I'm thinking of getting an induction cooktop for my kitchen, and now I'm wondering if anyone has opinions about the practicality of using this tech on boats.
Induction cooktops have some advantages that seem to me to be relevant to boats - they use much less electricity than electric cooktops, and have the same 'instant adjustment' as gas cooktops. They are actually much more efficient than gas cooktops - about 95% of the energy ends up in the pan vs. about 60% for gas (I assume propane is the same as natural gas in this respect). The surface of the cooktop does not get hot, except to the extent that the heat in the pan is radiated or conducted back to the cooktop - it's actually possible (and not uncommon) to cook with a paper towel between the stove and the pan to avoid scratching the stove. So it's safer in general than either gas or 'normal' electric.
Induction cooktops are a lot more expensive. The only other general disadvantage that I know of is that induction requires the pans to be susceptible to magnetic fields - either cast iron, or steel, or most stainless steel pans. No more aluminum or glass. (That's not a disadvantage to me.) And I don't think induction ovens are possible, although I suppose a dutch oven might work just fine. So a standard electric/convection oven would be required if one bakes.
One other possible issue - since induction is basically an oscillating magnetic field, would it play badly with boat navigation and/or radio communication?
As I struggle along in the refit process, I'm thinking of eliminating propane entirely, and just using diesel and electric as power sources. This would eliminate a hazard and simplify provisioning, and would also reduce the clutter on the back of the boat. My boat (a refit in progress) already has diesel heat.
So, in sum, it seems at first glance that induction technology would be a good direction for a cruising boat, if one has a sufficient electrical setup. Does this make sense? There are commercial-quality induction cooktops in stainless that could be adapted to a gymbaled mount.
Preparing for the Magical Voyage ("Imram")