Join Date: Nov 2002
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
I recently bought an Origo 3000 and am very pleased with it. Practical Sailor has a review of stoves in its March 2002 issue which says that the boiling time for a quart of water is 11.5 minutes on the Origo vs. 5.5 minutes on a couple of Butane stoves. I don''t buy that. I did my own test and found a much faster boiling time, about 8 minutes for the Origo. My home electric stove was only 1.5 minutes faster. Given that full heat is typically used only to get the pot and food hot, then the heat is turned down, a couple of minutes each day out of .5 to 1 hour spent cooking is insignificant.
See also www.boatus.com/goodoldboat/cookingfuels.htm for an excellent comparison of various stove types. Alcohol has half of the BTU/lb. of propane, but a 10 lb. propane tank weighs about 10 pounds empty and 20 pounds full. The weight of an empty alcohol jar is minimal. Thus effective weight per BTU for the fuel system is about the same. Alcohol is way ahead in terms of BTUs per unit volume. It weighs 6-7 pounds per gallon whereas a 10 pound propane tank takes up about 6 gallons of space (and they''re round so there''s even more wasted space). That''s about 1.6 pounds per gallon of fuel. Propane takes up twice the volume per BTU compared to alcohol.
But heat content of the fuel is not relevant except maybe on a long voyage where space and volume are concerns. The question is how much heat does the burner put out. If one looks at the Origo specs a burner puts out 7000 BTU/hr., propane stove burners are 5000-8000 BTU/hr.
All of the data point to a very effective stove, very safe, and much less expensive than retrofitting propane. I replaced a 20 year old non-pressurized alcohol stove and notice a huge difference in heat output. The burners were clogged and I wasted a lot of time and effort trying to fix. Quite simply alcohol stove got a bad name due to these stoves.
The only drawback is some odor and wooziness in closed cabins. I''ve been using S-L-X denatured alcohol (cheap at Home Depot). Perhaps Soot Free would be better, it''s a couple of bucks a gallon extra. Consumption was less than 1 gallon on a 3 week cruise, cooking every night and coffee water in the morning.