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Old 28-06-2005, 13:02   #1
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Question Alcohol, Propane?

Hi All,

We are within a week of closing on a Gulfstar Hirsch 45 with an alcohol stove/oven. Everything I have read makes it seem like this stove is going to be miserable for liveaboard (remember, we bake our own bread, etc...).

I would like to replace it with an LPG (propane) alternative.

Now, given those prices in the North East from another post, and the salary stuff from my rant.... I need to spend a very small amount of money on the cooktop/oven.

I see fancy Force 10s for $1000+, and cheapo non-gimballed RV ovens for $150.

Has anyone ever installed a non-gimballed oven in such a way that it becomes gimballed? I mean... has anyone bought the non-gimballed oven and then attached some sort of bracket and mounts for it to swing on in the galley?

I know non-marine ovens will tend to rust a bit, but if these $150 stoves last me 3 years each, I'll get 30 years of usage with a new stove all the time for the same cost as a Force 10.

Any suggestions on this upgrade, and doing it on the cheap?

Thanks,

Sean
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Old 28-06-2005, 14:32   #2
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Use?

Hi Sean,

My first question is how are you going to use the boat? If it's long distance cruising you have in mind a good marine gimballed stove is necessary unless you're singlehanding, in that case a small one burner gimballed stove will do.

If you're coastal cruising and don't use an oven you might be able to use a two burner stove top.

If you like to cook and eat go for the three burner force ten with oven.

Having seen what a marine environment does to stoves, I would not recommend a RV unit.
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Old 28-06-2005, 22:09   #3
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Rust is not the issue as much as the missing safety features. LPG marine stoves have a variety of safety features (such as burners that won't extinguish as easily when leaned at an angle or exposed to drafts.)

To a great extent it depends on what kind of alcohol stove is on board the boat. While pressurized alcohol is a pain in the butt and does not put out much heat, if the stove is an Origo, catylized alcohol stove, I would suggest that you try it for a while. I have found my Origo very economical to burn and to be quite a good stove.

Plan 'B' would be to look for a good used stove, (Bacon's in Annapolis carries them pretty inexpensively.) The problem with converting from alcohol to LPG is that the stove is the least of it. When I looked into bringing my boat, which originally had a brand new LPG stove, up to modern safety standards, the solenoid valve, sniffer, remote switch, certified gas lines, tanks, and the sealed compartment vented top and bottom, cost more than buying a whole new stove. Then there was the break on my marine insurance with the Origo vs gas stove.

In the end, I decided that I had spent too many nights chasing gas leaks. I like my Origo, but then again I am a vegetarian.

Jeff
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Old 28-06-2005, 23:03   #4
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Thank you for the input...

Vasco:

We really do enjoy eating and do a lot of cooking. We make everything from scratch (pastas, breads, you name it). We will also be entertaining some guests and food will be a central point of it all - this is why I am being so careful about which stove/oven to choose.

Jeff:

I'm not sure of the brand name of the stove yet, but you can see it at the following Yachtworld link: http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi..._id=71771&url=

No idea what brand it is, but it seems to appear like a normal marine cooktop/oven combo. Do you ever have trouble finding alcohol for yours? Also, how is the oven? Does it bake for an hour at a given temperature?

Thanks again...

Sean
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Old 29-06-2005, 01:04   #5
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The Brand of Alcohol Stove

Hi All,

It's a "Galley Maid"... anyone know anything about that type of alcohol stove?

Origo I've heard of... Galley Maid... not so much.
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Old 29-06-2005, 09:36   #6
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I believe you’re right to be concerned about cooking/baking (at the level you anticipate) with an alcohol cooktop/oven.
Given the importance you place on the epicurean experience, I’d ‘bight the bullet’, and covert to LPG.
As previously suggested, you might look for a good used propane unit. As also mentioned, the LPG conversion only begins with the stove, and the ancillary appurtances will certainly add to the expense.

FYI:
Galleymaid
60 N.E. 110th Street
Okeechobee , Florida 34972
Phone: 1-863-467-6070
Fax: 1-863-467-6050
E-mail: galleymaid@starband.net
Web: http://www.galleymaid.com/

Available at:
Marine Warehouse
1602 Alton Road, PMB 368,
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Toll-Free Fax: 1-888-732-2676
Phone: 1-305-635-0776
Fax: 1-305-635-0779
E-Mail: sales@marinewarehouse.net
Web: http://www.marinewarehouse.net/galleys-int.html
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Old 29-06-2005, 14:31   #7
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Talking Agreed

Thanks, Gord.

Agreed. We will need to do the conversion. I did find "Galleymaid" after a few Google searches. They are a unique company making so many different items.
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Old 24-07-2005, 17:09   #8
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Re: Propane stove

My wife and I, like you, love to cook. We bought our Plastimo Pacific 2000 2 burner with a glass door oven, propane fired stove, from Marisafe. The top burners and oven light with a battery operated igniter (very handy) Marisafe, www.marisafe.com, offers this stove for sale @ $599.00 (for members). The Gimbels and pan holders are extra. Marisafe's custumor service is above excellent. Their unconditional guarantee reads, "If, for any reason, at any time, you are not satisfied with your purchase, we will gladly give you a full refund." I am not in any way associated with this company. I am just a VERY SATISFIED customer. We researched for quite a while and found this to be the best deal. Marisafe also sells on ebay and occasionaly the stove, including the gimbels and pot holders, are included in the $599.00 price. You might contact the President and CEO, Steven Paley @ (866) 362-7472 ext: 101 and ask him if he would throw in the gimbles and pan holders for the $599.00 price.

