Home > Food & Cooking > The Right Fuel to Cook Onboard a Boat

The Right Fuel to Cook Onboard a Boat

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 8 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
The Right Fuel To Cook Onboard A Boat

There are several different fuel options for cooking onboard a boat which include propane, electric, diesel alongside some other alternative fuels. Your choice will often be determined by the type of features you want your stove to have, how often you intend to cook on your stove as well as convenience, ease of use and availability.

Safety will also play an important role in your decision and here is a description of some of the most common types of fuel which are used on boat stoves and the pros and cons of each.

Propane (LPG)

This is probably the most common fuel used on a boat and, if you’re buying a used boat or hiring one, you’ll find more boats which are fitted out with a propane stove than any other type. The main advantages are that it’s relatively inexpensive, clean and easily available. It’s also good for cooking in extreme conditions as well as the flame being easy to regulate. The tanks can also be taken off the boat and refilled which means that you need to be very careful when reinstalling the tank.

Regular maintenance is also necessary and because propane is heavier than air, extreme care needs to be taken as escaping fumes from a faulty or poorly connected appliance can settle in areas low down in the boat which can present a risk of explosion in the cabin or bilge.

Diesel

Not only is diesel a lot safer than some other fuels, it’s a very hot burning fuel so will also heat up the cabin quickly. You’re more likely to find diesel stoves on commercial fishing vessels and the downside of diesel is that you’ll need to have an exhaust chimney fitted as it can be extremely sooty and smelly. They can also be temperamental when it comes to lighting them.

Electric

Electric stoves are more common on larger boats that run generators. On the plus side, they are safe and don’t give off any unpleasant odours and there’s obviously no fuel to handle. However, they can pose a heavy drain on a boat’s batteries and can often require an additional auxiliary power source which can create noise.

Alcohol

Alcohol boat stoves are non-pressurised which means that they can be extinguished with water but they can be a bit smelly when burning and because the flame is invisible, you need to be very careful when you’re cooking.

Natural Gas (CNG)

These are safer than propane but the tanks are not as readily available. In addition, the tanks are much heavier to transport which might be a problem to some people. Another issue can be that you can use up to four times the amount of fuel to gain the same amount of heat as you would need with propane.

Solid Fuel

These types of stoves are inexpensive, safe and are very hot burning but they can often require a great deal of storage space, can be difficult to regulate and require an exhaust chimney.

Paraffin

Paraffin stoves (or kerosene – as some people refer to them by) produce a hot flame and are relatively cheap to buy and installation is less expensive than some other types of stove. However, they are too smelly and dirty to cook on for a lot of boaters and produce a lot of soot as well often being difficult to light.

Ultimately, you’ll have your own preference and will opt to choose a stove that will fit into the available space and which will cater to your needs most effectively as well as you choosing a type which will feel comfortable to cook on in terms of its safety.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Kate
    Re: How Much Does It Cost To Live On a Boat?
    Hi, I am looking to rent a 1 or 2 berth narrowboat in the Wigan area for up to 6 months. I'm saving up to buy a…
    17 June 2019
  • Jen
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Hello, I'm interested in renting a houseboat in Liverpool long term with a view to buying one in the future. I'm a self employed single female…
    12 June 2019
  • betty
    Re: How Can I Keep My Boat in Water During Winter?
    hi how do you go about getting a passport ith no address or friends address to use cheers guys
    8 June 2019
  • Alan
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Hi I'm looking to rent LONG TERM over 12months a boat permanently moored. Either near Ashby De la Zouch or Burton upon treat.
    6 June 2019
  • Claire
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Looking for a narrow boat to rent or buy. I currently live in Warwick. UK. If any affordable boats are available please let me know. Thanks.
    25 May 2019
  • Flora
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Hi we are a friendly but professional couple looking for a house boat to live in for 6-12 months bristol area! Any one out there with a boat…
    19 May 2019
  • Katie
    Re: What is Your Address If You Live on a Boat?
    I am trying to find a friend that has a narrow boat. But do not have address. How can I find her. We have a 40…
    18 May 2019
  • Pep
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Hi all, I am a 43 year professional Male from Northamptonshire. I am looking to rent a boat for a min of 12 months. Preferably a 50 - 70 mile…
    14 May 2019
  • tom and jody goldman
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Mature US couple looking to rent a boat in the London area for one month. Flexible time frame (August 15-Sept 15). We are boat people in the…
    20 April 2019
  • Jim
    Re: Renting a Houseboat
    Looking to rent houseboat in Birmingham from 1st June 19 for 6 months
    19 April 2019