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I have a recently purchased 1975 Cal 2-29 that has a stove oven combo and a fuel tank in the starboard lazaret. The old owner said he never used it and I think on a previous Cal 29 I had an alcohol stove. Are the stove combo's usable, refillable and/or can they be converted to propane?
 

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Are we talking about a campstove sort of thing? or a proper galley range (with pressure tank?) that happens to be stored in a locker??
 

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I think it is a Pressurized alcohol stove/oven. (it sounds like) If it is be very careful.
A sailboat friend helped me when I bought the boat and it was the only time I used a
fire extinguisher. My alcohol tank was in same location as yours. Tank has a pump
on it to Pressurize it. On the stove top a little alcohol is drained, metered into the 'dish' around the burner by turning the round knob on the stove & then SHUT it off --before too
much alcohol-- gets into burner dish. You light that alcohol and when its hot enough it
Vaporizes the alcohol coming into stove from tank and then your stove burns for cooking.
***if too much alcohol is put in burner 'dish' you can have a big flare up & possible fire.
....Many, many, of these pressurized stoves were removed & replaced with Non-pressure stoves.
I got the hang of it & kept using mine & Refillable. Mine had instructions on it, but the amount of alcohol to use to light it is something a person needs to experiment with.
 

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When we had an alcohol stove we avoided flare ups by using a propane torch to pre heat the burners.. No alcohol pools anywhere. Though it defeats the point of using alcohol, in our case we had propane on board for the BBQ and heater anyway.

Eventually we changed for propane all around -and wouldn't go back. The good alcohol fuel was getting really expensive too.
 
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The latter.

I vaguely remember having the flare ups on my original CAL 29. I guess I will have to experiment with the burners and oven.

Thanks for the hint with the propane torch. Did you have to replace the whole system to go to propane or were you able to convert?
 

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Cng and propane stoves are easy to convert to each other, as they both use a gas. Alcohol to propane will require a rebuild adding new gas lines, thermocouples to each burner and the oven, etc. Probably as expensive as a new stove and a lot more work.
 

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A large percentage of boat fires are caused by pressure alcohol stoves. If a propane stove is properly installed with a gas sniffer alarm/shutoff, it is much safer. Used to be USCG didn't allow propane on board, but now with the new alarm systems it's OK on non commercial vessels.
The first thing I did to my '69 Columbia 36 was take the almost unused alcohol stove to the scrap yard and replace it with propane. I don't think it would be practical to convert one.
It just gets a lot more exciting of you do have a problem with propane.
 

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If you plan on doing a fair amount of cooking, I would replace the alcohol stove with either a propane or CNG stove. CNG is an easier install and safer but availability of CNG isn't anywhere near as convenient as propane.
 

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Thanks for the hint with the propane torch. Did you have to replace the whole system to go to propane or were you able to convert?
We replaced the stove altogether.. a marina neighbour replaced his so we got a deal. As mitempo indicated a 'conversion' would have been a total rebuild.

btw, while the alcohol stovetop worked well enough, we were never able to bake anything decent in the oven.. it ended up being our bread locker.
 

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Depending upon where you are located, as to the availability of gas, either CNG or Propane are good alternatives. Our prior yacht, a 1976 Cal 2-29 came fitted with a Princess 3-burner CNG Stove with Oven that was the bee's knees. It was good for cooking and, the oven, with a baking stone on the bottom and the door left ajar, for heating the yacht at times. The gas cylinder, about the same size and weight as a common scuba tank which one could exchange for $12 (USD) at the time, was situated horizontally in the starboard lazarett locker, under the side deck and seemed to last forever (about 40-50 hours of "burner" time). In California, obtaining replacement cylinders was no problem although it became difficult once we got to Southwest Florida.

Friends of ours with the same boat were fitted with Propane, rather than CNG, and had a properly vented custom made propane locker situated in the cockpit, against the transom, aft of the helm. The cover was held in place with a couple of fast-pins and was padded, making a small but serviceable helmsman's seat. The locker did not extend all of the way to the cockpit sole so the drain and sump at the aft of the cockpit were not obstructed. The feed line, again, ran through the starboard lazarett. With Propane, one does need a solenoid valve control coupled with "gas sniffers" in both one's bilge and under the stove, but the cost is relatively modest in proportion to the merit of the systems.

Having previously endured both alcohol and kerosene stove fuels on prior yachts, CNG/Propane are hugely cleaner and more convenient as long as one keeps track of one's consumption.

FWIW...
 

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Dolphin24 008.jpg

Look familiar? This was on my boat when I bought it, still partially wrapped in plastic from 1969. After reading the horror stories, I have never bothered to attempt to light it. A little digging on the interwebs will reveal that many of these were, indeed, converted to propane. IIRC, it involved changing the needles delivering the fuel to the burner. I opted to purchase a 30,000 BTU Japanese Butane Burner that I found at a huge Asian market here in SoCal. Works great with a wok...although this does nothing to solve any baking requirements. Just thought I'd share a bit of history...
 

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You can also use the tilley lamp preheaters. It's a little bit of packing and some wire that you dip/keep in a jar or bottle of Alcohol and then it clips onto the bottom of said burners and preheats them. They work great for both stoves and ovens. I don't sell them I've just used them before for stoves and heaters. You can find them on ebay... They are called " Tilley Lamp Preheating Torch"
 
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