Originally Posted by Whisper
So against Hal's advice I am now installing a propane stove and heater aboard Whisper. Does anyone know of horizontal composite propane tanks smaller than 33 lb?
Are you "restoring" or refitting? If restoring, you mean you'll be putting things back as they were? We're doing a restoration of a schooner built in 1930 and we're seriously putting many things (including the cooker) back as they were.
Now, about that diesel and health. Diesel particulates are a "suspected" carcinogen because the size of the particulates is just right for lodging in the lung's epithelial cells and staying there. However, people who work around diesel all the time aren't experiencing increased incidence of cancer as far as anyone can tell. Having said that, and this is far from our topic of stoves....you can look up an author, James Mulshine, MD, who sponsored a meta analysis of everything that has been published regarding lung cancer and inflammation. He was at the National Cancer Institute when the study was done and I believe it was published in 2004/2005 timeframe. I was privileged to see the study before publication as I was working on a project regarding inflammation and epithelial cancer when he was sponsoring the study. His meta analysis findings might be interesting to you. Inflammation is present in all cases of epithelial cancer. It is thought to be a precursor to cancer; thus, if we see an agent (like diesel particulates) which can cause inflammation we can project that the risk of cancer developing has increased. Again, there is no study, that I know of, with findings connection diesel to cancer, though.
Back to stoves....
Soot is a problem with solid fuel stoves and diesel stoves. I've heard that one can simply use cleaner burning kerosene and it is not nearly such a problem. Taylor Blake makes a wonderful Kerosene stove. I'm not sure, but your stove manufacturer may have a different burner available to convert the stove you have to Kerosene or the stove may be adjustable to accept the cleaner fuel.
I have a "thing" against propane. Its the "boom factor" in the bilge that worries me. Further, it is a little more difficult to build a proper propane locker into a wooden boat unless one wishes to keep the propane in a locker on deck. So, though our boat originally had a multi-fuel stove (coal, wood, and shipmate gas aka propane) we're just going with the solid fuel portion of the stove and using non-pressure alcohol drop-in burners for the quick stove-top meal.
If you have no desire to consider a kerosene alternative, I would suggest that you consider the Origo non-pressure alcohol stoves as a safe and healthy alternative to diesel.
Best of luck with your refit/rebuild/restoration whichever it is