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This is a short edited extract form MAINSTEAM MODELS "The Complete Guide to Miniature Steam" which is available on CDROM or by Internet download. From enquiries that I receive through my website, it appears that many people have difficulty in filling their gas tanks in model steam boats successfully. Assuming that you have the correct adaptor, fitted to a Butane/Propane mix blowlamp canister, it is a simple job, but getting sufficient liquid gas into the gas tank can be tricky.


Never fill the gas tank while it is still in the boat, as the gas is heavier than air & will accumulate in the bottom of your boat - when you light the burner you could experience an explosion which could cause severe problems with your eyebrows, & the hair on your arms may disappear also!

Here's how to do it:

It is very important that the gas tank used in the boat is at a lower temperature than the Butane/Propane canister, so make sure that the boat's gas tank is not being held in your hand, which will warm it up. If it is not possible to fill the tank on a flat surface, then hold it with a thick cloth to insulate the gas tank from your body heat. You do not need to insulate the Butane/Propane filler canister from the warmth of your hand, in fact it is the temperature differential that causes the liquid to flow from the canister into the tank - not gravity. Needless to say, this entire process needs to be done outside, well away from naked flames!


You must not fill the gas tank right up to the top, that is a very bad idea, because liquid gas will then spill into the burner feed pipe with dire results! 

So to sum up, keep the tank to be filled cool & the filler canister warm & you will have no problems. However, a little patience is required, as it can take a few minutes to fill a large gas tank.

I hope that this guide has proved useful to you, if so, please be kind enough to give it a helpful vote. Thanks for looking. 

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