Butane cooking gas in winter below 32F/0C doesn't work! - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 18 Old 02-08-2018
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Re: Butane cooking gas in winter below 32F/0C doesn't work!

For those of you who are not educated in science, every liquid has a pressure/temperature relationship that is fixed. I don't remember the boiling point of butane at sea level from the top of my head but I think it is around 30F or -01C. When I did a lot of backpacking and carried a butane mousetrap stove we put the canister at the bottom of my sleeping bag but my stove also had a loop of tubing around the burner to completely vaporize the butane before it reached the burner orifice. The boiling point of propane at sea level is around -49F, we are now using it as a refrigerant due to the continual rapid phasing out of all the refrigerants we have been using in the industry since the late 1980's. Alcohol works because the heat of the flame creates the vapors that actually burn, the same as kerosene. You are dealing with two different applications.
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post #12 of 18 Old 02-08-2018
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Re: Butane cooking gas in winter below 32F/0C doesn't work!

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Bloody drunkards. They went through 6 bottles of my finest Bordeaux
You mean you let the have some of the $4.00/bottle stuff. I thought you saved that for special occasions.
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post #13 of 18 Old 02-09-2018
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Re: Butane cooking gas in winter below 32F/0C doesn't work!

Propane problems in the cold are usually solved by going to bigger tanks, or multiple ones daisy-chained.

It's actually the liquid's surface area makes the difference, so horizontal tanks help, so usually fixed ASME type in the States, or forklift bottles can be adapted.
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post #14 of 18 Old 02-09-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Butane cooking gas in winter below 32F/0C doesn't work!

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You mean you let the have some of the $4.00/bottle stuff. I thought you saved that for special occasions.

How did you know?
I was saving it for you!

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Re: Butane cooking gas in winter below 32F/0C doesn't work!

Mark, you've missed some other current threads recently discussing butane and the cold.

If you're looking for a cheap temporary cooking solution, look for "camping gaz" canisters. They contain isobutane, a mix of butane with enough propane in them to keep working in the cold. Anywhere from $10 for a decent single-screw-on burner, to better stoves from MSR which can take the gaz canister in the normal upright position, or inverted, which allows the stove to preheat and vaporize the fuel, even in colder weather.

Or a classic inexpensive Svea or Optimus camping stove, single burner, compact, running on white gasoline.
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post #16 of 18 Old 02-09-2018
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Re: Butane cooking gas in winter below 32F/0C doesn't work!

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For sure, butane is useless in the cold. Better off with alcohol than butane.
Use the alcohol heater to warm up the butane canisters.
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post #17 of 18 Old 02-09-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Butane cooking gas in winter below 32F/0C doesn't work!

Only ever had one fire on board.

My parents boat had an alcohol stove. Mum refused to light the f'er and even I, the family pyromaniac, was a bit dubious of it.... So Dad had to light it while Mum and me would stand on the back deck donning water-wings.

Anyway, this day Dad lit the f'er and the f'ing flames shot sky high in the galley. So Dad and I each grabbed a fire extinguisher - - remember those old dry chemical ones? - - and Dad and I hit the red tabs and squirted the fire... Except the powder came out in a dribble like 2 incontinent old men.
Mum, **** I hate women, saved the day and the boat but not our dignity by chucking her knee-warming-throw-rug on the fire instantly smothering it.

She then threw Dad and me out of the cabin for the 4 (FOUR) hours it took to clean the white Dry Chemical off every surface in the boat we now hated.

Never have an alcohol stove. You'll lose your Mojo.


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post #18 of 18 Old 02-09-2018
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Re: Butane cooking gas in winter below 32F/0C doesn't work!

The powder vacuums up within difficulties if itís below freezing.

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