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Old 03-03-2010, 12:55   #1
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Heating and Cooking

I've yanked out my CNG stove/oven recently, which was never used or even hooked up, since finding the gas globally is a problem, energy density is poor and the thought of having those two, high pressure missiles (um, I mean tanks) onboard made sleep a challenge. Yes, I admit too that I hate gas for many reasons. Please don't hate me ...

After a great deal of research and trying to find the balance of trade-offs that works best for me, Iím leaning heavily toward getting the Origo non-pressurized alcohol stove/oven (Origo 6000). The upside is safety, the downside is a low-temp flame. Iím willing to accept the cost of the alcohol for safety. I like the lack of fumes and soot, but hate the low temp flame.

At the same time, I need to find something for heat. The Origo 6000 is not designed for heating the cabin, even though any cooking helps. Besides, burning alcohol is not a dry heat and would be a poor alternative for many reasons from what I now understand.

I have a wonderful Taylor heater Ė An older 079D model back when they had the copper tubing wraparound for heating water. The almost identical new model can be seen at: http://www.blakes-lavac-taylors.co.uk/taylors_079d.htm. Iíve always run it using diesel from a gravity feed tank, but wonder how it would perform in comparison with this if I used kerosene. Any difference in getting the kerosene to ignite and how does the heat compare with diesel ???? I donít mind going through gymnastics to get it to light.

Iíve learned that I should buy a Baha filter for the fuel to help with the fumes that it produces when I crank it up too much. The vent is straight with a charlie noble topside and I get a great, natural draft with minimal backdraft even in high winds. The problem is that it doesnít put out enough heat for my Columbia 50 sailboat and cannot be left unattended. Even with gravity flow, the drip changes pace and if the flame goes out, you just start dumping fuel into the pot Ė not a good situation. I really want to get something that doesnít require me to keep adjusting the unit continually. Right now, I couldnít use the copper tubing for heating water because I couldnít walk away from the unit long enough to take a shower !! Taylor also proclaims that it is not designed for use when the boat is rocking. So I guess the old, standard fuel in a pot design isnít ideal because I want heat even while underway.

Researching this forum, Iíve learned a great deal and now am considering a direct-vent heater using a coaxial vent system (a pipe within a pipe) with a sealed combustion chamber. It seems that, barring any leaks, this would lock out all fumes and remove the issue with drawing oxygen out of the cabin. Since Kerosene burns hot and clean, it seems to be a slightly better choice than diesel to prevent build-up in the flue and exhaust venting. I believe the energy density of kerosene is also better than diesel (please correct me there, if that is wrong). It doesnít take long for build-up in my Taylor diesel heater when using unstrained diesel. Also, I prefer a unit that can operate without electricity, although I will have plenty of 12-volt electricity onboard Ė Just want to decide how much juice I have versus how cold I am at the moment Ö Yeah, we probably know how that decision will go so that one isn't absolutely critical ...

I would consider a larger unit with a stove/oven with this type of setup, but the vent would come out in a bad spot where my gimbaled CNG stove/oven was located and bending the vent is a recipe for disaster from everything Iíve read. The Origo 6000 is supposed to be a bit hotter than most of the other alcohol devices so Iíd love some feedback to hear if that really is the case.

I also have a Kenyon alcohol/electric unit and will send that back to Kenyon to be rebuilt since the Origo two-burner stove will not fit in the same space. I guess itís good to have options, although most of the problems with alcohol stoves are due to the pressurized tanks rupturing. Pressure is bad, gravity flow (or wicking in this case) is good.

Anyway, sorry for the long post, but Iím really looking forward to feedback and recommendations from the wealth of knowledge that Iíve already found as a guest in this forum. Iím glad I took the step from guest to member - Thanks for the help !!!
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Old 03-03-2010, 14:11   #2
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Guess you might want to re-investigate that CNG system afterall huh?
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Old 03-03-2010, 14:20   #3
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I think the long post scared everyone off. Gotta learn how to condense it down ...
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Old 03-03-2010, 14:28   #4
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Shorter Post

Question 1 - How does heat with kerosene in something like a Taylor 079D heater compare with using diesel in the same unit?

