Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
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Island Breeze has a Force 10 4 burner stove with oven. She carries two tanks. I'm not sure how many pounds, because they're rated in gallons. They're about half again larger than the home barbeque size you can get at Home Depot, the neighborhood convenience store, etc.
Anyway, I lived aboard the boat for 2 1/2 years, cooking almost every day. I only used the oven once--the A/C couldn't keep up with the extra heat in Miami. Besides, the combo microwave-convection oven works better. Anyway, I installed the new aluminum tanks about five years ago, and the first one just ran dry. If all you are doing is cooking, they last a long, long time.
Personally, I wouldn't even nightmare about having a propane reefer aboard. Having a fire going that I couldn't eyeball would scare me senseless, btw.
On my own boat, an old Morgan 36T, I'm completely refitting the galley, and it's going to have a 2 burner propane cooktop and a microwave-convection oven. After seeing how long the propane has lasted on Breeze, Ruffian is going to get the tiniest gas bottle I can buy. This shouldn't be a real problem, since Ruffian is used to daysail and an occasional overnight stop somewhere. My second reason for wanting a little tank is that I don't want to have to lug a 20+ pound tank around to get it filled. (Blown out back--not laziness.)
The other thing I am a fanatic about is having a 'sniffer' aboard. They aren't cheap, but they work. The whole system sniffs the bilge, which is where propane will go, and won't let you turn the propane tank on if it smells propane. My own experience is that it doesn't seem to like any petrochemical smell, because after spilling a little diesel while changing Racors, it absolutely refused to let me cook until I had the bilge cleaned up. Not a bad thing, I think.
If it were more common and easily available, I'd go for CNG (compressed natural gas), but that stuff is about as easy to find as chicken lip soup.
S/V Island Breeze