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bsfree 05-22-2002 09:06 AM

Electric cooking
I was wondering if anyone out there has installed an electric stove for cooking and run it off an inverter when away from the dock. I know the amps must be replaced and thought a wind generator and solar panel might suffice. Bottom line is I run cng which is expensive, everyone else has Lpg and before I change over I wanted to know the feasibilty of electric, I certainly like the idea of remewable energy.

Jeff_H 05-22-2002 09:48 AM

Electric cooking
It would be very hard to produce enough energy off of wind generators and solar panels to make up for the emormous electrical consumption of an electric stove. I know some people havd successfully used microwaves but I suspect that you will be running your engine a lot to keep up with the drain.

I just converted my boat from LPG to catalyzed alcohol stove/oven. It puts out close to the same heat and is a less expensive renewable resource.


Don Foley 05-22-2002 03:55 PM

Electric cooking
It really wouldn''t be practical at all unless you ran a genset while you ran the stove.

When you''re on the hook the game you play is to watch every amp to KEEP from running the genset as much as possible, with the goal of charging things up during any required motoring the next day.

We''re energy hogs, with TV, VCR, computers, hair dryers and microwaves, but there''s NO WAY we would drain one amp on an electric stove. Nope, propane does the job just fine.


davidk 05-23-2002 06:26 AM

Electric cooking
I''m not sure whether my alternative suggestion is the same as Jeff''s or not. I always did get muddled between alcohol and Paraffin. Anyway I''m suggesting the third way which is not electricity or gas but Paraffin.

The new boat that we''ve so far only sailed for about 5 days is a gas free boat. The owner insisted he didn''t want gas aboard and bought a trraditional ''Taylor''s'' stove. I thought this would be a mega hassle because I was used to the ease of lighting the gas and quickly getting boiling water as a result. Instead I found I was expected to run a system involving pre-heating with methylated spirits for two minutes then introducing the paraffin under pressure to get the system hot enough to deliver the paraffin vaporised.

I spent about half an hour reading all the instructions and then practising with the meths. It took about an hour of ''burn'' on each jet to get the newness out and it willing to deliver a full blue flame straight away (thats two hob burners plus 1 in the oven) and after that found I was a convert. The only danger is covering the place with meths. which ignites all too easily but as long as you follow the routines it is super safe. I can now produce anything you like as quick as gas plus about three minutes.

The upside is that Taylor has been developing their stoves for sailors since Joshua was a boy (actually didn''t he take one on Spray?) and the thing works consistently anyway up. On our 8M cruiser racer you need that since the first thirty or so degrees of role seem to be used up in the first say fifteen knots.

After only a little practise I find it is a cinch to use in virtually any conditions (and boy does it warm up the cabin). The accompanying cook book will do you for bread, cakes, stews ... everything you need. Having spent years messing with gas ... which is inherently terrifying ... I am now sold on a paraffin stove. I wouldn''t consider electricity for more than a nanosecond for cooking (I cannot see ANY advantages). It simply does not get on the priority list for using the precious stored electricity. I want to reserve it for: Nav lights, instruments (pilotage), navigation (all that Rasyhtheon or B&G stuff), and auto pilot in that order. So there is a new topic for you: What are your priorities for electricity use? (Those who plug in at a marina need not apply!)

bsfree 05-23-2002 08:34 AM

Electric cooking
Thanks guys, seems I don''t have to wonder anymore about an electric stove. Guess I''ll fall into line with Lpg, though the alcohol and paraffin are interesting options. I have''nt spent anytime on the hook yet so don''t appreciate energy conservation, am spoiled to death here in Santa Monica bay sailing wise, so I know I''m in for a bunch of surprises when I venture out, just trying to build my knoweledge base in lieu of real experience. Thanks again.

Don Foley 05-23-2002 09:15 AM

Electric cooking
Another thing I like about Propane is that I have a line that I run to my Magma Grill. I know ''purists'' like charcoal, but there''s something to be said for speed.

After 7 hours of single-handeed sailing up the ICW out of Jacksonville the other day, with a broken autopilot belt I was starving. Dropped my hook off Fernandina, fired up the Magma and I was eating a thick slice of Porterhouse 15 minutes later.

MaryBeth 05-24-2002 04:29 PM

Electric cooking

Good for you, Don! Although I feel for you losing Otto. Fernandina is lovely - spent the "Storm of The Century" there. If you anchored out, maybe you did so in a litle cove just north of the Amelia Island Marina that had two boats hauled in at that time, once they could get to them, when the water returned to that side of FL.

Propane is much cleaner than other fuels, and much more cost efficient than electric, tho you do have to check your lines periodically for leaks. Please noone forget that propane is heavier than air, and check for leaks before retiring if you''ve been in a jostle or heavy air the day before, just in case. Takes just a moment and you usually have dishsoap ready from the dinner dishes.


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