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Old 14-04-2016, 09:54   #76
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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
This is my point as well.

A few posters have an irrational fear of gas (is it petrol/gasoline that caused these explosions referred to??)

If stupid people blow themselves up through lack of knowledge, does it make anything more or less "safe?"

The automobile is far more deadly that electricity or propane, but do you get in one, or avoid them out of fear?

The arguments here are irrational.
The arguments here are entirely reasonable. 7 people were killed in boat gas explosions just in the UK and just last year. That makes the risk quite high, and far higher than the risk of driving an automobile.

And also why do you assume that "only stupid people blow themselves up"?

Gas explosions -- and many other accidents -- do not happen only to stupid people. A Royal Navy training yacht, manned by highly skilled people following very well designed safety procedures, no doubt much better than what you have on your boat, was blown to smithereens by a gas explosion a few years ago. Fortunately didn't kill anyone, but blew the leg off one midshipman.

The risk of gas explosions, like many other risks in life, demands careful assessment, rational decisions, and then management of risks you decide to take. "Only stupid people have accidents; therefore it's not a problem for me" is a very bad approach, to managing risks.
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Old 14-04-2016, 09:54   #77
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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The arguments here are irrational.

I wouldn't say irrational, I think Propane and gasoline are sort of like having a pet snake, there is a very real danger, but it can be minimized by being careful and maintaining your systems, you ought not just ignore them, they may bite.
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Old 14-04-2016, 09:56   #78
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Re: We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

I've got 440Ah (at 24V) of Gel batteries aboard and am a liveaboard 6 months out of the year, never going to a dock between splash and hauling out again. While I'm alone much of the time, I use my espresso machine quite a bit and cook 1-2 meals daily on the stovetop; and also bake bread occasionally. Apart from refrigeration (fridge and freezer), my biggest energy drain is the electric galley.

The energy consumption chart below (click to get a bigger image) shows the last 26 days aboard the boat. I have 750Watts of solar panels and it is generally sunny here in the Caribbean, and this is reflected in the data which shows that I have a pretty good energy consumption household. The 1 hour engine average per day comes mainly from engine runtime while leaving and entering anchorages as I tend to sail almost every day.



This shows that I've got ample battery power for an electric galley (and all the other gadgets such as watermaker, washing machine, etc.); I could even remove 2x220Ah batteries and still never reach the 60% battery charge state. Anything less than 60% will shorten the batteries' lifespan.

A lot of the posts on this thread on the subject of electrical galleys is based on expectations and anecdotal evidence. I've been measuring my energy use closely (using an Arduino processor that I programmed to read the Xantrex monitor and other sources and write everything to an SD data card every 30 seconds, 24x7); so this isn't some wild theory but solid liveaboard evidence.
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Old 14-04-2016, 09:57   #79
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Re: We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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Then if you go on to consider what percentage of the time you are cooking at a dock when you have shore power, and the advantage is even much greater.
This is really where the disconnect is. I haven't touched a dock, other than fuel dock, since my boat was launched.

It has to be 100% self sufficient. It is off grid.

This changes the perception. No mechanical items to break. A burner and gas lasts decades with no maintenance. A generator? Not so much.

A burner and gas can get pummeled with salt water and still work. A generator? Not so much.

It is about robust,maintenance free house systems and not worrying about the insignificant "idiot factor" that you may blow yourself up.

I mean gas is used in millions and millions of homes. Only occasionally do you see them blow up. With about the same frequency as boats. Yet, we don't see anti gas advocates fearing for their lives in land houses...
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Old 14-04-2016, 09:59   #80
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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The arguments here are entirely reasonable. 7 people were killed in boat gas explosions just in the UK and just last year. That makes the risk quite high, and far higher than the risk of driving an automobile.

And also why do you assume that "only stupid people blow themselves up"?

Gas explosions -- and many other accidents -- do not happen only to stupid people. A Royal Navy training yacht, manned by highly skilled people following very well designed safety procedures, no doubt much better than what you have on your boat, was blown to smithereens by a gas explosion a few years ago. Fortunately didn't kill anyone, but blew the leg off one midshipman.

The risk of gas explosions, like many other risks in life, demands careful assessment, rational decisions, and then management of risks you decide to take. "Only stupid people have accidents; therefore it's not a problem for me" is a very bad approach, to managing risks.
7 people? ha ha ha Really?

How many killed by drowning at the dock or while underway?

How many killed slipping in a shower?

How many killed in auto accidents?

This is an exceptionally irrational fear.
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Old 14-04-2016, 10:04   #81
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Re: We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

This is the way to go.

No question about it.

My point is the irrational, fear based argument is not a good one.

This setup, below, ideally with more solar, can't be beat.

