SailNet Community banner
1 - 19 of 36 Posts

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
...

that was a real piece of reality for me. no propane on my boat! ...
A wise choice, IMHO.

...but, there are safety risks with alcohol, too. the threads i have read make that plain. so, the big question i have is what other options are there?

also, how real is the risk with alcohol?

...
The old, pressurized, alcohol stoves were a hazard, mainly because it's difficult to see an alcohol flame unless the lighting is pretty dim. A leak, or fully open unlit burner, could get quite a fire going before anyone realized what was happening. However, modern non-pressurized alcohol stoves (such as those from Origo and Cookmate) are about as safe as a cooker can get. The fuel is much safer than propane, it's almost impossible for the canisters to leak, and there are no hoses, valves, etc., to leak. About the only way I've ever heard of anyone having an uncontrolled fire with an unpressurized stove is if they try to refill the canister while there is still a flame going (which just proves that nothing is completely idiot-proof).

Oh, and while non-pressurized alcohol stove may seem pricy compared to their propane counterparts, that difference vanishes (or is reversed) when you consider the cost of the hoses/tubing, valves, solenoid, vapor sniffer, tank(s), etc., none of which are necessary the a non-pressurized stove.
 

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
This is interesting Propane is not now, nor has it ever been unsafe on boats. People are unsafe and do stupid things every day. Maintain your stuff and it will serve you.
Propane is inherently MUCH more dangerous than alcohol. (<- note the period at the end of that sentence)
 
  • Like
Reactions: jppp

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
Our first family boat had an alcohol stove and when mum lit it the alcohol spilled from the saucer thingy and caused a fure. Dad and I leapt to the rescue and used both dry powder extinguises.... But that didnt put the fire out.
Mum the put a towel over it and smmothered the lot. So much for heroic men :(

So, no alcohol stoves on my boat.
Sounds like a pressurized alcohol stove. Modern non-pressurized alcohol stoves don't have that problem.
 
  • Like
Reactions: captain jack

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
My Boat came with CNG. I like it so I've never converted to propane. I know it's not readily available, but I have had no difficulty filling up here in the Northeast U.S. Perhaps with the resurgence of Natural Gas, CNG may become more readily available in the future. Who knows.
CNG (compressed natural gas) is another good option because it is lighter than air and can't accumulate in the bilge. However, it can be difficult to find outside of the US.
 

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
One word:

kerosene!
Personally, I wouldn't mind a kero stove. However, my wife is particularly sensitive to such fumes. Even a "perfectly burning" kero stove drives her nuts when we've used them while camping in the Great Outdoors. In a boat cabin I would probably have a mutiny on my hands.
 

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
^^^^amen to that(captas paragraph)

this is nonsense never use a car then if your afraid of propane or gas, or an outboard or go inside buildings with heaters
...
A car or house are NOT the same as a boat. If you haven't noticed, a boat has a bilge. That bilge collects fumes. You can vent the bilge with a fan, but relying on electrical gizmos that live in a salty, damp environment, to prevent an explosion is problematic at best. Why not just avoid the dangerous fumes all together?
 

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
On my Allegra 24 I had no sniffer and no cylinoid. I plumbed it myself so I knew it was good. I had one continues fuel line from stern mounted tank to oven. When I wanted to cook I turned it on half turn open. When I was done cooking I shut it off and let fuel burn out of line. These are very low pressure systems and 100% infallible when done correctly.
Aye, there's the rub --- "when done correctly."

It only takes forgetting, or being distracted, or a leak in the line filling you bilge while you are cooking, ONCE to make for a really bad day.
 

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
...
failure cause of dumbass installations or bad useage was what caused problems

...
Even the best equipment, installed correctly, can fail. Beyond that, even the smartest people do dumb things from time to time; particularly when tired, or distracted. Now, can you honestly tell us that you've never been tired or distracted while sailing?
 

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
so you can run an inboard and maintain it but not a line(hose)?

I mean there are installations here and I use tanks down here that are plastic hose, 2 stainless clamps and a valve...they last for years and years and years with absolutely no issues if you have a little grey matter between your ears...

what is hard about replacing a line every 2 years?

you can have a leak in the propane and be cooking and still nothing happens at all...I have done it when cooking at the beach house and you smell it...all you do is replace the valve or line next time you cook

on a boat having fan in the bige is stupidity and you are making something SO SIMPLE so complicated

its the potential sparks of said fan(especially if not a brushlessmotor) that would ignite propane

all you would need to do if you smell gas is simply open bilge and wave a pillow and the gas will flow out

I mean come on guys
Sigh.....

