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leland515 01-12-2010 05:00 PM

Camp stove, where to use?
I'm thinking of using my boat as a daysailor this summer, but might stay on it a for a few days at a time. It's a San Juan 21, big enough for me to stay comfortably in- but I plan to have a little one or two burner camp stove on her.. is it safe to use inside the cabin?

xsboats 01-12-2010 05:03 PM

I have used them in the cabin safely with the companionway open but given the heat that is produced, I would think that you would want to use your stove in the cockpit in the heat of a Mississippi summer.

leland515 01-12-2010 05:09 PM

Thank you for the reply, I'm planning a trip over spring break also, when it will be bearable to cook inside.
I just needed to know if I could cook inside without blowing up :D

JohnRPollard 01-12-2010 05:40 PM


Originally Posted by leland515 (Post 559196)
Thank you for the reply, I'm planning a trip over spring break also, when it will be bearable to cook inside.
I just needed to know if I could cook inside without blowing up :D

Hi Leland,

On our previous boat (which had a kerosene stove/oven), we would often use a camp stove during summer months to avoid heating the cabin up so much. We primarily used it out in the cockpit, though.

You should be okay, fumes-wise, as long as you have plenty of ventilation.

The bigger problem I see, however, is the tendency of camp stoves to spill their contents when unstable. Most backpack-style camp stoves have a small footprint, and are moderately stable on a level, steady surface. Aboard a boat you should be able to find a flat surface, but steady is often another story.

Be careful with it, especially if there is any wave action or potential for boatwakes while you're using it. It can be perfectly stable one moment, then the next you can have a pot of stew all over the place. Ask me how I know.;) Try to find a contained area, down low (the cockpit sole might be okay). You might set the stove inside a large metal pan, to catch any spills or contain problems. Also, keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Take some precautions, use your head, and you should be okay.

leland515 01-12-2010 05:55 PM

Ahh, good idea with the pan.
Time to go stove shopping :D

CoastalEddie 01-12-2010 06:23 PM

Since you have to go out a buy a new stove anyway, you might want to consider an alcohol heater/stove.

I use a Origo Heatpal (the unpainted one above) as a second burner when I my flush-mounted single burner Origo is one too few. Some people claim them to be too low power, but I've found them to be only slightly slower than small propane stoves at most cooking tasks, AND they're much safer on a boat than a camp stove. I realized that you're probably using an outboard on this boat, so you already have gasoline, but not having to deal with yet another source of potentially explosive fluids/gas is always I good idea.

leland515 01-12-2010 06:26 PM

So that's an alcohol stove?
Where would I find alcohol for it?
What is the running cost?

wind_magic 01-12-2010 06:30 PM

Leland I use a camp stove exclusively, up until now one of the white gas stoves, but soon I am changing over to a multi-fuel stove that will allow me to use kerosene and white gas. You can do pretty much anything with the camp stoves except baking and roasting, and you can even bake small things if you suspend one container inside of another. You can't use a dutch oven on a gas stove, it just doesn't produce enough heat to get the oven up to temperature, you'll need a camp fire for that.

So ...
  • Roasting ? No, better to use a dutch oven on shore w/ a campfire.
  • Frying ? Yes, w/ a skillet.
  • Boiling ? Yes, w/ a pan.
  • Baking ? Only small things like a single muffin w/ two pans one inside the other, better to use the dutch oven on shore w/ a campfire for major baking and for things like pizza.
  • Deep frying ? No, not enough heat to get the oil to temperature, and who would want to have scalding oil on top of an unstable camp stove anyway ? Better w/ a dutch oven or deep frying pan and a campfire on shore, let the fire burn down to coals to reduce ash in the oil.
  • Slow cooking ? No, dutch oven on coals is better for that, camp stoves don't have a low enough simmer to slow cook like w/ a crock pot and it would use too much fuel even if they did.
  • Pressure cooking ? Absolutely, w/ a pressure cooker.
  • Pressure canning ? Yes, but not ideal, the canners are physically too big for the stoves.
  • Grilling ? No, better to do this over a campfire on shore.
  • Steaming ? Yes, if you put a small container inside of another container, I do rice that way by using a small ceramic container of rice in a pressure cooker that has water in it.
  • Etc ...

JohnRPollard 01-12-2010 06:40 PM


Originally Posted by leland515 (Post 559218)
Ahh, good idea with the pan.
Time to go stove shopping :D

Oh, I thought you owned one already. Since you have to buy one anyway, why not get a stove that is better suited for a boat?

In the compact size range, I like the little "sea-swing" style single burner stoves. These have a 2-axis gimbal arrangement, that keeps them level as the boat moves under them.

Kenyan and Force 10 both make them (or used to). Hold on a second... okay look here for a review:

Compact Cookers, A Review of Boat Galley Stoves

EDIT: As a follow-up, The Force 10 Seacook may no longer be available, or may be under a different name now (try Kuuma). I had trouble finding a link, anyway. But Forespar makes a sea-swing called the "mini-galley", available through Jamestown:

Forespar Mini-Galley 2000

CoastalEddie 01-12-2010 06:52 PM


Originally Posted by leland515 (Post 559227)
So that's an alcohol stove?
Where would I find alcohol for it?
What is the running cost?

You can get denatured alcohol at just about any hardware store. It runs about $15/gal (about half that price per gallon if you get it in a 5 gal can). That's about the same cost per gal as naptha (e.g., Coleman fuel, "white gas"); but, since alcohol has a lower energy density, you'll wind up using about 1.5 times as much. However, the cost difference isn't worth worrying about if you're only using the stove on the odd weekend trip.

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