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Alcohol stove fuel...

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by C22BC, May 14, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. C22BC

    C22BC

    Joined Jan 22, 2015
    83 posts, 3 likes
    Catalina 25
    CA Harrison lake
    I've recently picked up a Origo 3000 . Does anyone use methyl hydrate instead of denatured alcohol for stove fuel ? I know it can be used but not sure if the fume toxicity would be a issue . It is considerably cheaper .
     


    dlblandjr likes this.
  2. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    758 posts, 149 likes
    Sabre 362
    US Oswego, NY
    The heat of combustion for Methanol (Methyl Hydrate) is lower than Ethanol (Stove fuel, Denatured Alcohol). Ethanol has 12,800 BTU per pound of fuel while Methanol has 9,800 BTU per pound. For comparison Propane has 21,000 BTUs per pound.

    So, while Methanol might be cheaper to purchase, you will use more fuel heat your food and it will take longer. Use Denatured Alcohol from the hardware store. Same as stove fuel and cheaper.
    Heat of combustion - Wikipedia
     


    C22BC likes this.
  3. C22BC

    C22BC

    Joined Jan 22, 2015
    83 posts, 3 likes
    Catalina 25
    CA Harrison lake
    That clears it up , thanks.
    Angus
     


  4. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    1,705 posts, 196 likes
    Pearson 530
    XX Sailing in the Windward or Leeward Islands where ever we are anchored
    Our emergency Coleman multifuel camp stove uses gasoline. Can all 'camping' stoves use it too, or does it use a special burner?
     


  5. rgranger

    rgranger

    Joined Jan 19, 2010
    4,129 posts, 391 likes
    Hunter 26
    US Smith Mountain Lake
    Methyl hydrate is methanol
     


  6. rgranger

    rgranger

    Joined Jan 19, 2010
    4,129 posts, 391 likes
    Hunter 26
    US Smith Mountain Lake
    Do not use gasoline!!!!!
     


  7. njlarry

    njlarry

    Joined Sep 23, 2009
    1,112 posts, 65 likes
    O'Day 34-At Last
    US Rock Hall, Md
    According to the dictionary of sailing alcohol stove definition , improper use of a marine alcohol stove in conjunction with paid up insurance policy will "convert your boat to a liquid asset."
    Be careful.
     


    sailndays likes this.
  8. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    758 posts, 149 likes
    Sabre 362
    US Oswego, NY
    Coleman fuel, often called "white gas" is not the same as the gasoline you buy at the pump. Coleman fuel has an octane rating of about 55, gasoline starts at 87. Of course if you are interested in shortening your life expectancy and of those around you......

    Coleman fuel also does not have the additives that gasoline has.

    Coleman fuel - Wikipedia
     


  9. C22BC

    C22BC

    Joined Jan 22, 2015
    83 posts, 3 likes
    Catalina 25
    CA Harrison lake
     


  10. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,009 posts, 219 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Ventura Harbor
    FYI--the difference is due principally to the number of carbon bonds.

    Methanol ----Ethanol -----Propane
    upload_2017-5-14_10-4-42.png upload_2017-5-14_10-10-22.png upload_2017-5-14_10-9-14.png
     


  11. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    1,705 posts, 196 likes
    Pearson 530
    XX Sailing in the Windward or Leeward Islands where ever we are anchored
    EXCUSE ME?
    I think you owe me an apology! I'm not the uninformed idiot in this case.
    Coleman Powerhouse 2 Burner DF Stove:
    • 2-burner camping stove has liquid with Dual Fuel technology
    • Stove burns Coleman liquid fuel or "unleaded gasoline"
    • Fuel sold separately
    • Boil a quart of water in four minutes
    • 17,000 BTUs in 2 powerful, high performance Band-a-Blu burners
    • Compact and lightweight
    • Easy to store and transport
    As for the rest of your post, I was a crew member on Wanderer for some months and a friend of both Spike and Sterling for a number of years before and after sailing on the Wanderer. Omar Darr was captain then, Sterling no longer owned the boat, but was a frequent visitor when she was in Sausalito and on day sails around the bay. I sailed from Sausalito to Mexico via San Diego on her and she was indeed quite the boat.
     


