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Thread: Galley Cooktop Choices?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2003
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    Galley Cooktop Choices?

    The previous owner of Mariel (hull162) took the sink out and didn't need a cooktop. I plan to make a couple of short cruises between Mobile and Apalachicola over the next 6 months and need to develop a working galley.

    My plan so far is to buy a glowmate single-burner butane, followed by a Origo 2-burner alcohol and finish with a Magna Bar-b-q, along with a microwave (at some point). If you have any experince with any of these, let me know.

  2. #2
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    Microwave????
    To each his own, I guess...

    I had one of the Glowmaster butane stoves and liked it pretty well, the canisters are spendy and that part was a pain. Seemed like I always ran out of gas in the last cannister when my dinner was 1/2 done.

    I've been really happy with the propane Magma grill. Be sure and buy one of those little orange airtight boxes to put the propane cannisters in if you want to store them safely down below. It is also well worth buying the stand-alone base for the grill so you can use it on the beach. I have the so-called "stove/BBQ combo", which comes in handy when it's time to boil up the crabs. If I had to do it again, I'd spring for the oversized "party-size" model. No one I know who bought the charcoal model has been truly happy...some have said they were, with a pained expression!

    Personally I am not crazy about alcohol stoves just because they don't burn all that hot, and in a lot of places finding the alcohol is a pain. If you ever were to go south with the boat you'd be really hard pressed for fuel. There are lots of old 2-burner Kero. stoves out there for nearly free...parts are still available if you look around. If you dislike the smell, you can splurge and run it on lamp oil.

    For a single burner stove, the old seaswing is hard to beat. If you look hard in the seajunk stores you can find the kerosene models for 75.00 (primo) or less (project). Most of the parts for the optimus stove they use are common items you can get at the industrial supply house, and if there are parts you can't, they are still available plentifully as long as you do not mind mailing away to England. FWIW, I have 3 different friends who live aboard year round and have no cooking apparatus other than a kerosene SeaSwing. One of the fellows uses it as his heater, too, by upending a small saucepan over a low flame.

    In the Triton, I am installing a 2-burner propane range but also carrying a kero. seaswing as a backup and for particularly foul Wx...you really have to see how well that gimbal works to believe it! In addition is the trusty magma grill.

    I grew up with alcohol stoves, and I'd say also that you can get some great deals on the old pressurized ones...and that I think the hysteria about them as a safety hazard is really overrated hooey so that everyone would buy new stoves. It's a fire-breathing item, and like anything else that is on fire in a confined space needs to be respected, right?
    All the same, after using butane, propane, and kero., I'd be hard-pressed to EVER want a cold-burning alcohol stove in my boat again.
    Supposedly a butane stove burns hottest, but I had a race with my buddy and his seaswing...and lost. His water boiled first even tho I had a headstart while he screwed around for 30 seconds lighting it!

    Dave

  3. #3
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    Nov 2003
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    magna grill

    Does the Magna grill use 2 types of propane? I don't have a propane system on my boat. Are the smaller (lower pressure?) canisters safer (don't require a sniffer or over board vent).

    Your article was most helpful.

    Thanks, Tommy Palmer

  4. #4
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    Bellingham, Wa.
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    The Magma Grills come with a regulator that takes the small, relatively low-pressure canisters that are sold everywhere for camping gear and propane torches, and then you can buy the hose and adaptor assembly to run off of a larger, higher-pressure tank as found in installed marine systems, outdoor gas grills, etc.

    They sell a little canvas bag to hang on a railing and hold the small bottles, or you can buy the airtight orange plastic boxes that look like a plastic ammo can but a bit larger and thus safely store them belowdecks.

    As an aside, I've found a lot more luck using the squat coleman-type canisters than with the taller skinnier propane torch-style ones. No idea why unless it's Murphy's law in action(the skinny ones hold the same amount but are often 1/2 the $$!)

    Hope that helps. Please do give some thought to the SeaSwing or other kero. stove--I think you'll find they are a really nice and economical option. If I had known about the SeaSwing, I'd have not bought the 1-burner Glowmaster I lived with...there's no comparison. I have a 30-year-old SeaSwing and it's (with a small amount of TLC up front) good as new. Now that's a solid investment in my book!<G>

    We also have a kero. bulkhead heater to install with the new interior. The propane ones tend to make it rain from the overhead in a damp environment (not unlike a propane stove, or worse yet the alcohol ones) where the kerosene burns hotter and dries the boat some. Mary doesn't deal well with petroleum stinks aboard, so we'll run it on lamp oil when needed.

