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post #4 of Old 05-23-2002
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Electric cooking

I''m not sure whether my alternative suggestion is the same as Jeff''s or not. I always did get muddled between alcohol and Paraffin. Anyway I''m suggesting the third way which is not electricity or gas but Paraffin.

The new boat that we''ve so far only sailed for about 5 days is a gas free boat. The owner insisted he didn''t want gas aboard and bought a trraditional ''Taylor''s'' stove. I thought this would be a mega hassle because I was used to the ease of lighting the gas and quickly getting boiling water as a result. Instead I found I was expected to run a system involving pre-heating with methylated spirits for two minutes then introducing the paraffin under pressure to get the system hot enough to deliver the paraffin vaporised.

I spent about half an hour reading all the instructions and then practising with the meths. It took about an hour of ''burn'' on each jet to get the newness out and it willing to deliver a full blue flame straight away (thats two hob burners plus 1 in the oven) and after that found I was a convert. The only danger is covering the place with meths. which ignites all too easily but as long as you follow the routines it is super safe. I can now produce anything you like as quick as gas plus about three minutes.

The upside is that Taylor has been developing their stoves for sailors since Joshua was a boy (actually didn''t he take one on Spray?) and the thing works consistently anyway up. On our 8M cruiser racer you need that since the first thirty or so degrees of role seem to be used up in the first say fifteen knots.

After only a little practise I find it is a cinch to use in virtually any conditions (and boy does it warm up the cabin). The accompanying cook book will do you for bread, cakes, stews ... everything you need. Having spent years messing with gas ... which is inherently terrifying ... I am now sold on a paraffin stove. I wouldn''t consider electricity for more than a nanosecond for cooking (I cannot see ANY advantages). It simply does not get on the priority list for using the precious stored electricity. I want to reserve it for: Nav lights, instruments (pilotage), navigation (all that Rasyhtheon or B&G stuff), and auto pilot in that order. So there is a new topic for you: What are your priorities for electricity use? (Those who plug in at a marina need not apply!)
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