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  #1  
Old 10-23-2008
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wood vs. diesel cook stove

I have access to an old diesel cookstove/oven (which needs a bit of work to get it going). What I was wondering, assuming it would feasible to change over to wood. What are the pros and cons of each. With diesel prices going up, space for tank and complexity of plumbing in the diesel(though I would have an auxiliary engine fuel tank available). In addition to the diesel (or wood) stove/oven I have a two burner propane cook top and propane sea-awing. I live on in the Pacific Northwest and cruise BC and Alaska.
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Old 10-23-2008
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Wood is tough to store and keep dry on a boat. It also takes up a lot of room for the amount of heating it provides, being a pretty low BTU intensive fuel. It is also pretty messy to deal with, as you do have to deal with the ashes and such.... which isn't an issue with propane or diesel. The only real pro of using wood as a fuel is that it is a relatively dry fuel.

If you've already got propane on-board, why not go with a propane stove/oven and replace the cooktop??
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Old 10-23-2008
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thanks for the input

I am not really that comfortable with propane on board espescially with an oven, what I have now is a 2-burner propane cook top (no oven). I have made room for it so I can install a diesel cook stove w/oven, which I already have (I traded a bunch of otherwise useless stuff for) and not loose any counter space (I'll actually be gaining space). I will probably continue with my original plan and install the cook stove as a diesel. I have a 3 gallon tank, place to put it with deck fill, space in my engine room for filters and what not, and enough room in my lazzarette along with everything else) for 4 Gerry cans of bio-diesel.
I will still have a small wood heater between the main cabin and forward cabin. 1gal. shop-vac works great for removing *cold* ashes & there are otherwise unusable spaces that can be used for wood storage.
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If you already have a diesel stove/oven... go for it. Highly recommend that you make the fuel tank for the stove gravity fed with a shutoff valve not near the stove.

I'd check with the stove manufacturer about the bio-diesel. Some stoves do well with it, others not so much.
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Old 10-24-2008
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Talking cook stoves

i have cooked with wood, diesel & propane.propane is the easiest, which i have on my boat. ( force ten with infared oven ) diesel burners have to be started with alcohol which is hard to do when the vessel is bouncing around. we had to use a propane torch to heat the burners in those conditions. the orifices tend to clog up from time to time. i think a wood cook stove is great for cooking & for heat. we had a 4 hole one with oven which was great for cooking for 13 or 14 crew. we took turns cooking. it kept the salon & galley warm up in greenland. we had a lot of hardwood stored aboard & we sawed up driftwood.. you move the pans around to different spots on the stove to vary the cooking temperature.
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Old 10-24-2008
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I have to wonder if you have ever actually used wood to cook with. I have. In a remote mountain cabin where there was plenty of room and it wasn't moving around. Even there I would NEVER make it my first choice for cooking! It is VERY difficult to regulate your temperatures, it is dirty, it is slow, it is just a major pain in every way.

Stick with diesel, or get comfortable with propane. Personally, I would go with propane. I used to worry about propane also, but now that I understand how it works, what makes it dangerous, and what you can do to mitigate that danger, I don't worry about it as much. I realize that just the act of being out of sight of land is a lot more dangerous in general than a properly installed, monitored, and maintained propane system.
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ain't that the truth... of course, IMHO, being in sight of land is far more dangerous than being way, way out in the ocean. Far more things that can damage the boat close to land—other boats, shore, rocks, reefs, etc.
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I have to wonder if you have ever actually used wood to cook with. I have. In a remote mountain cabin where there was plenty of room and it wasn't moving around. Even there I would NEVER make it my first choice for cooking! It is VERY difficult to regulate your temperatures, it is dirty, it is slow, it is just a major pain in every way.

Stick with diesel, or get comfortable with propane. Personally, I would go with propane. I used to worry about propane also, but now that I understand how it works, what makes it dangerous, and what you can do to mitigate that danger, I don't worry about it as much. I realize that just the act of being out of sight of land is a lot more dangerous in general than a properly installed, monitored, and maintained propane system.
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Old 10-25-2008
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There will be wood heat on board (small wood heater to replace kerosene heater see:Rover08 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! and I am able to keep the two burner propane stove top and canister sea-swing for quick and warm weather cooking as well as install the diesel (or wood) cookstove/oven.
What I am trying to decide is should/could the cookstove be converted to wood and use and unusably short length of wood (otherwise refered to as free/scrap) though creating a certain bit of hastle and mess. Or diesel which in addition to gettign the stove functional, I'll jave to install fuel source, plumb lines, filters and possibly a low pressure pump. I will have fuel source that is easier to deal with allbeit more expensive and will plumb in cross over as extra enginge fuel.
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Old 10-28-2008
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I converted a diesel heater to wood and installed in on my 32' sailboat. used it for 6 months last year while cruising the east coast going south from Upstate NY to Central Florida. worked for me.
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how did you do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by joethecobbler View Post
I converted a diesel heater to wood and installed in on my 32' sailboat. used it for 6 months last year while cruising the east coast going south from Upstate NY to Central Florida. worked for me.
What I have is an old version of the Dickinson Bering Sea diesel stove DickinsonMarine.com - Diesel Stoves - The Bering. It will take alot to get it functional on my boat as diesel and the more people I talk to the more I think wood is a better solution. What did you do to make the conversion. I
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