The Gas Locker

My gas stove seems to be quite efficient. The first full cylinder I used lasted exactly three months, and we cook every day. However I’ve changed the gas twice now, and it hasn’t been me in either case. As I’m expecting that soft ‘pht’ which heralds the emptying of the cylinder at any moment now (probably before 7am or after 5pm, when it’ll be dark and even more difficult to do), I thought I’d look at the problems inherent in The Gas Locker.

First of all, there’s the design of the gas cylinder. You open the connector using a special spanner, but you have to turn it the wrong way. They are inevitably tightly closed, so you need a lot of force to do this.

gas locker close up.JPG
The gas bottle. Hard to disconnect and also hard to photograph.

However, at this point the design of the gas locker comes into play. Ingeniously stored in the prow of the boat, it is nicely tucked away and doesn’t take up valuable space elsewhere.

That said, reaching inside means crouching over the hatch, perched precariously on the prow yourself. While you want to have a good purchase and use your weight to open the bolts, you can’t because of your strange position. You want to be on a level with the gas cylinder but you’d be in the water. So you have your knees under your chin, you’re balancing so as not to fall, and you’re trying to turn a screw that’s below the level of your feet.It’s a horrible task.

gas locker from above.JPG
My feet next to the locker. You can see how little room there is to balance while you try to change the gas.

gas.JPG

The string holds the gas spanner, so that it doesn’t get lost inside the locker. There’s room in here for three bottles, but having three makes it even harder to manipulate them when you want to change them over.

This is a strong reason for reversing the layout (more on that another time) because you could have the gas bottles on the deck at the stern.

 

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