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  #41  
Old 03-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daydreamer92 View Post
Is anyone familiar with these? I have seen them on a couple Friendship Sloops (my "someday..." boat). Cropped this image from an ad.

I like how they look classic.. I'm wondering if they work well to take the edge off of a chill.

That stove is the "Pet". It's a great stove, by the same people that make the "Tiny Tot".
http://www.fatscostoves.com/images/S...s/PetFront.jpg
Fatsco Stoves

They're tiny, airtight (a must for wood stoves) and affordable. I've seen them up close and they're quite a nice stove. The only reason I don't have one already is that they don't have a window. They would DEFINATELY take the chill off your boat, and actually could heat it quite well. Wood heat is not lacking in it's ability to warm an area, quite the opposite actually as I spent my time looking for a fuel that didn't burn as hot. Duraflame 2hr firelogs were what I found worked best, with charcoal working nearly as well, but messier.

To illustrate the point I once decided to take my dickinson pacific stove and put wood in the part where diesel is supposed to go. Actually it worked like a charm except for the fact that it burned so hot that the heat proof paint on the exhaust stack (that had withstood years of usage as a diesel stove) began to bubble and blister.

As for the flower pot idea on the stove top or in the oven I've had it suggested by many a salt, but never actually tried it. If you do, remember that a 500deg flower pot looks EXACTLY like a cold one. Use mitts.

John, I suspected that my stove sucked, and that propane might have some redeeming features in other models. Still, while my BTU rating is tragically low and inadequate to heat half my boat, it still cooks through a 5gal bottle in 5 days or less. If I were to use the dickinson with twice the BTU wouldn't I be going through 3 (heavy) propane bottles a week? Also since my overpriced stove burner IS vented I don't get the rainforest effect, though that is it's only advantage over running the stove.

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Last edited by MedSailor; 03-07-2010 at 11:37 PM.
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  #42  
Old 03-07-2010
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Just in case anyone is crazy enough to try this. Here is a great website to help you DIY a heater install. It's actually a computer cooling enthusiast site, but the principles are exactly the same. Instead of robbing heat from a CPU and distributing it to the air, you rob it from your engine's or genset's coolant, or from copper pipe run around the exhaust stack of your diesel, wood, or propane stove and distribute it to the air.

Radiator - Review Tom's Hardware : DIY Water Cooling 101

Basically this is how to build a red-dot heater, or replace one of these (bottom right of the page)
DickinsonMarine.com - Alternative Heating

for a fraction of the cost.

MedSailor
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Old 03-08-2010
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Arch, I don't think mine would need to be that complicated. The flame in the bottom of the oven would provide heat. Like any oven, that vents out of the burner opening on top. If I cover two and vent one I should be ok. That would also let me cook on top.
While I don't want to fog the cabin, condensation is unlikely. My hull is 1.25" thick wood, which is an excellent insulator. She also has ceiling inside the planking.
I have used the Aladdin Lamp for heat, it does help.
Many people love wood burners, plenty of traditional boats have them. i was aboard a 40' last October that had a coal stove. It was lovely.

Last edited by WanderingStar; 03-08-2010 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 03-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daydreamer92 View Post
Is anyone familiar with these? I have seen them on a couple Friendship Sloops (my "someday..." boat). Cropped this image from an ad.

I like how they look classic.. I'm wondering if they work well to take the edge off of a chill.
I sailed a 26' Friendship for years, she was a peach. Which model do you like? The Dictators (31') are great.
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Old 03-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
...John, I suspected that my stove sucked, and that propane might have some redeeming features in other models. Still, while my BTU rating is tragically low and inadequate to heat half my boat, it still cooks through a 5gal bottle in 5 days or less. If I were to use the dickinson with twice the BTU wouldn't I be going through 3 (heavy) propane bottles a week? Also since my overpriced stove burner IS vented I don't get the rainforest effect, though that is it's only advantage over running the stove.

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Med,

A couple things: When you said that "propane sucks" earlier in this thread, I suspected that you likely had a Force 10/Sigma Cozy Cabin propane heater. Many folks with that unit have the same impression of propane. Not only is it a tiny, low out-put heater (way too small to make any difference on your boat), but it is a notoriously "wet" one.

Yes, your propane heater IS vented. But that's not the same as having the combustion taking place in a sealed chamber. It helps some to have that vent stack, but you will still get a fair bit of moisture released into the cabin space because the flame is in "open air".

The solution to that problem and other safety issues (such as oxygen depletion), is Dickinson's sealed combustion chamber coupled with a double-walled chimney. It is a much smarter approach.

Also, on the "burn rate" of propane: Our P9000 will run continuously for almost 6 days on a 20 lb tank of propane. But it would be unusual to run it continuously. Most folks that use these have more limited heating requirements.

In our case, we typically use it more like 4 hrs in the morning, 4 hours in the evening. Often less. Sometimes in very cold weather we might run it for a total of 12 hours. So we could easily stretch that propane out 2-4 times as long, i.e. 12-24 days of moderate to heavy usage. That would cover a 3-week vacation trip, or ten full weekends. For many sailors, ten weekends represents the entirety of the spring and autumn "shoulder seasons" when supplemental cabin heating is needed.

Having said all that about pounds of propane consumption, I have to ask: Do you have any idea how many pounds of firewood you'll be going through with one of those wood stoves!? Good lord almighty, there will be no comparison.

A large portion of our heat growing up was from wood, and even today we supplement during the cold weather with wood. I like wood heat. But one single armload of wood weighs more than a 20lb propane tank!! And an armload lasts about 1/4 a day in a conventional woodstove. Not to mention the mess.

