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Old 09-06-2011, 22:06   #106
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Re: Propane vs Origo

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Originally Posted by easterly38 View Post
I wrestled with this a few months ago. I really wanted the Origo two burner and felt for what I do, it would be perfect. Then I thought about my wife and mother-in-law. Neither pays attention to anything and with a nearly invisible flame, I felt sure they would burn the boat down to the waterline within a few meals. So much for that idea.

If fuel isn't an issue for you and you don't face the family challenges I do, go for it. If it was just me, I would have one.

Here is a link to a blog on the Origo, Scott's Boat Pages. I emailed him a few weeks ago and he said after two years, he is still very happy with his.
I converted from an old three burner alcohol with oven to an Origo two burner and couldn't be happier. There is now storage where the oven used to be, life jacket storage where the alcohol tank used to be, and I use the grill more than the stove anyway.The Origo makes morning coffee just fine.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:22   #107
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Re: Propane vs Origo

a few things I like about non presurised alcohol...I use it as a thiner for fiberglas or paint, and to wash any surface befor painting...use it to clean engin or carburator parts...use it as a fire place outside or inside for ambience and heat.
I belive ethanol has the same properties but iv never used it.
alcohol for me is the best and safest way to go...it is available world wide, hec its been the very first man made feul.
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:42   #108
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Re: Propane vs Origo

lots of misinformation out there about alcohol. I am just back from an 8 month cruise in the Caribbean with an Origo stove/oven. I have been on lots of boats with propane and use propane at home so I can easily compare. Some observations

- No, it really isnt much slower than propane. You see, Origo actually KNEW that alcohol has a lower heat content than propane so they designed the burners to be large enough to heat water (or whatever) pretty nearly as fast as a propane stove. I am a coffee junkie so I would have noticed if I had to wait too long for my fix.

- No, the flame isnt invisible. At least, I was able to see it. Maybe the pressurized alcohol stoves have this problem - my Origo didnt.

- Yes, you can get fuel pretty much everywhere. You may have to go to the paint department in the hardware store but I had a much easier time than other cruisers seemed to have lugging their propane canisters to wherever they got refills.

- The Origo is a pretty bulletproof design. There are no moving parts and so nothing to break.

- Propane is heavier than air and can collect in your bilge. Nice not to have to worry about that. About the only thing you can do to cause a problem in an Origo is to try to fill it while it is still hot. So dont do that.

- Moisture content - Maybe this would be a problem in some climates but I never noticed that the boat was any more humid than the air around me already made it.

- smell - there was one brand of alcohol I got that stank. So get a different kind. Problem solved.


I have seen these discussions a lot of times. Most of the people who comment on alcohol stoves have never used an Origo. They are probably thinking about old fashioned pressurized alcohol stoves and paint all alcohol stoves with the same brush. Before you write them off, go and actually try one.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:11   #109
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Re: Propane vs Origo

Having used both fuels, Propane, and denatured alcohol, extensively... IMO:

Origo IS the best of the Alcohol stoves, and requires less installation expense and expertise. (They are simple, and more forgiving of mistakes & negligence.) I still consider them appropriate only for small "weekender" size boats, that don't go off of the beaten path.

Propane is a hotter flame, more universally available, more convenient to use, half of the expense over the long haul, and given appropriate installation, use, and maintenance... JUST as safe.

On a real "cruising boat", I'd go with propane, hands down!

M.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:45   #110
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Re: Propane vs Origo

Let's see...the decision is to have explosive, heavier-than-air or water soluble, lighter-than-air gas in an area where an explosion would likely result in death. No contest.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:46   #111
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Re: Propane vs Origo

my formosa sufffered 5 galley fires caused by alcohol stoves--dont know what kind-- i refuse to have one on board any boat i sail or own. i use propane. i8 have a force 10 3-burner stove with oven and i LOVE it--
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:31   #112
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Re: Propane vs Origo

zeehag no doubt had a pressurized alcohol stove and not an origo. they are completely different animals

