Alcohol Stoves— Swan Song or Rebirth?


Vaporized alcohol stoves have long been praised for their safety and simplicity. For decades, Origo’s popular vaporizing alcohol stove dom­inated the small boat market, but times have changed, and propane is the standard in a modern galley. A propane stove installation is complex, bulky, heavy, and expensive. A retrofit can require the addition of several costly safety measures, including a vented locker for the tanks, separate fuel lines for each appliance, and gas detectors wired to a cut-off valve. Despite these drawbacks, the just-like-home convenience of a propane stove makes it worth the trouble for boats over about 30 feet.

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Drew Frye
Drew Frye, Practical Sailor’s technical editor, has used his background in chemistry and engineering to help guide Practical Sailor toward some of the most important topics covered during the past 10 years. His in-depth reporting on everything from anchors to safety tethers to fuel additives have netted multiple awards from Boating Writers International. With more than three decades of experience as a refinery engineer and a sailor, he has a knack for discovering money-saving “home-brew” products or “hacks” that make boating affordable for almost anyone. He has conducted dozens of tests for Practical Sailor and published over 200 articles on sailing equipment. His rigorous testing has prompted the improvement and introduction of several marine products that might not exist without his input. His book “Rigging Modern Anchors” has won wide praise for introducing the use of modern materials and novel techniques to solve an array of anchoring challenges.