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Old 17-02-2017, 08:34   #1
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Propane Stove/Oven

Dickinson vs. Force 10. Ding ding ding! Round one

Or should I consider an ENO? I have heard a lot of reviews on all the brands and it seems like I can't really go wrong with a new stove, just a matter of which brand. Dickinson seems to be a little bit better build quality than Force 10 though. Any opinions?
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Old 17-02-2017, 08:50   #2
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

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Dickinson vs. Force 10. Ding ding ding! Round one

Or should I consider an ENO? I have heard a lot of reviews on all the brands and it seems like I can't really go wrong with a new stove, just a matter of which brand. Dickinson seems to be a little bit better build quality than Force 10 though. Any opinions?
I was just looking at stoves at the Miami Boat Show/Strictly Sail yesterday. ENO and Force 10 are the same company, and the units look very nice. And they have all the required safety features, and then some. Defender.com has good prices, but the shipping may be a killer - they weigh in around 79 lbs.

Dickinson are nice too, but a little pricier. I don't really have an opinion on the relative quality, so will be following this thread closely...

Regards,
David
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Old 17-02-2017, 09:05   #3
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

Good to know. There is a budget marine i think is the name of a company with various stores throughout the Caribbean islands and they carry Eno/Force 10 but not Dickinson.

The Dickinson has a built in wooden cutting board which is a delightful option that should not be overlooked. Might be the deciding factor for me as it gives me much more counterspace. I can retrofit a board for the force 10 though im sure.
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Old 17-02-2017, 09:29   #4
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

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The Dickinson has a built in wooden cutting board which is a delightful option that should not be overlooked. Might be the deciding factor for me as it gives me much more counterspace. I can retrofit a board for the force 10 though im sure.
A cutting board that fits the top of the stove is brilliant! But, as you rightly point out, that's a pretty easy thing to make after the fact. Just buy a piece of butcher block about the right size or a little bigger, and trim to fit exactly.

-David
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Old 17-02-2017, 09:38   #5
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

I had one with a cutting board top. The board was useful, but always elsewhere anyway. When you are cutting you are usually using the stovetop simultaneously anyway. If you dont need the board, there's never enough counter space to have it laying around. Just buy the stove you want and also buy a cutting board that stores and works for your particular boat.
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Old 17-02-2017, 09:44   #6
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

I was just comparing specs on the Dickinson and Force 10 units. My boat is US-built, so the space for the stove/oven is around 22". Force 10 has units that fit both the US and the narrower European standard spacing, whereas Dickinson seems to only have a European-sized unit. The Euro version would fit my boat, but only with added shims and trim to make it look good.

-David
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Old 17-02-2017, 10:49   #7
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

David, the Dickinson Mediterranean we bought was a direct replacement for the Force 10 American Standard size that you were interested in. The Force 10 is a good unit. The Dickinson has far more output (bigger burners). It was money well spent.

FWIW, we had Dickinson diesel stoves on all of our fish boats. They are very high quality units.

Cheers,
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Old 17-02-2017, 13:27   #8
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

We just went thru the same dilemma this past fall. The Dickenson and Force were about the same money, I ended up getting the Force at West Marine on black Friday online, they had 10% off plus free shipping and $50.00 in bonus bucks in the store. Dickenson shipping was close to $300.00 so all said Force was a better deal for us. It fit right in the space and works great, wife luvs it. nice oven.
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Old 17-02-2017, 14:50   #9
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

We chose the Dickinson Mediterranean because of the bigger burner and brushed finish. The polished finish would be really hard to keep looking nice and the big burner is great for getting pasta boiling or the pressure cooker hot in a hurry.

Another thing we noticed was that the Force 10 had really sharp edges where you can easily get cut.

You might want to check Force 10's reputation for customer service as there have been negative reports for the past few years.

Dickinson's customer service has been excellent.
I had to get some custom mounts made because the Dickinson is a little wider than the old stove we took out. Well worth the effort as SWMBO loves it.
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Old 17-02-2017, 15:01   #10
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

We installed a new 3-burner w/oven Force 10 in 2008 when we converted from CNG to propane in preparation for extended cruising outside the US. In hindsight, we should have done more research to find a sturdy liveaboard/cruising-capable stove since it is needed for a couple meals a day, plus, baking. I think we paid about $1300 for it, which is obscene for something so small and poorly constructed.

The Force 10 was fine for the first year, however, then bits of it started to fall off - and within 18 months we had to take the top grate (that sits over the burners) to a welder to have it completely remade. We were on the other side of the world by then, so sending it back to the manufacturer wasn't an option. (In the first photo, you can see the effects of re-welding on the vertical face of the grate - the circular discolorations).

