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Old 28-11-2005, 05:38   #31
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Sean, if you are pleased with using alcohol and find it suitable for your needs, than that's what matters for you and PLANET EXPRESS.

If we want to compare LPG with alcohol as a cooking fuel, the former has a greater BTU potential by volume (as Kai Nui points out) and the flame burns hotter. How is your onboard alcohol stove burning 'as hot' as your stove ashore? Well, perhaps you were burning Butane ashore, which burns cooler than propane? And perhaps the efficiency of your two stoves varies. Or perhaps burner sizes and oven sizes are not comparable? I really can't say. I have used a system onboard identical to the one you describe, so it's not unfamliar to me. And since I've also used kero and LPG stoves, I must say I'm surprised to hear you describe alcohol to be comparable to LPG. But to repeat, if you're satisified and find it meets your needs, great. That's what counts (for you).

To recap, my post was related to these choices as a *cruising* cooking fuel, and there certainly is no doubt in my mind that WRT that application, alcohol is the poorest of choices. Let's see if we hear from folks who have been cruising outside a First World infrastructure for any meaningful length of time who want to wade in on behalf of alcohol as preferential to LPG & Kero.

Jack
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Old 15-04-2006, 12:03   #32
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Alcohol in no way burns as hot as kerosene or LP. Remember one instance where we couldn't get a large lobster pot to boil despite it sitting on all three burners going full blast. What a pain in the butt to have 20 lobsters and a bushel of clams and a stove that won't do the job. The happiest day of my life was giving that POS alcohol stove a fitting burial. People claim the Origo alcohol stoves work better but physics still limit the amount of heat Alcohol can produce.

LPG is the easiest to use but needs serious precautions to be taken. It's a pain to convert a boat to the bottle storage as it has to be on deck or in a vented locker. You should have a solenoid shut off at the tanks or religiously turn the tanks off after use. A gas sniffer would also be a very good idea along with a bilge fan to clear any fumes. Filling the tanks can be a pain as the refill station may not be convenient to where the boat is. Schlepping the tanks for miles or an expensive taxi ride with a hazardous material is a hassle. Also, LPG was not available in some remote cruising grounds in SoPac. LPG may be a problem obtaining easily in Europe. For one thing, you need fitting adapters. Butane is the fuel of choice for their ship's stoves so they may not be set up to handle a boats propane needs. This is just something I heard on the web and someone with hands on experience may be able to give the straight skinny. Still it's nice to turn a knob and have instant heat.

Kerosene puts out as hot or hotter flame than LPG, is available everywhere and is an almost non existant explosion hazard. The problem with Kerosene is it requires preheating of the burners like a pressure alcohol stove so there is the short wait before you can cook. We also found that you couldn't adjust the flame without the burners clogging up, it was either full on or off. Once we learned that, the stove worked flawlessly for years. We used baffle plates on the burners, available at any good kitchen store, to control the heat. The oven naturally reached about 375 degrees so was just about perfect for baking. Read that someone claimed filtering the fuel before it went into the tank and using an inline auto gas filter allowed them adjust the burners. Fuel consumption was minimal. We lived aboard and cruised for two years using the stove daily. Had to fill the 2 gallon pressure tank very occasionally and carried enough fuel in a couple of Gerry jugs to last for more than a year. Incidentally, we didn't burn kerosene, we burned Paint thinner. It was way cheaper than kerosene, more easily found at almost any store that carried even minimal paint supplies and seemed to burn cleaner.

The best thing about Kerosene and Alcohol stoves are that they have fallen out of favor. Consequently, the stoves are dirt cheap. Just bought a 2 burner, with oven, Hiller in excellent condition for $26. We really liked the rust resistance and longevity of our Shipmate so you might try and pick up one of those. BTW, hear you can convert a pressure alcohol stove to Kerosene just by changing out the burners. You might be able to recycle your old stove.

Aloha
Peter O.
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Old 15-04-2006, 13:21   #33
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LPG is dangerous (particularly when you forget how dangerous it is) but so is being out in a Force 10. or crossing the high street during rush hour. Risk analysis is all about comparing how dangerous with how often and getting a balanced view.

