LPG cylinders in self-draining cockpits

Boats with a cylinder housing that opens into properly designed and constructed self-draining cockpits are acceptable provided:

  • the drain outlets from the self-draining cockpit are above the waterline when the boat is fully loaded
  • the self-draining cockpit is LPG-tight to the interior of the boat, at least to the height of the LPG cylinders, low pressure regulators and associated equipment
  • any hatches or openings within the self-draining cockpit are watertight
  • cylinder housings conform to the draining requirements of Standard 7.2 and Standards 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6 and 7.8.

This will help to minimise the risk of gas leaking into your boat's interior. [7.7]

Whilst cooking dinner the gas cylinder ran out and so the valve on the second connected cylinder was opened to finish cooking the meal. The next morning the skipper noticed that the main battery voltage was slightly lower than usual, and so decided to start the small diesel generator situated in a storage locker at the aft end of the boat. At the second attempt to start the generator an explosion occurred that destroyed the aft end of the boat and caused the skipper to lose his left leg. An investigation concluded that the valve on the second gas cylinder had not been correctly tightened, causing LPG to leak into the gas locker. Unfortunately the gas locker had allowed gas to pass to the bilges through holes in the locker where incorrectly installed pipework and cylinder securing arrangements penetrated the locker walls. [7.4]