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Old 07-12-2020, 12:36 PM   #1
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Stove top

Have a 2004 Mainship Pilot 30. Am a sailor at heart and want to swap out the electric stove top for either alcohol or propane single burner stove top, as we have no gen set and enjoy being on the hook. Appreciate any suggestions.
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Old 07-12-2020, 01:06 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. The alcohol stoves are not great for heat from our experience. They work but rather slowly. Do you have a propane locker on the boat now? If you do then a large part of adding propane is done. If you do not have a propane locker then it is a pretty big job adding it. There are specific requirements for propane aboard. If you donít do it correctly it can be very dangerous.
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Old 07-12-2020, 04:56 PM   #3
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I've put single burner propane stoves into a couple of small RV's and one boat. In these galleys the advantage to one burner is that suddenly I have counter space where there was none before (with a two-burner). I use a silicone trivet instead of a second burner as a place to, say, set a hot pot of rice while I then cook the stir fry. Works for me when the alternative is no counter space.

So here are some of the stoves I have considered or tried:

[Note: I can't figure out how to "place" images within th etext or even in any certain order at the bottom. The black one is #1, the stainless is #2, and the one with a stainless lid is one version of #3 (the other version has a cutting board instead of the lid)]

1) Seaward Princess 12-73-1000
This is a nice, black glass single burner, official marine stove with the expected safety features; however it's not made anymore so only used ones and you'd have to hunt one down.

2) Smev (not sure model number, but it's one burner with an X-shaped grate).
This is not quite an official marine stove, I don't think, but it does have a thermocouple, I believe (you have to push down and hold knob to start and if you let go too soon the flame doesn't stay on). A friend bought this for his small RV trailer and I helped install it. It's nice looking, stainless, and has grates that accomodate small pans (some don't). I just asked him for a review (he's been using it for six months now) and he said he likes it. It simmers well (low flame) and is easy to clean.

One negative is the propane hookup is a compression fitting. You can get an adapter fitting to make it the typical 3/8" male flare, but then that fitting is hooked on via the compression fitting. A minor gripe is that the "guts" on the bottom side hang down a ways and are completely unprotected. It can be dealt with but seems a bit primitive. OTOH, the stove looks nice from the top.

3) Princess "drop in" butane one burner (with flip down metal cover or wooden cutting board cover).
This is a different beast in that it is a "built in" stove but runs off the 8 oz. butane canisters (the ones that look like cans of spray paint). It sits flush with the counter top. I have one of these and no complaints on the function but a "real" propane system would always be my choice on any boat that could possibly support one. I keep the canisters in an overboard vented sealed locker, but still there is some risk associated with the seals and they are expensive for what you get, plus you have to find them and there is the waste of spent canisters. This is basically the same as the portable butane stoves you see everywhere but built in, with one exception: it has a flame out thermocouple. (The Princess brand portable also has a flame out thermocouple; whereas most portables I have seen do not. I thus carry one of the Princess portables as a spare, a possible second burner, or as a way to cook ashore.)

4) There is a Smev-like one now with a brand name something like CAN, but I have not tried one of those.
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:59 PM   #4
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Induction cooktops are surprisingly efficient. We have a 2-burner.

Up the house bank (and inverter) a bit if not already capable, and you won't find yourself searching for yet another fuel (type) source.....

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Old 07-12-2020, 07:09 PM   #5
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Alcohol is dangerous since you can't see the flame. Propane can be dangerous, but the risk is very manageable (propane locker, leak sensor, copper tubes, chafe protection, common sense). When I spec'd my boat, I wanted gas (and didn't want to have to look for CNG, so I wanted propane), but the builder convinced me it would detract from value upon resale, so it is pre-wired for 220v electric -- and the oven is electric). Anyway, we got a 4 burner Viking (with custom made fiddles) and have been very happy with it not so much because I want to keep the genset off -- it runs 24x7 when we don't have shore power -- but because it cooks like what we have at our homes.
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Old 07-12-2020, 07:37 PM   #6
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I agree with Boathealer in regards to "Induction cooktops are surprisingly efficient." however, I believe a Magma Grill is a must on most boats. I spend most my night during my cruises on the hook and I mostly use the Grill.
Good luck,
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Old 07-12-2020, 07:59 PM   #7
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Electric stove tops are no good. Alcohol is even worse, it stinks, burns your eyes and doesn't generate enough heat to boil water.

If all you are looking for is a single burner go with butane. The gas comes in little two pound canisters, they store easily and burn hotter even than propane. No special storage requirements, in fact the entire stove is portable, you can stick it in a cabinet when you are done with it.

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Old 07-12-2020, 08:09 PM   #8
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Another butane believer. If only used occasionally the portable one burner units work well or the drop in one burner ass pictured. Butane burns hot and boils water faster than other fuels.
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:40 PM   #9
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I see I can't edit my post any longer, but I may not have been entirely clear. The first two stoves I mention are regular propane stoves that are powered from a "real" propane system with a bulk bottle in a locker. This is my favorite way to cook on a boat that has the space to support such a system.
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:54 PM   #10
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Wallas diesel cooktop and oven. Simply the best option, especially in a boat in your range.