In the mean time, gas lives on in millions of boats trouble free. The fear isn't necessary.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I've got 440Ah (at 24V) of Gel batteries aboard and am a liveaboard 6 months out of the year, never going to a dock between splash and hauling out again. While I'm alone much of the time, I use my espresso machine quite a bit and cook 1-2 meals daily on the stovetop; and also bake bread occasionally. Apart from refrigeration (fridge and freezer), my biggest energy drain is the electric galley.

The energy consumption chart below (click to get a bigger image) shows the last 26 days aboard the boat. I have 750Watts of solar panels and it is generally sunny here in the Caribbean, and this is reflected in the data which shows that I have a pretty good energy consumption household. The 1 hour engine average per day comes mainly from engine runtime while leaving and entering anchorages as I tend to sail almost every day.



This shows that I've got ample battery power for an electric galley (and all the other gadgets such as watermaker, washing machine, etc.); I could even remove 2x220Ah batteries and still never reach the 60% battery charge state. Anything less than 60% will shorten the batteries' lifespan.

A lot of the posts on this thread on the subject of electrical galleys is based on expectations and anecdotal evidence. I've been measuring my energy use closely (using an Arduino processor that I programmed to read the Xantrex monitor and other sources and write everything to an SD data card every 30 seconds, 24x7); so this isn't some wild theory but solid liveaboard evidence.
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Old 14-04-2016, 10:04   #82
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Re: We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

A64,

Those numbers sound about right, except that induction cooking is a far more efficient way to heat a pot than a propane burner. IIRC a burner with a pot converts around 1/3 of the energy produced into heat inside the pot, the rest escapes and just heats the cabin, while an induction stovetop is closer to 90% efficient.

Now for baking your numbers are probably spot on.


I feel like a fanboy, but I think it's instructive to see what the Dashew's have done here, because they do such a good job of testing this type of thing. Back in 2009 they installed induction cooking on Windhorse, and have since installed electric only cooking (except the bbq grill) on all the the FPB's. Their numbers indicate a daily draw of around 50ah for cooking. While not insignificant isn't a deal breaker either.

I have a preference against propane not just because of the explosive risk, but also because it creates a lot of humidity inside the boat, and raises the internal temprature. Eliminating these would be worth the extra few minutes of generator time a day for me.
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Old 14-04-2016, 10:13   #83
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Re: We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

I've an eye to attempt to move to an electric cooker next year, I really hate having diesel (main engine), petrol (outboard) and propane (stove) aboard. From a safety perspective, but moreso a logistics point of view.

I think I can get 600watts of solar on my boat using a mix of semi-flex and rigid panels and next year will probably move to a lithium battery pack. I'll rerun the numbers then.
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Old 14-04-2016, 10:15   #84
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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
This is my point as well.

A few posters have an irrational fear of gas (is it petrol/gasoline that caused these explosions referred to??)

If stupid people blow themselves up through lack of knowledge, does it make anything more or less "safe?"

The same level of ignorance to systems would result in an electrical fire too..
Not all propane accidents are fatal or the result of stupidity. When I was a kid one of the staff at a bush camp got the lighting sequence wrong on a propane bush stove.

She called my dad over to lend a hand. He wasn't aware of the errors she had made and ended up taking a fireball to the face.

He made a full recovery after an evacuation by ski doo and a hospital stay but the propane cookstove was promptly replaced with a diesel stove.

My dad was no fool, he grew up logging and knew his way around equipment, but the introduction of an unknown variable to his process caught him off guard and boom!

I don't have an irrational fear of propane, I do have a propane barbecue on my rail, but I replaced my range with alcohol (plus convection microwave for when I can spare the power) as soon as I bought the boat.

I left the propane hot water heater in place because I figured it would help resale of the boat one day, but I have decommissioned it.

I also don't have propane furnace in my house, I spent the few extra bucks on a heat pump instead.

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Old 14-04-2016, 10:34   #85
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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
This is really where the disconnect is. I haven't touched a dock, other than fuel dock, since my boat was launched.

It has to be 100% self sufficient. It is off grid.

This changes the perception. No mechanical items to break. A burner and gas lasts decades with no maintenance. A generator? Not so much.

A burner and gas can get pummeled with salt water and still work. A generator? Not so much.

It is about robust,maintenance free house systems and not worrying about the insignificant "idiot factor" that you may blow yourself up.

I mean gas is used in millions and millions of homes. Only occasionally do you see them blow up. With about the same frequency as boats. Yet, we don't see anti gas advocates fearing for their lives in land houses...
If you don't have a generator, or good solar like Zanshin does, and in general, a robust and redundant source of electrical power, then I agree that electric cooking makes no sense. In that case, gas should be used as safely as possible.


But you seriously underestimate the risk of gas on a boat. It has been said many times here, but you don't seem to appreciate, that gas on a boat is nothing like gas in a house. Natural gas is lighter than air and blows away harmlessly if leaked, unless it's an enormous volume. Even LPG used in a house is not all that dangerous because of the volume required to reach an explosive mixture. On a boat, small amounts of leaked LPG pour like water (it's almost twice as heavy as air) and go straight to the bilge with no place to escape (if there were someplace for gas to escape, the boat would sink!). In the small volume of the bilge, it only takes a little gas to reach an explosive mixture, just a few percent.

