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Old 13-11-2015, 07:49   #1
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Alcohol Stoves

I've been a bit worried about these, as quite a high percentage of the boats I have been looking at with a view to purchase, have them fitted (usually a two burner, but sometimes with an oven as well).

My main concern has been the prospect of getting fuel, as I imagined this would be impossibly expensive to run this side of the Pond (propane here isn't cheap any more either, but as I have used it for 30+ years, it is very much a known quantity). This has been eased considerably though, after spotting this source of Methylated spirits:

Methylated Spirits | Meths Cooker Fuel | 4 x 5 litre Denatured Alcohol

So I suppose the important liveaboard questions are, how much fuel per week seems sensible to budget for with a two burner stove (the oven not being used that much anyway, should one be fitted, so would be unlikely to add up to terrible shocks), and how available and pricey do you find suitable fuel, in perhaps 'out of the way' places, as well as average ports of call?

I must admit I would now be well prepared to live with one and see how it goes, once I get an idea of the suitable quantity of fuel to carry per expected week of usage, before being able to replenish supplies.

Thanks in anticipation.

eta: Ooooooh! I just found this review of the Origo 3000 on Amazon UK by Dawn Smith, which is a really good starter insight (esp as has prices per litre of fuel in France and Italy):

"I lived on my last boat for a year, sailed 4000 miles offshore and did all my cooking on an Origo 3000 2 burner alcohol cooker, which performed very well. By using an Omnia stove top oven and a pressure cooker, I was able to bake bread, cakes and pizza and produce wonderful curries, stews and soups. I can recommend the Origo 3000 alcohol hob for anyone looking to have a cooking solution on board their boat without the risks of carrying bottled gas. The fuel drums are easy to fill safely. I used to fill mine over the double sink and could do this easily when the boat was heeled 30 degrees and bashing to windward. The stove was fitted with gimballs and pan clamps, essential accessories on a sailing boat and was very easy to light and the wicks never blew out. In the UK we use purple meths in the burners, but in France and Italy denatured pink alcohol is available in all supermarkets for one euro a litre in handy squeeze bottles. One bottle would last me a week cooking three meals a day and several cups of espresso and tea. The stove is made of stainless steel and is easy to wipe clean. Even baked on pasta sauce came off easily with a cream cleanser and a sponge. The pan supports are quick and easy to remove and fit inside my washing up bowl. The pan clamps are also easy to fit and remove by tightening, slackening, one turn screw and slide to fit and can be tightened up so we never had a pan come loose even during storms. An excellent piece of kit that will last for years. I have just bought another one from Amazon ready for my new boat. The pricing, service and prompt delivery was first class and much cheaper than some of the online yacht chandlers. Well done Amazon."

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-revi...DateDescending

Does this usage and pricing fit in with the experience of others?

I am now very reassured (propane is still cheaper, but not enough to worry about I think).
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Old 13-11-2015, 09:16   #2
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

Use the Google custom search function on CF and put in 'origo'
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Old 13-11-2015, 09:28   #3
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Use the Google custom search function on CF and put in 'origo'
Thanks Don, will do.

I wasn't actually looking for one of those Omnia ovens, it was the search engine that came up with part of this:

" In the UK we use purple meths in the burners, but in France and Italy denatured pink alcohol is available in all supermarkets for one euro a litre in handy squeeze bottles. One bottle would last me a week cooking three meals a day and several cups of espresso and tea."

while doing a search on denatured alcohol, which took me to the review.

But having looked at what the reviewer was talking about (that Omnia oven) I am now definitely interested in one of those as well (the shopping list gets longer /sigh ).

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Old 13-11-2015, 09:28   #4
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

I will second her recommendation of the stove as we cruised locally with our 2 burner Origo 4100 (the countertop drop in model) for 3 years and thought it was an excellent stove. We never noticed it cooking slow, as some claim, and it is safe and easy to use. I cannot speak to the amount of fuel usage for a cruising boat as we only used it for weekend cruises, usually 2-3 days at a time, so never had to plan for long term fuel usage. As I recall a gallon jug lasted us all season, but it would be hard to say exactly how many meals were cooked per season.

I was so impressed with the stove that we just bought an Origo 3000 with gimbals and pot holders for our Cape Dory 33 that we are refitting. I plan to do as Dawn Smith and bake with an Omnia Oven. I honestly can't imagine anything simpler than the Origo.
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Old 13-11-2015, 10:23   #5
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

We have a 4100 unit,lived aboard cruising since january ,had no problems and rate overall better thsn gas.
Had no probs getting fuel in europe as they sell in supermarkets €7.90/5litres.


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Old 13-11-2015, 11:12   #6
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

4100 origo/domestic

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Old 13-11-2015, 11:15   #7
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

I really like my origo 3000. It's braindead simple. Nothing to break. It makes coffee just fine.

Over here in the colonies it's easy to find denatured alcohol. Every hardware or paint store sells it.
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Old 13-11-2015, 11:18   #8
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

Another Origo 4100 user... Full time liveaboard/cruiser but we usually only fire up the stove for one meal a day plus several pots of coffee or soup. In the last month we used one US gallon of fuel. My first boat had a "pressurized" alcohol stove and I hated it. Smelly and scary... The Origo is just a giant chaffing dish burner. Simple and safe (You can put out an alcohol fire with water) I love it. Use a Coleman "Camp Oven" for baking on the Origo (Coleman - Camp Oven) Folds flat for storage.
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Old 13-11-2015, 11:33   #9
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

Well an extra thank you to Don for the forum search tip on the alcohol stoves, after having read a few threads, I have to hold my hands up and confess my extreme wariness re alcohol as a fuel was down to pressurised stoves.

