Wood, Diesel or propane bulkhead heating stove? - Page 14 - SailNet Community
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post #131 of 181 Old 02-25-2012
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Thoughts on 12 months with a woodstove

After 12 months with a Sardine woodstove aboard my 32-foot Tahitiana "Kuan Yin" I wrote a fairly lengthly appraisal of the stove and how I was using it - types of firewood, cleaning etc.

Read it here: Wood stove on a sailboat – comments and suggestions after one year | Serendipities Of A Nomad's Life



Comments and feedback about other people's experiences welcome.

Dennison
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Currently retracing the voyage in 1811 of an Inuit family and two missionaries north along the coast of Labrador to Ungava Bay, in northern Canada.
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post #132 of 181 Old 02-25-2012
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Thanks for taking the time to contribute this.

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post #133 of 181 Old 02-28-2012
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$2,000 sounds like a hell of a high price, for a stove which wont run all night. I recently built an airtight, all stainless wood stove for a friend for under $500
How long does yours run on a load of wood?
I find that in above freezing temperatures , I sleep better with the stove off. In below freezing temperatures, I wouldn't want to be with a very expensive stove which wont run all night. Been there, done that. Seems like a bad dream I once had.The difference in switching to an adequate sized, airtight stove was huge. Tiny, decorative stoves are for masochists.
After welding up all kinds of scrapers for getting the creosote out of my stove pipe , all of which were inclined to jam, and none of which worked very well , I devised the BS Chimney Flail. I welded the middle of an 8 inch length of chain to a steel rod. I put the chain end down the stove pipe and put my electric drill on the other end. When I fired up the drill, the chain flailed the creosote off very quickly. I kept the chain inside the stovepipe while it was spinning, for safety. Tire chains have hardened steel bits welded on which would be even more effective. I may cut up some old files I have and weld them on. Unlike other scrapers, when I stop the drill the chain goes limp, eliminating any chance of jamming.
Computer timed out and library closed before I could finish this yesterday. I was surprised any of it posted.
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post #134 of 181 Old 03-11-2012
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Re: Wood, Diesel or propane bulkhead heating stove?

My vote would be for diesel. I have been working the last few years on commercial fishing boats ranging from 10 tons to 80 tons and unless you have a 120kw genset to run electric heaters like the ladder the only form of heater up there was a diesel one. As well as working up there I spend my vacation time on my sailboat down south which has a force 10 propane heater on it. It sucks up 1lb per hour which destroys my lil 2 gallon tank rather quickly. My current employer leaves their diesel heater/stove on 24/7/365 days a year to combat the winter effects alaska can have on boats along with mildew and mold created in the summer. This being said he does not have to worry about the explosive capacity that propane does. This system has about a 17 gallon tank we fill twice a month. The unit is a stove, oven, heater combination which I am guessing uses more than just the wall mounted heater. One thing I would warn about is if you run it too cool the injector or what have you will clog up with un-burnt fuel particulates. Because it has it has an auxiliary tank and because of the simplicity of the combustion system this allows you to run fuel that you have newly discovered to be "bad" whether it be the crud that manifests in old tanks or whatever. These are my experiences. As others said before the type of heater depends on the type of sailing being done, but if it were me and I was planning on going on trips away from a dock any longer than three days then I would opt for the diesel.
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post #135 of 181 Old 03-29-2012
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Re: Wood, Diesel or propane bulkhead heating stove?

Propane onboard is a scary prospect propane is heavier than air so it will sit in your bilge
good way to turn a fixed asset into a liquid asset in a hurry
one fuel source you didn't lest was coal (anthracite) boiler nuts are an extremely dense fuel source so one or two would burn for a few hours the biggest downside being they burn verrry hot ie will mel a light weight steel woodstove small cast stoves are much better option and they hold the heat longer
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post #136 of 181 Old 03-29-2012
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Re: Wood, Diesel or propane bulkhead heating stove?

Commercial fishboats go thru big bucks , so diesel is the solution there, where there is lots of money. Not so good for cruisers on a far more limited budget, unless they want to restrict their cruising, and spend most of their time working to pay for the diesel. Wood is free, diesel is very expensive, and getting ever more so. Friends spend $280 a month heating their Ericson 37 with diesel, almost my entire cost of living. .

