Butane bottles

gunnarsilins

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With my yacht, which I purchased in UK a couple of years ago, I got two 11 kg blue buthane bottles. These are unusable in Sweden (we´re only using propane besides the wrong regulator fitting).
But, because we are planning a longer voyage within the next few years I wonder if british bottles can be filled/exchanged in some other european countries? In such case it might we worth to keep them.
The countries we intend to visit are: Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Denmark.
 

AndrewB

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British bottles cannot be exchanged abroad but can be refilled in many countries. There is generally a suitable plant near most larger towns. Spain, Portugal and Morocco, certainly. I've had no luck in France though (they are obsessed by over-priced 'Camping Gaz').

The date stamp on the bottle needs to be in date. Bottles must be retested every 8 years or so, some places do check and won't refill an old one.
 

gunnarsilins

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Refilling bottles abroad

Thank you for the information. When refilling abroad, do I need to carry an adaptor or something with me?
Regarding the retesting, must it be done within 8 years since the last test (=date on the bottle)?
 

AndrewB

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Re: Refilling bottles abroad

No, you don't need to carry an adaptor. Most places will find one suitable. Those that don't ... just stand well clear while they refill!

It is sometimes a bit of a fag tracking down where the nearest plant is. In recognised blue-water ports, the harbour office will be well used to giving directions. Otherwise, this is where the 'boating community' comes into its own, passing information from one incoming boater to the next. The plants are often situated in harbour areas. Taxi drivers are sometimes wary of carrying lots of bottles.

I'm not absolutely sure what the rules are on retesting, or how it is marked, only that some places have said that checked as they were not permitted to refill bottles that were not in date. Reused bottles on a yacht quickly look their age.
 

ccscott49

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I've been using UK butane bottles, calor in the Med and portugal, as Andrew says no probs getting them filled! Local as in local boaters know where, portugal is easy, but in Portugal the local cylinder, repsol and regulator, full, is less than a UK re-fill so its fairly cheap!
 

charles_reed

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Providing they have a screw thread connection of some sort you can re-fill butane bottles in most European countries (including France). Even better is to have a universal adaptor and fill your own bottles at the pump provided at some automobile filling stations. That's what a number of enterprising Netherlanders of my Portuguese acquaintance do.
Mind you the Dutch are famously careful with their money..

Camping Gaz is the most widely available throughout Europe, but is always about x3 the price of indigenous alternatives.
The best marine container I've come across is the Butagaz Bric, available through Shell in all the countries in which they distribute.
It weighs about 30% of the weight of a steel bottle, doesn't rust and is consistently among the cheapest. The only problem is that it has a clip-on connection so can only be refilled "officially".
 

vyv_cox

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The problem may be finding the place where they do it. The only one I know in The Hague took us about two years to find and is virtually inaccessible without a car. It's about four or five kilometres inland from Scheveningen. Even in UK I am hard pressed to think of a likely source of this service within reasonable distance of any port I have ever visited. Most seem to be on industrial estates miles from anywhere.
 
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