And gram for gram, LPG has more explosive power than TNT. It's essentially a fuel air bomb.

The risks can be reduced a lot with good practice and care, for sure. I use gas on my own boat. Like A64 said -- it's like having a pet snake. A pet rattlesnake.

But if you think explosions only happen to idiots . . .

Do you have an automatic shutoff solenoid, in the gas locker? Have you checked the gas locker for a good seal? When did you replace the hoses last? Have you had an inspection?

The Royal Navy guys who got blown up not only did all that, they even had a procedure, to pump out the dry bilge with a manual bilge pump, to get any leaked gas out, before starting the engine -- so you can imagine how careful they were in other respects with gas on their yacht. Are you smarter and more careful than they were?

Think it can't happen to you?
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Old 14-04-2016, 11:05   #86
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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. 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.
Not really. Are you familiar with a "pig"? Your average household propane system holds something on the order of 500gal in what is commonly refered to as a pig. My boat has 2 - 20# tanks and only one is connected at a time. I believe a 20# tank holds something like 3.5 gal. There is plenty of propane available to reach explosive concentrations if you are stupid about it. Also, you are assuming a basement that is one big empty room. Many basements are sectioned off to form rooms. Many wouldn't be much bigger than a bilge.

Reality is you would be driven out of the house or off the boat long before it becomes a serious issue as they add an odor to the propane. Between that and sensors, you almost have to do something stupid to go boom on a boat due to propane. Not saying it can't happen but it's rare and almost always can be traced to stupidity.

If you are afraid of propane that's fine but people need to learn to safely handle propane not be afraid of it.
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Old 14-04-2016, 11:06   #87
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Re: We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

No question propane has the potential to really ruin your day so you need to be vigilant and have a good maintenance program in place plus all the proper shutoffs and sniffers but in my cruising years I have seen more boats burn from electrical issues. Some of the battery power on cruising boats can be very dangerous if not properly installed. In Turkey when we were there a large bank go AGM's went south while being charged or overcharged and burned the boat to a point where when put out it was a write off. I am very wary of the potential for trouble in a large battery bank.
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Old 14-04-2016, 11:14   #88
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Re: We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

One simple option is a hybrid system: When at a dock with shorepower, we frequently use an electric skilled or slow cooker. If it's hot out, it's easy to take them on the back deck where they add no heat to the cabin. Otherwise we have the propane stove/oven as the primary cooking device.

So far every example has involved stupidity. Seriously, they pumped the gas lines full of oxygen...
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Old 14-04-2016, 11:16   #89
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Re: we are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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Not really. Are you familiar with a "pig"? Your average household propane system holds something on the order of 500gal in what is commonly refered to as a pig. My boat has 2 - 20# tanks and only one is connected at a time. I believe a 20# tank holds something like 3.5 gal. There is plenty of propane available to reach explosive concentrations if you are stupid about it. Also, you are assuming a basement that is one big empty room. Many basements are sectioned off to form rooms. Many wouldn't be much bigger than a bilge.

Reality is you would be driven out of the house or off the boat long before it becomes a serious issue as they add an odor to the propane. Between that and sensors, you almost have to do something stupid to go boom on a boat due to propane. Not saying it can't happen but it's rare and almost always can be traced to stupidity.

If you are afraid of propane that's fine but people need to learn to safely handle propane not be afraid of it.
Concerning basements -- well, maybe. Note that someone above had experience of a number of explosions.


I'm not afraid of propane at all -- I've used it for decades. I respect it, however, and take considerable care with it. Like a pet cobra. But I also can make the calculations which tell me that it's a risk -- and hassle -- worth avoiding if it can be done without making any big sacrifices.

Propane accidents sometimes happen by stupidity, but very often -- judging by real cases such as the catastrophic explosion of the RN Training Yacht Lord Trenchard -- it happens not from stupidity, but from bad luck, something unnoticed, or some mistake, which everyone, I mean everyone makes.

The attitude "It only happens to stupid people; I'm not stupid; therefore it can never happen to me" is in fact probably the stupidest approach to safety you can have, concerning anything, and not just gas.

Concerning the smell driving you out of the boat -- not one case can I recall, where people smelled the gas prior to an explosion on a boat. LPG is very heavy -- nearly twice as heavy as air -- and sinks right into the bilge. I would definitely not rely on that!

Do you have a gas detector and automatic shutoff solenoid? I think with care and discipline gas on board is somewhat safe, but not without essential measures like that one.
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Old 14-04-2016, 11:22   #90
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Re: We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

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So far every example has involved stupidity. Seriously, they pumped the gas lines full of oxygen...
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