Why would you scrap a perfectly good propane heater? They're not really dangerous if properly installed. They're also quite efficient. Propane is also a much cleaner fuel than diesel is.
The problem with using a diesel stove/heater combo unit is that IIRC, it is not vented. It will introduce a lot of moisture into the boat, since it doesn't have a chimney/exhaust. It also runs a slightly higher risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Also, diesel stoves, IIRC, have to be pre-heated, so you'd need alcohol aboard the boat to pre-heat it with.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.