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Old 08-03-2016, 10:48   #16
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Re: Heaters

I am no expert on heaters by any means, but seriously people ... some of the "facts" posted here made my jaw drop the the floor.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:49   #17
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Re: Heaters

Here's how much water is produced from burning different fuels:

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As you can see, wood is a far "wetter" fuel than diesel fuel, and in fact is even wetter than propane.

See: http://www.wiley.com/legacy/wileychi...p/toolbox5.pdf
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:51   #18
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Re: Heaters

You might want to check with your insurance agent. Mine has told me that the insurance companies don't want to insure boats with solid fuel heaters.
Besides that, all the advice you have received here regarding moisture is true.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:12   #19
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Re: Heaters

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
All I know is that, when it's cold enough to need a heater, even an electric heater adds tons of moisture to the boat interior.

This may be a matter of condensation not moisture from the fuel type.


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Old 08-03-2016, 11:16   #20
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Re: Heaters

Hmm, I wonder where I received this information.
To be honest, I am not even sure.
I am pretty sure it wasn't the interwebs.
But whatever, thanks for setting me straight.
Ill keep the diesel I guess. LOL
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:34   #21
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Re: Heaters

In regards to the dickerson diesel heater, they dont seem to work as well with the low sulphur fuel. I don't know how it effects other diesel heaters. The changes in current fuel does cause changes. I'm concidering installing a separate tank for kerosene to get away from the aditives. But haven't even tested how the kerosene will work. It's on the list.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:49   #22
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Re: Heaters

Badsanta, Dickinson does sell a low sulfur diesel "baffle":

http://www.dickinsonmarine.com/Specsheets/LowSulfer.pdf

I do not have the baffle so in order to see if I would need one,
I did back-to-back test fires with my Dickinson using a batch of Diesel marked "ULSD" and another batch of "normal" diesel.

Conclusion: I could not discern an meaningful difference.

Steve
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:46   #23
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Re: Heaters

Originally Posted by Cheechako was:
All I know is that, when it's cold enough to need a heater, even an electric heater adds tons of moisture to the boat interior.

I think what Cheechako is noting is how when the boat is warmer than the outside temperature you end up with condensation on the hull or overhead surfaces. If the hull is uninstalled fiberglass this is especially true. Our hull and deck are well insulated wood.

The moisture you're seeing with that condensation is already in the boat (from breathing and whatnot) but if inside air is close to outside air temps it just won't be so noteable. The temperature difference is what makes the condensation.

If you sufficiently heat the boat AND you have ventilators so the warm air is rising and making its way out of the boat, it takes the moisture with it and thus dries the boat.

Water is a product of combustion. If you vent a heated appliance, the water from that burning will exit the boat. Unvented appliances include propane stoves and they will end up adding moisture to the boat's interior.

We have an unvented kerosene Taylors galley stove, a couple kerosene lanterns, a wood/coal burning galley stove, a diesel (drip type) bulkhead heater.

If it's only a little cool, we might light a couple candles on the table or light a lantern to take the edge off or just take advantage of the heat from baking some cookies or bread in the kero stove's oven. If it's pretty cold, we turn on the bulkhead heater (Dickenson) and keep it running for days, weeks, well it was actually running for months in 2014. Longest stretch was 3 months. If it's super cold or I'm in the mood to do a lot of cooking, we fire up the wood/coal burning 6 burner Shipmate galley stove and enjoy the heat as well as a lot of baked goods. I prefer to use coal rather than wood since the coal is cleaner burning and it's difficult to get hardwood here on the west coast. It is also difficult to impossible to get anthracite coal here, I often rely on blacksmithing coal which is cleaner than bit coal that is readily available on the west coast of the US. In my stove, a coal fire can last 6 or so hours whereas I have to restoke a wood fire every 90 minutes or so as well.

