Author Topic: gas stoves  (Read 105 times)

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Offline Owly055

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gas stoves
« on: November 19, 2017, 07:02:45 PM »
     I was wondering if anybody used gas stoves, and I mean stoves that operate on liquid "gas" like Coleman fuel.    There doesn't seem to be anything in the way of marine stoves that use this sort of fuel.  The original old green Coleman camp stoves were a bit of a nightmare, but the small single burner backpacker stoves are much more highly refined, and could be mounted in a stainless steel tray with a grate with fiddles like a marine cooktop, and fed with a decent size remote tank with a pump that pressurized it like a weed sprayer.  The result could be an in counter cooktop that while it would not be as easy to use as propane, as you have to preheat the generator briefly, could operate on the same fuel as your outboard.  Only one fuel to carry, and no heavy steel tanks that you have to have filled or exchange.   Those tiny little stoves pump a LOT of BTUs, taking only about 3-4 minutes to boil a quart of water.
     Back in the mid 70's I was no longer able to find white gas, and was forced to use Coleman fuel at an outrageous price for my backpack stove, camping stove, and lanterns.......... about 12 times the price of gas.     I rebelled and began distilling motor fuel to use in these.   A cheap simple apparatus built from an old pressure cooker, some copper pipe coiled inside plastic pipe with water flowing through the for a condensor, a meat thermometer, and a hot plate, much of it from second hand stores and yard sales put me in the distillation business.   The resultant fuel was clear as water, and had none of the additives.   I ended up with about a pint of very red fairly heavy liquid, and three and a half quarts of beautiful fuel from a gallon of gas.  It was as easy as falling off a log, and took little time or energy to distill.  My friends and I used many gallons of this fuel, and it was superior in most ways to Coleman fuel, and for some reason cleaner than white gas had been, in that cleaning jets was not as common, nor did it clog generators with buildup as white gas did over time. 
     My first foray into distillation was a success, and encouraged me to try other similar projects.   Most folks seemed horrified that I was boiling gasoline, even though I explained to them that this was exactly what a refinery did, in fact I could, using the thermometer that went through a hole in the top of the pressure cooker, determine when each fraction came off and had a pretty good idea of what they were.   The thermometer told me when to stop, just as it does when distilling alcohol (for motor fuel of course ;-).     The pressure cooker of course was not necessary, it just was convenient as the top came off, and it had a good seal so my vapor went where I wanted it to go.   A simple solar still could be built that would be light weight and easy to build, though I haven't done that....yet.   

    A common complaint with foreign voyaging into remote areas is difficulty getting your propane bottles filled, or getting alcohol for an alcohol stove.  Some foreign propane bottles use different connections I've heard.   The advantage of being able to buy only one fuel at the fuel dock, and store that fuel in lightweight cans instead of heavy bottles that need to be vented overboard is both convenience when ashore, and cost.   Explaining to customs why you have a still on board might be a bit of a challenge though.    It's commonly held that these kinds of cook stoves are inherently unsafe, and insurance companies have some pretty inflexible ideas.   They have many strange ideas about what is and is not safe.   

                                                   H.W.

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: gas stoves
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2017, 08:33:51 PM »
Not below decks on my boat. I use a Kerosene stove and always have. When I lived aboard, had a three burner with oven. On my 21 footer I had a different one burner. Now I have an antique kero stove from England- brass and survived the "melt brass for artillery shells" from WWII.

Decent kero is rarely available anymore like it was when My grandmother cooked on kero. Then it was water white. So I use 100% Mineral Spirits Available anywhere cause paint gets thinned with it all over.

I have two alcohol stoves stored in shop, take outs from older boats I've re worked. Dinosaurs now. Alcohol is THE most expensive fuel you can use for long term cruising. In the Bahamas, in 2010,  a gallon of stove alcohol was $30 !!

Pics are the old single burner on the 21 foot boot, in use in the cockpit, and my current stove on Tehani and in use offshore
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline KindaSorta

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Re: gas stoves
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2017, 02:16:05 PM »
Well, I had one of those Coleman stoves, but replaced it with a propane one, and don't take that one on the boat. I have a nice stainless butane stove for the Com-Pac. It uses canisters I buy at the Chinese grocery store, because, well, I guess they are popular there and the canisters are cheap.

I have a Jet Boil backpacker stove that the PO used on the WindRider; I guess I might try it some time if I do need to cook while on a trip with that boat.


Offline Owly055

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Re: gas stoves
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2017, 09:55:35 AM »
     I'm really not talking about something that bears much resemblance to  the gas stoves we are used to like the old green Coleman stoves.   The tank would not be anywhere near the stove, probably being stored similarly to a propane tank....in a locker with an overboard drain.   You would not be slopping liquid gas around inside the cabin.  Pressurizing would be done at the remote tank with a few strokes similar to what is done with one of those plastic hand held garden sprayers, and the supply to the stove would be via good copper line well routed and anchored.  Probably safer than propane routed into the galley.   Considering the fact that people have inboard gas engines, and outboards, and we handle gasoline all the time, I find it difficult to understand the fear of this concept as compared to propane.    The stove would be slightly less convenient to operate.... pump up pressure at the tank if it didn't have pressure, light it to heat the generator to warm things before you can get a proper flame, then it is pretty much exactly like propane.   

                                                                                       H.W.