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Marine transportation fuel

In the Mobility sector, it is not only car drivers that are benefitting from cheaper fuel, cleaner engines and a cleaner environment – a growing band of boat users are also getting in on the act. There lies major opportunity for the LPG industry to displace gasoline and diesel fuel in the marine.
Since Calor first introduced the use of ‘marine gas’ by installing nearly 30 LPG sites at or near the main marinas around the UK in the early 1990s, over 200 boats have been converted to run on this ‘new’ fuel.
Although LPG as a marine fuel has been little exploited up to now, there are some areas/countries where this has been used extensively. Chile for example leads the world in marine LPG uses - 80% of Salmon fishing boats using LPG in the south of Chile.


LPG powers yachts and recreational boats, harbour & work vessels (patrol boats, cleaning boats, harbour tubs, small ferries and harbour maintenance crafts). It is used in commercial crafts (Fishing boats, life boats, small ships, short and longer range shipping)
The typical LP gas boat is around 30ft long with one or two petrol engines.
There are two fundamental types of LPG conversion injection: where LPG vapour is drawn into the inlet manifold by individual metered valves or the use of a more conventional LPG carburettor which is a direct replacement of the carburetor (can be mounted on the throttle butterfly of a petrol injected engine). Both systems can be run as duel fuel installations if required.
Most boat installations are intended to be dual fuel, i.e. the LPG gas components are added to the existing installation, resulting in a considerable increase in available range if both fuels are used. Normally, the owners start their engines and manoeuvre in and out of the marina on petrol before switching to LPG for their main cruising. This enables hot water to flow through the vaporiser before any substantial amount of LP gas is used and the petrol in the carburettor keeps the diaphragm and jets clean and lubricated.


  • The main advantage of LPG is the price.  A litre of LPG costs less than half the price of a litre of petrol.   
  • LPG does not contain or require any additives to improve combustion or increase the octane rating of the fuel such as lead or lead substitutes.  LPG has an octane rating of over 106 which is much higher than that of 4star petrol at 98.
  • LPG Meets local/regional/global emissions standards for inland water ways lakes rivers  
  • LPG is not a marine pollutant and emits 96% less particulate matter - Exhaust fumes and smoke are practically eliminated and noxious gases are nearly eliminated as a result of the improved combustion of LPG.  This is in stark contrast to petrol, especially at engine start up.   
  • An LPG conversion of Marine engines reduces completely any emission of benzene, xylene, toluene, naphthalene (poisonous to oysters and mussels) and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This meets a new requirement in commercial ports around the world   
  • The absence of petrol acids and carbon deposits in LPG combustion mean less wear and tear on the engine as the engine oil is not diluted and polluted with un-burnt petrol and carbon particles. The oil retains its' protective power much longer and needs to be changed less frequently.
  • Petrol engines often flood when starting from cold.  LPG does not suffer from this problem.
  • LPG is stored in liquid form in built-in tank(s) at low pressure.  It is vaporised just before entering the engine thus ensuring clean carbon free combustion.
  •  Spillage of fuel is virtually impossible, engine noise is lower and performance is comparable to petrol.
  • The petrol fuel system is still retained therefore if both petrol and LPG fuel tanks are filled the cruising range is greatly increased.
  • LPG as a fuel is stable for longer periods than gasoline, ethanol or bio-diesel.