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post #137 of 181 Old 03-29-2012
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Re: Wood, Diesel or propane bulkhead heating stove?

White74, what stove are you burning anthracite in?
There has been discussion of anthracite in this thread, though most people seem more familiar with wood and charcoal. The currently-made stoves that I'm aware of won't handle coal. Instead the makers tell you to use charcoal or wood, I assume because of hard coal's high burn temperature. My take on that is, it's a BS excuse to make a weaker product--the coal stove isn't exactly new technology.
I can't see trying to heat a small boat in cold really cold weather with wood. To me, a solid fuel stove that won't burn coal is impractical, unless you want to spend half your life sawing up wood and dumping ash.
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post #138 of 181 Old 03-29-2012
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Re: Wood, Diesel or propane bulkhead heating stove?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColombiaSail View Post
My vote would be for diesel. I have been working the last few years on commercial fishing boats ranging from 10 tons to 80 tons and unless you have a 120kw genset to run electric heaters like the ladder the only form of heater up there was a diesel one. As well as working up there I spend my vacation time on my sailboat down south which has a force 10 propane heater on it. It sucks up 1lb per hour which destroys my lil 2 gallon tank rather quickly. My current employer leaves their diesel heater/stove on 24/7/365 days a year to combat the winter effects alaska can have on boats along with mildew and mold created in the summer. This being said he does not have to worry about the explosive capacity that propane does. This system has about a 17 gallon tank we fill twice a month. The unit is a stove, oven, heater combination which I am guessing uses more than just the wall mounted heater. One thing I would warn about is if you run it too cool the injector or what have you will clog up with un-burnt fuel particulates. Because it has it has an auxiliary tank and because of the simplicity of the combustion system this allows you to run fuel that you have newly discovered to be "bad" whether it be the crud that manifests in old tanks or whatever. These are my experiences. As others said before the type of heater depends on the type of sailing being done, but if it were me and I was planning on going on trips away from a dock any longer than three days then I would opt for the diesel.
If I left my bulkhead mounted "Dickinson Alaska Diesel Heater" running 24/7 it would burn 39gals/month on the lowest setting which keeps the boat more than warm enough. Your burning 34 so it seems it burns roughly the same. I run mine from my main tanks with a pulse pump so I'm just going by the fuel consumption info from Dickinson.

And I agree with you, my vote is also for diesel.


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Re: Wood, Diesel or propane bulkhead heating stove?

Diesel is great, as long as someone else is paying for it, or you would rather be working to pay for it, than cruising full time.
I've used a wood stove , cruising BC year round ,including some very cold winters, for 40 years. No problems. It takes me 15 minutes to round up a weeks supply off the beach.
I started with diesel, but gave up on it quickly.

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post #140 of 181 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Wood, Diesel or propane bulkhead heating stove?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VallelyJ View Post
White74, what stove are you burning anthracite in?
There has been discussion of anthracite in this thread, though most people seem more familiar with wood and charcoal. The currently-made stoves that I'm aware of won't handle coal. Instead the makers tell you to use charcoal or wood, I assume because of hard coal's high burn temperature. My take on that is, it's a BS excuse to make a weaker product--the coal stove isn't exactly new technology.
I can't see trying to heat a small boat in cold really cold weather with wood. To me, a solid fuel stove that won't burn coal is impractical, unless you want to spend half your life sawing up wood and dumping ash.
John V.
Alajuela 33
I have a home made stove using boiler nuts aka anthracite
the design is heavy cast sewer pipe with air intake on the bottom and chimney on the top I lined the firebox with a fire brick insert and high heat mortar
the fuel is fed from the top and a clean-out on the bottom
the grate is 2 sewer grate one fixed one movable to allow for shaking clinkers out
all parts are cast iron

downsides:
no window to watch the pretty flames
all connections are flanges with nut and bolt ( gasket )
long burn time and start up time
weight of stove is heavier than steel models
fuel cost and availability

upsides:
lot of heat
small fuel storage
hot water built in
intake air supply is from outside

burn rate is controlled by butterfly in fresh air intake pipe
my chimney is wrapped in copper tubing for water heating going in and out to water tank using natural convection and heat shield with 2" space around whole unit
if you had the inclination the whole thing could be made up at your local foundry
If anyone wants to see design plans i could send them just pm me
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