Priming pressurized alcohol stoves.
I got involved in a thread on the boat purchasing forum regarding Alcohol vs. Propane stoves. It became apparent to me that many problems with alcohol stoves seem to be related to over priming. I have a Hillerange stove and oven, have never had any problem seeing the flame or operating the stove. For the purpose of showing the flame I over primed the stove with about 5 times as much fuel as I would normally use (see attached pictures). Even then, the fire burned itself out and was never close to being dangerous. Even if the boat had been heeling at 20 degrees with an non-gimbled stove, this isn't enough fuel to be dangerous. The picture with the blue flame shows the stove in cooking mode. All of these pictures were taken with the curtains open on a bright day. In fact, one portlight is directly above the stove, and the galley is directly in front of the companionway, which was open. As you can see, the flame is clearly visible. The supply tube only needs to be heated for about a minute to vaporize the fuel. It takes very little priming fuel to achieve this (so little, it was impossible to photograph). When priming, you can hear the fuel gurgle, and see it on the wick and in the pan. If you see a big puddle of alcohol, DON'T LIGHT IT! Let it evaporate (it won't take long), and use less fuel next time. Maybe I got lucky and just got a great stove, but I don't understand why some people are apparently using so much fuel to prime the system, and can't see the flame.
Last edited by L124C; 12-13-2008 at 12:36 PM.