We wash our clothes in a washer aboard but dry them hanging INSIDE the boat with no problems even in winters, rain, whatever. This is true in dryer California (we're in SF Bay right now) as well as PNW and up in rainy SE AK. So, heating our well insulated and well ventilated boat, I can say, really does dry it.
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:52   #24
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Re: Heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by oblivionboyj View Post
Hmm, I wonder where I received this information.
To be honest, I am not even sure.
I am pretty sure it wasn't the interwebs.
But whatever, thanks for setting me straight.
Ill keep the diesel I guess. LOL
Good plan!

That's a good heater, and should be very effective for keeping you warm. And DRY! Good luck.
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:59   #25
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Re: Heaters

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Originally Posted by oblivionboyj View Post

The question of where to store the fuel is the best argument against I have heard, in general.
We would have to store the solid fuel someplace.
At this time I believe we have more than enough space for storage of the fuel.
Especially considering that the solid fuel can be stored in several locations with ease, all below deck and safe from the elements.
If the heater you choose to buy will allow use of coal, you can get blacksmithing coal or anthracite coal (cleaner) in bags. Storage wise, we save plastic nut jars (the large square ones from Costco usually) and such and then put coal in these jars. The plastic jars are stored in the bilge. It doesn't matter if coal gets wet, btw, but the jars keep that from happening. We also store some coal in compactor trash bags in our forecastle. Wood storage is a harder thing. We used to keep two rubbermaid bins for wood aboard and they sat on a pilot berth. The wood takes a lot of space for the heat content. Bettter off with coal in a solid fuel stove. Better of with diesel for overall convenience though.

Best of luck!
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Old 09-03-2016, 05:33   #26
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Re: Heaters

I looked long and hard at buying a diesel heater for my boat (Dickinson Lofoten). I've sailed on boats with diesel, wood and alcohol heat (never propane though). In the end I decided not to go with diesel for only 1 reason, well 2 kind of. The cost to purchase and the cost to install. It was just too much money for me given my other expenses. I decided when my kids are older and my sailing range increases to pre kid levels, I would reassess the expense.

One other small issue is Dickinson's do require 12 volt power to run the fan if you want them to burn well. I do have a small solar system as well as an alternator, but my boat is old and I do have intermittent problems with my 12 volt system. Its a worthwhile consideration if you spend a lot of time off grid, especially if you don't have a manual start gen set.

Given the above points, if I already had a diesel system, I would not consider switching to wood. I would consider solid fuel as a fairly significant system downgrade from diesel. Diesels are hot, reliable, easily fueled, they have good longevity.

If you have dollars and space, a small Dickinson solid fuel might be a good addition to your heating system, you can pack a lot of wood pellets into a pretty small space if you're worried about storage. Another good secondary heat source is an alcohol space heater (no plumbing, venting/holes in your deck required).

In summary, I would definitely keep the diesel system. If you cruise somewhere cold and remote, you could consider a secondary heat source that doesn't require juice in addition to your diesel.

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Old 09-03-2016, 05:46   #27
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pirate Re: Heaters

Gas Heater.. light and sit back..
Warm air.. start and sit back..
Diesel Heater.. pump, light and sit back..
Solid fuel heater.. clean out grate.. insert fire lighters, layer the wood.. light.. monitor till flame takes hold.. dump ashes and cinders.. dust ash that's drifted around the salon.. sit back and relax.. opps.. need more wood.. buga.. smoke blowback.. go topside and adjust top.. go below sit back and relax.
Definitely wetter when pissing down outside..
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:09   #28
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Re: Heaters

Now that you understand why you are ahead with the diesel drip heater, I will mention a hybrid approach I took on one of my boats in the past.

I installed a Dickinson solid fuel heater inline [above] with the drip heater [Sigmar]- sharing the same exhaust flue. [Essentially, the solid fuel heater became a part of the diesel heater exhaust stack.]

I had to drill a hole through the bottom of the ash drawer of the solid fuel heater the size of the flue pipe [3in?] to allow the diesel exhaust to pass through. I had a piece of heavy gauge [11ga?] SS sheared to the inside ash drawer dimensions that I set in the bottom of the drawer during the season when the oil burner was too much, but the solid fuel was just right. [I had a note I placed inside the diesel heater firebox reminding me to remove the SS ash drawer bottom piece before lighting the diesel...]

