Thursday, March 15, 2012

Big Ticket

Marathon, Florida
24 42.40 081 N 05.68 W

Below, is our big ticket purchase for the year (I hope).  We had a Force 10 stove, but the oven stopped working and I couldn't get parts to repair it from Force 10.  Twice they sold me repair parts that proved to be incompatible.  Then they said, "Sorry, can't help you."   That soured me on doing business with them.

So, next task, select a new stove to buy.   There are three manufacturers serving the USA market, Force 10, Eno, and Seaward.   I researched their offerings.  I was surprised that each of them sell a dozen or so models.  Some models differ on features, but mostly they differed in size.  

I was very eager to get a replacement the exact size of our old stove so that I would not have to do carpentry.  With carpentry, a small installation job could become a major project making it impossible to live aboard the boat until complete.   That made me lean toward the Force 10 "American Standard" model, which is an exact replacement for our old stove, despite not wanting to buy Force 10.

I also checked the online reviews and comments of other boat owners.  I read examples of praise for all three brands, and also extreme dissatisfaction from all three brands.  That doesn't give much guidance.  I gather that Force 10 used to be the Cadillac brand, but since changing hands, their reputation and the quality of their products plunged.

Finally, after carefully studying the detailed drawings of dozens of stoves, we chose the Seaward Products Princess.  You see it below during installation.  I had to move the gimbal mounts by 3cm, and I had to stretch the LPG supply hose 1/2" to fit, but other than that it slipped in.  I have only `1/4 inch to spare on all edges.  It is a very tight fit.

The new stove has a broiler, the old one didn't.  It also appears to be much easier to clean and that's welcome.   Total cost to me, $907 plus tax at the local West Marine store.  West Marine's list price was $1149, but I brought in a printout from another source with the $907 price and West Marine gladly matched their price.  By doing it that way, I also avoided a $150 shipping charge but I did have to pay $68 sales tax.

It took me about 3 hours to remove the old stove and install the new one.  It works great.  Even the top burners boil water for tea 4 times faster than our old stove did.

1 comment:

  1. We installed our Princess in 1999 and have been very pleased. My only complaint with the thing, is the knob to initiate the spark. Since they put it on the left, it should turn to the left.

    It doesn't and that makes it awkward to turn to the right with the left hand while holding the burner knob in with the right. So much so, that I cross hands, because it is easier to turn with the right hand.

    It looks from the picture, that yours might be a push knob, in which case that is an improvement.


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