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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to purchase a second hand Force 10 heater. Anyone have experience with owning, operating and maintaining?

Bad idea to purchase?
 

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Looking to purchase a second hand Force 10 heater. Anyone have experience with owning, operating and maintaining?

Bad idea to purchase?
They are old. Spare parts don't exist. When Eno bought Force 10 about 7 or 8 years ago they trucked all spare parts that were not for stoves to the dump.

What type of heater is it? - they made both diesel and propane units.
 

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Bluenoser
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I have a Force 10 kero/diesel heater on my 37' boat. It has worked reliably for the last 12 years. Its great for taking the chill off and drying out the cabin, but it doesn't put out enough heat for really cold weather (around freezing or below). Best thing is it only requires a 1" diameter stove pipe, making for a clean installation in small spaces.
 

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I too have the heater on my 37 foot boat and one advantage is the smaller hole necessary for the vent over other heaters. I'm use to backpacking in winter so having a 6000 BTu/hr heater is sufficient for me in temperature in the low 20's. When at the dock I'm using the electric heaters during the winter here on the Chesapeake and the force 10 is not used there. One thing I did find necessary was to convert the diesel heater to propane. The diesel put out an awful smell and the propane solved that problem. The only thing about the heater that is not functing right is the sparker to ignite the propane. I have to manually supply the spark/flame to ignite the burner initially.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Haven't purchased one yet. One feature we like about the Force 10 is the 1' diameter chimney as opposed to the 3" on the Dickinson. This will be installed in smaller boat - Catalina 25. We have no utilities at our dock.

With all of the maintenance that goes into a boat, we'd like to choose a reliable product. So Dickinson may well be the way to go.

As parts are an issue for the Force 10, can generic heater parts be used?

Anyone here using the current version of the Cozy Cabin heater?
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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I have a Force 10 propane heater that was inoperative when I bought the boat, and not something I bothered to fix, as I had no desire to run another propane line into the boat.
 

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FWIW, I rebuilt a Force 10 on a friend's boat and later installed a Dickinson propane unit on my own. The Dickinson is far, far superior in every possible way. It's probably twice as efficient due to the coax chimney that pre-heats the combustion air and it doesn't release any combustion water vapor into the cabin. Yes, the chimney hole is bigger but it's also much safer from a fire standpoint because the hot exhaust pipe is separated by a 1" air gap on all sides from the deck.
 

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Closet Powerboater
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I had a Force 10 Cozy Cabin propane heater. Worse than useless. Much of the heat went up the flue and it was really just a stove burner with a flu (to vent the heat). It did NOT warm up the boat and we figured we were better off just turning on the oven to heat the boat. Also, it gets very hot to touch, and the flame is exposed. My cat set her tail on fire with it once.

There is an epic thread about heating as a sticky at the top of the Gear and Maintenance section that may have useful info for you.

MedSailor
 

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I have a force 10 heater on a small 30 boat sailboat. It was originaly kerosene, but parts for the burner are very hard to find, and it flared and smelled. I converted it to propane with a kit sold by Sig Marine, the end result is the same as their Cozy Cabin Heater.

As noted above the best feature is the small size and 1" stack. Dickensons are much nicer, but in addition to being larger, having a big diameter stack, they also have a long minimal stack height. On my boat mounting options would be very limited and would require the stack to be way above deck. They also need 12 v power and the diesel ones need a gravity fed day tank or pump system.

I have had good luck with my heater, it draws well, will heat my boat on shoulder seasons just fine, and unlike just using your stove top, does not put moisture in the boat. Adding a 12 v cabin fan near by helps move the heat around. It will not heat the boat in mid winter even in our mild climate.

If you have the space and money go with a Dickenson or even better a forced air system (espar or similar), but for a small boat the Force 10 is OK.
 

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My boat came with a Force 10. Burner was not operational. Spare parts for the burner are not available but you can buy the whole burner assembly from Sig Marine. That's what I did. I agree the Dickensons are much nicer but my heater is only used occasionally for short periods and the extra cost (to buy and install) a Dickensons was not worth it to me right now. Maybe someday if I use the heater more...

Make sure you have plenty of fresh air ventilation and do not leave it unattended
 

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islander bahama 24
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Mine works great I also like the ( hot plate ) top holds my small coffee pot and keeps hot water ready all the time for tea or instant coffee also great spot to cook my taters for dinner I also use a little fan on the top to circulate heat better similar to this Ecofan GS Heat-Powered Fan for Gas Stoves, Model#806GS-BBX. One of my customers has a 12v fan out of a computer power supply that works good as well
 

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Discussion Starter #14
All good information, thanks for the posts.
 

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Funny, I installed one of the propane Force 10 heaters on our old Whistler 32 more than 20 years ago and we simply loved it! It kept the boat toasty and dry when we cruised in Maine and it even kept the boat happy on a mid November trip to BI one year. It was reliable for the 13 years we had it never once failing in any way. I never noticed additional dampness as a result of the propane fuel and in fact it was simply great at drying out the boat on a wet cold day. No idea how a lack of parts will impact the stove though, that might cause me to think twice...
Bruce
 

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I had a Force 10 Cozy Cabin propane heater. Worse than useless. Much of the heat went up the flue and it was really just a stove burner with a flu (to vent the heat). It did NOT warm up the boat and we figured we were better off just turning on the oven to heat the boat. Also, it gets very hot to touch, and the flame is exposed. My cat set her tail on fire with it once.

There is an epic thread about heating as a sticky at the top of the Gear and Maintenance section that may have useful info for you.

MedSailor
Amen.. I have removed two of these from two boats we've owned. Made the boat moist but never warm.. Something about tits on a bull being useless....;)
 

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I have the Force 10 diesel/kerosene heater and two things improve performance: 1) use a clean 4:1 mixture of kerosene and mineral spirits, and 2) set up an air fan aimed at the heater to circulate the heat around the cabin.
 

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I had a Force 10 heater in my old 35 foot wooden boat; it was adequate but relied on a pressure tank to keep the Primus like burner running hence it would always go out overnight. In my new boat I have an Espar heater which is magnificent and provides pure luxury when sailing in cold weather. It is not cheap to install however. There are also small heaters which run off charcoal briquettes, some people like them I have no personal experience with it. I will say that Force 10 equipment is well built, I do have their propane galleys stove and absolutely love it.
 
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