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  #11  
Old 09-14-2012
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Re: Alcohol Stove - Non-Pressurized

I had an Origo 3000 on my Catalina 27, it worked like a charm, filling the canisters was easy if you used a funnel, and much safer than trying to fill them directly from the Alcohol can. The cost of grain alcohol, however, is ridiculous - about $30 per gallon, more in some locations. By current boat has propane, a 20-pound tank that has three valves for safety, including a solenoid valve attached to the sniffer. The cost of propane is also ridiculous, but it's still a lot less than alcohol.

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  #12  
Old 09-14-2012
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Re: Alcohol Stove - Non-Pressurized

I had propane on my old boat and had no issues with it.

On my new boat I have an Origo stove with oven. I was a little sceptical about cooking with alcohol.

When I used the left-over marine alcohol that was on the boat, I wasn't dissatisfied but I did notice a difference in cooking times.

I looked into the heat output of some different fuels.

I don't remember the numbers but I do remember that:
  • Isopropyl alcohol has the highest BTU output but leaves a sooty residue.
  • Ethanol (grain alcohol) has a good BTU output, but is very hard to get in its pure form and must be de-natured in order to be sold as a cooking fuel. This de-naturing involves blending the ethanol with another alcohol to make it un-drinkable. The ethanol is de-natured by the addition of either isopropyl or methanol.
  • Methanol (wood alcohol) has the least BTU output of the three. It is very inexpensive and sometimes used as a cooking fuel under the name methyl hydrate.
So ideally you want a fuel that is Ethanol de-natured with a small proportion of isopropyl. I think 10% isopropyl seems to be standard.

I looked into some prices on line and see that you can get some for as little as $22.00 per gallon (Captain Phab) it is a 90-10 Ethanol (I don't know what the 10% portion is but I think it's methanol). I haven't been able to find that kind of price in real life. Usually it's around $12 -$13 per litre (quart).

I found BioFlame at Canadian Tire for $26.00 per gallon. It is Ethanol de-natured with isopropyl making it burn hotter.

I found that I couldn't get the temp in my oven past 350F with the Captain Phab, but burnt my muffins with the BioFlame when the temp topped out at 450F.

I also found that boiling water, making coffee etc. are much faster with the BioFlame.

So the bottom line for me is: I like the alcohol. I don't feel I'm missing much in the heat department.

A downside is that the alcohol tends to evapourate even when the stove isn't being used so I took to estimating the amount I needed to fill the reservoir in order to cook whatever it is I'm cooking.

I've spent as much on cooking fuel as I have on diesel this season.
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  #13  
Old 09-14-2012
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Re: Alcohol Stove - Non-Pressurized

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Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
...The cost of grain alcohol, however, is ridiculous - about $30 per gallon, more in some locations....
Even at WestMarine, SLX Denatured Alcohol is only about half that price. And, you can usually find it a few bucks cheaper at your local hardware or paint store. Still not cheap, but not $30/gal either.
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Old 09-14-2012
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Re: Alcohol Stove - Non-Pressurized

I have heard people complain about the cost of alcohol but have never found it to be true. I don't think that I have ever paid more than $15 for a gallon. That gallon typically lasts us about 50 days of cruising which really isn't bad.

If you are in the situation of installing something totally new, alcohol will be on the order of $1k cheaper which will buy an awful lot of alcohol. At the very least, I think that it would be really difficult to justify making the switch to propane for cost reasons unless you run the stove practically continuously.

I have not yet had the chance to cruise with alcohol outside of the continental US so I don't know whether there are supply issues anywhere.
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Old 09-14-2012
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Re: Alcohol Stove - Non-Pressurized

We have been cooking on a Cookmate two burner non-pressurized alcohol stove for the past three seasons and we both love the stove. We have always used the marine grade alcohol purchased in marine stores just to make certian we're getting the best fuel for this stove. The stove is very low maintenance, easy to use, reliable and safe. For two people, the stove is more than adequate to serve our cooking needs.
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Old 09-14-2012
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Re: Alcohol Stove - Non-Pressurized

Well to you other two guys on the kerosene Orego does not build a pressurized stone they are all wicked. Very safe as long as you dont over fill them, other wise fire every where.
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Old 09-15-2012
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Re: Alcohol Stove - Non-Pressurized

We use Kero Taylors and heat the burners with Denatured Alc. I recently purchased a quart can at my local ACE Hardware and paid $4.99. I am sure that it is cheaper yet by the gallon there, but we only need a small amount, in a smaller container, on-board.
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Alcohol Stove - Non-Pressurized

I have had no problem cooking on our alcohol stove powered with methyl hydrate. Been doing it for five seasons. Use about five gallons per season, at $12-14/gallon (Home Hardware, in the paint section) Flyboy is right, there are slightly hotter fuels, but, as he has pointed out, sometimes you get more heat than you can use- nobody likes to have their buns scorched. I can't speak to the baking aspect, but i can say that for general boiling, frying, sauteing and overall stovetop use, we dig being alkies.
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Alcohol Stove - Non-Pressurized

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Originally Posted by bljones View Post
I have had no problem cooking on our alcohol stove powered with methyl hydrate. Been doing it for five seasons. Use about five gallons per season, at $12-14/gallon (Home Hardware, in the paint section) Flyboy is right, there are slightly hotter fuels, but, as he has pointed out, sometimes you get more heat than you can use- nobody likes to have their buns scorched. I can't speak to the baking aspect, but i can say that for general boiling, frying, sauteing and overall stovetop use, we dig being alkies.
Try that BioFlame from Crappy Tire. I've converted a couple of Meth-heads from my marina. It burns about 30% hotter (faster) than methyl hydrate. More heat=faster coffee in the morning!
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Old 09-19-2012
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Re: Alcohol Stove - Non-Pressurized

Ive had non-pressurized 2 burner type stoves on the three boats ive owned and never had a problem with them, people say they are slow to heat things up, i like being on the water so im never in a rush, they are simple and cost effective
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