Question 2 - Looking for a heater that:
- Can be left unattended
- Has a direct-vent outside cabin (Preferably a pipe in a pipe for air exchange so it doesn't suck the air out of the cabin)

Note: A heater with a cooking surface would be a great backup to the Origo 6000 and would probably be a whole lot hotter.
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Old 03-03-2010, 14:28   #5
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If your making a choice between bottled gas stored outside and a volotile liquid INSIDE and next to a naked flame, ........well its a no brainer.
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Old 03-03-2010, 14:54   #6
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It has been decades since I translated Latin ... Hmmmm, From Strength ... What is Fils (Daughter?) ... Sweetness - Guess you'll have to spell it out for me

Actually, the Taylor heater is in the saloon and the diesel fuel tank is in the forward head with both linked by copper tubing. I would argue that the tubing is as safe as anything used for gas. Diesel is much less likely to ignite than gas and doesn't burn until it gets hot.

The CNG is lighter than air so it will not accumulate in the bilge like most other forms of gas used for heat/cooking. Of course, the pressure in those tanks is much higher.
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Old 03-03-2010, 15:32   #7
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At the dock, nothing beats electricity for cooking and heating.

Off the hook, my preference is propane, and my second choice would be diesel - because I have seen it work on my friends' boats.

All sorts of alcohol / parafin etc. things are a nightmare to start and a hazard in bad weather (to me), so no-no.

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Old 03-03-2010, 15:33   #8
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I am going through a similar problem. We just bought a boat with an obsolete Flaval cooker and no heat. We want the ability to do some cold weather sailing. Wife insists on some kind of hot water better than a tea kettle.

I have a spare Taylor kerosene cooker I bought last summer...just because. So that can be the cooker. And I have a small bulkhead mount Taylor kero heater I bought....just because, but that only produces 6,000 BTU or there abouts.

Dickenson diesel stove (pot burner) is one option. Can cook and can produce hot water but ..........too hot in warmer climes. One solution is to get a smaller (Colman) propane camp stove and keep it on the diesel stove for times when you don't want all the heat. But then no hot water.

Could get a pot burner with a coil (Dickenson) but still have problem using it under way.

My other boat (33' steel insulated) has kero cooker, and kero bulkhead heater. I found the heater would not keep up with real cold so I installed an Espar Airtronics D4 air heater. That does a wonderful job, is easy on current. But no hot water. Hence complaint from Wife.

I like the kero cooker so that will likely go in. Maybe put the little bulkhead heater in the rear cabin, it should do for that.

So that would leave me with main cabin heat and hot water. I am considering an Espar Hydronic heating system. But I'm just not sure. Apparently you need to mount the unit within 10 feet of the exhaust, which should be out the transom. I think I can do that. Then you need circulating water and an expansion tank and a hot water tank. Then you have to drain the system if you leave it. It all sounds like a hassle.

I would rather, much rather, have a hot air furnace like a Espar Airtronics D4. I think the downside to the Airtrnonics unit is the spare complement. I would even consider buying a second unit as a spare as they look pretty easy to change out.

But then I still need to figure out the hot water issue. There are domestic "insta hot" water heaters that heat the water as it passes through the element. But I think they are all either electric or gas. I can't imagine one of them on a boat.

So this is where I am stuck.
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Old 03-03-2010, 15:34   #9
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BTW I love kerosene LAMPS - at the dock or at anchor - warm light that makes rum glow and stories flow.

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Old 03-03-2010, 15:55   #10
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Both gas and diesel must be vented to the outside.

I have used a propane heater, a kerosene heater, and now have a diesel heater.

I like the diesel heater the best because I carry lots of diesel (99 gallons) for a 36' boat. It works well. I have a two gallon gravity feeding day tank which is filled from the main fuel tank via a fuel pump, but I can hand fill the day tank if the need arises. So, the system is just about bomb proof, plus I don't have to put up with the click of the fuel pump except when fueling the day tank.

Cooking is propane and that's works well too. Tanks are shut off after every meal.

Eventually, the old kerosene tank under the sole will be used to store lamp oil for back up lighting 'system.'
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:17   #11
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:29   #12
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Thanks Everyone !!! Keep 'em coming ...

Wow - Just logging in to see all the terrific posts !! Thanks !!

Barnakiel - I've got a 115V Cruisair 16K BTU Heater/AC that has run continuously for ... gosh, coming up on 5 years in June (that's scary) and I highly recommend it for anyone at the dock. I put a Home Depot tarp over the boom and use the construction bungee cords (that's the key) and it even keeps me cool in the summer here in Florida. I'm toasty in winter, but need to get a smaller dehumidifier that doesn't trip my 30-amp panel with everything else running.

