Note: This is applicable to MK I's with a walk out
I have been unhappy with the original small propane tank, it just
does not have enough capacity. This coupled with the requirement for
the OFP valve was the catalyst for upgrade. I was originally going
to use Ron Hillís plans,
but his plans use a short squat 11# bottle that will not fit in the
available space, so I modified them as follows.
I used the taller thinner 10# bottle.
Using ľ" plywood I constructed a square box with interior
dimensions of 115/8"x 115/8"x17".
To insure an airtight box, in addition to nails, I used
glue (Liquid Nails) on all seams and applied silicone caulk to all
inside joints. I fiberglassed the outside of all joints for
additional strength and sealing. I transferred all the
plumbing/fittings from the original locker to the new locker and
used the original lid.
The edges of the opening into the lazarette needed to be expanded
slightly by removing the interior lip.
The hatch does not rest on this lip, so the seat integrity is not
altered. Next the platform must be lowered to allow room for the
taller box. I originally thought this would be hard, but the shelf
is held on by a couple dabs of glue and short staples. A couple
yanks and it easily came off. I used a sabre saw to shorten the
support sides by 5 1/2". Glued and screwed the original shelf
back onto the shortened supports. The new box is then lowered into
the lazarette, vent lines, electric lines and propane lines
attached. I used screws with sealer in the holes to attach the box
onto the support shelf.
Because the tank is taller, the lower vent was placed on the side
of the box at the same level as the thru hull outlet. This put the
vent about 6" above the bottom of the box. I used expanding
insulating/sealing foam to fill the bottom of the box up to the vent
level. This will ensure any leaks flow overboard rather than
puddling in the bottom of the box. The foam is extremely sticky. I
wrapped the bottom of the bottle in saran wrap to make the first
removal of the bottle easier. The foam dries hard, so after the
first removal, the plastic wrap will not be required.
Approximate cost including the new bottle (filled) was $90. It
took approximately 2 hours to construct the box at home, and 4-5
hours to install on the boat including a couple trips to the local
hardware store for new fittings. The foam takes about an hour to
expand, so part of the installation time can be spent on other
chores. All in all a great weekend project.
Ken & Vicki Juul,
#1090 "Luna Loca"
Important: The opinions expressed here are those of the
individual contributors to this page, and not those of the Catalina
34 National Association or Catalina Yachts, Inc. Additionally, this
material has not been reviewed by Catalina Yachts, Inc. for
technical accuracy. This page's maintainer cannot guarantee the
accuracy of this information or the desirability of suggested
modifications or upgrades. Please obtain assistance from a competent
marine mechanic or boatyard prior to making any significant
modifications to your vessel.