on the heating speed question I have heard it enough times that I went to Defender and checked the BTU output of the different kinds of stoves. All Origo burners are rated at 7000 BTU. I looked at Force 10 stoves which are pretty common. They have two sizes of burner, the small one is 4100 BTU and the large one is 8200 BTU. So the larger burner would indeed be a bit faster than the Origo, but not by all that much (at least I didnt notice a huge difference). A Tasco I looked at had 4500 BTU burners and so would be slower than an Origo. A Princess had 7000BTU but delux models had 10000. So it looks like Origo is pretty much in the middle of the pack as far as how fast it will heat your water for coffee in the morning.
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:24   #113
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Re: Propane vs Origo

zee non presurised alcohol is as safe as it gets, we ar camping freaks and use both of these stove extensivly...the propan has failed 3 time alredy, twice the coupling was cross treaded and once the knob was left a little open (acidently?) who cares! in all instence it was potencialy dangerous (propan is EXPLOSIVE)

my alcohol stove is not an origo but similar and works just as well...you can forget to close it without any fear...if you accidently tip it (I did it intensionaly) nothing bad happense...the fuel is contained and will not spil...however if you do drop some ignited alcohol (I dont see how this can happen?) but if you do...water will put it out pronto...regarding the heat diference its not an issue.

I have tryed a few models of non presurised alcohol stove and they all worked very well...my favorite was an old 60s single burner (nice retro look)
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:28   #114
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Re: Propane vs Origo

Origo's, as previously mentioned, could well be a safer bet for folks who would gas up their car while smoking, or are otherwise prone to that sort of dumb/inattentive behavior. Propane requires care, like maintaining a car... Leaving the gas cap off of your car can be rather dangerous too.

A well installed and maintained propane system, used appropriately, is as safe as an Origo, without a doubt!

To argue about "fuel volatility" as being an issue, is as irrational as saying that what makes my motorcycle dangerous, is the tank of gasoline between my legs, rather than the idiots that run red lights while yacking on their cell phones! IF my bike burned less volatile diesel fuel, IT WOULD NOT MAKE IT SAFER.

Among rational people, the question remains:


Are you willing to pay more in work & money initially, in order to "long term" save more in work & money, on fuel and cooking convenience. And...

Are you willing to install it, maintain it, and operate it properly? This means always cut off the gas at the solenoid, wait for the flame to go out, then turn off the double redundant valves. IF you do this every time, the tank is off, there is NO gas "even in the lines", and it is perfectly safe.

IF you do the above, the only issue remains weather the convenience of operation, cooking, and finding fuel, with LP... is worth the up front price of correct installation, vigilance, and paying attention to what you are doing.

It is a personal choice. Some people I know "would" be safer with an Origo! On the other hand, very few people who can not fill the requirements for safe use of an LP stove on a boat, would be safe cruising at all, IMO, because boats are full of high maintenance, volatile systems, that require frequent maintenance...

It is a matter of boat size, cruising grounds, and "personality types"... NOT safety!

M.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:46   #115
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Re: Propane vs Origo

Mark I totaly anderstand your views, and I agree!

however on my boat I am not alone, my girlfriend, my dother, my son and any friend visiting can use the stove be it for hot choco or a quick meal...understand this opens a lot of possibilities for accidents...it dont matter how an accident occures, either neglect, stupidity, misfunction? a victime is a bad thing...how on earth cauld I look at my disfigured child and say that was stupid????

I know iam dramatising here, but you get my drift.
propan is not out for me, but if I go there it will be the best set-up money can buy.
rgds
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Old 11-06-2011, 13:50   #116
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Re: Propane vs Origo

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Mark I totaly anderstand your views, and I agree!

however on my boat I am not alone, my girlfriend, my dother, my son and any friend visiting can use the stove be it for hot choco or a quick meal...understand this opens a lot of possibilities for accidents...it dont matter how an accident occures, either neglect, stupidity, misfunction? a victime is a bad thing...how on earth cauld I look at my disfigured child and say that was stupid????

I know iam dramatising here, but you get my drift.
propan is not out for me, but if I go there it will be the best set-up money can buy.
rgds
Steve,
I was thinking only about an "adult cruising couple" who have set up their boat for long term cruising, have all the skills, and a perfect system installation...

Bear in mind, I have no ax to grind about stove types, I was only trying to put the decision into it's proper perspective. Both can be perfectly safe.

