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Old 14-04-2016, 03:06   #46
lev
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Re: We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

i do 90 percent of my cooking electric... funny enough i just made a post on the lifepo4 forum here that covers some of this... so i will cut and past and add a little... i am rushing this one out... so pardon the spelling ,fragmented structure.

i have 570w of very good solar panels that put out a max of 740w on the best of days, best of places. and with that power alone i run a water-maker, a fridge, lights, all electronics and do 90 percent of my cooking by electric! and i love to cook and bake and do not limit my cooking. why not use more natural gas and not worry about it? because there is no fossil fuel out there that is more environmentally damaging then natural gas. burning is clean-ish, the problem is in the harvesting of the fuel if you are not aware. the number of times i have run my my motor to charge my bank can be counted on two hands... over 8 years. i have learned over the years it is not how much power you have access to that is most important... it is the very thoughtful and creative use of that power that really matters. i would never have thought when i installed my new panels 8 years ago that i would be running the boat and cooking 90 percent of my food by way of the power they alone produce. i would have thought it a silly uneducated idea.

some info...

very good quality solar panels rated at 570w total power but produce 740w at the best of conditions... average days i see 180ah at 12v... great days i see 210, really really bad days i see 100 in the northern south pacific or mexico for example... the panels are 8 years old.

inverter 1000w

battery bank, LA, 300ah, 150 usable - looking to get a new set of batteries a little under double that usable capacity via lifepo4... and i think that will be a game changer.

no gen-set and i do not run my motor for months at a time.

how?

-kettle... 1600w 240v kettle run at 120v... which gives me a very nice 400w kettle that boils water pretty fast all the same...

-rice maker, quality, modern but not induction... why not induction? to be honest i do not like the idea of it and besides they pull way to much power for my inverter setup... rice cookers are good for many things not just cooking rice... they are quite efficient to start with but most of them are not insulated. they can be found with many different power ratings. so take it apart and put in some insulation and they are crazy efficient... here is a short list of what i cook in a rice cooker...
--rice
--pasta
--legumes
--potato/pumpkin/sweet potato
--porridge
--steam vegetables or fish
--reheat everything needing reheating
--soup
-- eggs scrambled usually
--finishing or starting sauces - doing browning on the stove if necessary
and so on and so on and so on....

-stove... has one electric burner and the other two gas... i use the stove electric and gas sparingly... the rice cookers are way, way more efficient. i usually use gas for browning when what i am cooking needs it... then it will go into a rice cooker for finishing if this is what the creation requires... rice cookers do the vast majority of the cooking on this boat... many days can go by without using the stove at all, electric or gas...

-oven... duel power... gas and electric... electric to pre-heat and then run along with the gas on a lower flame. the coil is only 500w but makes a big difference.... with 500w in a standard gas gimbaled oven you can not bake... but with a little gas running at the same time temperatures rise very fast. i am looking for a 800w coil for after i upgrade my battery bank... this will cut my gas consumption a little more... i would say on average if i guess, the oven is run with 35 percent of its heat production via electric... i mostly use the oven for bread making, so very high heat. i preheat with electric, then final preheat with gas, with both gas and electric running bread goes in at around 500-550F i maintain that heat depending on how many breads i am making usually 2 or 3.. half way past the last loaf gas goes off and just before bread comes out electric goes off... making bread at this temperature is correct for great texture composition and fast... each big loaf takes about 12-13min. because i use less gas, less air flow is needed to feed the gas burner i block air outtake in the oven buy 50 to 75 percent if you bock it to much the flame goes out, i have an old force10 that has a considerably large air outtake for the oven ...closing off this out take really makes a differance when using both electric and gas... for a coil i use a 2000w 240v element running on 120v making its power set at 500w... it is the type for modern fan type ovens... so it is a double layer round coil... fits perfect around the gas element plenty away from the flame... i think it is important to use a 240 element running at 120 because it is so close to a secondary heat sorce, the burner. i worry there could be melt down if i was to run a coil manufactured to run at 500w at 500w...

you have to change the way you cook... you have to plan ahead... you must be creative. but in the end it is quite satisfying... with 1000w i can only run two rice cookers at the same time but i find this to be plenty.... if need to run a blender or grinder at the same time i just unplug one rice cooker and quickly do what i need to do and the rice cooker auto starts at the correct point in its program after pluging it back in they have memory... my inverter can handel an extra 800w for a total of 1800 for a few moments so most of the time this is not nessasary. but i do it anyway to protect my inverter... i want it to last forever... only the kitchen runs on ac... everything but kitchen stuff runs on 12v. apart from the vacuum cleaner....