    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  12. rgranger

    rgranger

    Joined Jan 19, 2010
    4,129 posts, 391 likes
    Hunter 26
    US Smith Mountain Lake
    The lower octane rating of Coleman fuel also means it has a lower flash point. If you spill

    It will settle in you bilge just waiting for a spark
     


  13. BlowMeAway

    BlowMeAway

    Joined Nov 30, 2015
    542 posts, 178 likes
    Hunter 1978 H30 Cherubini
    US Maine, NY Ithaca, NY
    Hey team, I think we beat this subject up last year. I was involved with most of the dialog. We're using denatured alcohol, not gasoline, not Coleman white gas, not propane. We could use virgin (taxable) ethanol, but apparently the everclear is expensive, and is best utilized as a beverage mixer, nonetheless a good backup. I believe the biggest concern was the amount of carbon monoxide (CO) generated by alternative fuels on these stoves. Nice chemistry lesson going on here though!

    https://forums.sailboatowners.com/index.php?threads/fuel-for-alcohol-stove.176186/
     


  14. All U Get

    All U Get

    Joined Oct 2, 2008
    2,157 posts, 118 likes
    Pearson/ 530
    US Strafford, NH
    My 2 cents (4 in Canada) when you spill alcohol you can dilute with water and the fire goes out. The other fuels that are lighter than water will spread when you throw the water on. Hate to see you lose your nice boat.

    All U Get
     


  15. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    758 posts, 149 likes
    Sabre 362
    US Oswego, NY
    The big problem with alcohol fires is that the flame is often colorless. You don't know that the boat is on fire until something else catches fire. The worst offenders were pressurized alcohol stoves. The alcohol would leak out behind the stove, catch fire and then set the boat on fire.

    On another note, I was mistaken when I thought that Coleman fuel was safer than gasoline. It appears that Coleman fuel, which is naphtha, is indeed more volatile than unleaded gas. Regardless of that error, I'd prefer to have neither aboard my boat. :redface:
     


  16. C22BC

    C22BC

    Joined Jan 22, 2015
    83 posts, 3 likes
    Catalina 25
    CA Harrison lake
    Thanks , lots of very helpful input ( as usual ), looks like I'll definitely stick with the denatured alcohol as per manufactures specs , and probably just keep a USCG approved metal bottle for refill . Mostly sailing on weekends and a couple longer trips thru summer . The Origo 3000 seems to be fairly safe when used properly .
     


  17. Kermit

    Kermit

    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    3,248 posts, 604 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Sumter, SC Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC


    RoyS likes this.
  18. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    1,705 posts, 196 likes
    Pearson 530
    XX Sailing in the Windward or Leeward Islands where ever we are anchored
    I have operated and owned boats with up to four, 454 gas engines and hundreds of gallons of gasoline in the tanks, so I hardly think a quarter liter of gas in a sealed tank, is of much concern! Above and beyond that I actually read the instructions that came with the stove, and several articles about using this particular stove.
    Certainly I have a healthy respect for gas, but as I've been using it just about every day of my life since I was 14, I'm not afraid of it. I guess those who are row or use electric outboards and drive diesel or electric vehicles.
    However, for those who missed it:
    Coleman Powerhouse 2 Burner DF Stove:
    • 2-burner camping stove has liquid with Dual Fuel technology
    • Stove burns Coleman liquid fuel or "unleaded gasoline"
    • Fuel sold separately
    • Boil a quart of water in four minutes
    • 17,000 BTUs in 2 powerful, high performance Band-a-Blu burners
    • Compact and lightweight
    • Easy to store and transport
     


    dlblandjr likes this.
  19. jeepbluetj

    jeepbluetj

    Joined Jan 18, 2016
    214 posts, 43 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Dana Point Dana Point
    The Origo's are very very safe. I doubt there's a safer stove for a boat. The 'land mines' can't leak. There's no propane lines, regulators, and solenoids. Pressurized alcohol stoves, unlike the Origo, are not nearly as safe.

    Personally, I won't use a liquid fueled coleman stove in a campsite - and definitely would scare the heck out of me in a boat. Seen too many of em have problems.
     


    FastOlson likes this.
  20. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    758 posts, 149 likes
    Sabre 362
    US Oswego, NY
    Actually it is slightly more complex. The C-H bond is stronger than the C-OH bond so when it breaks more energy is released. The OH changes the gas to an alcohol.
     



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