In your case, if you will have small children or people unfamiliar with how to light or shut down the stove using it, you might well be better off with an Origo stove. They are indeed much more forgiving of people unfamiliar with stove operation.

I would still monitor it's use, however. If there is an alcohol spill in fueling it up, and it gets lit sometime later, (especially in a bright sun lit cabin), the pale blue alcohol flame is almost totally transparent. I accidently set my counter on fire this way 35 years ago, and at first, didn't even see it! It WAS an old style "pressurized type", and the Origo is a HUGE improvement over them in every respect. It is a fine stove too.

Be safe!
Mark
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Old 11-06-2011, 14:31   #117
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Re: Propane vs Origo

the one that used to be in my ericson was pressurized. the one that used to be in my formosa that caused 5 galley fires was NOT pressurized-i do not know brand name nor do i want to-- i DISLIKE INTENSELY ALL alcohol stoves and will not put up with them. btdt enough....and enough is way past enough. previous owner was most fortunate to not have his boat burn to water line from his alcohol--5 TIMES--NOT PRESSURIZED stove.
did i say i LOVE my propane system????? is very very safe and doesnt cause fires nor does it leak. doesnt blow up either. LOL
best tool for propane stoves or bbq's is bubble stuff-- the kids bubble toy-- finds leaks and makes bubbles..LOL cheap too....
i personally know no long range cruising folks who use alcohol stoves--- those i meet use propane. cheap and easy.
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Old 11-06-2011, 14:45   #118
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Re: Propane vs Origo

How much are you really saving though? (serious question)

A gallon of alcohol a month is $180 a year (pretty much anywhere, the price is extremely stable) We can just say 200...

The cost to convert my galley to a propane system will run what? Stove, hoses, regulators, tanks, mounting options, solenoid.... Looking at over $2000 (depending mostly on which stove)

That's 10 years worth of alcohol.
even if I get a cheap stove and the install would be over $1000.


I agree with Mark that propane is safe, my boat has had a 30 gallon gasoline tank in the cabin under the settee for the last 35 years. If I bought a boat and it had a propane system already in it, I'd definitely keep it. But when it comes to converting to propane for the benefit of it being cheaper, it doesn't really add up for me. The other benefits do appear to be mostly myth.

And just looking at strickly propane vs. alcohol, you're only saving about $100 a year. While that's more than nothing, it's not exactly going to hurt anyones budget, even the $500 a month cruisers can justify that out pretty easily.
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Old 11-06-2011, 14:48   #119
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Re: Propane vs Origo

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the one that used to be in my ericson was pressurized. the one that used to be in my formosa that caused 5 galley fires was NOT pressurized-i do not know brand name nor do i want to-- i DISLIKE INTENSELY ALL alcohol stoves and will not put up with them. btdt enough....and enough is way past enough. previous owner was most fortunate to not have his boat burn to water line from his alcohol--5 TIMES--NOT PRESSURIZED stove.
did i say i LOVE my propane system????? is very very safe and doesnt cause fires nor does it leak. doesnt blow up either. LOL
best tool for propane stoves or bbq's is bubble stuff-- the kids bubble toy-- finds leaks and makes bubbles..LOL cheap too....
i personally know no long range cruising folks who use alcohol stoves--- those i meet use propane. cheap and easy.
A friend of mine gave me a trailor tent...you knoe the type you lift and unfold sides!!! in it you have a propane heater and stove that works very well, he can do all summer on 2 tanks of propane...I find the idea of instaling this systhem on my HR28 very appealing...but I am scared stiff of propane just as you ar about alcohol.

I have plenty room on deck for propane bottles, and I would never forget to close the main valve (this I know) how well I would sleep?????

call me coward, but call me!!

cheers
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Old 11-06-2011, 14:50   #120
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Re: Propane vs Origo

I guess I am either "dumb/inattentive" or I am "not a long range cruiser". But I will say this - It was easier to get alcohol for my stove in the caribbean than it was for the propane folks to get their canisters refilled. This wasnt a make or break decision when I bought my boat. If it had come with a propane stove I would have been fine with that. I was happily surprised with how well the Origo worked since I was unfamiliar with them before I bought a boat that already had one and had a bias against pressurized alcohol. There are pros and cons to everything i suppose.
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