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post #201 of 301 Old 04-01-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: safe cooking

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Originally Posted by Puddin'_Tain View Post
Look at the current draw. Even a small micro way will require more current than a small boat can easily provide. Almost all compact microwaves call for a 15A circuit. Even if you can get away with 10A, that's 10A at 120V, or 1200W. In other words, the draw on your boat's batteries would be about 100A at 12.5V. On big boats, with big battery banks and gensets, that's doable. On a 27-foot boat, not likely.
oh. i wasn't asking because i was considering it; just out of curiosity. i wouldn't have any place to put it.

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post #202 of 301 Old 04-01-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: safe cooking

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You mean non-pressurized alcohol, right?
yes. quite right. i thought i'd typed 'non' in there. my mistake.

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Re: safe cooking

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I think BoatUS is combining propane or at least they address it in their article. More telling is they attribute the decrease in stove fires to a decrease in alcohol stoves.

“6) Stove - 1%
Stove fires appear to be less common (1%) than in the past, probably due to fewer alcohol stoves being installed on new boats. Still, alcohol can be a dangerous fuel; though it can’t explode, an alcohol flame is hard to see. One fire was started when a member tried to light the stove and gave up because he couldn’t see the flame. Unfortunately, he had succeeded, but didn’t realize it until he got a call from the fire department. Only one fire was started by propane; a portable stove fell off a counter and ignited a cushion.”

True story. Anyone of you familiar with the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Priest Grade? Priest is an original road (trail?) that went up to Groveland in the gold country. Very, very steep grade that lasts for five miles or more. Big signs on both ends prohibiting large trucks, vehicles with trailers and RVs. It is about 15-20 miles shorter than the “modern” road and cuts travel time considerably. On this particular day an RV driver decided to take the shortcut down and as forewarned, burnt out his brakes about halfway. Fortunately, he was able to use the hillside as a brake to stop his runaway vehicle instead of going over the cliff edge and certain death. The family evacuated safely but the burnt out brakes caught the surrounding grasses on fire which caught the RV on fire. Roaring fire, with the roof burnt off, the vehicle walls acted as a chimney. Gas from the fuel tank added to the conflagration. With fire all around, the propane tank started to cook off. When it did, The poppet valve released and a hundred foot flame shot out through the roof with a whoosh. The biggest explosion were the tires cooking off and expanding then bursting. Those went off with a bang that I would have thought what would happen to the propane tank. Not to say propane can’t explode, but this was one exciting afternoon in any case.

Can I make one last plea for bringing back coal for cooking? It’s not volatile, won’t explode, compact, and has about twice the BTUs as wood or charcoal.
i'm probably going to sound silly for asking but are you serious of joking about the coal? my grandparents used to heat the house with a coal stove and had a kero stove to cook on.

The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do.---Captain Jack Sparrow


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Last edited by captain jack; 04-01-2014 at 10:51 PM.
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Re: safe cooking

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post

If you are so concerned with the explosive potential of propane as to rule it out you can make inductive cooking work but your battery bank better be big (off hand, 1200 Ah or so) and you should have the charging capacity to match unless you eat out a lot.
Let's not forget how explosive batteries can be.....
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Re: safe cooking

Coal? No good for boats, too hard to get good coal in most of the developed world, and too easy to have a monoxide problem.

But speaking of spaghetti, that's a classic "ain't gonna happen" on a 6800btu burner. Can't boil a big pot of water on that. Although, most of us were taught how to cook pasta the rich way, with a big pot of rolling boiling water. If you just bring the water to a boil, and then shut the burner and come back to stir the pasta every few minutes, it cooks up just fine. May take 20 minutes instead of 10, but it cooks just fine without the need for copious amounts of boiling water. Great way to save fuel, whatever kind it is.
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post #206 of 301 Old 04-01-2014
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Re: safe cooking

My god Captain Jack,
Get a propane stove; thousands upon thousands of boats come with them, Statiscally you probably have a better chance of burning your boat down with any other fuel. Install it properly and you souldn't have any issues.

That or hang a charcoal grill of the back of the boat.
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Re: safe cooking

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Originally Posted by MastUndSchotbruch View Post
Interesting.

However, this is about fires, not explosions. I suppose the statistics includes galley fires caused by liquid (and solid) fuels. But if there is a propane leak, the result is not a fire but BOOOOM
I really doubt that would make much different in the overall results. The point stands, if you one is worried about fire, one should rip out all their electrical systems and revert to LED headlamps, charts and a sextant, long before worrying about propane (assuming its installed correctly).


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Re: safe cooking

I remember when Ebeneezer Scrooge used.............
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Re: safe cooking

So what I've gathered is that, done right, propane and alcohol are both very safe. The danger of a fire or explosion from either of them is a small fraction of the other dangers involved in boating.

But for a person with a small boat who is trying to keep systems simple and costs down it sure sounds like alcohol comes out a winner. Two or three hundred bucks for an Origo and you're done. No solenoids, no hoses, no valves...

At least that's how I'm leaning for cooking in my tiny boat.
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Re: safe cooking

If your worried about fires then DON'T cook ANYTHING with GREASE or OIL, those cause more fires than the fuel you use. I would worry more about a dragging anchor than a cooking fuel fire.
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