Hpeer - Great post. I had to laugh because I feel like we're making the same trek through the product lines. You brought up a great point that I'm struggling with as well and that is hot water. I did a lot of research trying to find a ... 12-volt unit (Begin the laughter). I did find a manufacturer that had just sold their rights to someone else, but nothing I could buy. You can actually do it, but I don't think it's practical even with the huge battery bank I plan to have. I don't like gas for a variety of reasons so I looked at diesel, but I found something that I previously resisted that ended up being a better option (well, so far). I don't know why I resisted getting a diesel generator, but when you look at Yanmar models (& others) and figure the electricity output to fuel consumption, it's better than anything else I've found for the hot water heater. I'm coming around full circle to the generator, fighting it all the way. The numbers don't lie, so I'm looking for new numbers ... It may be the best way to go in the long run. For the length of time you heat up hot water, it may make a lot of sense so consider it so run the numbers yourself.

Taylor makes great products from all I've read and my limited experience with them. I've got the bulkhead mounted diesel (kero too) heater and you have to tend to it and I think you're spot on with the output - Just not enough. Hmmmm, I'll have to look into the Espar Airtronics product line. Have they been around a long time? Exhaust is my biggest issue right now with the other options you mention. If something like the Taylors 030 used a closed combustion chamber with the pipe in a pipe ventilation/exhaust to the outside so no fumes in the cabin, I'd try to make the venting work somehow (Could do it with a 45 angle piece). Of course, you would have to have some flex hose somewhere to work with the gimbals ...

For quick reference to others looking at Taylor products: Home
- I do want to find something other than the pot burners as these can't be left unattended from what I understand and can be dangerous while underway.

Do they make any of those kero lamps without glass? I try to limit glass onboard, but I hear ya on the warm glow ...

Hiracer - Dang, you carry a lot of diesel !! You've got me beat and I'm in a 50' boat. That is a nice advantage. You gave me a new idea that I had not considered in all my research ... Using a pump to fill a gravity feed tank, which itself could be filled manually. That's simple & brilliant !! You can keep the fuel source separate from the main tank (recommended in countless posts), yet have the advantage of gravity feed and an easy way to siphon off fuel from the main tank. I'm always amazed at the tidbits of wisdom I pick up in forums - Thanks !!

Marc - Yeah, I got carried away on that initial post ... lol... Dang, I just did it again Oh well, I love all the replies and am looking forward to more - Thanks, everyone !!! Gotta run and act like I'm working again
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Old 05-03-2010, 17:50   #13
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Here is an idea I just had for hot water.
Don't know if it would really work. Still propane but only little cylinders.


Hot Tap HP Series... On-Demand Hot Water & Hot Showers
Enjoy 100ļF hot showers in just seconds with Zodi's High Performance self-contained Hot Tap HP portable water heater. A complete system with battery operated pump that delivers great water pressure. Rugged storage case doubles as a 4 gallon water container. Extra performance for all season use. Ideal for camping, hunting, RVs, cabins, boats, home emergencies and more. A great gift for that outdoors person in your family. A BEST SELLER
For smaller system for seasonal use click here
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:57   #14
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That's an interesting little unit. Hmmmm, could work topside with the privacy shower.

I looked in the Index of West Marine's 2010 catalog and then searched online, but I don't see those solar showers for sale with them anymore. . I thought that I could heat water on the stove, fill the bag with hot water and hang it in the shower to use the shower nozzle on my trip to haul out the boat next month.

Defender has them: Sun Shower

Now I just need to figure out the stove to buy. I'll have to Google more to find a closed combustion diesel stove and compare it to the Origo 6000. If I can angle the vent slightly and figure out how to use flex-hose with the gimbals of a stove, diesel/kerosene may be in my future
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:28   #15
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Diesel stoves produce a wonderful dry warm heat, you just need to be cautious about the maintenance. I have experienced ship board fires due to malfunctioning carburetors, a bit of stuff can get under the needle valve and cause the fuel to overflow the burn pot, and send lots of burning diesel out under the stove. I still use them and enjoy them. One needs to have a very good filter before the stove and perform an annual rebuild of the carburetor along with a shut down at the source of the fuel and never ever walk away from the boat unless the fuel is shut off at the source and the stove is out. Like all fire; it is good in a controlled environment. I also use propane for cooking when I don't want to heat the whole cabin, again when I am finished I shut down the fuel at the source.
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