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Old 03-08-2010
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John,

Thanks for defending the cause of propane. I'm enjoying this discussion and learning a lot. When I said "propane sucks unless you're a weekend sailor" I hope that still reads that is is a viable option for a weekender. Also, I later said "I suspected my stove sucks" after learning a little more about the issue. Indeed, after your last post I did more research and found that MY stove's propane consumption is 3.3hrs/lb (66hrs per 20lb bottle)at 6,500BTU whereas the dickinson ones consumes approximately HALF as much propane for the same BTU!! My stove does suck! My recommendations against propane for serious heating were based on my personal experience and I didn't have reason to believe (until your posts) that the other stoves would be dramatically different.

Armed with this new information I will seriously consider putting a dickinson propane fireplace up front in the V-berth where the salon wood stove's heat will not likely reach. The small diameter vent is also easier to install up forward where there is more stuff in the way and I am more likely to have water on deck.

To address your question about Lb usage of fuel for the solid fuel stove, I did warn folks that my reasons for loving wood stoves were not entirely rational/practical. It's hard to beat a diesel stove (of either type) for that. To answer your question though I use the duraflame type firelogs which are 3 lbs. I cut them in thirds and they run for 2 hrs per chunk. Wikipedia says they are 8,500btu/lb so that should mean it is a 8,500 btu stove that requires one lb of fuel per hour. Looks like the larger dickinson propane stove would run 5hrs on a lb of fuel. So, not rational/practical at all, but those aren't the only criteria for my decision making.

An example of the joy I derive from my stove, even when my stove hasn't seen use in a month, is in though the look on people's faces as they were imagining my suffering as a liveaboard and then I tell them I had a fireplace on my boat. I would then joke that having a wooden boat meant I will never run out of fuel. It's also much more effective to invite a companion over to enjoy some wine on the boat in front of the fire than to invite a companion over to enjoy your forced air central heat.

In defense of my insanity, I put it to you that EVERYTHING about sailboat ownership is grounded in insanity rather than rationality. After all it's the romance of it all that we're after, not the fastest or most efficient way to get to our destination, otherwise we would buy plane tickets. The wood burning stove adds more romance and joy to my boat than anything else on board that I am not married to.

Stay warm!
MedSailor
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