August 2011 Issue
Hunting Elusive CNG Refill
Bar Keepers on Stainless
I have a CNG (compressed natural gas) stove onboard, and I’ve had a hell of a time finding a place to refill the tanks. I’m in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and I had to go to Grosse Point, Mich., the last time for a fill-up. Do you know of dealers in my area who can fill CNG tanks?
CNG dealers are few and far between in many U.S. states. CNG had a brief heyday back in the 1980s but was quickly eclipsed by propane as the boat-stove fuel of choice. We regularly get reader letters bemoaning the lack of CNG retailers within driving distance of their ports.
We’d suggest you contact East Coast CNG-distributor Corp. Brothers (www.corpbrothers.com) in Providence, R.I., to locate a refill/exchange station in your area. (One confirmed retailer with a good reputation in the Cleveland area is Clayton King at Royalty Enterprises in Coshocton, Ohio, 740/327-7255.)
West Coasters can contact Gas Systems in California, the West Coast distributor; however, the Corp. Brothers website offers a nationwide directory of exchange/refill stations. Be sure to call before visiting the dealers as we’ve found the directory isn’t always up to date.
We also have used another helpful website, www.cngprices.com, which maps the location of CNG fuel stations around the country and in Canada, and also lists the prices they charge and their contact information. We verified that the information for our area was correct—one lone retailer on the other side of the state, a good three-hour drive from our boat—but we still recommend making sure the info is up to date before hauling your empty tank all over the map.
With the slow-growing trend toward alternative fuels for vehicles and machinery—and tax credits for buying CNG-fueled vehicles—CNG’s popularity is again on the rise. New fueling stations are popping up in many states, and while most of them have been in California, it’s likely that the rest of the U.S. will follow suit and the hunt for CNG will become less challenging.
Bar Keepers on Stainless
Is Bar Keepers Friend good for cleaning stainless? I know it contains oxalic acid and bicarb.
Paul J. Juettner
Due Professori, Catalina 350 M II
We’ve not yet tested Bar Keepers Friend (www.barkeepersfriend.com) on stainless steel, but we’ve heard good things about it from readers who’ve used it in that application. It’s bleach-free, but it does contain a small amount of oxalic acid (about 5-10 percent). Its pH level is in the same slightly acidic range as lemon juice and vinegar. If you use it on stainless, be sure to rinse the surfaces well with fresh water, otherwise the oxalic acid will leave a haze on the metal. Also, be sure to keep it away from fabrics, like a bimini, as it will bleach it out. If you’re concerned about using oxalic acid, then try Miracle Cloth (www.miraclecloth.com), PS’s Best Choice in our last stainless polish test (February 2009).