The Atom Kerosene Stove

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A full size cooker for the micro-galley

Latest version (June 2008)

 
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This latest version has modified swing-in clamps that are even simpler to operate than the earlier sliding pan clamps.

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The 2008 version with three swing-in pan clamps secure this kettle in even the roughest sea.

Links:

My 28-foot sailboat originally came equipped with a two-burner pressurized alcohol stove. Because the fuel was expensive or unavailable in the cruising areas I was bound for, I replaced it with a Primus-type single burner kerosene camping stove and a custom made gimbaled potholder of my own design. This basic kerosene pressure stove has been used successfully for decades by sailors and mountaineers and in the homes of native peoples throughout the less developed regions of the world. It has not commonly been used aboard American boats because there was no manufacturer of a complete gimbaled stove kit of a useable design and because it does require some maintenance and a relatively complicated operating procedure.

Though the propane range has become the standard cooker for big offshore cruising yachts, they are large, expensive, prone to dangerous leaks and explosion, require large sealed lockers for two propane tanks and the tanks can be a hassle to refill in foreign ports with different gas mixtures and bottle fitting sizes. Most people choose to deal with these issues because they want a large multi-burner stove and oven that is simple to operate. Smaller yachts often choose a modern non-pressurized Origo alcohol stove. It's flame is less hot making for longer cooking times and the expensive fuel is hard to locate in large quantities outside the US and Europe. Or small boat sailors can choose one of the little bulkhead mount single burner stoves such as the Force 10 Seacook, which use screw-on propane or butane canisters, but the canisters rust in storage and are not always available overseas and the gimbaled potholders will not hold large pots or frying pans. For local part-time cruising in your home waters these may make sense. But if you are living aboard full time and voyaging to foreign ports, the single burner Atom kerosene stove is a better choice for small cruising boats.

In recent years I've imported these stoves and spare parts from the Indian factory where most of them are currently produced and I've fabricated about ten stove kits per year including the custom-made gimbaled potholder and mounting bracket. These simple gimbaled cookers have an advantage over other small boat stoves because they handle full size pots including a 10-inch frying pan or pressure cooker and have a moveable counterweight to balance large pan handles. Baking is done either in a thick-bottomed skillet with cover, a pressure cooker, or in a baking pan inside a heavy aluminum pot covered in aluminum foil.

These stove kits are not cheap because the market is small and fabricating costs are high. Even so, discerning sailors with a self-sufficient and minimalist attitude have asked me to provide them since there is nothing similar on the market. Some of my stoves are for customers I assist fitting out their boats for extended voyages. The only way to make this cost effective is to build several at a time and offer the others to customers online. The reason we import them is because we could not source stoves from a US supplier with solid brass parts and the needed spares to keep them functioning. What good is a marine stove with brass-plated steel parts that rust, no spares and no tech support?The one part that is steel on all these stoves is the pressure pump rod, which if in brass might be too soft for the job. Since it normally rests inside the tank it is easily maintained with a coating of petroleum jelly.

Feel free to copy my design and make your own gimbal system (check link at bottom of page) or have a metal fabricating shop make one for you. Although the design is simple and appears easy to fabricate, each stove kit takes about two days to assemble and then the TIG welded stainless steel components are sent out for electro-polishing. The potholder is 3/16-inch stainless round bar and the mounting bracket is 3/16-inch X 1 1/2-inch stainless flat bar. For Atoms galley layout as pictured below, the stove uses only a single-leg mounting bracket, but a U-shaped mounting bracket is standard for most installations. Contact us for additional information.

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This 2006 version pressure kerosene stove aboard Atom is similar to the stove we used for 20 years. The gimbaled pot holder bracket has been improved by adding a lead counterweight and gimbal lock. The 2008 version has improved pot holder clamps.

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In this view the stove gimbal is locked for cooking in port by a T-bolt through the upright bracket that threads into a nut welded to the gimbal frame.A U-bracket is used on most installations to allow placement anywhere on the countertop.

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The sink is under the cutting board, dishes and cups are in the two shelf lockers to the left of the stove.

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Here the gimbal is unlocked and the 16 oz. lead counterweight is swung out to compensate for the weight of the frying pan handle. 

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Atom's removable table for added galley counter space. In this position the removable table allows access to the locker under the sink containing pots and other utensils.

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The removable table adds galley counter space when needed. It attaches to the bulkhead by slotted hinges that release when lifted.

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The same table is easily moved to the opposite end of the bunk. It can also be used as a cockpit table.

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Here the table is in its stowed position flat against the bulkhead with legs folded.

Customer's Stove Gallery

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Atom Stove on a removable counter in an Alberg 35.

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Atom Stove aboard a Tartan 27.

Below are three photos of the Atom Stove installed on an Alberg 30. 

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In this installation the stove fits into a cabinet that can be covered by the companionway drop boards.

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In September 2008 we installed an Atom Stove as backup to the existing propane stove on a removable counter in this Southern Cross 31.

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This Bayfield 25 has the stove installed in a stainless steel inset pan from restaurant supply in order to set the stove lower than the counter.

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Here's an Atom Stove installed on a Hallberg-Rassy Monsun 31 in Switzerland in 2008.

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The installation on this Monsun 31 allows the stove and stainless steel serving tray to be moved out to the cockpit for cooking on hot windless days.

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Atom Stove with pressure cooker aboard a Morris Frances 26.

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Atom Stove aboard a Bristol 27 in 2011.

Jay Triton Stove

Atom stove set into recessed counter
on a Pearson Triton in 2012.

ATOM KEROSENE STOVE:

Installation and Operating Instructions (html) (pdf)

Sketches and building instructions for the Atom Stove gimbaled potholder.

Links for more info:

Operating a kerosene stove (Base Camp website)

Cruising Q&A Page (stove recommendations)

Kerosene Fuel Primer All you wanted to know about kerosene.