I have had a significant change of heart, going from not even considering the purchase of a boat with an alcohol stove (I will have enough extra expense on my plate setting things up for disabled sailing, without considering a new propane installation on top of it all) to being fine with it.

In fact having seen the price of a new Origo 3000 on Amazon in the UK (under $200 equivalent), if there was anything dubious about an existing LPG arrangement, I'd now cheerfully rip it out and put an Origo 3000 in.

Thanks too for all the other contributions from Origo users.

I did read a comment in one of the threads, that if an Origo could convert tea into rum (rather than using rum as a fuel), then they would buy an Origo. Well I do have a 5ltr copper still, but it won't make ethanol from tea . . . But it does make ethanol (1kilo of sugar fermented in 4.5ltrs of water, will make 1 ltr of 50% alcohol approx.). So I could use alcohol to make alcohol fuel.

Having only seen small bottles of methylated spirits here - though I haven't really looked into it seriously as a fuel before - the price for small bottles said "way too expensive to consider". So that's not an issue now either.

This has been a good learning day for me.
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Old 13-11-2015, 11:43   #10
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

I think you'll be pleased, Ribbit.


We had an Origo 3000 on our previous boat, and the current one came with a gimbaled Origo 4000 which we will definitely be keeping.


We love our Origo!
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Old 13-11-2015, 11:56   #11
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

Thanks for this thread. We have CNG (I know all the stories about it, so let's not go there) and have a ready supply locally. Never been an issue for 17 years. Now they are requiring the supplier to re-certify all the tanks, which has doubled the price and reduced the availability until all the tanks that are floating around get done.

While I have the skills necessary to convert to propane, I wasn't looking forward to it for many reasons.

We've used our oven a half dozen times in those 17 years.

We had a Origo 3000 on our old boat for 13 years.

If the CNG supplier bites the dust, now I know where I'll be going.

Thanks so much for letting me start my day with another great boat epiphany.
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Old 13-11-2015, 15:47   #12
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

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Originally Posted by capt-couillon View Post
Another Origo 4100 user... Full time liveaboard/cruiser but we usually only fire up the stove for one meal a day plus several pots of coffee or soup. In the last month we used one US gallon of fuel. My first boat had a "pressurized" alcohol stove and I hated it. Smelly and scary... The Origo is just a giant chaffing dish burner. Simple and safe (You can put out an alcohol fire with water) I love it. Use a Coleman "Camp Oven" for baking on the Origo (Coleman - Camp Oven) Folds flat for storage.
Well I'd not only never heard of the Omnia oven before today (and like the look of it), I hadn't realised that Coleman did an equally useful looking Camp Oven either.

For storage, the Coleman has the advantage of folding flat. Significantly cheaper too (being a naturalised Cardi, that is very important - we have the reputation of being able to sell to Scotsmen, at a substantial profit *grins*). Coleman camping equipment I have used (tents, etc), and seen others use, has always impressed me too.

My Cardi sentiment wins, I'll start with the Coleman Camp Oven, and see how it goes (plus it is easier to pick up in America while there, for any savings with an Omnia, I would have to fly in with one in my luggage, and I can imagine what its X Ray shape in my luggage would do to the heart rate and blood pressure of those nice TSA people).
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Old 13-11-2015, 16:15   #13
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

I have a two burner origo stove top. I've only used it for weekend use and usually to heat up water for coffee or tea but plan to expand its use. I've even thought of finding an Origo 6000 oven. I like that it doesn't have the explosive factor that propane has. There's a lot of info over alcohol, propane, kerosene or whatever else is out there. Just know how they work to be safe and any one of them should be good. I don't plan on ever going with propane though. Alcohol stoves suit my needs just fine.
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Old 15-11-2015, 16:12   #14
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Re: Alcohol Stoves

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Originally Posted by Rhapsody-NS27 View Post
I have a two burner origo stove top. I've only used it for weekend use and usually to heat up water for coffee or tea but plan to expand its use. I've even thought of finding an Origo 6000 oven. I like that it doesn't have the explosive factor that propane has. There's a lot of info over alcohol, propane, kerosene or whatever else is out there. Just know how they work to be safe and any one of them should be good. I don't plan on ever going with propane though. Alcohol stoves suit my needs just fine.
Something else I just found out that could be really handy as well, is Origo do a heater (which can also be a used as a single burner stove).

Given that cold weather is imminent, if not already arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, keeping warm with something reliable and safe. could well be an issue (I expect to be in the NY Great Lakes area, approx., this coming February, and do not want to have to experience extreme cold - it's actually dangerous and life threatening for me, sadly, which is the whole point of me going for a boat, to keep in dry heat with a salt atmosphere as much as possible).

I don't know if you can get them over in America/Canada (hope so), but Origo do the "Heat Pal 5100" - Origo 5100 Portable Spirit Burner/Alcohol Stove: Amazon.co.uk: Car & Motorbike

With a bit of luck, I'll be able to bring one of those in my luggage.
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