onboard will be as unconventional as some of the other aspects of our preparation. In recent years, propane has become the most popular cooking fuel for long-distance voyagers and is a tempting fuel due to its convenience and clean burning. It has a couple of downsides though, and these were deal killers for us. Most significantly, it is potentially explosive, and being heavier than air, tends to settle into the hull rather than dissipating upwards. Additionally, when it comes time to fill tanks in foreign ports, finding compatible connectors can be a hassle, as there isn't a global standard.
From the beginning, we've looked on this voyage as something akin to backpacking on the water and our choice of a multi-fuel backpacking stove was in keeping with that concept. The stove we'll be using is an MSR Dragonfly, capable of burning an impressive list of fuels including kerosene, diesel, jet fuel, unleaded gasoline and white gas.
will be our primary fuel, as it is non-explosive. If need be, we'll use diesel fuel, which is almost universally available. We plan to leave with 5 gallons of K-1 grade kerosene, which should last for several months.
burns relatively cleanly, but only after it's been primed. Priming can be done with kerosene, but the priming flame tends to produce soot and blacken cookware. Instead, we'll use alcohol for priming, which burns relatively cleanly and only requires about a teaspoon per lighting.
Closeup of stove assembly, showing stainless steel steam table pan
to contain food spills.Three stainless steel rods prevent the cooking pots
from sliding off the stove.
Adjusting the wingnuts allows the rods to swivel in or out to
accommodate various pot sizes.
Alcohol priming container sits inside plastic peanut butter jar bolted to
Syringe with plastic tube and large needle is used to draw alcohol from priming
bottle. Syringe is then set into a holder made from PVC pipe bolted beside stove.
Priming bottle is then capped and alcohol in syringe is squirted into priming cup of stove.
Before lighting alcohol, this priming pan is put over the stove to help
contain the priming flame. When priming flame dies down, pan is removed and
stove valve is opened and kerosene is ignited.
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