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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard > Propane or alcohol
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-02-2013 03:45 PM
chef2sail
Re: Propane or alcohol

Good points....anything not installed properly will explode....yes even grain dust/ I grew up in the mdiwest and saw a silo literally take off in an eplosion and travel 1/4 mile.

I just wish the somehow the infrastrucrure to refuel with CNG would move faster, but there are positive signs and people have started talking about it even Obama and thats usually the first step.

Somehow though they will artificially control its price so that it becomes as expensive as oil so the money savings may not be there.

Dave

Dave
03-02-2013 03:21 PM
norahs arc
Re: Propane or alcohol

May as well put my 2 cents worth here. Alcohol fumes can and have caused explosions. I read about one in a book, not on google. It's rare though. I use a non preasured Origo currently but have used proper MARINE propane cook stoves. Both were acceptable cook tops. I am installing a MARINE propane cabin heater this spring. I plan to install a MARINE propane stove with oven later this year. The key word is MARINE. Camping gear is not safe on board. The installation must be to MARINE standards as well.
03-02-2013 12:28 PM
miatapaul
Re: Propane or alcohol

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
There is a difference between gasoline/propane/CNG on a boat and on a land based vehicle. Trucks and cars are open at the bottom and their engine compartments are not sealed. Any leaks either drip out the bottom onto the ground or evaporate off harmlessly (well, maybe not harmless to the enviroment)

A boat, as you know, is sealed to the elements except for any hatches or vents that may be installed. Any fuel leaks will settle down into the lowest part of the vessel and pool there until an outside force acts on them..

Even flour will explode if ground fine enough and blown into a sealed environment with a flame or a spark
There is a significant difference between CNG and LPG. CNG is lighter than ambient air, so it floats, and will drift out of hatches and ports (if open) but LPG is heavier than ambient air so it will collect in the bottom of the hull and is difficult to remove. The only reason why CNG is not universal is availability. If it was available world wide I think it would be the universal cooking fuel and common for auxiliary propulsion.
03-02-2013 10:50 AM
boatpoker
Re: Propane or alcohol

There is a place for almost evey fuel for cooking or heating on a boat from woodstoves, diesel stoves, kerosene, pellets, CNG, LPG and even alcohol.

I have no problem with any of them (with proper installation) but prefer propane myself. I must admit that at least half of the propane systems I see do not meet ABYC Standards (or even close) and I don't understand why more of these have not exploded.

CNG would be my second choice but as already noted, refills can be difficult in some areas and impossible in others.
.
PS. CNG is much lighter than air and does not have the same requirements for dedicated lockers and drainage as propane.
03-02-2013 10:30 AM
Faster
Re: Propane or alcohol

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
.....
Even flour will explode if ground fine enough and blown into a sealed environment with a flame or a spark
Indeed... some of the areas with the highest explosive hazard in our city are the grain terminals in the harbour.

Chef made good points. The only real knock on CNG, esp in Canada - oddly enough - is it's lack of availability. Yes, the BTU content is lower, the storage tanks are often under extreme pressure and somewhat less compact, but given the physical nature of the fuels (ie propane vs CNG) and the captive nature of a hull wrt to propane, CNG should be a no brainer.
03-02-2013 01:39 AM
mad_machine
Re: Propane or alcohol

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Ok...let me throw a further wrench into this. The fuel of the not to distant future will be CNG wether you like it or not. It is plentiful, there are huge shale reserves, there are many cities as well as major corporations ( UPS, Pepsi, Coke) who are converting their vehicle over to CNG. The problem up till now is that the fueling staions or refills for CNG are few and far between. This will also change in the future. Surely we arent hearing of an epidemic of increases in bus/ truck exp[losions over the last few years caused by this so safety measures must be developed to meet the growping anticipated surges in demand.
There is a difference between gasoline/propane/CNG on a boat and on a land based vehicle. Trucks and cars are open at the bottom and their engine compartments are not sealed. Any leaks either drip out the bottom onto the ground or evaporate off harmlessly (well, maybe not harmless to the enviroment)

A boat, as you know, is sealed to the elements except for any hatches or vents that may be installed. Any fuel leaks will settle down into the lowest part of the vessel and pool there until an outside force acts on them..

Even flour will explode if ground fine enough and blown into a sealed environment with a flame or a spark
03-01-2013 05:16 PM
jppp
Re: Propane or alcohol

I'll post my story after the legal issue is settled. But trust me, boats blow up and or burn from propane leeks. If the leak is in the engine compartment it's not good.
03-01-2013 04:40 PM
mitchbrown
Re: Propane or alcohol

All google information aside the baot us information doesn't specify weather the alcohol stove in question is a pressurised stove or a wick type like the origo. I can tell you that from the description of the color of the flame i can pretty much guarantee it was pressure.
I usually won't post more than once or twice in any thread because if they go on for long its usually just people being argumentative and i have no use for that. The only reason I make my point again is that i feel that disinformation and half truths about alcohol stoves does a disservice to people who may be looking into the stove options for their boats.
03-01-2013 04:37 PM
chef2sail
Re: Propane or alcohol

Ok...let me throw a further wrench into this. The fuel of the not to distant future will be CNG wether you like it or not. It is plentiful, there are huge shale reserves, there are many cities as well as major corporations ( UPS, Pepsi, Coke) who are converting their vehicle over to CNG. The problem up till now is that the fueling staions or refills for CNG are few and far between. This will also change in the future. Surely we arent hearing of an epidemic of increases in bus/ truck exp[losions over the last few years caused by this so safety measures must be developed to meet the growping anticipated surges in demand/

To push either of the two gases away...propane or CNG is not looking forward, but looking backward.The prediction is that many gas stations in the future will be switched over to handle either propane or CNG for powering vehicles. It is the US way off the oil nipple.

It should also be noted that the "gas" energy usage on a boat will not be contained to just the stove . It may be the means for heating the boat as well as someday powering the boat. Many people are buying adaptors kits for the Honda 2000 portable generators so they can be run off of propane. Many of us have silver spaceships fueled by 20 #propane tanks on our porches to cook our food. Many of us have Magma grills on our boats.

Any fuel when not handled correctly is dangerous. I dont thing the answer is to run from it, but instead develope the best safety systems we can for its use.

While for the moment alcohol may meet the needs of a burner on a boat, it will not be the fuel which replaces the deisel engine, generator or heat furnace so its uses long range are suspect.
03-01-2013 03:30 PM
miatapaul
Re: Propane or alcohol

How many of those hits on Google are purely people talking about it? How many are referring to this thread alone?!?! I don't think a number of hits on Google really tells you much. How many of the truly accurate databases on this are accessible to Google search bots?

Poker, looks like we were thinking much the same thing at the same time!
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