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Thread: alcohol stove fuel

  1. #1
    Contributing Member III
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    alcohol stove fuel

    Hi,

    Just scored an Origo 4000 stove and I purchased a fuel that contains ethanol and isopropyl alcohol. The smell drove my wife crazy when I lit it.

    Any suggestions for fuel?

    Thanks,

    Peter
    E29 1976 Atomic 4

  2. #2
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    We have used the (over-) priced Origo brand of blue-colored fuel only when WM had it on sale. Otherwise we use the standard gallon container of alcohol from the hardware store. Very little odor, and we have been using our Origo 6000 series range for over 20 years.

    Be sure to save a cleaned-up empty soup can for fueling your stove burner. Bore a quarter inch hole in the bottom center of the can. Park it on a (COLD) burner and pour in the alcohol. The hole restricts the flow enough so that it will not overflow the edge around the center mesh. Always remove the burner canister from the stove when refueling, and only refuel one when it's cold.

    Have a couple of butane "lighter" wands on board. You need two because no matter how 'guaranteed' the item sez it is, one of them will fail.

    That's about all there is to it.
    Is your installation gimbaled ?? Did the pot holder 'arms' come with it?
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 01-26-2019 at 05:49 PM.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  3. #3
    Contributing Member II
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    On my girlfriends Hunter 28.5 with an Origo 2 burner stove and used 1gal denatured alcohol from the hardware store. No problems and hardly no smell. Our 35-3 has a pressurized alcohol stove/oven and we use the same thing. Was a little apprehensive of alcohol before both boats as I’ve read horror stories, but seems safe enough if used properly.
    On the Origo we put silicone rubber sheets above the burner tank when not in use and virtually eliminated evaporation. Went from several refills a year to only one.
    Last edited by RCsailfast; 01-26-2019 at 07:04 PM.
    Randy Conner
    “Antares”
    1985 E35-3 #217
    Universal M25
    Waukegan, Il

  4. #4
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    I use the "high end" gallon of fuel from REI. No odor, burns fine. If my wife can be around the stuff, it's pretty harmless in terms of odors. If you had something that smelled that bad, something is amiss.

  5. #5
    Contributing Member III
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    Thank you all very much for the prompt responses.

    Installation is not gimballed - I am a "sit on the hook every night" sailor so far and lunches are sandwiches. No pot holders either - I got the stove for $75 and it will drop into the existing hole in the galley counter.

    The can for refuelling tip is wonderful - I made a bit of a mess when I filled it tonight. fortunately I anticipated that but I did wonder what the heck I would do on the boat.

    Lighter wand - have one - will get another.

    Silicone sheets - great idea. I was worried about evaporation and how to deal with that.

    I will stop by the hardware store to check out the denatured alcohol and see what is in it. A friend with chemistry expertise thought the isopropyl might be the problem.

    I will also drop by our version of REI (MEC) as I see they also list marine alcohol stove fuel at $10/litre

    With thanks,

    Peter
    E29 1976 Atomic 4

  6. #6
    Principal Partner Mark F's Avatar
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    Hi Peter,

    The stove probably came with foam rubber gaskets to cover the canister openings when not in use. You can buy them but they are around $20! You can do something like what RCsailfast suggests. On my boat if I forget to use them the cabin smells like alcohol.

    Be careful with the lighter wands, I have a friend whose boat had a serious fire (total interior refit, new port lights...) caused by one of those wands. Someone stopped by her boat to get a lighter for a neighbors BBQ. They gabbed a lighter wand and checked to see if it worked - it didn't (or so she thought). They tried another lighter that lit then tossed the "dead" lighter back in a drawer. It seems the "dead" lighter lit inside the wand and stuck in the on position. I have a lighter wand on my boat but leave it out on the counter or in the sink after use for awhile and check the wand temp before putting it away.
    Lotus Flower
    1976 E27
    Electric Inboard
    Santa Cruz CA

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