I used the kerosene camper stoves while camping an on some of the small boats I "camped" on. Keeping the burners cleaned so they would preheat was a pain. Hated the smell and oily mess of fueling them.. any small spill is near impossible to wipe up as the smell last months and when away from town... it is impossible to buy in many areas.
My first "cruiser" a C26 had the pressurized Alcohol stove... major pain to pre-heat and if the alcohol was more than a few months old it would turn into a water alcohol mixture on its own... even in a "well sealed" container but we all know that no such thing exist. Unpressurized units never seem to heat the water for coffee... while I don't mine coffee that has cooled off I MUST has the initial coffee to be HOT. And forget about boiling anything of size or even the simple task of steaming shrimp... it becomes difficult with alcohol systems. You end up eating cans of Vienna sausages... what ever there made of... Alcohol is just too slow and if you take the time to look at flame qualities you will find it is very cool and inefficient in heat transfer... several web sites had comparison when Alcohol systems were thought to be an alternative but in a recent search they no longer seem to be even a point of discussion. Good fuel is also difficult to locate and keep.
Unless you enjoy being a third world caveman and like the difficulties of these systems as a test of your seamanship or man/womanhood most "normal" people would not consider them as a first choice at cooking other than emergency or subsistence level cooking... never gourmet.
While it is obvious that a poorly maintained LP system can be dangerous.. it is by far the best system for real cooking on board a boat... with the exception of the BBQ grill attached to the rail. BBQ is my first choice for fun cooking but the LP system is for real everyday cooking with the least problems and by far the fastest times. Fuel is not always easy but in any community were boating, camping or a few trailers exist.. a source also exist and even the small tanks last some time... and most of us carry 2 or more.
Any Primary cooking system other than LP or CN appears to be unrealistic for a mid sized and up cruiser. IMHO
Of course I'm sure their exist someone who would rather rub two sticks together.
I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.... Jack London
Last edited by RealityCheck; 10-30-2007 at 10:27 AM.