I have very recently had my boat (S2 Slickcraft 31') converted to run on LPG. The boat has twin volvo 5.0ltr petrol engines. The conversion cost was a little under £5000 which gave two tanks with a total of 266 ltrs of LPG. The conversion was carried out by Holes Bay Marine in Poole who did a first class job. The boat runs noticeably smoother on LPG and the journey from Poole back to Chichester Marina was done on less than £60.00 worth of LPG. I estimate that journey alone saved £100.00+ compared to petrol. There are no additional procedures in using LPG and apart from the sweet smell from the exhaust and a couple of extra switches on the dash (to change from LPG to petrol and back) the conversion is undetectable. Early days yet but from my experiences so far I would strongly recommend it.
Totally depends who does it!. I had my boat converted (5.7Merc V8) and took over a year to get it right. Initially the boat burned double the fuel and performance was totally ruined. After months of whinging etc it was sorted so it only used about 20% more gas than petrol - and I could live with the loss in performance. Saying all this - the conversion was done by LPG Marine - and they have now gone bust so I think the new Calor based converters are a LOT better. A tip tho - go out, and measure gal/hr at certain rpm - and top speed. Get them to agree these - After the conversion do it again... THEN hand over the cheque !
Mine was traced in the end to the siple fact that gas burns slower than petrol - so you need to advance the timing. The more you advance it the better - but go too far and you won't be able to run on unleaded... I'm sure the more modern engines with electronic ignition will be better.
Alternatively negotiate really hard... Volvo KAD32 (170 HP lots of torque) cost £16k ... can be had for less than £10k if you shop ... will add that much to the value of the boat whereas the LPG conversion won't. There are other engines available even cheaper.
A reguarly debated subject with much miss-information. Most systems where problems have been experienced are from car or truck based origins which are not designed for marine applications. Have just had a new system installed by MGS who operate in partnership with calor. first class installation, including removal of old inefficient system previously installed. Nigel of MGS took great care over the installation and despite a problem on one of our Volvo 5.7ltr V8 has already transited Northeny to Port solent on its maiden run at 28 Knots cruising including 1 hour in the solent. Will be back out next week for a full sea trial but initial indications are low cost running high perofmance enjoyment. Not so sure about the value issue of LPG being questioned, Deisel for all it's unpleasant operation has little measure against an LPG boat on performance, econmy is relevant to fuel cost and this may change in a few years with legislation on deisel. LPG is starting to take off on both boats large and small and with some of the major manufacturers now running test boats for evaluation, the future of the fuel and the value of a good installation may well improve future values of craft with this type of installation. We're in Port Solent and if you want to see the installation and have a run out will be happy to entertain.
So am I. I had my Sprint done, you should have recived my eralier response. Why not come down and have a look at the conversion I'm in Haslar Marina. I should be down over the weekend. But I live in Fareham
And I thought Hawkeye was the only boat in Port Solent using the pump. I have just converted and am based in Haslar so use Cowes to fill up - saves the drudge all the way up to PS. Your right, Nigel is a good guy. By the way do you have a calorifer? If so have you had problems with your gas freezing up. Darren coming down to sort mine out this on Friday
Thanks for the e mail and kind offer to look over your boat. I have decided to go ahead and the boat is now with Solent Marine Services for fitting next week. I was swayed not just by the cost but also by the spread of filling stations with Portland, Torquay, Plymouth and Falmouth all open or openning shortly. I am hoping to take the boat to Cherbourg peninsular and Channel Islands this Summer - Do you know if France uses LPG at all? I'll let you now how the fitting goes.
Simon, good luck with it. I have just spent he afternoon with Brian from Solent marine - had a cylinder go down on me - As far as France is concerned there is talk of a tank going into Cherbourg but nothing as yet. There is one in the Channel Islends - Jersey.I'm waiting to see if the Poirtland one goes in as I'm leading a group of from the Pathfinder Power Boat Club down in July. Check out the web site on www.pathfinderpowerboatclub.org.uk
Very interested in crossing channel with you late July - We have recently moved over here from Jersey and want to go back for a week or 2. Am professional seaman by trade and have spent last 6 years in command at sea so have plenty of experience.