In the second photo is the door handle issue (new handle installed; old handle held in front). The oven door handle (which looked like teak) was actually made from a soft wood - and turned black over time as the original finish wore off. I tried to sand out the discoloration in order to apply several coats of varnish, and found out there was just a thin layer of teak-colored stain over a chintzy light-colored wood. Eventually, we were able to purchase a stainless steel replacement handle from Force 10. It was a nightmare to install - because the oven door is put together with stainless rivets and some of these had to be drilled out. Incidentally, removing all of the door rivets is required in order to clean between the two layers of glass in the oven door if you accidentally drip something between them (this is an onerous task that we have yet to tackle). Better buy yourself an expensive rivet gun - the cheap ones don't take the large SS rivets.

Currently, the pieces of extruded SS that comprise the oven grate are falling off so we have it kluged together with seizing wire; it needs to be completely re-welded.

The piezoelectric starts never worked correctly - in spite of trying all the factory's recommended fixes (there are batteries underneath that need occasional replacement - if you are a contortionist). We notice that the new Force 10 models have changed to a single (red) button which may have fixed this particular issue (see below).

To be fair to Force 10 - they did make some changes to the design and sent us this email after we'd informed them of the many problems we had with their product - but there was no offer of compensation or even complimentary replacement of the oven handle (which to my Libra sense of fairness, would have been a nice gesture):

Thank you for your email, we appreciate the feedback from our customers.

Sorry to hear you have had some issues with the top grid welds. We have redesigned the top grid in 2011 to minimize stress points on the top grid to avoid weld fatigue and failure.

The push to start micro-switches – although a nice feature were not holding up to our standards, so in 2011 we have gone back to a single solid state push button for the iginition.

The Wood Handle in the past was shipped unfinished so the owner can stain to match the interior of their vessel – the wood is Acacia


Rivets are used for non- serviceable areas or areas affected by expansion and contraction.

The part # for the Stainless Steel Elliptical handle is 52697. - $40 USD

Regards

Brad Clark
Force 10


Not sure what other options there are in the marketplace for a gimbal LPG stove and oven. As with so many things in the marine industry - we boaters pay usury prices for inferior products, equipment and service... and probably will continue to do so with the limited options available.

Hope this perspective helps.
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Old 17-02-2017, 16:27   #11
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

I have a propane two burner Force 10 stove with oven. It is in its 33rd year. I don't live aboard full time but I do make use of it for several months each year. It has performed flawlessly so far.
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Old 17-02-2017, 18:03   #12
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

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I have a propane two burner Force 10 stove with oven. It is in its 33rd year. I don't live aboard full time but I do make use of it for several months each year. It has performed flawlessly so far.
Force 10, 33 years ago was a Canadian company building their stoves in Canada.
Now they are owned by ENO and they are made in China.
There has been a considerable loss of quality, consequently when looking a Force 10 reviews be sure which version the reviewer has.

After reading Painted Skies post I checked a couple of items on our Canadian made Dickinson. (with Italian burners)
Glass window can be cleaned by removing a few screws, all welds appear in excellent condition, and the igniters have all worked flawlessly.

One thing I wish it had is a temperature guage.
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Old 21-02-2017, 13:18   #13
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

I have a Force 10 on my sailboat and a Dickinson on my Tug. I think the Dickinson is much better quality and the customer service is great.
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Old 21-02-2017, 13:38   #14
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

I replaced the 30 year old original Force 10 3 burner stove in my boat with a new one, the same model, basically a drop in replacement, a few years ago. I did not shop around; I was 10 minutes from the Defender warehouse in CT, the stove was on sale, bang, went in the trunk and onto the boat.

It's..."OK"

First thing, one of the rear burners would not stay lit. Called Force and the person I spoke to said it was an issue with the knob and spacer and push valve, and suggested I pull the knob out on the valve spindle. Each time. WTF. No offer to make good on the problem permanently.

The stove is relatively easy to clean, but could be better. There is nothing to hold the top grating up, like a leg or anything, that seems like it would be a no brainer, so I hold it up with a piece of cord.

Heats well, oven is relatively accurate and even, broiler works well. Love the retracting oven door.

Overall it's easier to clean than a Dickinson, and the large burner is in front, which I like, because it's the one that gets used most often. Seems logical. Also, there is more top burner usable surface area on a Force 10, which matters if you are jockeying larger pans, and I believe the oven is a bit larger too, but I'm not certain. One of the design parameters seems to have been to maximize usable space, which I like.
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Old 21-02-2017, 14:16   #15
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Re: Propane Stove/Oven

Bought a Force-10, 2-burner with oven (Euro Compact) four years ago. We currently live on the boat full time for 4 to 7 months of the year (depending on the year). Stove/oven gets extensive use.

So far, I likes it .

Only issue we’ve had with ours is when we get some gunky spillage (like pasta water) into the burner it requires cleaning before it will light properly. Otherwise, no issues (so far). Easy to clean, smart design with the door and flip up grate. Seems very efficient.

When I bought mine from Defender it was drop-shipped directly to me from Force-10 location in Canada. I was under the impression this was its manufacturing plant, but I could be wrong. It is an Eno company now, which is France-based.

Dickinson looks excellent. I’ve never owned one so can’t compare, but my experience with Force 10 has been good (so far).
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