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Old 14-01-2019, 11:01   #46
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Re: Diesel vs Propane Stove & Oven

I’m getting too old.....have had alcohol, kerosene, diesel and propane stoves.
- alcohol was too slow
- pressurized kerosene was decent, but required careful preheating, and the wife hated it - both the preheating and the smell. 1 gallon was 2-3 months supply.
- diesel is a large Dickenson stove. Also requires preheating, but rarely smells due to having a chimney. Lovely dry heat - that would drive you out of the boat if you were trying to use it in the tropics. Have been cruising tropics past 5 yrs.....and haven’t turned the diesel stove on once.
- propane - 4 burner with oven + sniffer + solenoid + external tank locker. Used daily, quick heat on & off. Hands down winner for cooking. Have 2x20lb bottles, get minimum of 2 months per bottle, just sailed So. Pacific, Indian & Atlantic oceans, always found someone that could fill well before 2nd bottle emptied.

Even the propane stove gets the galley too hot some days - that’s when the propane bbq on the transom is the perfect answer.
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Old 14-01-2019, 11:32   #47
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Re: Diesel vs Propane Stove & Oven

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Originally Posted by nofacey View Post
Iím getting too old.....have had alcohol, kerosene, diesel and propane stoves.
- alcohol was too slow
- pressurized kerosene was decent, but required careful preheating, and the wife hated it - both the preheating and the smell. 1 gallon was 2-3 months supply.
- diesel is a large Dickenson stove. Also requires preheating, but rarely smells due to having a chimney. Lovely dry heat - that would drive you out of the boat if you were trying to use it in the tropics. Have been cruising tropics past 5 yrs.....and havenít turned the diesel stove on once.
- propane - 4 burner with oven + sniffer + solenoid + external tank locker. Used daily, quick heat on & off. Hands down winner for cooking. Have 2x20lb bottles, get minimum of 2 months per bottle, just sailed So. Pacific, Indian & Atlantic oceans, always found someone that could fill well before 2nd bottle emptied.

Even the propane stove gets the galley too hot some days - thatís when the propane bbq on the transom is the perfect answer.
^^^^^ HERE IS REALITY ^^^^
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Old 14-01-2019, 14:42   #48
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Re: Diesel vs Propane Stove & Oven

The OP says he will be in both high and low latitudes. In high latitudes a diesel pot burner stove will do great double duty as cooker and cabin heater, but in lower latitudes it is unbearable so usually a 2-burner Origo alcohol stove is used on top. Pot burners heat the entire stove (some bypass is possible on some models) so it inevitably radiates a lot of heat. Wallas is the only non-pot burner diesel stove that I know of. It shouldn't radiate as much heat as a pot burner but it will still radiate a fair amount of heat from the ceramic cooking surface - not really the best for tropical comfort. The good news is that it uses the same fuel as the engine; the bad news is that it is a complex design. All vented stoves have the potential for a backdraft putting out the flame, followed a few seconds later with explosive spontaneous re-ignition; it is very messy, a little scary, but mostly a non-event. A coaxial intake/exhaust system will eliminate it, as will a boost fan in the air intake.

For hot days it is best to put flame directly to the pot or pan, and not heat an entire cooktop. Kerosene, alcohol and propane all do this. I have cooked exclusively on kerosene for 25 years and find that it is convenient enough, and if the proper fuel is used and the burners maintained smell is not an issue. Flareups are only a problem for noobs - once learned it is rare and mostly a non-event. I carry at least a year's supply of kerosene and alcohol for starting and have never had a supply issue (I don't wait until the tank is empty to start looking for fuel). Kerosene suits me but I recognize that it is not for everyone. I also note that many I have met who have tried and dislike it never actually mastered its use; I didn't until an English couple helped me, and I have helped a few others to learn. I have never seen adequate instructions. BTW there is a nice-looking Taylors 30L stove that just came up on Seattle Craigslist for $1k for anyone looking for a kerosene stove.

Other than the fuel being very expensive in many places, I think the Origo stoves are a good solution. They are as simple and reliable as it gets.

These days propane is widely available, and potentially much safer than in the past. Unfortunately in much of the world pure propane is not as available, only as propane/butane mixes, which can cause problems with older stoves. Modern stoves with CE ratings can handle pure propane, pure butane, any mixture of the two, and at any pressure delivered by a propane or butane regulator. This is a non-trivial statement. Older stoves have had their burners melt when butane is run with propane pressure regulators, and present a safety risk. Mixes can be inexact, so if the propane is exhausted first it is nearly pure butane being used. With a set of pigtails fuel can be transferred from local tanks, or local tanks can be used instead, so there should be no technical barrier to getting fuel. However transporting tanks is often an issue as they are usually banned on public transport, and sometimes taxis won't take them either. There is usually a work-around, such as a local picking up some money by doing a group propane run - just not always convenient. As for safety, if the appropriate care is taken the risks are manageable; if not, it may still be highly unlikely that an accident happens, but if it does it can be very, very bad. Don't be cavalier with propane.

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Old 14-01-2019, 20:13   #49
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Re: Diesel vs Propane Stove & Oven

When I bought my boat it had an alcohol stove. Alcohol doesn;t burn very hot and so cooks slowly. I talked to a few marine surveyors that surveyed sailboats. Without exception they all said that the most common fire aboard a boat was from an alcohol stove - I can't remember whether it was pressurized or not, The second most common was from an alcohol stove - the other type. That turned me off to alcohol - inspite of the USCG saying that alcohol is the safest fuel because an alcohol fire can be pit out with water. But, because it burns so coolly you might not even notice it on a not day before the rugs/upholstery/fiberglass starts burning. On the other hand, I had been chartering a couple times in the Carabean and I noticed that every baareboat I saw used propane. The livelihood of those guys depends upon the boats always working and so they couldn't afford a dangerous stove-fuel combination. It was a no brainer to replace my alcohol stove with a propane stove. And I had no problem with the propane stove (other than an oven thermostat) in the 33 years that I owned her and sailed her in the triangle bpunded by Puerto Vallarta - Vancouver - Hawaii.
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Old 27-01-2019, 16:51   #50
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Re: Diesel vs Propane Stove & Oven

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Originally Posted by secrabtree View Post
When I bought my boat it had an alcohol stove. Alcohol doesn;t burn very hot and so cooks slowly. I talked to a few marine surveyors that surveyed sailboats. Without exception they all said that the most common fire aboard a boat was from an alcohol stove - I can't remember whether it was pressurized or not, The second most common was from an alcohol stove - the other type. That turned me off to alcohol - inspite of the USCG saying that alcohol is the safest fuel because an alcohol fire can be pit out with water. But, because it burns so coolly you might not even notice it on a not day before the rugs/upholstery/fiberglass starts burning. On the other hand, I had been chartering a couple times in the Carabean and I noticed that every baareboat I saw used propane. The livelihood of those guys depends upon the boats always working and so they couldn't afford a dangerous stove-fuel combination. It was a no brainer to replace my alcohol stove with a propane stove. And I had no problem with the propane stove (other than an oven thermostat) in the 33 years that I owned her and sailed her in the triangle bpunded by Puerto Vallarta - Vancouver - Hawaii.
If I were fitting out a new cat I'd specify lots of solar, Firefly batteries, induction cooking, diesel hydronic heat.
If I were buying an existing 12- 15 meter cat I'd use what it has. And it would most likely have propane cooking.
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