I wonder how many of you saw the photograph in the yachting press a while back of the Nicholson 55 which had suffered a gas explosion? The theory was, at the change of gas bottle, the regulator had been cross-threaded and a slow leak into the bilges had been the cause. If the gas locker had been properly constructed, and was wasting to the sea, the accident may never have happened.
My rules for cooking are:
- Never have gas in the boat unless it is alight on the stove. When heat is required in the galley the procedure is as follows:
- Check all burner knobs are off;
- Ask for gas to be turned on at the bottle. Light the burner;
- Once heat is not required, the stove is never turned off in the galley, but at the bottle and then the gas is allowed to burn through at the stove;
- Once the gas at the burner is out, the gas bottle is turned off.
I never use any intermediate gas shut off cocks, only the one on the gas bottle. One way round this palaver is to have a solenoid switch on the bottle; saves a lot of hassle especially if the gas bottle is difficult to get at. Having said all that what do you do if the stove operates with a pilot light?
- Whenever the gas bottle is changed over it is a two man job. One man does it, and a second checks that it has been done properly. The second is either myself, the mate or watch leader.