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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    490

    Default Propane/Alcohol stove for longhaul

    Hi - My boat currently has a propane stove in it, which I think is probably going to have to go in the bin, and be replaced with alcohol. Has anyone an opinion on the matter? It seems to me having to carry several propane bottles, and refilling at every dock could be a hassle. Alcohol just seems a lot easier...

    I have no experience with alcohol stoves, and it seems I keep coming across 'marine alcohol' - Is this just nicely labelled for the consumer, or will I need to carry a special hard to find fuel anyway? thanks, n
    Another blog about sailing. www.bigoceans.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    18,519

    Default Re: Propane/Alcohol stove for longhaul

    I would stick with the propane, alcohol is not easy to find, "Long haul" and it's fairly easy to find propane/butane. Mind you depends how much cooking you are going to do and how far "Long haul" is.
    If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    8,751

    Default Re: Propane/Alcohol stove for longhaul

    You'd bitterly regret the action.

    My experience is that alcohol is expensive (about x80 the price of LPG for equivalent heat output).
    It's hard to find in most countries.
    IMHO it's an appallingly poor method of cooking (I once had an Origo stove and thankfully converted it to LPG). It promotes seasickness in those condemned to light it in a seaway. It's been the subject of more near-miss conflagrations than even a Coleman/Primus.

    Propane and Butane are interchangeable and probably, next to diesel, the easiest fuel to find world-wide.

  4. #4
    stingo's Avatar
    stingo is offline Registered User
    Location : sailing the seven seas.
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    8,807

    Default Re: Propane/Alcohol stove for longhaul

    The vast majority of boats use either propane or butane. There must be good reason for that.

    Whatever you do, don't go down the diesel cooker route. You'll stay hungry.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    490

    Default Re: Propane/Alcohol stove for longhaul

    Popularity doesn't necessarily mean it's good, and the vast majority of boats also don't sail in one direction for months on end... So I am trying to work out the best solution to the problem. But if you think it is propane, then maybe I won't need to go to the additional expense.
    Another blog about sailing. www.bigoceans.com

  6. #6
    Robih is offline Registered User
    Location : Hampshire
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    3,147

    Default Re: Propane/Alcohol stove for longhaul

    Why is diesel so bad?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    8,751

    Default Diesel cookers

    Great in theory but of the 3 I know who've had them disapproval is unanimous.

    Contras:-
    1. Devilish expensive to buy and fit.
    2. Burners only operate within a very narrow heat output.
    3. Plates are too cold for majority of top-of-stove cooking
    4. Smell
    5. Slow heat-up.

    Pros:-
    1. Fuel easy to source
    2. Low fire/explosion risk
    3. Quite good ovens

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    696

    Default Re: Diesel cookers

    We have a deisel cooker and after 3 years, no we wouldnīt have one again.

    It cooks well, particularly the oven, and you get used to the timing. Plates are only too cold if the fuel line isnīt feeding properly (a not uncommon problem). Very safe of course.

    BUT - v v expensive, support network not good, even in Britain, repaid bills horrendous, too fiuddly and complicated a bit of kit for an ocean going yacht. We still have it, but I doubt it will stay with us for years and years.

    We wish Blakes could sort out their problems with supplying a gas cooker. Wonderful solid bit of kit.
    Sarah & Pip
    s/v Roaring Girl
    http://www.sailblogs.com/member/roaringgirl

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,881

    Default Re: Propane/Alcohol stove for longhaul

    I never found anywhere in the world where I could not get propane or butane or sometimes a mixture of both! Everybody on land has to cook.
    I did have to buy a 'local' type bottle in the USA and in Australia other than that Camping Gaz was available everywhere or people would 'fill' the bottles for me.

    It is so easy to use and to obtain - not messy or troublesome to light. Why go for anything else?

    Michael
    Gentle Sailing Route to the Med
    http://www.michaelbriant.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    6,544

    Default Re: Propane/Alcohol stove for longhaul

    Propane is the only way to go if you're going outside Europe (butane is difficult/impossible to get). We have a dual propane/butane stove that works fine with Propane but Butane doesn't work well, something to do with calorific value and pressure I think.

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