    I know a couple of fellows who have installed cast iron cook stoves in their smallish sailboats, and they are by far the best for keeping the boat warm and dry in winter. One of the fellows got a bit creative with some simple parts from the industrial store and the farmer's co-op and made a dual-fuel, propane/wood stove, which was terrific! Took it out to head to Mexico, but it was dynamite until then, we used to all congregate down on Jay's boat when it was snowing and the floats were iced up and hang out in shorts (I can't explain the rest of this tradition, really) eating large amounts of corned beef and drinking cheap beer.

    Tom's cookstove on the Vega even has an oven, and he makes some mean bread...although he makes it all in the pressure cooker on the seaswing anymore. Woodstove is only used for winter heat, and I'm not real sure why he still has a propane system. I think he was going to dual-fuel the woodstove but never got to it.

    Whatever the stove, the pressure cooker is the big thing to get. If you are thinking at all of a seaswing, or any proper stove with the pot-holders, you need to pay close attention to the diameter.
    Modern pressure cookers are completely un-scary and a true necessity for cooking on a boat in my book. There are a lot of nice European ones to be had, and I've found e-bay to be the best source...lots of them for sale brand new. I looked at lots of different ones in the stores before I bought, and I think the Italian ones are nicest, myself.

    If you have an inboard model, BTW, you already have the makings of a proper propane locker in the form of that huge lazarette...a bit of 'glass to seal it up, and you're most of the way there. Friend of mine has similar in his Albin-Vega 27, and I had planned same for DECISION until I suddenly expanded from "I" to "We", Toby and Wayne suddenly owned Dee, and I had this Behemoth Triton on my hands...<G>

    Best,
    Dave

  5. #5
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    Sep 2001
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    San Rafael, CA
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    Capt Dave,
    Now you're cooking!
    Given the price of of a Broadwater or Force Ten swinging stove - and the amount of room they take up, even the two burner with the broiler - those Sea Swing stoves look pretty good.
    You bring up the fact that they are not meant to take a ten inch pressure cooker.
    Do you think the fence on the cooker can be altered to take the larger pot? Will they take the weight and swing properly?

  6. #6
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    Opelika AL
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    propane in lazarette

    Dave,

    I have to 2-pronged approach to upgrading the systems on Mariel(hull162). Long term upgrades without budget limitations (ie a pipe dream) and a short term down & dirty functional approach (ie cheap).

    Long term I want to get propane and converting the aft lazarette where an out board would go is an interesting idea(I have an inboard atomic 4). What would it take and how would it effect the weight distribution on the boat?

    Thanks, Tommy

  7. #7
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    In terms of the stove (Ebb's question), the seaswings we want (kero) are of heavy (1/4") cast aluminum...so I'm not sure just exactly how you'd go about modifying one. Sat here and stared at one for a while, and still don't see it. They will, however, take plenty of weight. 5 pound brisket, plus potatoes and carrots, plus water, plus the weight of a nice stainless cooker...what more could a man want!<G> The newer swings for the sterno cans or the little dangling propane bottles are not near as stout. It's worh looking around at a lot of pressure cookers, I've seen some tall skinny 8-Qt. ones that would fit. A friend of mine also came up with an innovation of sorts to keep the lid on even a tall pot in hairy WX by splicing up a length of 1/8" Amsteel with a hook at each end in lengths appropriate to each of his 3 pots/pans.

    As to converting the lazarette, the object would really be to make a vented, water and gas-tight enclosure back there...take a look at a comercially available propane locker and modify from there.

    The weight balance issue?? Well, the propane will not weigh near as much as an outboard! The boats are rather sensitive to weight back there, I used to carry the minimum I could in the laz since you can watch the boat speed up as you remove stuff from it and place it below.

    Certainly none of the stuff you could pack in back there is as unkind to the boat's performance as the Atomic install is...I had one in the Commander and had the opportunity to compare to an Outboard Commander that was otherwise pretty similar in terms of sails, rig, etc...and the difference was night and day! Before I decided I'd rather just have da big oars, I had planned to remove the A4 and cut in an outboard well in the laz. Once the inboard was gone the boat was a freakin' rocket! There's also a great deal of stowage space to be had in the engine hold, plus with the engine gone there is a huge keel sump into which one could build a large water tank! At that rate, I'd mount the propane bottle(s) in the cockpit and make an outboard well! Each his own, just my thoughts.

    Best,
    Dave

  8. #8
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    I should think out loud a bit more here on the stove issues...

    IF I still lived on the Commander, and IF it were still just me, I'd probably have abandoned the propane locker idea by now. IF.

    The only reason the Triton gets propane is the 2 burner range with oven...and there are a few key reasons I have that going on:

    1--I got one out of the dumpster in a condition that I was able to repair and make look nice.

    2--Mary (actually a "Maria") is a 20-year-plus food professional/kitchen manager type, plus she is of good Italian-Portugese stock (she claims this has something to do with it...) and likes to cook. Maiden name was Del'Toro, as in bull, as in sometimes I know not to argue too much.

