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solman55 03-29-2011 02:45 PM

Alcohol to LPG
Hey guys as some know I have been working so that I may soon move aboard my watkins 27 and if some know the watkins it is only really meant to be a weekend cruiser but I love the stout old gal but look to live on it and cruise to the Bahamas by next year so I am looking at putting a propane stove aboard and am not sure all the things I would need to do to make it safe, where would I keep a tank, how would I plumb it safely (for this I plan to diy and then hire a pro to inspect it) ventilation concerns stove preferences and such are all welcome and needed. I would like a gimbaled stove I am just thinking two purner rig I would like to possible get one with an oven but not sure all the details about that. So any information would be great.
Thanks guys

erps 03-29-2011 03:04 PM

I converted the alcohol stoves on two previous boats over to propane. Tore the alcohol pressure tank out, pulled the little diffuser burner caps and doubled the number of drilled holes in it. Plumbed a copper line from the stove to a little four pound tank hung off the pushpit. Bought a little regulator for Coleman stoves and I was in business. I can't say whether it was up to ABYC standards though. Neither one blew up though.

solman55 03-29-2011 03:18 PM

I was considering just swapping the stove over so I would not really be converting the stove as I am not familiar with that although I am sure it would not be difficult. I have worked with propane for many years, mostly just filling and inspecting tanks, I had a grill go up on me one time which scared the **** out of me, big barrel grill for large functions it burned me pretty bad so I just want to make sure that does not happen to my boat. Thanks for the info though.

tdw 03-29-2011 03:30 PM

For me LPG is the only way to go and I do like the added usefulness of an oven. In Oz the installation has to be passed by a licenced gasfitter or insurer will get upset.

Non marine stoves can be adapted but corrosion is a problem. We have a Force 10, expensive and not as good as I would have thought but still probably as good as it gets. Don't know if Plastimo sell in the US but I had one on previous boat and given the price I thought it better value than the F10.

Given the choice I'd go three burner, with grill (broiler) and oven. Grill in oven better than external cos you retain full oven size.

Oh yes, we don't have electrical cutoff. Tank has a pressure gauge on it that is visible from the cockpit. If pressure falls then you know you either have a leak or tank is nearly empty. Good feature I reckon.

mitiempo 03-29-2011 03:56 PM

Having had many kinds of stoves in previous boats I wouldn't have anything other than propane. Currently a Force 10 3 burner with oven/grill.
One thing to think about if you want to gimbal it - the Force 10 2 burner only requires 1" less depth (front to back) of cutout than the 3 burner.

You want to have the tank(s) where any leaks drain overboard. This can be in a dedicated sealed locker, vented overboard or as some do the tank hung off the stern rail. One continuous hose between locker and stove. Pressure gauge and ideally a solenoid valve with a sniffer. The combination sniffer/gas controls let you shut the valve from inside the boat so it is done easily after using the stove. The sensors alert you to a leak into the boat.

tdw 03-29-2011 04:22 PM

I'd rather have the pressure gauge than the solenoid. Sniffer an obvious safety back up and yes to all of them as a best of all worlds solution but for me the pressure gauge is number one priority.

Oh yes, as for the three burner v two the three has to be the way to go. Yes the top of the stove is not much bigger than the 2B but that large back burner on the 3B has to be a boon. In stuff we have done to Raven over the years I count not going 3B and going sail cover instead of boom bag as my two silliest moves.

mitiempo 03-29-2011 04:45 PM


ABYC calls for the pressure gauge and it is a good idea in any case - it allows a leak test to be easily done. The solenoid is a great idea as well. If you have to go outside to shut the tank after use it will be ignored at least once in a while and the solenoid makes it push button easy. ABYC requires the valve be operable from the vicinity of the appliance.

solman55 03-29-2011 05:01 PM

Thanks for the information, I may take a photo of the place in which I will be installing it. I figured I could get a small locker mounted in the cockpit because the traveler is on the very back of the boat as is the tiller, so there is no getting there anyway, so I could easily mount a small bottle back there. and run the hose under the cockpit and up to the stove very easily. I would of course have a pro run the line and inspect as to stay up to abyc standards and for my own comfort. I think I could get a stove and oven in there but not sure if I could fit a 3 burner cause it is a little tight. But I will measure it up.

Waltthesalt 03-29-2011 05:02 PM

LPG or propane is heavier thair and has a lot of safety restrictions. The ABYC spells these out. Your insurance company will require that you meet these as they want to keep you around to make paments and not get blown up. LPG is lighter than air and less restrictive. You'll use a lot more LPG than propane... many times.

mitiempo 03-29-2011 05:09 PM

LPG is propane.:) And heavier than air.

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