a good 500w insulated rice cooker will make 4 cups of rice (that is plenty for 5 people or one person for 5 meals if you have a fridge) at the cost of 12-14ah at 12v. making porridge or pasta is about half of that once you learn how to use it properly... from this little bit of information you should be able to do the math and you will see how very possible it is to do nearly all your cooking or even all your cooking excluding baking if you bend your cooking methods. with less than a 600w solar array... personally i can not do everything with out browning or hi temperature spice oil simmering... and i really enjoy bread from time to time.. but you can have an 800w coil pot burner to that if you like... just must be careful to limit the time... thus i still use a little gas... but this may not be necessary once i have the new battery bank... time will tell.... keep in mind that i also run a fridge/water-maker/lights/electronics... off of dc... there is no need what so ever to have a gen-set to cook electric of you are willing to not cook like your average north american spoiled brat... buy the way i grew up as one of them, i was a ridiculous selfish consuming monkey growing up and in my early years... and in many ways i still am...

i love cooking on gas... i just hate where it comes from, i hate supporting the company's that supply it, i hate the dependence that i had on it, i hate trying to find gas lugging around two tanks and i hate having to find fittings in every different country i go to and then find someone who will rent me a tank for a few hours to do, a gravity fill, sometimes very difficult! nonsense! i hate running out of gas when i want to stay at some island in the middle of no ware for another 3 months! and i sure as hell do not want to burn diesel saturated with the blood of war to run a stinking gen-set because i am to much of a spoiled brat to just be more thoughtful in using my/our resources...

really the idea is no more gas stove or oven... or gen-set.... or ridiculously large solar arrays or battery banks on a sailboat. i am almost there... there is always flat bread from a cast iron pan on a beach fire under the stars when bread is really wanted... which really is the best... i generally do not bake during passage... but the cinnamon buns! THE CINNAMON BUNS! my god how will i live with out them! or can i also do that over a fire pit? hmmm i will have to think about it. maybe some kind of portable beach fire oven... but sounds pretty heavy and messy... any ideas?

i hope this helps someone out there... or at least sparks some ideas... or if i am lucky someone like sean will reply and show the world what true efficiency is all about and put me to shame.
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Old 14-04-2016, 03:15   #47
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
I've seen too many boats burn or explode to use gas.
But at the same time, you can't discount the insurance report showing that it is electrical fires that are the #1 cause of fires on boats.

You make it sound like propane and gasoline are the #1 cause.

They actually aren't.

That's just fear.
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Old 14-04-2016, 03:19   #48
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Never will forget the engineer who converted his boat to all electric. Of course his generator crapped out on the first long passage and they ended up having to toss a large freezer's contents overboard when they couldn't eat it fast enough. Fortunately they had just enough canned goods to finish the passage though came in weighing less than before the generator quit. No back up cooking source so everything had to be eaten cold. Hope they loved sashimi if they caught any fish. Some cruisers took pity on them and loaned them a single burner kerosene cooker to get to Papeete. Took months to get parts for the electrical system rebuild and the refrigeration once they got there. Wife flew home never to be seen again and boat went up for sale cheap before the husband bailed. Yeah, go for an all electric boat.
As a matter of systems design, it's better to concentrate all of your critical functions on one power source, then make the single power source as reliable and redundant as possible.

Having only one way to generate electrical power is nuts.

We have a heavy duty low speed 6.5kW generator, plus a 2.5kW heavy duty alternator on the main engine, either of which can easily power the whole boat (including electric cooking if we had it).


We've been stuck more than once run out of propane in a country with incompatible bottles, or with a fault in the gas system we couldn't fix without parts we didn't have. But we've never been without electricity.
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Old 14-04-2016, 03:22   #49
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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Originally Posted by cruisersfarm View Post
But at the same time, you can't discount the insurance report showing that it is electrical fires that are the #1 cause of fires on boats.

You make it sound like propane and gasoline are the #1 cause.

They actually aren't.

That's just fear.
You are confusing fire and explosion, which are two entirely different things.

Explosions kill many boaters, in the UK last year more than any other cause, more than drowning. Fire can also be deadly, but rarely kills anyone.
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Old 14-04-2016, 03:29   #50
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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You are confusing fire and explosion, which are two entirely different things.

Explosions kill many boaters, in the UK last year more than any other cause, more than drowning. Fire can also be deadly, but rarely kills anyone.
Not really. He said "burn or explode."

No confusion.

However, drowning is the leading cause of death over this way, if i recall.

I'll add this comes from a lot of experience with propane and gasoline on my end. My entire rvs have and my current boat does run fully on propane, installed myself.

No issues, if carefully installed. Forb5 years now, I've been refrigerating, freezing, cooking, heating water and space heating with propane systems I installed. They work perfectly and are silent and trouble free. Zero maintenance.

