Kerosene has very good heat output and would be willing to bet that it is comparable to propane or maybe even better. It certainly beats alcohol hands down. Don't know why anyone would have an alchohol stove, in any case, unless they also were big on self flagellation.
Kerosene stoves don't heat up the cabin anymore than any other heat source. The diesel
stoves so favored by fishing
boats and northern cruisers are actually cabin heaters that can be used to cook things. They are not the same or used the same as a cooking specific kerosene stove.
Propane is NOT available everywhere. If you are really going to the 'backwoods' you may not be able to get it anywhere within 500 miles of your location, btdt. I have also heard stories of extreme inconvenience in finding propane in supposedly civilized areas. Tales of having to hitchhike for miles to out of the way location to find a propane fill station.
is easy to store. Can be carried anywhere in plastic jerry jugs. Fuel consumption
was extemely low in our 18 month cruise
. We cooked 99% of our meals
aboard and didn't need any additional fuel to what we left on the cruise
with. You can also burn paint
thinner instead of kerosene. In fact we switched to mineral spirits as our stove fuel because it was cheaper than kerosene and more easily found in 5 gallon tins in the US.
Last but not least, kerosene doesn't have the ticking bomb problems of propane. Yes you can mitigate the dangers of propane but it's still a gas that is heavier than air. Any leak is potential for an impromptu airborn adventure.
Kerosene's big negative is convenience. You have to prime the burners before lighting
them. No instant on like propane. Only takes a minute or so but does force you to think twice before heating
something up. We also had a problem with the burners clogging up if they weren't run wide open. Used heat diffuser pads to regulate heat so wasn't a deal, however.
So, would I go with kerosene over propane again, probably not. I don't plan on doing any cruising to inaccessible areas, however. If I was to buy a boat with a kerosene stove, I certainly wouldn't it chuck it and replace with Propane.
Just a thought about source of kerosene stove. Alcohol stoves and kerosene look awfully similar. You might check on the possibility of converting alcohol to kerosene. Looks like it could just involve switching burners but I haven't looked closely to be sure. Alcohol stoves appear to be a glut on the used market. The old all stainless shipmate stoves were reasonably well built and don't have the rust problems of some other makes.