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Old 13-02-2010, 13:36   #16
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I've used the standard flat wick oil lamps for years. They put out a rather weak light but the ambience is nice. Did not find that they smelled or caused any other problems burning odorless paint thinner/mineral spirits.

Recently bought a DH Trawler Lamp which has had it's issues. The control of the burn would change on it's own. I'd set it for a normal level with the flame under control but a little while later the flame would be shooting up the chimney and sending black soot all over the boat. Managed to soot up the entire overhead. I finally cured the problem by trimming the wick with a razor blade several times. It seems to be working fine now with no self generated changes in intensity of burn. I really like the lamp as it's the only one I've found that gives off enough light to read by.

When we were in the tropics, the oil lamps gave off enough heat to make them uncomfortable to use.

Pressure Kero lanterns give off a lot of light, equivlent to at least a 60 watt electric bulb. They are noisy, require occasional pumping of the pressure up, and the silk mantles are very fragile. We used our Tilley Lamp in the cockpit where the heat it gave off didn't bother us. I also hear these lamps give off CO. If that's the case, they shouldn't be used in the cabin.

We tried the Aladdin non pressure mantle lamps. They give off a lot of light when they are working properly. Unfortunately, we couldn't keep them from sooting up the mantles and seriously reducing the light output. Assume it was a maintenance issue that we weren't able to overcome as these lamps were the primary lighting sources in the non electrified houses in the 1900s.
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Old 13-02-2010, 13:49   #17
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mineral spirits

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
I've used the standard flat wick oil lamps for years. They put out a rather weak light but the ambience is nice. Did not find that they smelled or caused any other problems burning odorless paint thinner/mineral spirits.

Recently bought a DH Trawler Lamp which has had it's issues. The control of the burn would change on it's own. I'd set it for a normal level with the flame under control but a little while later the flame would be shooting up the chimney and sending black soot all over the boat. Managed to soot up the entire overhead. I finally cured the problem by trimming the wick with a razor blade several times. It seems to be working fine now with no self generated changes in intensity of burn. I really like the lamp as it's the only one I've found that gives off enough light to read by.

When we were in the tropics, the oil lamps gave off enough heat to make them uncomfortable to use.

Pressure Kero lanterns give off a lot of light, equivlent to at least a 60 watt electric bulb. They are noisy, require occasional pumping of the pressure up, and the silk mantles are very fragile. We used our Tilley Lamp in the cockpit where the heat it gave off didn't bother us. I also hear these lamps give off CO. If that's the case, they shouldn't be used in the cabin.

We tried the Aladdin non pressure mantle lamps. They give off a lot of light when they are working properly. Unfortunately, we couldn't keep them from sooting up the mantles and seriously reducing the light output. Assume it was a maintenance issue that we weren't able to overcome as these lamps were the primary lighting sources in the non electrified houses in the 1900s.
Is mineral soirits what we call white spirit here in england we use it to clean oil paint off brushes and thin paint
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Old 13-02-2010, 14:09   #18
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As alluded to above, the circular wick will give off more light than the flat wick. We sometimes will burn ours in the main cabin during the night to provide a bit of warmth. Ours is the W&P Trawler lamp and it developed a tiny leak at a seam. Fortunately we found a older, local gent who repairs and refurbishes brass lamps. Good as new now.

As to use as an anchor light, I seem to recall that, at least for the US, that they are no longer legal. I think it was something that the Pardey's wrote.

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Old 13-02-2010, 14:22   #19
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Yes also in the uk you have to have a dioptic lense for an anchor light if it is an oil lamp
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Old 13-02-2010, 16:06   #20
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The anchor lights have fresnel lenses to concentrate the light in a flat plane. They are plenty bright for an anchorage. The one I had had a chimney inside the lamp. It was virtually impossible to blow out, at least it never went out when we were using it. Problem was I managed to break the inner chimney and couldn't find a replacement. The lamp would blow out in a strong breeze without the inner chimney. Discovered that you can order the chimneys from West Marine if you have one of those lamps. Unfortunately I can't find the lamp now. Hope I didn't throw it away as they are over $200 at WM, now.

Mineral Spirits/paint thinnner is probably the English White spirits though I don't know for sure. We used it to thin paint and clean brushes as well as burn in anything that required kerosene. It may have burned hotter than kerosene and certainly as clean, if not cleaner. It's big advantage used to be it was a lot cheaper than kero. You could buy it in 5 gallon tins at commercial paint stores for less than the cost of gasoline. Unfortunately, that's no longer the case. I checked at Home Depot and it's still cheaper than Kero but not by much.
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Old 13-02-2010, 18:08   #21
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We love our two duplex 1" flat wick lamps.