I also have petrol/gasoline engines fitted. Outboards.

I'll conceded a lot of boats blow up at the fuel dock, but these are inboard gasoline engines not set up correctly.

Propane? Perfectly safe.
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Old 14-04-2016, 03:30   #51
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
I think DonR's point is that the generator is only 30% efficient at turning diesel into electricity. So, even if your cooking appliance is 100% efficient at turning electricity into useful cooking heat, your system efficiency is still only 30%. If a diesel cooker is 50% efficient at providing useful cooking heat by direct diesel combustion then it will use less diesel for the same amount of cooking because of the inefficiency at the generator level.

Of course, getting all the efficiency numbers right is the hard part.
I think everyone got that from the beginning.

Have you ever used a diesel stove on a boat? I have. No way will it be 50% efficient, if you're starting it up to make a couple cups of coffee, or leaving it burning so that it's ready. That's a lot of diesel burned right there. Then far less than 50% of heat produced in the pot is going to actually get into the water.

I would guess when all is said and done, it can't be more than 15% - 20% efficient.

You probably don't care if you need the heat in the cabin anyway. But in warm weather, then you probably will care a lot. A propane stove is much more efficient since it is instant on and off. But even that wastes a lot of heat which doesn't get into the water (or food) -- probably 50% or more -- and also puts combustion products and water vapor into the cabin air.
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Old 14-04-2016, 03:34   #52
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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Not really. He said "burn or explode."

No confusion.

However, drowning is the leading cause of death over this way, if i recall.
You're still making a mistake -- your logic is "electrical problems cause more fires than gas, therefore gas is safe"

But it's not fires that we're talking about, it's injuries and death to people. Gas explosions kill and maim far more people than fires on boats. It's one of the top dangers in boating, if not everywhere THE top danger.
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Old 14-04-2016, 07:22   #53
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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Never will forget the tens/dozens/hundreds of boaters who blew themselves up with propane....

... it's called fear tactics - shock value. Not a good way to make a decision or to advise people on whether to go electric or gas or diesel or kerosene or rubbing two sticks together.

The OP started a great thread and hopefully he and I and roverhi and others are gaining some good, objective information to draw conclusions from.
I'm not sure what your point is. Fear of electric or fear of propane. Both are irrational if you use common sense when working with them. Both are dangerous if you do stupid things.
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Old 14-04-2016, 07:36   #54
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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I'm not sure what your point is. Fear of electric or fear of propane. Both are irrational if you use common sense when working with them. Both are dangerous if you do stupid things.
Both electricity and propane can be very dangerous even if you don't do stupid things.

It's a common fallacy -- but a big fat fallacy -- to think that accidents only happen to stupid people, I'm not stupid, therefore accidents can't happen to me.

What's required is a lot more than not doing stupid things, but doing a rational assessment of risks, making reasonable choices about taking or not taking various risks, and then managing those risks that you do take.


Electrical safety is a technology which has been developed over 100+ years and is pretty mature. There are relatively few accidents with electricity despite its being used everywhere and by everyone. Every single electrical appliance you buy, and all electrical systems, are designed using safety principles which have been worked out on the basis of enormous worldwide experience.

Electrical safety issues are almost the same on boats, as on land, so we get all the benefit of land technology.

If it different with gas, because of two things -- most gas used on land is natural gas, which is lighter than air. We use LPG, which is much heavier than air. Unlike a house, boats are sealed at the bottom, so heavy gasses can't dissipate and escape. This is an issue which has not be studied or struggled over like electrical safety, because it does not affect 99% of humans, but only a few boaters, so the technology is not nearly as well developed.


We do have pretty good safety procedures and techniques -- gas alarms, solenoid shut off, always shutting off the gas when not using the cooker, standards for gas lines and connections, regular inspections, flame guards, etc., etc. If you're reasonably thorough and careful -- NOT just not doing anything stupid -- then gas on board is relatively safe.

But the risks -- objectively speaking, and this is not "fear tactics" -- are significant, and cannot be entirely eliminated with procedures, inspections, etc. People are killed on boats every year in gas explosions. Probably some of the people killed were as smart as you and I are. Is the risk worth taking? Only you can decide, but that's a decision which should be made with an open mind and in full possession of all of the facts. And besides the risks, there's also the hassle, of doing all the things necessary to make gas reasonably safe.


I cook with gas on my present boat, and I don't lie awake at night worrying about it. But my next boat will not have any gas on board. That's because I can eliminate the risks associated with gas on board without making any big sacrifices, so it makes complete sense for me. YMMV.
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Old 14-04-2016, 07:39   #55
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Re: We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

I suspect a lot of it is the newer "bluewater" boats are mostly sold to people who will keep them at the dock where they have access to shore power.


