View Full Version : Kitchen Range/Oven Recommendation Needed

09-09-2013, 11:33 AM
My wife and I are the very proud owners 1990 Jamestowner HB. We bought it two weeks ago and have loved every minute we have spent on it. The issue we have is that my wife loves to cook and the boat currently has a Magic Chef propane range/oven that does not suit her needs. We would like to upgrade the stove and convert to electric. I don't really know where to start. Please help inform us so we can make a good decision.

09-09-2013, 05:37 PM
We just renovated an went to LP we love it. Good luck, I really think the move will be more an more HB er's trading in the ele. jobs back to gas.

09-09-2013, 06:44 PM
Gotta admit the LP is a whole lot quieter. I would hate to have to fire up the genny just to make coffee, but if it's running full-time anyway...

09-10-2013, 04:48 AM
I've had both electric and lp,i just like the lp a lot better and I think its easier to cook with (yes I cook)if you go with gas you can get a lp conversion kit wherever you buy the stove,most will just give it to you.

09-10-2013, 06:43 AM
I, too, am in the market for a galley stove. Unlike the original poster, I wouldn't have an electric stove if it were free. Spent half my young married life waiting for a dang burner to heat up, and the other half looking for a place to put a hot pot while the burner cooled off. Arrggggh! Hated 'em. And there is the generator problem... We built this shanty boat to get away from noise and inconvenience! Chacun a son gout, as they say. Problem is, real marine ranges are super spendy. 1.5K for a dollhouse-sized stove? Plus shipping and installation? Yikes! And the used ones I have seen look to have been replaced for good reason. Not tempted. RV stoves, not stainless, and without the safety gas cutoff are somewhat cheaper, but to tell you the truth, I am tempted to just trundle the gas grill from the back deck to the houseboat stern deck before we go somewhere that might require cooking. We shall see if I can remember how to make camp coffee.

09-10-2013, 07:54 AM
What no-one has asked or said yet is how does Dr Jack use his generator. Is this a big boat and the generator runs from the time you board the boat till the time you leave it? If so then go with electric. However if the generator is an intermittent thing, starting it up at 0600 for coffee might make you very unpopular. And what do you do if the genny quits?

However there are alternatives. A portable canister stove works for stove-top coffee, and a small coffeemaker can run on an inverter.

I've been through the "This isn't what I want, change it!!!" routine. But boats (even houseboats) are NOT houses nor apartments and compromises have to be made.

Might be good to live with what you have for the rest of the season at least.

09-10-2013, 08:29 AM
If it is like the propane stove on my previous Jametowner, it is going to be hard to find an electric unit to fit in its space - not to mention wiring for an electric unit. What about the unit does your wife not like?

09-10-2013, 08:43 PM
My boat is docked most of the time where it has an electric hook up that is metered. I also have an inverter that runs lights and so forth on a short run. The generator is kicked one if we want to run the AC or stay over night.

she does not like that it does not work. I am interested in how to convert to Electric.

09-10-2013, 09:50 PM
I can understand not liking a stove if it doesn't work, regardless of type. However I think you're going to need to talk to a local electrician.

09-11-2013, 06:24 AM
Is repairing the stove that "doesn't work" an option? Is replacing it with a shiny new LP one that fits the hookups that are already there an option? Rewiring and refitting to accommodate the power required by an electric stove sounds complicated and expensive! On the other hand, if you're just real fans of electric stoves, and money is no object, I suspect there's some ambitious electrician out there will be delighted to go to the trouble in your behalf. It might take a fair amount of fiddling with the boats innards and render your galley off-limits for a surprisingly long time, if my land-based appliance replacement was anything to go by-- a new refrigerator ended up requiring a whole new kitchen.

09-11-2013, 11:36 AM
Electric is fine if you have a 220volt generator. However: Gas is tons better on a boat. A lot of people convert their boat to gas. Your the first person that I have heard of going electric from gas. (over 60 years of boating)

09-12-2013, 09:47 AM
OK. You want electric and have heard from the folks telling you why they think it is a bad idea. But, it is your boat and your choice, so a little more information is needed before a detailed answer can be given.

1. What type of shore power do you have? 110v 30 amp, 220v 50 amp, dual 220v 50 amp, ... ?
2. What type of power distribution setup do you have? Traditional home style breaker box, custom Jamestowner setup, ...?
3. What type is the propane unit? Standalone, drop in, ...? What size is it?
4. What size generator?
5. Are you going to do this yourself or hire it out?