    3-- the range I "mined" was of the so-called european compact size. There is very little functional difference between that and the so-called standard 2-burner size but a great difference in the weight and amount of space it takes up. I have , however, seen the good old 2 burner-and-oven Hillerange/Seaward Princess used for 250.00 (of course, you'll spend some $$ making that special work right.). I've seen the kerosene version for less than that! Rarely see a deal on the compact ones, and I would not be running out to spend 1300.00 on a new stove!

    4--Fuel availability. Used to be you could get kero. in every teeny corner of the world, but all my voyaging friends advise that now the only fuel you are likely to find on a teeny atoll is propane. Kero still happens fairly easily, but not as easily as the propane. Alcohol? You must be joking! Suppose you could burn everclear...and you can get the alcohol burner for the old optimus-based seaswings, BTW (got one just in case!)

    5--Grandma's coffee cake recipe.

    6--Jiffy blueberry muffins.

    7--Tater tot casserole.

    You can bake on a single burner, too, though.
    Our friends James and Mei Baldwin aboard the twice-circumnavigating Triton 384 (ATOM) make do with a single-burner primus-type stove and are very happy about it. On that basis I had gotten out from under the range until M (usually until that point all squeamish about my regularly reaching into marina and boatyard dumpsters, or hanging the kid in by the ankles if I couldn't reach) spotted the Eno range. "STOVE!!! DAVID!!! STOVE!!! LET's GET IT!!!). LOL!!!

    Dave

  9. #9
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    Opelika AL
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    Someone said that if cooking on your boat is close to the way you cook at home, you'll enjoy the process better. Of course there are limitations. So here are some foods I would cook.

    Pasta, rice, potatoes (can you tell I'm not on the Adkins Diet)

    eggs and bacon


    fried anything: is it possible to deep fat fry food on a boat or is it just too much smell and mess?

    I guess my real question is: What do you cook on your boat and what is just too much trouble ?

  10. #10
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    Jan 2002
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    McKinney, TX (but sail in MI)
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    pressure cooker

    We've used a pressure cooker (both on the boat and at home) for all kinds of roasts, soups, etc. I much prefer the throw everything into the pot and go topside and enjoy the weather.
    Too Contagious (1966 Ariel #392)

  11. #11
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    San Rafael, CA
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    cooking

    Ok
    Force 10 makes a one-burner 8" diameter capacity Seacook stove that retails around $120.
    It uses a 16.4 ox propane bottle. I've read these little bottles are available world wide. Bottles can be taken off partially filled and put back on again at will. Adapters are available for foreign bottles.

    Kuhn-Rikon has a 50 yr Anniversary Pressure Cooker that is 8" diameter and 3 3/4 qt capacity. Available around here for $115. There is also a more expensive pressure cooker of the same dimensions and capacity.

    It would be great if there was a marriage here. The problem is whether the cooker will fit into the stove. The special has no front handle (opposite the long handle) and over the phone the salesman said the hndle on the special was 'longer.'

    I'm going to persue this, as this brand new stuff option is a lot cheaper than a new s.s. box stove.

    IMCO there is no safe cockpit propane locker type refit/remodel for the A/Cs. Unless you can figure a straight thru unrestricted drain-vent at all angles of heel a cockpit locker is too close to the waterline.

    Bottles will have to be stored above seat level to be safe and, probably, legal. On a cruiser, I personally would not completely trust an 'ammo' box type stowage for the one pound bottles down below.
    Last edited by ebb; 12-04-2003 at 10:46 AM.

  12. #12
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    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.
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    I do alot of cooking with a pressure cooker. Works great.

    Except for that one time.............


  13. #13
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    Nov 2003
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    This Seacook 8" stove is looking more and more like my first galley addition. Simple and cheap.

    Sailnet has a good article about accomodating the sailing experience for your mate. The author made the case for getting a vacuum sealer.

    http://www.sailnet.com/collections/l...ead0050&tfr=fp

    TP

  14. #14
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    Wholey Jehosephat, Cpete, lookths like the explothion knockth out yer teeth thoo!
    Must have one of the oldtime pressure cookers that had a weight that danced on the lid. The Swiss pot has a '5 point overpressure safety system.' But then they're trying to perthuade you to purthase one.

    Capt TP's sailnet page has the swing stove for $99.

    Wonder what I'ld have to do for my girlfriend to get her to give me a boat? Since she hates boats, it might be another fixerupper, to keep me ashore!

  15. #15
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    Lucky thing you weren't at one of the old OarClub Corned Beef Nights--we'd have probably just hacked it off for you and stuck it in the cooker again until it looked like brisket!

    Corn Neighbor, anyone???

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