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Old 19-01-2009, 08:57   #1
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We are we seeing electric stove tops on blue water cruisers?

Hi Folks,

We're looking for our live aboard boat. We will be living on the hook in remote locations where it is probably tough to refill or replace propane tanks on occasion. We thought we wanted a boat with a propane gimballed stove, but we keep seeing serious blue water cruisers for sale that have electric stove tops.

We just saw a Charlie Morgan Heritage 46' blue water cruiser that has been refitted recently. It has a glass electric cook top and no oven. It also has a refrigerator freezer front door combo that looks like it belongs in a land based apartment. We have to scratch our heads and wonder if we have been mistaken in thinking we want a propane powered cooking system in the galley.

This boat has a serious generator. We're beginning to think that perhaps, there is logic in this madness. One fuel - diesel - runs all living accommodations. As long as we can find diesel, we could run the generator to cook and refrigerate while living on the hook. We really don't want to depend on a generator, but maybe we are mistaken.

Please give us your opinion on what really works for cooking and refrigerating while living on the hook in remote areas. We'll probably gunkhole for a couple years on the outer banks of the Bahamas, mixed up with cruising in the Caribbean. When we feel like we have gained enough experience, we'll head off on a circumnavigation.

We will not be living in a marina, ever, except to hide from a hurricane if we can't escape it.


Thanks very much for your thoughts and knowledge.

Regards,

First Mate
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Old 19-01-2009, 09:10   #2
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I would go wiyh the propane........available almost anywhere.
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Old 19-01-2009, 09:25   #3
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We had a electric stove on our boat when we bought it and I could not wait to switch to propane. Turning on the generator every time I want to boil water got very old very quick. I think electric stoves are fine if you are hooked up to shore power all the time but for a cruising boat they do not make alot of sense IMO.
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Old 19-01-2009, 09:40   #4
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I have had both gas and electric stove.I find electric stove less of a pain .I am using gas and hate when I run out of gas I use 2 100lbs tanks.I like to cook with gas but hate the tanks.If you look at my pics you can see the ulgy tanks.Iam going back to an electric stove.I run my genset when I am underway but my boat is a work boat I seem to spend most of my life on the boat.
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Old 19-01-2009, 09:54   #5
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I think an electric cooker could make sense on a Trawler type boat. Many trawlers have two generators, one smaller one and one larger one. That way you could have an electric oven as well as a cook top and air conditioning and hair dryers and toasters and electric coffee makers and electric hot water heaters and washing machines and cloths dryers and...

Nordhavn recommend an AC type boat instead of a DC type. They feel that there is less maintenance in an AC boat. I guess it's all those regular household kitchen appliances.
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Old 19-01-2009, 10:23   #6
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By using appropriately sized:
induction cooktops
microwave/convection ovens
assorted electric pots/pans
etc.
you can cook with electricity using inverters without the genset running all the time. Also set the genset to start automatically to recharge/assist the batteries. For me this is much more efficient (in time, convenience, weight, safety...) than using gas.
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Old 19-01-2009, 10:33   #7
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One thing to consider is frequently turning a generator on and off when it is cold will shorten its life span some. Diesels last longest when they are ran warmed up, ran with big loads and ran for long periods of time.
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Old 19-01-2009, 11:01   #8
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Electric preferred

I would try to stay away from the risks of gas. Just think how many stories you know of bad endings with gas. I would expect other people to be on my boat and cannot rely on them to be as careful as I am.

I am having AC genset to run cooktop and oven when cooking for several people and a separate diesel cooktop (Wallas) for just two of us.

Can always run a microwave for cup of water/coffee.

Usually cooking is a planned event which can fit in with genset running times.
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Old 19-01-2009, 14:31   #9
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Originally Posted by fvdorisjean View Post
I have had both gas and electric stove.I find electric stove less of a pain .I am using gas and hate when I run out of gas I use 2 100lbs tanks.I like to cook with gas but hate the tanks.If you look at my pics you can see the ulgy tanks.Iam going back to an electric stove.I run my genset when I am underway but my boat is a work boat I seem to spend most of my life on the boat.

Say what???? Two 100 lb propane tanks and you run out enough to be a pain?

With two people living on board full time and cooking at least two meals a day we find our 20lb tanks last 3 MONTHS EACH. If you have two tanks why on earth would you EVER be inconvieienced by running out? Doesn't having an empty tank cause you to want to refill it BEFORE the other one goes dry?

This is really a philosophy argument. There are people who cruise without gensets and all the costs and hassles involved with them. If you are comfortable having the function of your boat 100% tied to the proper operation of an mechanical engine, then have fun with your electric cooker. If you think your boat is not really tied to the genset, try unplugging the shore power cord and living onboard for a week without starting it... It can be a very instructive exercise.

The idea of not being able to cook because a genset won't run strikes me as a very poor plan plan for a real long-distance cruiser. Genset repairs are a lot harder to find than propane!
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Old 19-01-2009, 15:34   #10
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Quote:
This boat has a serious generator. We're beginning to think that perhaps, there is logic in this madness.
Serious generator is the key to using AC electrical appliances. The do work well but you still need fuel. A 20 lb propane stove will cook a few months or more depending on how much you use the oven. It will last longer than your fuel. Propane is the preferred cooking fuel in even the third world. Diesel is a very efficient fuel so running a generator isn't a totally insane idea. But you do need to run it the whole time while cooking. It will suck a battery bank stone dead pretty quick.

Oh the hum of the generator on those quiet and romantic evenings. Makes me want to cry.
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Old 19-01-2009, 15:51   #11
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If you are worried about the dangers of propane why not a diesel cooker?
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Old 19-01-2009, 16:41   #12
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I was thinking the same thing a while back when creating my wish list for my boat. I'm from the old school of redundancy. I was planning on not only having ample solar panels but also a wind generator and possibly a small generator for pure backup.

I was also planning on having the gas tanks outside (which is standard) only hooked up to the BBQ outside. And the inside stove would be electric so there is no risk of gas inside or buildup. It may look and sound great on paper but I'm hoping that it will transfer to real world usability well. Time will tell or perhaps someone here has already done that setup?? Let me know.
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Old 19-01-2009, 17:03   #13
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I do a lot of cooking

I have run out of gas what happens is it last a long time but then I forget about it .Also in the winter when we are working on deck the cabin door is kept open running up to the wheel house all the time I put the stove on for more heat.Plus the tanks are a pain to go get filled.
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Old 19-01-2009, 17:22   #14
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Shadow, just remember that your boat is a system and each sub-system has to be designed for it's expected use. If you want to cook with electricity then you will need a larger battery bank, probably larger inverter, almost certainly a generator, etc.
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Old 19-01-2009, 17:41   #15
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Yep DeepFrz, I totally agree, that's why I was planning on having the redundant systems, large bank of solar, a wind generator as well as a backup generator. This goes without saying that a large battery bank to take full advantage of those systems will be installed.
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