Pics would help.

09-12-2013, 06:39 PM
Yep. If the generator and wiring aren't already up to the task, it's going to cost a lot more than the stove.

09-13-2013, 08:52 AM
If you are limited to 110 volts your heating power is limited. Like trying to cook with 2 candles.

If you have a 10KW 220 volt Genny go for it.

Frantically Relaxing
09-14-2013, 11:05 AM
From one who likes to cook :)

Since your wife likes to cook, you'll be needing 4 burners. If you don't have 220v service, you're about doomed to geting gas. Many people don't realize (I didn't until recently) that 220 volts results in FOUR times the heating power of a heating element while using only TWO times the amperage. This means if a typical 220v stove uses 50 amps, a 110v version will require 200 amps to create the same amount of cooking heat--

I've recently bought stoves-- a gas stove for our mobile home, and a ceramic cooktop for our 'home' home. There's MANY extremely nice gas ranges available these days, and all of them come with everything needed to use either natural gas OR propane...

And really, most people who enjoy cooking prefer cooking with gas--


09-14-2013, 02:33 PM
Well it's his boat, his money, and his admiral. One of the things I like about electric is the option of "low". Try that with gas on a boat and there's a good chance the flame will blow out (I've had it happen several times). With the wrong stove, that means BOOM!

I have an electric range in the house and I prefer it to gas. I have gas on the boat 'cause without a generator, it's the only option. Either one of us can make dinner with either one.

09-14-2013, 07:50 PM
Most of those big production houseboats have home-style kitchens, with plenty of space not boat-ish galleys, right? And they spend most of the time at the dock hooked up to a fat power cable or running big generators. And most are highly air-conditioned. So, I guess we are talking apples and oranges.

Our shanty boat is more boat than house. The galley, while part of the salon, isn't much bigger than a sailboat's galley. There's no air-conditioning, so a bunch of burners all dumping heat into a small space, especially while heating up and cooling off, not cooking, probably isn't ideal. Three should be plenty for our needs. I cook, and entertain a lot, but on the boat, I expect to keep meals fairly simple, if for no other reason than to minimize prep and clean-up time. Hey, I'm expecting to be on vacation, too.

Stmbtwle, I have read that many sailors use a 'flame-tamer' diffuser under their pots when they want a low, even simmer. Don't know how well it works, but it's a thought.

09-15-2013, 10:02 AM
Thanks Amelia, I'll have to see if I can find something like you describe. But I agree with you on the big houseboats. They're more vacation homes that just happen to float; and people use 'em that way. "Floating Condo" fits them pretty well. Mine is more of a "floating RV", not really a "house" boat.

09-16-2013, 05:33 AM
Not all of us use our "big" houseboats as floating condos. Mine is away from the dock 80% of the weekends from May through September. That being said, probably 95% are dock queens.

09-16-2013, 09:23 AM
I"m with East TN. I can't wait to get out and away from the marina and into a secluded cove. Having said that, my full-size gas stove puts a lot of heat in to my galley. I'm on a lake that has high temps around 100 degrees most of the boating season and I don't run the AC that much because if I wanted to sit around in an air conditioned space I'd do it at home instead of going to the lake.

My strategy for keeping cooking heat out of the cabin is to cook everything I can on the gas barbecue outside. That little side burner that is so useless at home is heaven sent on my houseboat. I use the inside stove for little things like Uncle Ben's wild rice or tapioca pudding, but you can bet that a big pan of spaghetti noodles or a pot with corn on the cob goes outside. A microwave is a bit of a power hog, but can do a lot of good in a short time without pumping much heat into your galley.

Bottom line is, for a lot of reasons, you want to consider all your cooking options, especially those that don't add heat to the cabin.

12-02-2013, 06:51 AM
Found a not-very-used marine stove on ebay, a two-burner propane range with oven... should be delivered today... woohoo! It isn't going to be the elegant shiny many-burnered thing I had dreamed of, but it was also about $700 cheaper... I suspect with a small grill on the back porch, two burners will be sufficient. Now to get to work in earnest to build a working galley from scratch! THAT should provide a month or three's worth of entertainment! Not saying what YEAR said entertainment will take place. (sigh!)

12-02-2013, 08:08 AM
Smart move. We had propane stove on our River Queen 40 back in the day. WAY better than the 110 volt electrics of the time. Heat you can cook with without running the genny and an oven that you can actually bake in.