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Old 23-09-2011, 11:31   #1
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Cooking Underway

Our boat still has an original gimble mount alcohol stove in it. We haven't ever used it. It's in fine condition but honestly I don't know anything about them and there isn't a manual. I don't even know where to get fuel or if they are safe. I thought about replacing it with a propane stove but a surveyor I talked to said they are frowned upon for insurance purposes. What do you all recommend for a non electric means of cooking? Should I use the stove in it? We do not have a generator and don't plan to get one. It still has an original ice box in it too. One that you put a block of ice in. Funny, I haven't seen one of those since my great grandmothers house. She didn't have electricity till the day she died about 1990. Do those work pretty good or should I look at alternatives? What is a good one if so? Thanks.
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Old 23-09-2011, 11:51   #2
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Re: cooking underway

Many sailboats have propane stoves and I am unaware of any insurance problems. The only thing is last year my insurance company said that the tank must be turned off when the boat is left unattended. This is a new requirement.

I don't like alcohol stoves but there is really nothing wrong with them if used properly. The same thing could be said for propane, they all must be used properly. I would not go to the expense and bother of changing to propane, especially as you don't appear to be doing a lot of cooking. I think pricing a new propane stove will convince you to stick with alcohol, not to mention the solenoid, wiring, hoses and vented locker.
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Old 23-09-2011, 12:15   #3
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Re: cooking underway

We use our two burner propane stove several times a day and use it at sea as well. The oven turns out the best home made garlic and cheese busciuts ever while gimbaling away, pies brownies whatever, can't imagine not having it. It is an older model but works like a champ and we have seen simular ones in consignment stores. We use an 8 pound propane bottle every six weeks preparing almost all meals onboard. As mentioned, the switch over would be a job and could get expensive. For our needs, we would have nothing else but every cruisers needs are different. If you do not plan to cook much, the alcohol should serve you just fine.
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Old 23-09-2011, 12:39   #4
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Re: cooking underway

I hope its ok to post a question here. -dont mean to hijack the thread. I need stove advice also. I have a 12kw genset on board, Would you go with an electric range, or go with a burner?
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Old 23-09-2011, 13:08   #5
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Re: cooking underway

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Originally Posted by Matt sachs View Post
I hope its ok to post a question here. -dont mean to hijack the thread. I need stove advice also. I have a 12kw genset on board, Would you go with an electric range, or go with a burner?
An electric range is really a dumb move on a sailboat. You'll have to fire up the genny every time you want a cup of tea. Met a couple who had a Morgan that came with an electric stove. They hated it and apologized for not offering us a cup of tea because they would have had to fire up the genny.
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Old 23-09-2011, 13:10   #6
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Re: cooking underway

Lived aboard almost 17 years..only fire we ever had was from the alcohol stove that was on the boat, when we bought it. Alcohol is dangerous because you can't see the flame, particularly in bright sunlight. First mate was distracted for a moment (probably by me), turned back to the galley to see the roll of paper towels and the nice pretty curtains she had put up blazing away. A quick blast from the fire exinguisher (kept in the galley) took care of it, but it was a scary couple of minutes.

Put a propane stove in, deck-mounted tank w/remote shut-off & lived happily ever after for the next 14 years. I wouldn't have anything else & have never blown up!
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Old 23-09-2011, 14:06   #7
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Re: cooking underway

I think I will go propane. There is more than enough room for an atwood camper stove and oven in there. I assume they are ok for boats too. I don't think I would need more ventilation for it at all but I will sure look into it. I just don't like the thought of alcohol at all for some reason. I don't know why but it's true you can't see the flame in the light. The one in my camper doesn't have any wiring or relays or anything. What would those be for?

Oh, we are living on it for 2-4 days a week now. We just bought the boat so we still have our camper in corpus but I need to bring it home soon and we'll be on the boat cooking. need to get this figured out.
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Old 23-09-2011, 14:18   #8
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Re: cooking underway

Alcohol stoves scare me to death. Even at the dock they can be dangerous, let alone at sea with heeling. I threw mine in the trash bin, and went with propane.....i2f
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Old 23-09-2011, 14:40   #9
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Re: Cooking Underway

alcohol stoves burned my formosa before i bought it, 5 times. i have had propane on my boats for ever and no problems.
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Old 23-09-2011, 14:46   #10
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Re: cooking underway

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrranch View Post
I think I will go propane. There is more than enough room for an atwood camper stove and oven in there. I assume they are ok for boats too. I don't think I would need more ventilation for it at all but I will sure look into it. I just don't like the thought of alcohol at all for some reason. I don't know why but it's true you can't see the flame in the light. The one in my camper doesn't have any wiring or relays or anything. What would those be for?

Oh, we are living on it for 2-4 days a week now. We just bought the boat so we still have our camper in corpus but I need to bring it home soon and we'll be on the boat cooking. need to get this figured out.
If your camper stove has the propane bottle integral to it, like a lot of camper stoves do, you can't use it on board. Propane on a boat has to be stored outside of the cabin, somewhere where escaped propane, which is heavier than air, can be vented safely outside, rather than settling into your bilges, where it can blow up your boat.

A new propane installation on a boat is a fairly involved thing, especially if you have no gas locker. I would probably be inclined to use alcohol, if I were you. It can't imagine it would be worth the expense and hassle, if you have a perfectly good alcohol stove on board, and don't plan living aboard.
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Old 23-09-2011, 14:51   #11
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Re: Cooking Underway

The camper has two big external bottles. The stove is just like one in a home but smaller. Manual lighting too, except on the oven which has a pilot. I have to look into propane lockers I guess. I'm ok with plumbing it myself. Done that a few times. Just copper tubing and a few fittings, insulated hangers and a propane leak detector.
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Old 23-09-2011, 14:55   #12
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Re: Cooking Underway

I vote propane as well.
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Old 23-09-2011, 14:55   #13
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Re: Cooking Underway

I have no issues with out alcohol stove. It does the job.

I think most of the time they get a bad reputation from improper lighting of the pressurized ones. Ours is a passive one.
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Old 23-09-2011, 14:59   #14
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Re: Cooking Underway

Mine is a passive one too. Would you mind explaining how to light it? I haven't ever used one. There is about a 1 gallon metal tank in the cabinet behind it holding the fuel and it's a 2 burner gimbled stove.
I read something about lighting a small amount of liquid in the little pan in the middle then that vaporizes the liquid as it warms up and makes a nice flame. FWIW, my wife is scared to light our nice propane stove with foot long matches. I don't know why.
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Old 23-09-2011, 15:05   #15
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Re: Cooking Underway

We have the this one.

Simply you turn the burner "on" with the dial and stick a long lighter into the hole and light it.

An external tank and the vapor cup sounds to me like a pressurized stove.
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