I was living aboard in Prince William Sound at the time, and kept easy lighting [wax impregnated] compressed wood logs that I broke into ~3in lengths for quick morning fires in the summer, and often burned driftwood as well.

Coal also worked, but was difficult to source locally...

These days the compressed fuel for pellet stoves [with an aerated basket to hold the pellets in the burn chamber] might be appealing as well as the ~2in diameter compressed logs [without wax] from the pellet manufacturers.

This set-up worked well and was very safe. If there was a downside, it was the inside of the wood stove would build-up a bit of soot [no more than the inside of the flue...] from burning the diesel drip all winter. I would wipe the 'glass' and insides near the door with a dry paper towel, and use that to light the fire... Any remaining soot quickly burned off after a couple of hot wood fires.

More food for thought.

Best wishes staying warm and dry...

Cheers!

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Old 10-03-2016, 16:37   #29
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Re: Heaters

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One other small issue is Dickinson's do require 12 volt power to run the fan if you want them to burn well.
??? We thought this would be true but with our bulkhead Dickinson Newport we find that we only use the fan briefly (2 minutes) on startup to get a hot flame going quickly and then we shut it off. We also can use it briefly (2 minutes) as we shut down the fuel so the burn is clean and not smoky as the stove winds down.

If one must use the fan it is more likely because the stove doesn't have sufficient natural draft. This can happen with a short stovepipe or due to weather conditions. While the stove does wonderfully at anchor and in most sailing conditions, we have found when sailing in winds over 35 kts sustained (and from the port side of the boat which is the same side as the stove is on) it is impossible to keep the Newport from having downdrafts/blowouts (awful smoke in the boat if this happens) unless the 12V fan is running. But how often do people SAIL in 35 kts sustained and those winds coming from the side of the boat that the stove is on?

To get good natural draft, you can increase the height of the stovepipe, insulate the portion of the pipe that is outside the hull, or change the style of smokehead.

Your note on cost of install of a diesel heater is right on. We lucked into a great deal on our Newport on Craigs List. Someone was not using their heater aboard (in California) and leaving to go to the tropics. So we got it for $200 with almost everything we needed. We did add on an emergency shut off, heatx heat exchanger for the stovepipe, and a different fuel pump and different H style smokehead. That all cost more than the heater and other stovepipe that came with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post

I was living aboard in Prince William Sound at the time, and kept easy lighting [wax impregnated] compressed wood logs that I broke into ~3in lengths for quick morning fires in the summer, and often burned driftwood as well.

Coal also worked, but was difficult to source locally...
Yes, coal in AK...When we were in Alaska, we were considering wintering in Petersburg and wanted to use our solid fuel galley stove rather than the diesel heater for heating the boat. The only choices of coal were bagged coal from a place in Fairbanks --but it was relatively low heat content AK (I call it "peat coal") sourced OR we had to have coal pruchased in OH, shipped to WA and brought up on a barge from WA. The cost of that was fairly reasonable if you had a place to store 1 or more tons of coal on land near your boat but who has the ability to store a ton of bagged coal aboard? Our sailboat originally included a coal hopper sized for 500 lbs of coal and that was pretty big. We presently use that space for other things and can store appropximately 300 lb of coal in the bilges and forecastle. Long way from a ton...

The heat content of diesel per square foot is better than even the best of coal. Wood doesn't compare either.
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Old 10-03-2016, 16:55   #30
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Re: Heaters

Installed a Dickinson Diesel fireplace on previous boat for 10 yrs, was a sauna in very short time. Had a Dickenson propane fireplace on another boat for 10 yrs, loved it. Kept boat warm and dry to about zero centigrade, below that needed electric backup. Now have Espar, would rather have the Dickenson diesel fireplace. Silent, warm and no power draw.
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