Force10 Stove (Cooker)

This post will undoubtedly floor those of you who have read about our problems, some of them dangerous, with the Force10 stove. And I won’t kid you, we deeply and personally resent the time, effort and money expended over nearly two years that getting this stove working safely and properly has taken—it is simply not good enough in a premium product costing $1300.00.

Now I’ve got all that off my chest, let’s move on to the fact that, now that we have it fixed, Phyllis and I find the Force10 the best marine stove we have cooked on.

Stuff We Like

  • Force10’s ‘patented slide-away oven door’, that “recesses underneath the oven to maximize galley space”, is great since we no longer get pushed out of the galley and strangled by our safety strap when opening the oven door.
  • The ‘push to spark, electronic’ igniters are convenient and actually work, as long as you are willing to replace the actuation switches at least once a year.
  • The three burner model is an efficient design since four pots do not fit in the limited amount of space available, no matter how many burners you have.
  • The different BTU outputs of the three burners (one 8200BTU, two 3400BTU) allow us to move pots between burners depending on how much heat we need.
  • The two small burners are great for simmering when turned right down, to the point that we recently threw away the heat diffusers that we had to use on the old stove for this purpose.
  • The hinged and removable one piece grid over the cook top and the clean design of the top itself makes cleaning easy.
  • The pot holder (to hold pots on the stove while in rough seas) system works better than that on most marine stoves although smaller pots tend not to be properly centered on the burner.
  • The built-in oven heat diffuser plate helps to distribute the heat evenly throughout the oven, meaning that the back of stuff doesn’t burn horribly while the front is still raw, like with our old stove.

Suggestions For Improvement

  • The 8200BTU large cook top burner needs to be larger still, say 10,0000-12,000BTU. The current large burner takes at least 20 minutes to bring a large pot of water to boil, say for pasta, and will not keep the pot on a rolling boil without a lid on (bad for pasta).
  • The grill needs to be substantially larger in power and area. Right now it will barely cook one 8-oz steak. Anything bigger must be constantly moved around to avoid raw spots.
  • The oven rack sliders are too wide, for no good reason that we can see, limiting the width of the oven and therefore the size of pans that can be used in it. The oven is small enough without unnecessarily decreasing usable space further .

In summary, if you expect the Force10 to work as well as even a basic household stove, you’ll be disappointed. But to be fair, household stoves do not have to fit into a small space, swing, and put up with a marine environment. Having said that, we regularly cook fairly elaborate dinners for up to six people on our Force10 and almost any meal that we can prepare on a household stove we can do on it, although this does take some planning and ingenuity.

If Force10 were to address the quality control issues we experienced, provide seamanlike mounts, and make the relatively small changes listed above, they would have a fine product for live aboard voyaging boats that would easily justify the premium price they charge for it. I do understand that this market is small, but said changes would, I think, be rewarded by increased sales to the more casual use market too.

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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