My usedboat came with these devices installed, or i might not ever have considered them. I now would have nothing else.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:37 PM   #11
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Wallas diesel cooktop and oven. Simply the best option, especially in a boat in your range.
I didn't mention those because the OP specified one burner, and either alcohol or propane (although to be fair I did mention butane, which was also not specified but it's "almost" propane).

Wallas does make (or did at least) a one-burner kerosene model (800?). The two burner ones are all diesel, but come to think of it, although you can't run the kerosene models on diesel, I think you can run the diesel models on kero.
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Old 07-12-2020, 11:18 PM   #12
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Well he is in a 30í boat. Installing a proper propane locker will take up some space and wonít be cheap to do.
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Old 07-13-2020, 06:19 AM   #13
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not sure it applies but it might.

we have a 2003 34 pilot which is setup for electric but mainship did offer propane and our boat does have a molded in locker which i think is where the 10 or 20 pound cylinder would go. so the 30 might be have a built in locker already.
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Old 07-13-2020, 06:30 AM   #14
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Wallas diesel cooktop and oven. Simply the best option, especially in a boat in your range.

My usedboat came with these devices installed, or i might not ever have considered them. I now would have nothing else.
Exciting to see your enthusiasm, Prof. I have one in the plans for a small RV build, but they seem ideal for diesel boats too. My only reservation is that they make noise and take time to heat up. Has that been your experience?
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:02 AM   #15
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Diesel stoves throw a lot of residual heat - popular in the PNW, not so desirable elsewhere. The OP does not give a location except for "Brunswick."

The little butane 1-burner hobs are cool, but getting replacement butane would be enough of a hassle I'd go a different direction.

Another vote for an induction cooktop. A couple extra batteries and a couple small solar panels will likely get where you want to go. And will also run an Instant Pot (also pretty efficient). Both easy to stow and you can easily make a full meal between the two. Many sailors are going this direction these days and getting propane off their boat. I have no complaints about propane, but going all solar-electric is becoming viable.

EDIT: My understanding is the Origo stoves have been recently discontinued. There are probably NOS ones available via eBay. I had one a long time ago and found it a joke - not a lot of heat, alcohol was a pain to source, etc. Inexplicably, they have a fervent fan base amongst some.

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Old 07-13-2020, 01:10 PM   #16
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I have used the Origo non-pressurized alcohol stoves for years on other boats - European design originally, been around for 30 years or more: efficient, safe and yes, it does boil water. If you're looking for a simple, easy to use stove, I'd recommend it
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Old 07-13-2020, 01:36 PM   #17
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Another vote for butane, simple, cheap, and gets hot. We had an electric stove on our OA. We always used a portable butane stove for boiling water and breakfast, basically anything we couldn't cook on the BBQ.
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Old 07-16-2020, 09:33 AM   #18
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3) Princess "drop in" butane one burner (with flip down metal cover or wooden cutting board cover).
This is a different beast in that it is a "built in" stove but runs off the 8 oz. butane canisters (the ones that look like cans of spray paint). It sits flush with the counter top. I have one of these and no complaints on the function but a "real" propane system would always be my choice on any boat that could possibly support one. I keep the canisters in an overboard vented sealed locker, but still there is some risk associated with the seals and they are expensive for what you get, plus you have to find them and there is the waste of spent canisters. This is basically the same as the portable butane stoves you see everywhere but built in, with one exception: it has a flame out thermocouple. (The Princess brand portable also has a flame out thermocouple; whereas most portables I have seen do not. I thus carry one of the Princess portables as a spare, a possible second burner, or as a way to cook ashore.)
I installed that exact same Princess Butane stove in my last boat. We absolute LOVED it. We miss it terribly! I cannot find one anywhere.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:38 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by GeeWhiz View Post
Have a 2004 Mainship Pilot 30. Am a sailor at heart and want to swap out the electric stove top for either alcohol or propane single burner stove top, as we have no gen set and enjoy being on the hook. Appreciate any suggestions.

Maybe an off-the-wall work-around:
- increase battery capacity, add an inverter, and swap the existing cooktop for induction... or just add a table-top model (somebody else already mentioned that, too)
- add a propane grill in the cockpit.

??

A combo microwave/convection oven will run (for a while) on an inverter, depending.

An instant Pot or similar (electric pressure cooker, plus other stuff) and/or a slow cooker will likely run on an inverter (ditto, depending).

-Chris
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:39 AM   #20
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Exciting to see your enthusiasm, Prof. I have one in the plans for a small RV build, but they seem ideal for diesel boats too. My only reservation is that they make noise and take time to heat up. Has that been your experience?

They make very little noise, low order hum from the fuel pump, almost inaudible. The stove heats in a couple minutes, not instantaneous like an open flame, but certainly not inconvenient...and it gets HOT.

The oven does reach max temp slowly, perhaps 15 min to reach 200c.


I wouldn't have anything else.
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