Join Date: Jun 2009
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I have one at our off-grid cabin. I will second the thought that they require a lot of fussing, and the mantles are fragile and expensive. The biggest problem I've had is, because they're interesting, other people futzing with them and screwing them up to the point of me having to replace mantles, wicks, etc. So if you get one, learn how to use it and make the rule that NO ONE EVER TOUCHES THE LAMP BUT YOU. Threaten them with keelhauling if necessary.
The other issue is the heat. They throw off a considerable amount of heat. Which, at certain times of the year is a nice plus, but other times not so much. Make sure you have good ventilation and use a high quality kerosene, or you'll smell like a fuel oil truck. Properly trimmed, properly adjusted and with proper fuel they're not smelly or sooty at all. They are nice and bright, but I think that for a boating application, I might want something else.