear and tear on the engine as the engine oil is not diluted and polluted with un-burnt petrol and carbon particles. The oil retains its own protective power much longer and needs to be changed less frequently. Furthermore, petrol engines often flood when starting from cold, while LPG does not create this problem.

As mentioned by LPG magazine, Hamble Marine Ltd in Southampton is a leading supplier to the UK marine market specialising in converting mainly Mercruiser and Volvo engines.

Its owner Peter Burton points out all the phases of the installation process. First of all, a marine installation has to meet the same safety standards which are essential for road vehicles, but in the light of a new European Standard that has been approved, a number of additional requirements have been imposed throughout Europe. They include for example separate filler units and content gauges for each tank and an even more sophisticated electronic control unit.

Conclusion

Following what has been reported, it is clear that, because of the huge range of benefits, LPG can be a key alternative for the boats sector, by respecting the high safety standards which associations such as WLPGA, UKLPG and AEGPL are keen to promote.

As for the dramatic price of diesel fuel, we expect to see an increase in the size of typical boats being converted to run on LPG.

In this sense, the process of guaranteeing high standards can be accelerated by the introduction of our composite LPG cylinders, as they are light in weight, easy to handle and more importantly they are non corrosive and explosive. They ensure the high safety standards both required by the industries, and the expectations of users.