We purchased most of the rest of the propane equipment and safety devices on ebay.

Calder in his book, Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual, has a pretty good section on propane installation.

Boat US has an pretty good overview of propane installation on a boat on their web site: http://www.boatus.com/boattech/propane.htm

Calor Gas in Ireland has an excellent web site. Go to: http://www.calormarineshop.co.uk/rules-regs-answer.htm Once there scroll down to the Technical Advice section and click on that link. On the left side you will see all the articles pertaining to marine installation.

Hope this helps you get started. Regards, Peter
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Old 25-08-2005, 06:46   #9
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Propane good! Alcohol evil! Actually the Origos look like a good idea, but I have not used one. More gadgets bad, simple good! We had a two burner shipmate for 5 years, witout a problem, cooking at least one meal a day and often more. When we bought another boat that came with an evil stove, we replaced it with a Force 10 3 burner. The stove has many benefits. (all three burners get used regularly), but the peizzo lighter system has given us trouble from the beginning. After about 2 years, we gave up fixing it, and just use a lighter. Galley Maids are cheap, but in this case, that is a good thing. Few bells and whistles to fail. Never heard of Marisafe, but I will be checking it out for my trimaran. RV stoves are fairly rugged, and new ones do have a lot of safety features, but gimbling one may be more trouble than it is worth. I have spoken with a number of people who have gone this route, and the do not like gimbled stoves, so the stove is mounted transversely. Of course several have ferro cement boats.
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Old 25-08-2005, 17:37   #10
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I would not be so quick to say, "Propane good, Alcohol evil". In my life time, virtually every sailboat explosion or major fire except one, that I have direct knowledge of have been boats with propane stoves and diesel engines. Over and over again I hear people who would not think of having a gasoline engine for fear of explosion, advocating propane stoves which require all of the safety precautions of gasoline (and them some) but which rarely get the same kind of attention to such items as bilge blowers, and explosion proof alternators, switches and other electrical components.

The new generation of catalyzed alcohol stoves (such as the Origo) provide very good heat and represent a real safety advantage.

Jeff
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Old 25-08-2005, 22:49   #11
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Propane

I will not use propane on the boat. I recall a getogether party for a boater in the hospital in Florida. His boat had exploded and he only lived for a few days, so that had a final party for him in the hospital. The British navy managed to blow up a sail boat with propane. They had all the propper attachments.
I think I will convert my current pressurized alcohol stove to kerosene and get an Origo as a back up and a heater.
The alcohol costs too much and it is a potential bomb when pressurized.
Michael
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Old 26-08-2005, 17:54   #12
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The Origo's do not use pressurized alcohol. When I was researching the decision about what stove fuel to go withand which stove to buy, I liked the sound of deisel stoves which meant only carrying one kind of fuel on board. As a I researched this further I found that most diesel, like most kerosene stoves still ended up needing alcohol as a preheater and that pressure alcohol type flare-ups were still possible only with a fuel that was much harder to extinguish. The neatest stove that I encountered was a diesel stove in which the combustion took place in a sealed chamber and which was ignited by a piezoelectric system.

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Old 26-08-2005, 21:28   #13
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I have used and owned all three types of stoves, with the exception of the non-pressurized alcohol. I have first hand experience with a propane explosion involving 2 fatalities, and I have first hand experience with an alcohol fire. The propane was human error, and you will find that the majority of propane fires are a result of human error. The alcohol fire was a result of not being able to see the flame, and the primer spilling while underway.
My "opinion" and I admit that that is what it is, is that the convenience of propane out weighs the danger when compared to pressurized alcohol or diesel. As the cooks enthusiasm about sailing is not quite as strong as mine, functionality in the galley is paramount to her continued willingness to cruise. The propane cooker fits that bill.
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Old 26-08-2005, 22:43   #14
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Propane vs..

I have been reading through the posts and have a couple of thoughts. We are propane users and had alcohol on our last boat. Many of the cruisers we know have propane stoves have talking with them no one knows anyone who has a a catestrophic event with propane.

In the various islands we have been to and have listened to the various nets the boats with the most complaints and problems have been with the diesel/kerosene stoves and second with alcohol.

In the Caribe stove alcohol is hard to find and there is a perpetual hunt for the stuff. This means when you find it you buy and are carry a lot on board to be able to stay out. Not only is this a load, a gallon costs what it costs us to refill our 20 lbs tank which last about 4 months. It also appears to be a potiential fire hazard if the flimsy plastic containers ever leak in a heavy sea way.

We had dinner on a freind's boat that has a diesel stove, beside the smell it kept going out. We finally had to move to ours to finish cooking dinner.

I know it is a personal choice, but as with any flamable substance onboard proper care must be taken. Don't let what maybe exgerrated fears remove a system that has lots of users, is ecomonical, clean burning, and safe.
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Old 28-08-2005, 14:54   #15
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Safe

I guess it is a matter of perception as to what is safe. A small fire or a mechanical malfunction can be a nuisance but an explosion can ruin your entire day.
As well as boats exploding there are usually a few camper / trailers that get roasted every year.
Unlike piracy that may never happen to you, if you do not go to the wrong place, the potential exists with propane.
We each have our own perception of the risk. Pressurized alcohol can be hard to find and it is too much $$, that is why I am switching to kerosene and the Origo.
Michael
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