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Old 01-05-2008, 01:11 PM   #1
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Hi sorry if this is a repeat and I do feel it will be - but we are trying to buy a gas stove in Europe for our yacht - we are having trouble finding a force 10 and so have turned towards an eno bretange - does anyone have a story about them? OR a place we could buy a force 10 three burner oven/grill.

thanks gail
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Old 01-05-2008, 02:52 PM   #2
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I have had both an Eno and a Force 10. Bear with me, I know I talk too much, but...

Watermelon came with an Eno two-burner stove and oven, and I loved it. I baked breads, cakes, large meals, and everything came out perfectly (well, as perfectly as I could expect from my input). My galley was too small for a larger stove, but the oven was very important. Because it is enameled steel, the oven rack and pan started to rot/rust away. For several years I made do with a rack/pan that was made of stainless steel in Ecuador.

The drawback to the Eno stove was that it was difficult to get replacement parts for it, particularly the burners. When we did need them we were in the Caribbean, and there was a ship chandler in either Guadeloupe or Martinique where we were able to buy the parts. However, it was an excellent stove and oven.

When the Eno finally looked as if it was going to give up the ghost we were in American Samoa in the Pacific. I had heard that the Force 10 stove was the best, and so we ordered one and had it shipped to American Samoa. By the time we had ordered and received the stove we were close to our departure date, and the shipping costs were so high that I was pretty much stuck with my choice. I would never make that mistake again, because the only thing that this stove had over the Eno stove was that it was stainless steel. It was more difficult to clean, particularly because it had metal screws on the top of the stove so that any spills would shred rag or sponge on the screw heads. It had/has no thermostat, just a thermometer, which made manual adjustments necessary, often several times during the baking time. It had less insulation than the Eno stove. The oven door was so heavy that once while baking underway I opened the oven door and the contents almost fell on me as the oven was so unbalanced by the door. The Eno stove never had this problem. The gimbal locks seemed more sturdy than the Eno gimbal locks, but didn't work as well. The pot holders were far less useful or secure as the Eno ones, partly because the stainless rods were too heavy and stiff to adjust well to the pot size, and were straight with a single angle, rather than curved like the Eno holders. The oven heat was maintained by a heavy aluminum plate over the burner. It warped.

In other words, I really, really disliked the Force 10 stove. About seven or eight years ago I heard lots of men saying how wonderful their Force 10 stove was, but none of them had done any blue water sailing and I don't think they cooked the way I did. Recently I have heard a number of other sailors complain about the Force 10.

I recognize that I bought the stove more than 10 years ago, but I've looked at them recently and I still don't like their setup. They are exceedingly expensive and I do not believe that the stainless steel is any great benefit over the enameled steel of the Eno stove. And the Eno weighs less.

Now for a suggestion to throw another option into the pot

A friend had built a ferrocement boat in Europe, and instead of a marine galley stove he bought a small Spanish home stove with oven. He had gimbals welded on and a lock for the oven door installed, and it worked wonderfully (many a party on his large boat, and I did a lot of the cooking). It didn't last as long as the Force 10, but it was about 1/10th of the cost! If I had it to do over again, I might consider his route.
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:34 PM   #3
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I like my Force-10, but then again I only use it for making hot water for coffee. Lori may have different opinion once we start using it more.

Jeanne, did your Force-10 have the front door than swung under the stove when it opened?
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Old 01-05-2008, 05:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trim50 View Post
Jeanne, did your Force-10 have the front door than swung under the stove when it opened?
Yes! And it's probably what I hated most about the stove. When the gimball locks weren't engaged, opening the oven door caused the stove to tilt back severely and suddenly, throwing anything (especially bread pans) out. It dumped out all the heat in the oven (the reason the instructions say to not open the door very often, and was very difficult to maneuver. Since my joy was always long sailing passages, and my reward (or bribe) to Peter (who disliked them) for agreeing to yet another one was to cook better on passage than when on land. That meant bread and muffins and sweet breads like papaya, banana, cranberry orange, all of which had to be baked in the oven.