Do what you want. I'll just use a stove that that is safe without relying on anything else.
 

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
im not saying that man

geeze
But that is the point. Propane is only "safe" if everything works correctly and/or the operator does everything he/she should. While the latter is true for all fuels, the chances of screwing up with a non-pressurized stove are FAR less, and even if you do the fumes are far less likely to cause an explosion and/or fire.
 

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
The only problem with electric stoves, whether conventional electric or induction, is that you need a pretty hefty power source (usually a gen-set or shore power). I doubt a Cal 27-1 is going to have a gen-set, so you would be limited to cooking in places where you can get shore power. You can get a combo electric-alcohol (non-pressurized) stove from Origo, but they're pretty pricey. I used to keep a little electric hotplate on my boat so that I wouldn't need to burn alcohol at the dock, but I decided that it was just easier to used the alcohol stove even at the dock.
 
  • Like
Reactions: captain jack

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
Thats what we call a complete and total lack of routine maintenance.
I'm sorry. I didn't realize I was talking to a perfect boat owner. For us mere mortals, sh*t happens.
 

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
Here's a story of a boat owner who wouldn't have had any real problems IF her boat's stove had been a non-pressureized alcohol unit. Granted, she made a pretty dumb mistake by using a lighter after she smelled gas, but mere mortals make mistakes from time to time.

 

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
Let me take a minute and explain how a properly used and maintained propane system works very simply. There is a shut off at the tank it should be shut off IE NO FUEL IN LINE OR BOAT. RTFM :)
And if the valve seal(s) fail, or you get distracted and simply forget, or if the flame gets blown out, etc.???

Let ME take a minute and explain to you how alcohol stoves work --- they CANNOT produce explosive gases (I.E., NO POTENTIALLY EXPLOSIVE FUMES IN THE BILGE, OR ON THE BOAT IN GENERAL; NONE, ZERO, NADDA, ZIP, ZILCH). Propane, on the other hand IS an explosion risk, RTFM*.

(* - From the manual for a Dickinson propane unit: "LPG is heavier than air and if allowed will settle in lower areas resulting in a potential explosion.")
 
  • Like
Reactions: captain jack

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
What if a rat eats through your storage bottle and you accidentally point your blow lit torch it the hole where alcohol is leaking out.
No fuel is absolutely safe. However, propane is inherently more risky than alcohol. No amount of valves, sniffers, and assorted safety gizmos will ever change that simple fact. If you feel propane is worth the risk, fine, feel free to use it to your heart's content. It's your life. But I will also feel free to tell folks the facts. If I'm wrong, I take a minute or two longer to cook my lunch. If you're wrong, BOOM! You make your choice, I'll make mine.

End of discussion, as far as I'm concerned.
 

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
really? it goes for $10 to $20 a gallon? how long does a gallon last?
If you buy a gallon can, denatured alcohol is generally about $13 or $14 per gallon. However, a five-gallon can (a bit harder to find, but usually available at paint supply and some non-big-box hardware stores) runs $25 to $35, or $5 to $7 per gallon.

BTW, even at the high end of the $/gal range, compared to all the other costs involved when owning a boat, stove fuel is pretty trivial; less than the price of a mediocre bottle of wine per month.
 
  • Like
Reactions: captain jack

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
The Origo manual states 6 to 7 hrs per full canister. It takes one quart to fill each canister. My experience is in line with what the manual states. If you don't use your stove much you will find that some alcohol evaporates in time.
If you get the little neoprene gaskets, and remember to use them, the evaporation is cut way down.
 

· Don't call me a "senior"!
Joined
·
968 Posts
Reaction score
311
A safe diesel stove has not been mentioned. The Wallas diesel cooktop will cook totally odorless as well as provide thermostatically controlled heat. No exposed flame. There is a kerosene single burner and the 2 burners are diesel. They use very little fuel and are push button start. The electrical draw is minimal. With the lid up you can cook. With the lid down they heat the boat.
...
I seriously considered installing one of those before I got my Origo. They have the added advantage that their combustion products are exhausted out of the boat; no fumes, no smells, no water vapor. Nice dry heat. I ultimately decided that the use I would get out of it as a cabin heater wouldn't really be worth the expense. However, if I ever move north......
 
1 - 19 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top