I assume by "bluewater" you mean full keel overbuilt monohulls and no one is building them except for a few high end (at least in terms of price) manufacturers and the people who can afford their boats new generally have passed their days of roughing it on an offshore passage.
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Old 14-04-2016, 07:43   #56
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Re: We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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I suspect a lot of it is the newer "bluewater" boats are mostly sold to people who will keep them at the dock where they have access to shore power.


I assume by "bluewater" you mean full keel overbuilt monohulls and no one is building them except for a few high end (at least in terms of price) manufacturers and the people who can afford their boats new generally have passed their days of roughing it on an offshore passage.
That's also very true.

When you're on shore power, then obviously electric cooking is a far better way to do it, since you don't even have to deal with the power source.

That's on top of all the other advantages. Even circumnavigators spend most of their time at a dock somewhere.
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Old 14-04-2016, 07:48   #57
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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Both electricity and propane can be very dangerous even if you don't do stupid things.

It's a common fallacy -- but a big fat fallacy -- to think that accidents only happen to stupid people, I'm not stupid, therefore accidents can't happen to me.

Electrical safety is a technology which has been developed over 100+ years and is pretty mature. There are relatively few accidents with electricity despite its being used everywhere and by everyone. Every single electrical appliance you buy, and all electrical systems, are designed using safety principles which have been worked out on the basis of enormous worldwide experience.

If it different with gas, because of two things -- most gas used on land is natural gas, which is lighter than air. We use LPG, which is much heavier than air. Unlike a house, boats are sealed at the bottom, so heavy gasses can't dissipate and escape. This is an issue which has not be studied or struggled over like electrical safety, because it does not affect 99% of humans, but only a few boaters, so the technology is not nearly as well developed.
Take away the stupid things people do and the vast majority of accidents for both power sources go away. Both have been in use for a very long time and safety practices are well known. Can things still go wrong...sure you can find some weird circumstance where just about anything could kill you. No reason to be paranoid about it.

Not sure where you are but propane is a common fuel source in many homes. Natural gas is nice because it usually means it's piped in and you never have to worry about running out but in most places I've lived and traveled propane/butane are more common. Fill a basement with propane and it will take a long time to dissipate so it's actually very similar to a boat.
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Old 14-04-2016, 07:48   #58
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Re: We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

Then you might find some actual statistics interesting (of course, figures lie and liars figure).

Incidence of fires on boats with engines, excluding external sources (external sources start 26% of boat fires).


Quote:
Stoves. The incidence of fires due to stoves has decreased with the gradual replacement of alcohol stoves with propane stoves and electric ranges. Two percent of fires were caused by stoves, more than half resulting from problems with lighting alcohol stoves. Given how few alcohol stoves there are on boats these days, they are significantly more dangerous than those that use other fuel sources. If you still have an alcohol stove on board, you may want to consider upgrading. Most people agree that they don't heat very well, anyway.

Boat Fires - Seaworthy Magazine - BoatUS
Hard to find stats on just explosions (vs. fires), but the explosions are included above. The other side:

Quote:
On a boat, LPG is also, by far, the most dangerous cooking fuel. Propane and butane are heavier than air, so they "spill" like water. Leaking propane in a house falls to the floor, usually dispersing harmlessly on air currents, but a boat is like a bowl, and leaking gas accumulates in the bottom of it. One spark and KA-BOOM! Bits of boat rain down like a ticker-tape parade.

However, the popularity of LPG attests that you can minimize the risk of explosion with a proper installation and good safety habits.

Propane Systems by Don Casey - BoatUS
Kind of interesting how the same organization will show you that propane doesn't cause many fires, and also tell you it is the most dangerous fuel aboard. Both are true.
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Old 14-04-2016, 07:58   #59
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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. . . Fill a basement with propane and it will take a long time to dissipate so it's actually very similar to a boat.
Not really because of the very large volume of a basement, compared to the bilge of a boat. Vastly harder to get an explosive mixture in a house basement. It's very easy in a boat because of the small volume of the bilge and the inevitability of concentration of spilled gas in the bilge. If you have a leak in your kitchen, it's not likely that all or even most of the spilled gas will go down to your basement, rather than spilling out through cracks or getting sucked up in ventilation.

That's why boat blow up and kill people every year, whereas houses do not.
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Old 14-04-2016, 08:19   #60
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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Not really because of the very large volume of a basement, compared to the bilge of a boat. Vastly harder to get an explosive mixture in a house basement.
In my youth propane was still quite popular as a cooking fuel in the village I lived in. I remember at least three cases of houses blowing up because of propane leak. There is a reason why it is actually not permitted to store propane and butane bottles indoors...
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