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post #19 of Old 12-07-2012
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Re: kerosene stoves.. WHAT HAPPENED!

Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Gee TB...Grumpy today aren't we?

I don't know about Chicken Little, but here is what I do know;

-In my lifetime, every case of a sailboat blowing up that I have personal knowledge of has been propane explosion on a boat with propane system and a diesel engine (with one possible exception where a boat was fueled through an abandoned fuel filler and the bilges were filled with gasoline).

- I have spent too many nervous nights on too many boats searching for a source of leaking propane to ever want propane aboard.

-Both of which are anecdotal and I don't see anecdotes as suitable proof of anything.

-In the Chicken little with a whole lot of experience with falling sky, when I decided to convert my boat from a propane system to catalyzed alcohol (Origo), I contacted my insurance company about the impact of the change. The insurance company reduced my insurance rates for installing a catalyzed alcohol stove. I questioned whether upgrading the propane system with sniffers and a sniffer actuated shut-off would being my rates down the same amount, and was told that as far as the insurance company was concerned, sniffers and sniffer actuated shut-offs are a good idea, but the hazard still remained the same.

-Propane/air mixtures are equally explosive as a gasoline air mixtures. Boats with gasoline engines are equipped with blowers and explosion proofed electrical systems that are spark shielded. Blowers are run before starting the engine on a gasoline powered boat. Most propane equipped boats have none of these safeguards.

As for slow, I have already mentioned in an earlier post that in a random test performed at a recent raft up, the Origo was faster than some, slower than other propane burners in heating a measured amount of liquid. I just have not found the Origo burners noticably slower.

Back to the original post, I like the idea of a diesel stove and water heater, but they are very pricy.

I have posted several times on SN about my 10+ years with the kero stove/oven on my boat. The only 'downside' is that it takes 3 minutes to pre-heat, a process which I actually enjoy since it makes me realize I am on my boat! It is not true that kerosene smells, at least not when properly pressurized. It does stink when wicked, like in an oil lamp, perhaps people get confused about that.

Kero is very caloric and the ONLY cooking fuel that is available world-wide (OK, I am not counting coal and wood). Cheap, too: 5 gallons of K-1 will set you back 20 bucks but will tide you over for many HUNDREDS of cooked meals.

But the most important is safety. Sure, a perfectly working LPG system is safe. And we all know that technical systems always work perfectly. If not, kaboom!

As Jeff points out, deadly LPG explosions DO happen, this is not a theoretical possibility. YOU make the decision whether you think the convenience of having the stove works just the same as the one at home is worth the potential cost.

It is your life and that of your family that is at stake.
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