Gentlemen.. the key component in diesel heaters like Dickinson Sigmar and others is the "oil metering valve" or carburetor, such heaters with valves like this have been around a very very long time."gravity" feed or low pressure pump just get the fuel to the metering valve.. The use of stainless steel jackets and flues make them marine type heaters. You may remember a heater that worked the same way when you went to your grandads hunting cabin!
Fuel oil needs high temps, atomization, wick, plate, pan, or basket type burner, which is heated by the flame so much it glows and acts like a catalytic converter.
So..when the needle valve is coked up.. the flow diminishes,,, the oil delivered is not enough to get the burner section hot enough to cause complete combustion.. SOOT! Learn how to clean the metering valve often.. it's the key to happy heating and sootless combustion. use of kero may help but it will still eventually coke up
here's a rendition of a new heater with the same old type of combustion your boat heaters use. Flame GLT-I
Does this look similar? http://www.rural-energy.com/publicat...cument-244.pdf
ck out this! [IMG]