Here is more than you EVER wanted to know about fuel for lamps;

KEROSENE FUEL PRIMER

We use low odor mineral spirits and are happy with the faint scent and the amount of soot produced.

Some tricks for soot production reduction is to trim the wick to mirror the curve of the housing it is rolling up out of, remove the chimney when lighting and before you replace the chimney turn down the flame to almost nothing.

This thread has alot of ideas and feedback on oil lamps;

Proper Wick Trim for Oil Lamp
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Old 13-02-2010, 18:30   #22
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I love my old style Hurricane lamps that I bought at the hardware store years ago. I keep the wicks trimmed and they put out lots of light enough with 3 going I can read most things. I use lamp oil with Citronella oil in it for sitting out side at a table or in the cockpit because it keeps bugs away in a 15 ft circle so with 2 it covers a 30 ft long by 15 ft area with very little smell to people. The lamps inside help keep it warm and tosty.
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Old 13-02-2010, 18:37   #23
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Yeah,
and those huricane lamps are still about $14!!!
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Old 13-02-2010, 21:55   #24
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My grandfather started coal mining in Wales at the turn of the last century. While the coal dust took its toll on him and his mates he never had a bad thing to say about the traditional safety lamps.

I have a lamp in my boat that I use to burn citronella oil. It was a blessing when I got struck at an unnameable North Queensland island lagoon, which was infested with mosquitos and sandflies. The light is not strong enough to read by, but the ambiance is pleasant and the fuel is cheap and readily available (Especially in coastal Northern Queensland!).

Regardless, I did read an article in an older Cruising Helmsman magazine that blamed a fatal yacht fire on a lamp. There was a big warning on the box I got saying never let it burn down/dry. Although it might clash with the traditional interior of my boat, I am wondering if it is worth installing a smoke alarm?
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Old 14-02-2010, 00:49   #25
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Yup the lamps with the Citranells oil dont give off enough light to read by which is why I only use them outside. I have 3 inside with regular lamp oil that gives me enough light to read by and a nice glow when I turn them down for sitting around. The outside lamps just cast a nice glow and keep the bugs away from my companionway so I can sit at night with the hatch open for a breeze or can sit up in the cockpit and stargaze. I have not thought about a smoke alarm but that might not be a bad idea. Of course I put out the lamps at night before I go to bed so I never thought I had to worry about fires.
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Old 14-02-2010, 00:52   #26
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Yes the lamps are still very cheep. I think they still have them at my hardware store for under 20 bucks. They are pretty wind proof too. They work well as "flashlights" too if you are in a place without good lights.
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Old 14-02-2010, 02:03   #27
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thanks guys thats it white spirit the not stinky kind here is cheaper thanlamp oil I will have to try it and let you know how e get on
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Old 14-02-2010, 02:54   #28
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Feelsgood...I meant for use at anchor...not necessarily an "anchor light"
Although my interior lighting is LED my Nav. lights arent.....yet....I can see that change coming.
How about alcohol/ethanol for fuel in these lamps... any advantages?
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Old 14-02-2010, 04:30   #29
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alchol

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Feelsgood...I meant for use at anchor...not necessarily an "anchor light"
Although my interior lighting is LED my Nav. lights arent.....yet....I can see that change coming.
How about alcohol/ethanol for fuel in these lamps... any advantages?
We use alcohol 90% in our origo cooker but I think that you wouldnt get a very bright flame in a lamp but perhaps some wants to try it
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Old 14-02-2010, 04:47   #30
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I would be careful of alchohol. Extremely flamable and burns with little visible light on it's own. I have never tried it in an oil lamp though. One of the advantages of oil is it's relatively non flamability. The same reason not to drive gasoline cars or have a gasoline engine on a boat. The slightest alchohol spill or leak can light easily. Without a wick or large heat source it is hard to get heavy oils to burn period.
Smoke alarms? In a small interior I would chose not because it would be a pita every time I opened the oven. Hate those things in the house. Just pay attention to what you are doing. You don't leave the stove on when tou are done with it. Blow out your light. Even if you don't it will ussually just burn out if oil is used. More volitile fuels can explode when they run out because an ember from the dry wick burns down into the fuel canister which is now just vapor. Oils don't vaporize very readily. Try lighting a capful of diesel with a match and then one of alchohol. And before you go to pick up the alchohol check for heat because the only thing you will see if it is dark enough is a faint blue light. Mineral spirits? Not for me iether. A spill and you have a fire. Something we want to avoid! The lamp oils are meant for the job. Witness the floating wick kind of lamp. Try that with mineral spirits or alchohol! (But not on the boat and at arms length....)
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