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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-13-2007
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Diesel heater chimney exits

I just finished a relatively unpolished but chock-full o' wisdom book called "The Warm Dry Boat" http://www.nauticalmind.com/Warm-Dry...-pr-66240.html

Good, brisk fun, and it's given me several ideas for dorades, etc.

Even though we'll be mostly in the tropics, we may overwinter in Britain, New Zealand and Canada's East Coast. This means we need a diesel heater (bulkhead or free standing will depend on other factors) for the main saloon, in which we can all sleep on frosty nights. Due to the "wetness" of propane, I want to use diesel pot ring-style heating. Must I run the "chimney" straight up through the deck to a Charley Noble, or is it feasible to run it to a fixed portlight, drill a sufficiently large and insulated gasket and have it going out that way?

I ask because I wish to avoid sooting the sails, crowding the deck, obscuring my view from the pilothouse further, and avoiding the dreaded "down draft" that can really make diesel heat unpleasant when it has to smoke against a sail-created head current.
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Old 10-13-2007
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I have a Dickerson Alaska model diesel heater on my boat. I will be removing it as I am going to the topics.
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Old 10-14-2007
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Val... we have the Dickerson fully vented propane fireplace (Newport) - there is no concern about wetness, combustion air is drawn down a dual tube stack, and the products of combustion are fully vented as well. The deck fitting is very compact and should prove no real obstruction to your sightlines. It has a fan to blow the heated air and has a nice ambience as it is really a fireplace, you can see the flame through the window in the door.

West Marine, Steveston here in Vancouver, all carry these models - clean, non smelling, it works great. They have a 9000 btu (ours) and a larger 12000 btu model.

Check it out before you resign yourself to a potentially smelly diesel heater.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freesail99 View Post
I have a Dickerson Alaska model diesel heater on my boat. I will be removing it as I am going to the topics.
But did you like it and how did you have it vented out of the cabin?
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Old 10-14-2007
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Val... we have the Dickerson fully vented propane fireplace (Newport) - there is no concern about wetness, combustion air is drawn down a dual tube stack, and the products of combustion are fully vented as well. The deck fitting is very compact and should prove no real obstruction to your sightlines. It has a fan to blow the heated air and has a nice ambience as it is really a fireplace, you can see the flame through the window in the door.

West Marine, Steveston here in Vancouver, all carry these models - clean, non smelling, it works great. They have a 9000 btu (ours) and a larger 12000 btu model.

Check it out before you resign yourself to a potentially smelly diesel heater.
Were I staying local to propane supplies, I would consider that and the fairly sensible dual stack set-up (the book I mentioned discusses it). But I'm saving all propane for the stove duties. It makes sense given our situation to rely on the fuel we'll always have in abundance (140 gallons diesel, plus 10 gallons gas, 5 gallons lamp oil, 5 gallons kerosene, 5 gallons 15W-40, 200 gallons of water and god knows how much lubricating oils, greases, paints and primers. Add to that two 20 lb. propane bottles and the required "international" adapters, and the thought of heat vs. cooking becomes an issue.

The idea of a diesel heater is its simplicity and ubiquity: if properly installed, it is very frugal and needn't smoke or stink. I've considered simply installing it in the pilothouse for the purpose of keeping gear dry, and then using fans to send the heat below, but I think I can actually plumb into the hot water circuit with a car block heater or two and accomplish the same thing with engine heat. If we are sailing in cool weather, simply lighting oil lamps dries out the boat, but if we are going to liveaboard in a Toronto winter, or overwinter in Britain/Ireland/Canadian Maritimes, it becomes essential.

Propane is possible in a North American/coastal situation, but it simply isn't available a lot of places, or if it is, there are squirrelly adapter issues. Europeans use butane, CNG and something called "camp gas". Kerosene is still used in spots, even though it's dirty. I've seen actually quite nice diesel stoves on passagemakers. Anyway, a diesel heater makes sense because I can't predict we won't go well off the beaten path and/or high latitude cruising.
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Old 10-14-2007
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Val...since no one else is weighing in and I do have some knowledge of land based installation issues, I would suggest that you will run into significant problems with anything less than a straight run of pipe that contains not more than a 30-45 degree bend. to get it out of the cabin.
I will willingly defer to anyone who has actually done what you suggest, but small pipe draft is tough enough without the complication of multiple severe bends.
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Val, I have a double walled stainless 4 inch chimney. My boat was used as a liveaboard in Michigan and it provided enough heat, for that climate. It is a well made unit. His records which I have, state he used on average 13 gallons of diesel a week in January and February. I only used it once last year while working on the boat. It nearly drove me out of the boat. To much heat for a 40F degree day in southern New Jersey.

My chimney is a straight run through the cabin top.
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Old 10-14-2007
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Val,

Not sure if it's applicable to your proposed heater installation, but the Espar Airtronic system on my boat has a through-hull fitting as a means of exhausting combusted diesel gases and looks similar to this image:


Very unobstrusive and double-walled for thermal isolation against the GRP. It's mounted high on the port aft side of my double-ender, just below the toerail - approx. 60 inches from the boot stripe. At the interior side, the stainless steel, corrugated exhaust hose incorporates a high loop, preventing water intrusion - although that would require a heeling angle close to a knockdown.

Typically though, the vent is mounted on transoms of sailboats.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Val...since no one else is weighing in and I do have some knowledge of land based installation issues, I would suggest that you will run into significant problems with anything less than a straight run of pipe that contains not more than a 30-45 degree bend. to get it out of the cabin.
I will willingly defer to anyone who has actually done what you suggest, but small pipe draft is tough enough without the complication of multiple severe bends.
I realize this, and that's why I'm asking. It's possible the use of a fan can mitigate the angle issue. It's also possible I'm smoking crack on this idea of wanting to avoid putting yet another hole in my cabin top.
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Val,

Not sure if it's applicable to your proposed heater installation, but the Espar Airtronic system on my boat has a through-hull fitting as a means of exhausting combusted diesel gases and looks similar to this image
Yes, that is very much the sort of thing I could see putting through a portlight with the proper standoffs to keep the 1/2 in. Lexan from melting, or, barring that, I could weld over that portlight as it doesn't add much to the light below anyway and is fixed.

Thanks, TB.
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