Pint-Sized Propane Locker

Pint-Sized Propane Locker

Explosive and heavier than air, propane is not the sort of thing you want beneath your bunk. The grills we tested this month (See “The Great Grill-a-thon”) can be fitted with adapters to take 10-pound propane tanks meant for galley service, but smaller 16-ounce canisters used for camping are convenient for short cruises. So where do you store these rust-prone bombs?

A safe propane locker should be latched and sealed except for a direct overboard drain, with no loops in the drain hose, which should not be joined with any other hose on the boat. Effectively, there should be no way for gas to spill into the boat.

Though open at the bottom, the $59 propane holder from Sailor’s Solutions can keep two 16-ounce canisters outboard on a stern pulpit where any chance of propane creeping below is minimal. Made of milled StarBoard, heavy-walled PVC tubing, two stainless-steel hose clamps, and some stainless steel fasteners, the holder is far from elegant, and the tight-fitting cap requires a bit of elbow grease to pry off, but it’s a simple solution for short-term propane storage.

Contact – Sailor’s Solutions, 631/754-1945,

Darrell Nicholson
Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on sailboats and sailing gear for more than 50 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising. Its independent tests are carried out by experienced sailors and marine industry professionals dedicated to providing objective evaluation and reporting about boats, gear, and the skills required to cross oceans. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser who has been director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division since 2005. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, has logged tens of thousands of miles in three oceans, and has skippered everything from pilot boats to day charter cats. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida. You can reach him at