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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-24-2007
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Fuel Lamps & Lanterns

I'm in the process of refitting and restoring an old sailboat. My goal is to keep it as simple as possible, and therefore I've decided to have very few items on board that will require electricity from the sailboat's battery.

I would like to add a fuel burning lamp or two to the cabin. What types of lamps and fuels (oil, kerosene, etc.) are acceptable in a cabin? Coming from a camping perspective, I've always heard fuel lamps should not be used in confined areas such as a tent (or a boat cabin?). Is this true? I realize there is a fire hazard, but are there also toxic gas concerns when using a lamp in the cabin?
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Old 10-24-2007
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Hey Walter.. looks like you already know the answers.. but if there's a gasoline engine on on your boat I wouldn't even think of useing them. All the polished brass can do wonders the ambience alone.
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Old 10-24-2007
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Use lamp oil, there isnt the kero smell and in summuer use citrunella lamp oil it works wonders keeping mozies at bay. Always have good ventilation.
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Old 10-24-2007
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weems and plath has a good selection of stuff plus Den Haan lamps. As above, I am a big fan of oil lamps (don't use kero, I think there was a thread on this somewhere on sailnet, but parafin lamp oil (w and p sells some as does West Marine) as the kero smell is ugly. the lamps look great, the amibance is geat and the elec usage is nil. I hang an oil lamp off the forestay as an anchor light - no elec and it's closer to an on-coming skipper's eye level than a mast head light. (www.weems-plath.com)
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Old 10-24-2007
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I have two brass oil lamps aboard Oh Joy, one needs a glass chimney. I reckon I'll have to look at WM for some oil.
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Old 10-24-2007
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I have a wall-mounted gimbaled lamp and a square hanging cabin lamp. Both run on clear paraffin after I "experimented" with kerosene.

Kerosene use for lighting is now confined to the hurricane lamp hoisted as a anchor light.
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Old 10-24-2007
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I want one of these also what about heat build up? Can't be much worse than xenon bulbs;(
Great ideal with the citrinella Simon
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Old 10-24-2007
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Hello,

My boat came with two Weems and Plath lamps



I bought new wicks and lamp oil. I polished the lamps and installed them back on the gimbal mounts.

One of the first nights I spent on the boat I was all excited to light them. So I did, and the amount of light they put out was very disappointing. Not enough light to read by, even if you sat right under the lamp. The cabin had a very nice glow, and the heat would be nice on a cool evening, but if you plan on lighting the entire inside of the boat, and you want to have enough light to really see things, I think you will be disappointed.

I haven't bothered to light the lamps since that first night. I don't spent that many nights on board, and when I do it's usually in a marina with power, so I can run as many electrical lights as I like.

Barry
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Last edited by BarryL; 10-24-2007 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 10-24-2007
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Our current boat has one in the pilothouse and we love the warm glow that eminates from that lamp. At first I was ambivilent about onboard oil lamps, until buying a small brass Weems & Plath (exactly like Barry's) for our last boat and using it on the hook a few times. Perfect ambiance when away from shorepower.

During an extended stay in Cuttyhunk one year, we ran out of paraffin oil. There was only one very small general store on the isalnd, with limited provisions to serve the needs of islanders and visiting boaters. I thought there might be a slight chance of finding lamp oil.

To our surprise, there were at least a dozen different brands to choose from . . . testimony to the popularity of this lighting source, for self sufficient people.

Edit - I agree with BarryL regarding the light output - not even enough for reading by. The value is in ambiance, with the gimbaled base and flickering warm light in sync with the gentle motion of a sailboat at anchor.

Here's a low res image (cropped from a much larger pic) of our pilothouse lamp:

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Old 10-24-2007
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A project I just started last night is converting a new 12 inch tall oil lamp to using the sensibulb LED lights. I am placing the fixture for the bulb where the flame would normally be. You can read by the sensiblub lights and the color of light is rather warm in tone. Very much unlike the blue cast so many LED's throw off.
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