I ride a 1000cc motor bike and reckon that the chance of death with this is higher than my LPG set-up despite using it for cooking, hot water, and refridgeration.

The secret is in preparation, maintenance and test. Every time I switch all my gas off, my system carries out a check to ensure there are no leaks, if it shows a leak I chase it down until eradicated. Furthermore, I can isolate each individual system as a means of narrowing down my search.


If I was going to remove all my lpg, then I would cook with diesel (Taylors)
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Old 15-04-2006, 15:30   #34
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Talbot, I agree completely. If you are going to change over to paraphin, Taylors is the Rolls Royce. Of course they are priced accordingly.
The fact is, newer LPG appliances have been redesigned with so many safety features, that the appliance itself should never be a concern. The system over all is only as good as it's original design. Leak detectors are a must. regular inspection of fittings, and an airtight locker that will drain overboard is also a must. Cost of conversion depends on how much you can do yourself. Starting from scratch, a Taylors/Lavac stove will cost about $3000 US. A Force 10 LPG stove of similar size and configuration will cost about $1200 US. For the LPG you will need aditional components such as a propane locker, leak detector, regulator etc. All said and done, you wil probably be below that $3000 figure. Much lower if you build the locker, or mount the bottle on deck. In addition, additional expense will not be needed to add a propane heater, instant water heater, and refer. LPG is by far the most convenient to use, and, as has been pointed out several times on this forum, availability of LPG is not an issue. I too would only consider diesel as an alternative to LPG.
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Old 15-04-2006, 17:37   #35
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The first year with our current boat we had a fire from our alcohol stove. Ever since I will not use it unless absolutely necessary. We have a BBQ off the stern that I can cook almost anything on. The one "demand" I have for our next boat is that it has an LPG system.

Lori, Rick and Shadow
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Old 15-04-2006, 17:58   #36
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Without a doubt. I'm going LPG. No alcohol burning stoves on my boat!!

My boat already has a LPG burning stove already in place. And all it needs, is a good clean up. Hook everything back up. And she'll be ready to cook meals!!
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Old 16-04-2006, 09:45   #37
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Rick, I see your future. It is becoming clear. I see a reoccuring phrase. It's...Yes dear
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Old 16-04-2006, 10:08   #38
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My boat already has a LPG burning stove already in place. And all it needs, is a good clean up.
Make sure that ALL your burners have a flame failure device, and invest in a gas flame starter (i.e. one of those starters that have a flame from a butane cylinder filled like a cigarette lighter - not just a spark)
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Old 16-04-2006, 10:20   #39
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LPG Safety

Can anyone tell me a good source of a shut-off solenoid and bilge sniffer for propane.

Thanks, Ron
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Old 16-04-2006, 11:22   #40
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Do you mean an electric solenoid, or a manual one (my preference is for manual)

Propane detectors need to be very carefully sited as the material is susceptible to saltwater damage.

Cant give you USA contacts, but here is what is available:
http://www.technisolltd.co.uk/gas-alarms.html
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Old 16-04-2006, 16:33   #41
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Originally Posted by knottybuoyz
Demands? Oh yeah? Who made you Empiress of the fleet, huh?
Hmmmm? Well you did, silly...a couple of years back! :kissy: I can live without the rest of the ammenities you mentioned.....well except the oversized water heater!

Lori
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Old 16-04-2006, 19:30   #42
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Yes, master!!
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Old 17-04-2006, 13:39   #43
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Originally Posted by Talbot
Do you mean an electric solenoid, or a manual one (my preference is for manual)
I was asking about electric. How does a manual solenoid work if your tank locker and stove are far apart?

Thanks, Ron
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Old 17-04-2006, 15:09   #44
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just making sure we were using the same words to describe the same thing. hope the link helped.
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Old 17-04-2006, 15:47   #45
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A Solenoid is just a coil of wire. If we run current through the wire, the coil becomes an electromagnet, which can be utilized to actuate a mechanical plunger. Hence, all solenoids, in practical use, are electro-mechanical devices.

Those wondering how they work might be interested in:
http://www.detroitcoil.com/PAGES/How...d%20Works1.pdf
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