How much more efficient is diesel fuel compared to compressed gas? Are the savings big enough to warrant thousands of dollars in up-front installation costs, or will it take eight to ten years to break even on a new diesel stove/heater, compared to just using gas in the unit that's already there?
Eight to ten years to break even on a $1-2k stove and less than $500 for installation, tops?
I admit I'm a newbie and haven't seen as many marinas/anchorages as some folk here, but it seems to me I'd be making lots of trips inland, lugging two 20 lb tanks back and forth with annoying frequency when most marinas have diesel facilities already on hand or close by. Could propanes be more popular with the weekender/daysailer crowds who simply stop at the gas station and pop a tank or two into their trunks? Or, since fuel efficiency is not why they're doing it, is there some other reason that escapes me? Maybe diesels stink?
Overheating was mentioned, but a quick peek at the Dickenson's (they have propanes and diesels) shows that diesels aren't locked into high heat, they can be turned down to the same low BTU range as propane furnaces. That could be false advertising, though, or perhaps its newer technology.