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Old 19-07-2008, 20:20   #1
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alcohol stoves/ovens

Hello everyone, I recently became the proud owner of a 1968 Islander 29. The boat is in great shape and has what appears to be the original alcohol stove and oven. I do not have the slightest idea how to use them.. anyone know where I can find some documentation?
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Old 20-07-2008, 03:04   #2
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WELCOME aboard, tingera.

Each of the basic (Alcohol) stove designs vary a bit in how they work. What brand, or general type have you?

Origo are probably the most ubiquitous alcohol stove, in the marine market:

Origo (Dometic) Stoves: http://www.dometicenviro.com/downloads/OrigoStoves.pdf
And: Dometic

Origo Manuals: Dometic
dometic.com/enie/International/Site/Marine/Stoves/Operation-Manuals/

Others:
Seaward
Kenyon
Techimpex
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Old 20-07-2008, 15:36   #3
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As far as I know most of the Islanders have Hillerange pressurized alcohol stoves. I assume that you have a tank with a pressure gauge on it and a vent. If this is the case you have to have a small pump, similar to that you can use for your bicycle. You have to pressurize the tank to approximate 10-15psi (read the gauge). Then you will open one of your burners for 2-3sec to allow for priming (a little alcohol should leak). Light it with a long reach lighter same as for your barbecue. The flame should be small not longer than 2-3". When the priming is almost finished you can slowly open the burner. You should hear a hissing sound and the burner should "fire" on all its openings with a clean blue flame. You can also find the procedure on the Internet.
Bon appetite.
Chris
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Old 21-07-2008, 03:25   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodz View Post
As far as I know most of the Islanders have Hillerange pressurized alcohol stoves...
Chris
HILLERANGE General Information (good info'):
http://www.angelfire.com/fl/irwinsailboats/stove.html

You might also try contacting Seaward Products (made the Hillerange line)
721 Capitol Ave
Whittier, CA 90601-1732
TELEPHONE (562) 699-7997
FAX (562) 699-0908
WEB: Seaward Products
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Old 18-06-2015, 11:36   #5
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Re: alcohol stoves/ovens

I have one for sale if anyone interested. With pressure tank. In Alabama.
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Old 27-08-2015, 14:39   #6
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Re: alcohol stoves/ovens

I had the pressurized tank model in my first boat but I think it was a Galley Range.

You do need to take a bit of care lighting them. If you have ever used the Svea or Optimist backer stove, it's the same procedure. Mine did not have good temp control on the oven so it had to be watched. I also mounted on of those little 12v auto tire compressors in the compartment with the alcohol tank.


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Old 27-08-2015, 15:05   #7
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Re: alcohol stoves/ovens

The pressurized alcohol stove is not a good thing.

You'll need to prime the unit by letting some fuel pour into the priming ring. That in itself should clue you into it not being a very good thing for a boat.

Way back in the way back olden times when us fogies used to do crazy backward stuff like read books and watch where we were going when walking they had pressurized camp stoves of a very similar design.

I'm here to say that when the options are an entire forest burning down with you inside of it or producing an inhuman amount of breath so you can blow out the inferno raging through the failed needle valve you can produce more wind (hot air) than you would expect.

I guess those experiences prepared me to spew and chest beat on the Internet so they must have been good.

Things got better when Colman came up with the Peak One. I don't remember having to prime that? In any case I used one of those for a few years until a very similar thing happened.

These days for hiking and camping I use butane canisters but there are some pressurized stoves still made for use at high altitude.

I've had catastrophic failures with every pressurized stove I've used. Even had a big flame up on a boat with a stove like yours when I was a kid.

I know, it's user error, I'm an idiot etc. Just ask anyone. But even so I would advise getting rid of the stove.
.....

On my boat I have an Origo because worrying about explosions isn't fun. But it doesn't work so well as an oven it takes a long time to heat up and then has pretty uneven heat. I've got an oven brick in there and will need to add a few more. But cooking isn't such a big deal for us. It's a small boat and our trips are rarely more than a few days.
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Old 27-08-2015, 20:46   #8
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Re: alcohol stoves/ovens

Yeah and I had a friend with an Origo oven. He baked some muffins one morning and turned off the oven and brought them over. A while later, his wife went back to their boat for some cigs. She started screaming the boat was on fire.

Turns out the oven temp knob coupling failed and instead of being off got set to max. The guy grabbed a dock hose and started dousing the cabin interior. The glass on the oven door exploded and their was a lot of scorched wood to replace. Origo eventually gave him a new stove/oven but the woodwork repair was on him. He's thankful his wife had a nicotine fit or he would have lost his boat and possibly others

In fairness, this is the only failure I've witnessed or heard of in many years. The moral, I suppose is that any open flame, even a lantern needs monitoring.

