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Old 01-23-2006, 06:08 AM   #1
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Default Cooking without gas

Hate gas; hate gas on boats so would like to hear of any alternative cooking experiences, names of specialist manufactures and, indeed, anything else that might be relevant.

Boat will be minimum 40ft and otherwise reasonably well equipped for liveaboard, possibly extended, cruising.

Thanks for your time and help; see ya

Pete
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Old 01-23-2006, 06:19 PM   #2
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G'day from OZ Pete.

Not sure if I should be talking to you after our disastrous Ashes tour - anyway, after costings considered on my current boat, I decided to stay with kerosine for the stove and oven rather than convert to LPG (gas) or methylated spirits. I saw photos of an horrific explosion from gas on a British boat years ago and have been a bit concerned about gas since. My last boat had gas and I always turned the gas off at the bottle and appliance, had a gas detector in the bilge and had a plumber sign off on the system each year.

However, I am not sure if I have advanced on safety as I now carry diesel, petrol, two stroke mix, kerosine and metholated spirits on board and still worry about the possibility of combustion.

Regards,

Rod
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Old 01-23-2006, 09:03 PM   #3
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Peter, the other two viable options for cooking are to use a wick-type alcohol stove (oven not feasible) or pressurized kerosene. Some folks find the alcohol wick method acceptable but, if you plan to cruise long distances, I think both its functionality and the expense & difficulty of finding alcohol in parts of the world to be a significant problem. Kerosene has much to recommend it, including an inexpensive, safe fuel and the ability to carry many months of cooking fuel in a relatively small container. Aside from soot (incremental amounts over time), smell (clean/tight connections help a lot but don't eliminate it), and the inconvenience of priming the burner, the main disadvantage of kero is the difficulty in finding parts for the preferred 4-riser burner (which is far better at vaporizing the fuel). Due to the small market for kero stoves/ovens and bulkhead heaters, only one company was building these (in Portugal) and it recently closed. If you go in that direction (which would be my recommendation absent LPG), I wouldn't buy the hardware without insuring you could lay in a stock of spares alongside.

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Old 01-24-2006, 05:22 PM   #4
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Hi Peter and Jack,

I have looked at many different stoves as my boat is currently fitted with a pressurised alcohol stove. It works well but alcohol is getting increasingly difficult to get and isn't cheap.

I share Peter's concerns regarding gas and so have decided to go for a diesel stove. Wallas make a neat model as do Taylors. I will probably go for the Wallas as it can even double up as a heater. Refleks in Denmark also make a diesel stove which can perform as a heater as well but it is larger than the Wallas.

Here are the links; www.kuranda.co.uk , www.blakes-lavac-taylors.co.uk and www.refleks-olieovne.dk

Hope you find something suitable.

Stephen

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Old 01-25-2006, 05:18 AM   #5
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I have sailed on boats with various cooking devices including LPG, pressurised kerosene, pressurised mehylated spirits and unpressurised methylated spirits.

Personally, I like LPG the best. I have found the other pressurised systems such as metho or kero are dirty and sometimes difficult to prime and, during priming are liable to flare up. Unpressurised metho is probably safest, but it is relatively slow, fuel inefficient and only good for standard pot cooking - not grill or oven.

I think that

a) If your LPG cylinders are placed in a vented deck locker - i.e. effectively "outside" and isolated from below decks, so that any potential leak of LPG (which is heavier than air) will not end up in the bilges below decks

You have periodic inspections / maintenance form a certified gas fitter (who will issue you with a gas certificate)

c) You have an isolating valve in the cylinder locker that you use meticulously

then LPG is the best way to go.

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Originally Posted by name='Converted Post'
Originally posted by Peter Owen

Hate gas; hate gas on boats so would like to hear of any alternative cooking experiences, names of specialist manufactures and, indeed, anything else that might be relevant.

Boat will be minimum 40ft and otherwise reasonably well equipped for liveaboard, possibly extended, cruising.

Thanks for your time and help; see ya

Pete
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for your inputs which I guess lead me to a choice between gas and diesel and, therefore, the latter.

I had, of course, secretly hoped to hear that there was a really good electric option albeit probably based on the availability of shore power and/or a generator.

I know that it sort of goes against tradition but ... any thoughts?

See ya!
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Old 01-25-2006, 12:56 PM   #7
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Hi Peter, I think the power required to operate a conventional electric cooker would need a generator larger than would ordinarily be practical on a 40' yacht. Perhaps the only realistic alternative to gas in your case, is a combination of rail mounted, heatbead fired BBQ and the inclusion down below of a microwave oven, which can be run from a relatively small generator (Honda inverter series) or perhaps a decent sized inverter powered by extra batteries. You may then need to add a wind generator..or if you are sailing in warmer areas, solar panels to keep the batteries topped up.Making the morning toast could be a problem, but perhaps a small concession to a camping gaz arrangement for use and storage on deck, could help. Best wishes. David.
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Old 01-25-2006, 11:25 PM   #8
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Peter, a couple of add'l thoughts for you:

Electric cookers are a notoriously poor choice on cruising boats because things break and the minute you lose your AC source, you lose your cooker. In addition, as mentioned by Rod, there's a lot of incidental cost embraced the minute 'electricity' is the answer for any boat system.

Diesel and kero cookers are fundamentally the same thing, so most 'diesel' cookers are being marketed as such primarily because diesel is a cheaper & more available fuel than kero and so enjoys more appeal for some. Except when you move into more expensive products with their drip burner systems, all these cookers rely on a burner which aspirates the fuel due to heat as it is supplied to the burner. You'll find that kero is preferred when available for just the reasons Weyalan mentions; it's a more refined fuel and so lighting is a bit easier, it burns a bit cleaner, and burners also last longer before needing to be rebuilt. But such burners typically can burn both fuels.

We too have used all the fuel types. We've chosen LPG as the best and one example of how it can be safe is that we had a massive failure of a factory-built pigtail in our system where an entire 10# bottle leaked out over two days, yet without a problem for us. A remotely operated solenoid, proper storage, regular pressure checks with the system 'open' but the stove not being used, and good hardware make it very safe. Still, if that's not to your liking, I think in the end you'll find your only viable alternative - especially for your SoPac location - is going to be a diesel/kero cooker. Good hunting!

Jack
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Old 01-28-2006, 05:51 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the inputs which have helped me a little further up my ever steepening learning curve - does it ever flatten out?

See ya somehwere, sometime .....
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