So I remain baffled by the suggestion that propane is not a good fuel for heating due to burn rate, but wood is!?

I would agree, and have said repeatedly, that propane isn't the best solution for SERIOUS heating requirements away from the dock. On most boats, diesel(preferably of the Webasto/Espar variety) or kerosene is likely the best solution for those requirements.

But propane has it's place. A correctly sized and designed bulkhead propane heater is almost ideal for weekending and vacationing on moderate-sized boats. They are simpler to install, and burn more cleanly, than comparable diesel versions. And compared to woodstoves, they are the epitome of practicality and convenience.

Even dockside liveaboards might consider propane. With shore power, propane can be easily supplemented with small, thermostatically controlled, oil-filled electric heaters. Yes, picking up another canister of propane every few weeks is an inconvenience. But I know in my case I'd rather do that than cart jerry jugs of diesel back and forth to the filling station - even if at a less frequent rate.

Unfortunately, the O.P. never told us how he plans to use his heat. Weekending/vacationing? Living aboard at the dock? Long-distance high-latitude voyaging? It's difficult for any of us to offer a firm recommendation without knowing the answer to that question.
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Last edited by JohnRPollard; 03-08-2010 at 07:57 AM.
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  #46  
Old 03-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Med,
I would agree, and have said repeatedly, that propane isn't the best solution for SERIOUS heating requirements away from the dock. On most boats, diesel(preferably of the Webasto/Espar variety) or kerosene is likely the best solution for those requirements.
As always, nice job spelling out the trade-offs John. With regard to SERIOUS heating requirements away from the dock . . . I did also consider this in deciding between the Newport Dickinson P-12000 vented bulkhead propane heater and the Webasto Air Top EVO diesel heater. SERIOUS for me however, means long term away-from-the-dock heating (but with routine access to marinas for reprovisioning), but still either seasonal use (if up north) or use further south, NOT a requirement for living aboard year-round in Nova Scotia or similar (now that would be SERIOUS!).

The higher electricity demands of the Webasto, it's higher initial cost, greater installation complexity, and further loss of my already limited storage space due to having ducting run through the boat, pushed me in the direction of the P-12000. I have a smaller boat though (PSC 34), so I'm not in the situation where I'd need two bulkhead heaters.

Agree, this is definitely a case where the best solution completely depends on the specific boat and usage requirements. Regardless, there's issues that apply to all cases, such as guarding against oxygen depletion and excess moisture, avoiding inconvinence (e.g., for me - carting wood), etc..
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  #47  
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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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  #48  
Old 03-08-2010
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Med,

There's much to agree with in what you say. And some good humor too. Thanks for the chuckles.

I cannot fault anyone's preference for wood. I think I mentioned earlier in this thread how I'd love to own one of those little Navigator stoves. In fact, my wife and I have even considered finding a place to put one in our house -- just because. Maybe someday we'd be fortunate enough to have a boat where it could serve.

But I think if I owned a boat as large as yours, for serious heating requirements or voyaging far afield, I'd be looking at diesel forced air. The bulkhead heaters are great, but once you get to a size where two are necessary, then the cost comparison changes quite a bit. Of course, there goes your ambiance.

Anyway, this has been a good discussion all around. Hopefully the O.P. found it helpful. We've had some similar threads here on Sailnet over the years, but the search function is so decrepit it's been tough locating them. I'm almost inclined to make this one a sticky, so others can find it in the future for reference....
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  #49  
Old 03-08-2010
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One more quick propane question regarding the dickinson stoves.
If:
1 gallon of Propane ~= 4.23 lbs ~= 91690 Btus
1 lbs of Propane ~=21,676 Btus
20 lb tank of propane holds approx 4.73 gallons of propane (433,694 BTUs)

Then for the dickinson 9000model if you run it at 5500btu/hr you should only get 78.9 hours of usage (433,694/5500 ~= 78.9) yet the dickinson website claims 140hrs at this rate.

For the high setting of 7500btu they claim 100hrs though 433,694/7500 yields 57.8hrs by my math.

What gives? Surely a pound of propane can't produce more than 22000 btu. So does the stove not run as long as they say, does it not put out quite as many btu as they claim, or am I missing something else? I'm hoping that I'm missing something as I'm actually sold on the idea of a dickenson 9000 for a forepeak heater on my boat if their numbers are indeed correct.

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Last edited by MedSailor; 03-08-2010 at 06:53 PM. Reason: I suck at math.
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Old 03-08-2010
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Yup, I agree with your math....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
One more quick propane question regarding the dickinson stoves.
If:
1 gallon of Propane ~= 4.23 lbs ~= 91690 Btus
1 lbs of Propane ~=21,676 Btus
20 lb tank of propane holds approx 4.73 gallons of propane (433,694 BTUs)

Then for the dickinson 9000model if you run it at 5500btu/hr you should only get 78.9 hours of usage (433,694/5500 ~= 78.9) yet the dickinson website claims 140hrs at this rate.

For the high setting of 7500btu they claim 100hrs though 433,694/7500 yields 57.8hrs by my math.

What gives? Surely a pound of propane can't produce more than 22000 btu. So does the stove not run as long as they say, does it not put out quite as many btu as they claim, or am I missing something else? I'm hoping that I'm missing something as I'm actually sold on the idea of a dickenson 9000 for a forepeak heater on my boat if their numbers are indeed correct.

MedSailor
... and it matches my expereince. Of course, if you turn the heater off now and then, which you will, it runs much longer.

My installation notes:
Sail Delmarva: Search results for "let there be heat"

The fan is a bit loud on high, but it doesn't need to be on high. You will need a rope deflector/cap guard.
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 03-08-2010 at 07:07 PM. Reason: info
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