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Old 18-03-2015, 17:20   #1
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Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

I am trying to nail this down because my first reaction was "no." However, through a thread here it came out that many people do in fact use them and then a buddy of mine who delivers boats told me he regularly takes his camp stove along and uses it and seals the canister when not in use. (He prefers this to trusting the propane system on an unknown boat I guess.) He is not crazy as far as I can tell so I started thinking maybe... use the small canister (obviously talking about relatively short trips and not baking,) seal it when not in use and have a propane detector in action... What say you all? Crazy? Acceptable risk? My old, non pressurized alcohol stove works fairly well, but it has its risks too... and of course is not as fast at cooking...
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Old 18-03-2015, 17:44   #2
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Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

Many people do risky things and some brag about it.
If you keep the stove out in the open when using it and remove the canisters when not using them and store them outside the boat where any leaks would be dissipated into the atmosphere, it would be safe. Using the stove or storing the canisters in an enclose space would not be safe.


You will certainly get conflicting opinions here, some violently conflicting. In the end, it's your a$$ and your decision as to the risk.
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Old 18-03-2015, 18:15   #3
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Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

I have a Kerosene / Alcohol two burner unit that I dont use ,however I do have a coleman white gas single burner camp stove that I am not afraid of..I know some will have a problem with this but i dont and the reason i dont have a problem is because i trust myself with the safe operation of it..I have even used it to heat the interior of the cabin when the alcohol heater gave up the ghost..I dont store gasoline below nor do i refuel it below..It works great for me..
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Old 18-03-2015, 18:18   #4
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Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

How do you "seal" it? The little plastic covers don't really "seal" at all once removed and once the hole has been punctured when first used.

That said, I've had them onboard for 16 years on this boat and 12 on the previous one and never had an issue. I use the canisters for the BBQ and a catalytic heater.

Some friends have made holders for them with PVC pipe.

Your boat, your choice.

Oh, like anything else when it comes to this stuff: ventilation, ventilation, ventilation.
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Old 18-03-2015, 18:34   #5
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Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

Lots of us use the small canisters for our Magma barbecues on the rail. I store the cans in my propane locker when not in use. Can't see a small camp type propane stove as any more dangerous if used out in the cockpit NOT below decks.


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Old 18-03-2015, 18:46   #6
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Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

No reason for conflict.
Propane is simply explosive if allowed to build up in a confined space.
The real question as been mentioned is "how safe are your decisions when using it".
I love propane, and respect it!



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Old 18-03-2015, 18:52   #7
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Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

I've used a Colman stove on many different boats including the present. Just be sure the screw-in fitting is not leaking and store it above decks when not in use.
And like said above, keep the air moving inside the boat to desapate CO2 and C3H8.
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Old 18-03-2015, 19:02   #8
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Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

I don't worry too much about the canisters as just about all pressure spray cans use flammable gas as the propellant and they seem to do alright. On the other hand, the questionable and untested quality of manufacture with some brands of camp stove would concern me. I wouldn't use one inside a boat if having other options however, having said that, zillions of these things are in use and reports of serious mishaps don't seem to be excessive.

FYI there was a recent thread on the recent banning of some models of campstove in Australia (see here Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)) basically because of the failure of safety devices to work in the event of misuse of the appliance causing the gas canister to overheat.
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Old 18-03-2015, 19:09   #9
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Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

A properly installed and well maintained propane stove oven is safe in principal.

What you want to avoid is propane leak into the boat. Any of the bottled gases are heavier than air so will accumulate in the bilge.

I certainly wouldn't use a cheap camping stove onboard as a permanent system. They are built cheap because their leak use cases don't pose not the same safety issues as marine use. If you were to remove the gas cannister after each use you negate the safety issues.

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Old 18-03-2015, 19:47   #10
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pirate Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

The cannisters are self sealing when you release the locking clip.. the same way a lighter fuel gas cannister does when you stop pressing.
And.. I can assure you.. if its leaking you'll know real fast.. I'd say maybe 30secs after you release the lock,, its stinks like hell
Have had a disposable lighter explode however.. scared the bejeebers outa me..

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Old 18-03-2015, 19:51   #11
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Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

Something else I remembered not to forget😉
These green propane canisters can get errantly shuffled away some where within the deep dark recesses of a boat, and rot away the very thin steel they are made of, and a quick leak could develop.
So, be certain you get them ALL off the boat when not using them, maybe even log their arrival and departure.
Enough things to remember already!


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Old 18-03-2015, 20:43   #12
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Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

No, this is all good info and advice. I am kind of surprised at myself that I am now seeing a camp stove is potentially safe enough. Actually I found that Smart and Final sells large plastic bottles with screw tops that a propane canister fits perfectly into and can be sealed in.
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Old 19-03-2015, 06:18   #13
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Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

I used a camp stove on my San Juan 23, which was really too small for a full, built-in propane installation. Worked quite well, but you do have to be aware of CO as well as the possibility of leaking propane.

It's a matter of being aware of the dangers and taking proper precautions. And isn't that the case with EVERYTHING when it comes to voyaging on a boat?
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Old 19-03-2015, 06:50   #14
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Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

Its worth noting that in the EU anyway , such cookers cannot comply with the law as the " bass locker" that the canister is in, is not vented to the outside.

IN my case I fitted an EU compliant stainless cartridge cooker ( from Kenton) which used those canisters, it had a sealed compartment for the canister which had a drain to the outside. It cost several orders of magnitude over the cheaper camping stoves.


Id certainly never use one of them inside the boat
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Old 19-03-2015, 08:51   #15
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Re: Can a propane camp stove be safe on a boat?

I use a properly installed Propane Stove in the galley. My propane locker is properly vented and there is a sniffer below deck.

I use canisters with my mini BBQ grill on deck, dock, or beach. I store the canisters in a holder made with a screw top cap and bottom cap with holes drilled in it. The holder is clamped out of the way on a stanchion.
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