I've used kerosene since my first boat. It's 'safe' and puts out heat equal to or better than propane. Fuel
is/was available everywhere we went. That wasn't a great problem, however, as the 4 gallon stove tank and a gerry jug or two lasted us more than a year of everyday use. We burned Paint
Thinner/Mineral Spirits in our Kerosene stoves and it has worked flawlessly. Don't try #1 diesel
, it will gunk up the burners.
Big problem these days is finding spare burners if you don't have a stash. From what I hear there are no new complete burner assemblies currently available. All the internal parts
are still in stock just not the burner assembly, itself. Don't know whether this is temporary or the passing of an era. The proliferation of boom gas apparently has seriously reduced the demand for Kero stoves.
I found pressure alcohol stoves to be virtually useless. To begin with, can't stand the smell. It is also has such a poor BTU content that it doesn't produce much heat. Forget a quick cup of coffee and don't even think about Lobster, btdt.
Propane does go boom, killed a sailor in Mexico
last year for one instance. If you are religious about turning off the fuel
supply at the bottles, it's reasonably safe.
Solenoid shut offs have been known to fail, however, so don't that a substitute for manually closing the tank valve. It's a good fuel but doesn't last all that long if my house is any example. It certainly isn't convenient to get a refill in most places. Taking my current
location as an example, you'd have to schlep the bottles more than a mile from the marina to get them refilled. Paint
thinner is available at both chandleries just a few feet from the docks, however.