Rich


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Old 28-08-2015, 00:25   #9
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Re: alcohol stoves/ovens

If it is a non- pressurized the procedure is different.
Ensure you are following the correct operating procedure.

I have a non-pressurized alcohol stove and I love it. BUT - I do not allow anyone else to use it until I give them a thorough demonstration on how to light it. If the preheating is done wrong, it can be a disaster. The procedure is simple, but very important.

I won't explain as yours may be a different model. I'd suggest getting someone who is very familiar with alcohol stoves to give you a demo.

And ALWAYS have at least 2 fire extinguishers on hand when using any stove on a boat. A fire blanket is a good idea as well.
Hint: Don't mount either above the stove.

I don't mean to scare people off alcohol stoves, as they are great if used properly. I wouldn't want anything else. (although I have a portable butane cartridge stove for boiling a big pot of water fast)
They are not as hot as propane or butane stoves, but no gas bottles to refill or store, no worry of propane leaks accumulating in the bilge, and they will last for a lifetime.
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Old 28-08-2015, 21:27   #10
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Re: alcohol stoves/ovens

On my first boat many years ago I had an old Wilcox Crittenden portable pressurized alcohol stove. It was lit exactly as Gord May outlined, by letting a little alcohol into the priming pan and lighting it to vaporized the fuel in the burner.

The stove was hot and reliable. There was a lot of heat poured into the burner from the pressurized vaporized alcohol. It was on the boat for the 5 years I had it and I sailed it every other weekend.

Pressurized alcohol stoves are good stoves. After owning that I can't believe a non-pressurized alcohol stove puts out enough heat to be viable.
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Old 28-08-2015, 22:10   #11
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Re: alcohol stoves/ovens

I sold and repaired a lot of Primus pressurized alcohol and kerosene stoves in my day.
I got pretty good at trouble shooting them. I sure wouldn't buy one today.
I love my Origo. Just light it and start cooking. If I had a bigger boat I'd have a propane stove.
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Old 02-12-2015, 20:13   #12
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Re: alcohol stoves/ovens

I have the original Heritage pressurized alcohol stove/oven on my 1966 Ted Hood. Pros and cons compared to other fuel options, as is always the case.

Mine had not been used in years so I needed to find replacement leather cups for the pump (from Turkey), but after cleaning and a bit of practice, it works like a champ. As noted, starting procedure is key to ensure the burner is properly heated to vaporize the alcohol...once heated and lit, works like any other gas stove.

It is not quite as convenient as propane, but I also consider the docile nature of the fuel to be a benefit on board a boat. The heat is adequate for everything I prepare and i do use a pressure cooker in most of my meal prep, which I would recommend no matter what fuel you land on.

I think the one thing to consider of any of the choices out there is fuel availability for your intended cruising ground...denatured alcohol is readily available in the US, but I have heard it is not so abroad.

I have no plans to change.

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Old 02-12-2015, 20:23   #13
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Re: alcohol stoves/ovens

One thing I distrust about alcohol is the inability to see the flame...
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Old 02-12-2015, 20:58   #14
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Re: alcohol stoves/ovens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
One thing I distrust about alcohol is the inability to see the flame...
I have read this comment in most every alcohal stove thread. We have an origo stove and have had no issue with seeing the flame, it's blue-ish every time.

But like all things that we boat folk like, to each his own. As long as one is diligent when starting a fire on ones boat the stove you choose will likely work well for you, just don't be a knucklehead and all will be fine. (Disclaimer, I would not use a pressurized alcohal stove on my boat) but like I said, to each his/her own.

Congrats on the new to you boat. Happy sails
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Old 02-12-2015, 21:33   #15
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Re: alcohol stoves/ovens

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
One thing I distrust about alcohol is the inability to see the flame...
Cheechako, the only time I ever noticed the flame on our pressure-alcohol stove being hard to see was when the sun was shining directly on it. Since the stove was (is) in the galley, this was a rather rare event b/c the sun had to be at exactly the right angle. Otherwise, it was perfectly visible all the time.

Direct bright sunlight on my propane stove also produces a nearly invisible flame.

Alcohol is overall no more dangerous than other fuels, or indeed other systems, on a cruising boat. Used properly and wisely and it is fine. Do dumb-ass things with it, and it will be dangerous ... just like many other things on a boat.

I think there are good reasons to go with propane or kero, especially if you are a long-term cruiser. But for most coastal cruisers who are out for a few weeks or months, there's nothing wrong with alcohol (non-pressure or pressure).
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