Meet our old, tired propane cooktop. This is original to Calypso, while it's done a great job cooking us countless meals, cups of morning coffee and more, it was time to say goodbye...We wanted to upgrade this unit, but we had some options to consider...Should we upgrade to an induction unit or stay propane. What options are out there for each and will it fit in the counter? Read on!
Our old unit was down to two working burners and one loose knob. Not only was it unsightly, only having two working burners was limiting our meal prep, big time. Brittany does some serious cooking, this had to be repaired. The old cook top was originally made in Argentina, it and the parts for it have been discontinued so we had to find a new one.
Our first thought? Induction!
Induction is the latest and greatest in cooktops! While the technology has been around for a while, it's just now starting to really take off. Jeremiah loved the idea as these introduce way less heat to the room while cooking. These use a reaction between the burner and the pan to heat the pan up instead of the traditional flame or heat source. They are awesome! We saw that SV Delos had gone to an induction cooktop before so we were pretty stoked about getting one, at first.
We had some experience with one recently that had two burners. The thing was that you couldn't have both burners on high at the same time. It was limited to 60% on one and 40% for the other if both burners were on. We couldn't even boil water on one while heating sauce on the other. That's a no-go, we wanted to make sure that wouldn't happen on Calypso should be go induction.
Jeremiah posted on a private Antares forum about it and got a few responses from other Antares owners. Turns out, to run a 4 or 5 burner induction cooktop and to have the ability to run the burners as high as we'd like, we would need to have 220v of power. We are a standard U.S. boat so she's wired for 110v. We believe that we'd need more than 1800watts of power to fully run an induction cooktop. Additionally, even if we can get the unit to run on high, we never were able to find one that would fit unless we went with a small one or two burner unit. We make big meals, we need at least 3 burners so we passed on the idea. Back to propane!
So tons of searching for a propane cook top began! The next challenge was locating one that would fit. The current cooktop cut out (hole in the counter top) was 18" wide and 17" deep. We didn't find any that fit those dimentions, they were all larger. So we knew we'd need to cut a larger hole. The problem was that, while the counter is long, it isn't very deep. We could really only cut about 1 7/8" deeper, that's it. So size was a limited factor big time. We actually had a very hard time locating one. So back to the forum!
Two of the other Antares had upgraded to a propane cooktop that not only looked great, it also was barely small enough to fit into a new cut out. So we ordered it!
We found the best price to be from Wayfair, it only took a few days top get the unit. This thing looked NICE! We were excited to get it installed.
The unit came rigged for natural gas but also had a propane conversation kit included. Jeremiah did the simple conversion which included swapping a little plastic screw and replacing each of the burners jets. Easy!
Next up, the counter top! We have corian counters on Calypso, the first step was to research how to cut the corian without damaging it. Long story short, we used the following:
An angle grinder with a diamond tipped blade
A hack saw
Blue masking tape
Jeremiah removed the old cooktop by prying it up to loosen the glue that held it in place, took careful measurements for the new hole, taped over the corian where he would cut and went to town!
Let me tell you, corian makes some serious dust while cutting! He used the Skil Saw to cut the easily reached spots (front and two sides) and then he used the angle grinder to make the cut along the stainless steel back splash as it was way too tight for the Skil Saw. A little touch up on the corners with a hack saw and the hole was formed! He had to use up every mm he could squeeze out of the space in order to get the new unit installed. It was a perfect fit.
It is lovely!! We now have 4 working (and powerful) burners! It looks great too. We couldn't be more pleased with our new addition, the before and after photos blow me away! This was a long awaited upgrade, Calypso is feeling pretty happy about it as well!
If you have any questions about this upgrade, please comment below!