Disassembling it to clean it was another irritation. The Eno stove's parts just snap out and it leaves a smooth surface for cleaning; and all the racks, fiddles, etc. can be really well cleaned in the sink or cockpit tub. Because I am a very messy cook (Julia Child was my idol), the ease of cleaning is important to me. I don't like sharp 90-degree angles and trim pieces that enable dirt and cooking debris to get down there and need a gouge or dental floss to get into the narrow cracks to remove the stuff. Look at your household stove and its curved edges. Sheet metal edges are difficult to clean, are hard on anything dropped on them, and hurt.

I think that the hype of the Force 10 exceeds its value.
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Old 01-05-2008, 05:36 PM   #5
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I can fully understand your issue with the 90 degree angles capturing dirt and spill scum. Probably the main reason Force-10 is so popular is the use of real 316L stainless. Other companies use 304. The 316L keeps it's crisp luster and doesn't tarnish like 304. I also like the 8200 BTU burner which gets my pot of water for the coffee press boiling hot in about 5 minutes.

My last stove was enamel over steel and it lasted about eight years before the enamel started giving way to corrosion.

My guess is that Force-10 ranges where designed by engineers for engineers that sometimes cook.
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:59 PM   #6
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My guess is that Force-10 ranges were designed by engineers for engineers that sometimes cook.
My take: designed by an engineer for engineers that sometimes cook but never while sailing.
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:52 PM   #7
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Yep...guilty as charged We've only used it on the hook and in the slip.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:48 PM   #8
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THANK you both - my husband is an engineer and might heat the water for the coffe but will really bake the cake for treats.

I am presently in Greece fitting out Castalia and have seen the Eno Bretange - which is a lovely big stove. However, I had had my mind set on the force 10 - but they are not available in Greece and so am unable to view one. So I will take into account your experience on this one. I also thougth the feature of tucking the door under the stove would be good as our galley is of the narrow variety. But the weight change is interesting - I thought it would be more prevelant in one with a stay out door?

As for using a house oven - the one on Castalia is like that and she has no safety gas cut off and is frightful to work with.

cheers
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:00 PM   #9
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So far we love our Force-10. We've been cooking every night with it for a couple months now and haven't had any issues...plus it looks great!

galley_scale_1_.jpg

Picture of our Force-10.
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:05 PM   #10
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I am one of "those" who do not like to have gas on board so, as NAUSIKAA is due for a change of stove soon, I have decided on something out of the Taylors range. I will be going for the paraffin / kerosene model but, if you are into gas, Taylors also produce some lovely gas stoves. How practical they are is something I can not comment upon but they sure look stunning.

Take a look here

Aye // Stephen
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:15 PM   #11
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So far we love our Force-10. We've been cooking every night with it for a couple months now and haven't had any issues...plus it looks great!
Nice looking setup Trim50. Do you have a harness strap and a grab-hold above?
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:27 PM   #12
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Trim50, have you tried using the oven with the gimbal locks free? so the stove swings? How did it behave?
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:31 PM   #13
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One other factor is the type of gas that will be used in the stove - I have a Siemans that came with several sets of different size jets so that when changing from one type (pressure) of gas to another, the appropriate jets could be installed.

Also agree very much with Jeanne as to the desirability of a thermostat in addition to an easily read thermometer.

Richard

PS : A regulator that also is appropriate for the type of gas must be considered.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:52 PM   #14
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Nope, still haven't used the gimbles yet...I'm sure we will this summer.

Lori did buy a oven thermometer which helps a lot. It struck me as odd to think that an oven wouldn't have a thermometer.

We have grab-holds above...but I can't imagine Lori cooking if they were needed. Cold pop-tarts would be getting served.

She can sew sails...and that is more than a man could ask for!
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