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Old 10-11-2012, 21:44   #16
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Re: Dirty Filthy Flimsey Dickinson Heater

Ha Ha you characters are hilarious,If you think a Dickinson stove is complicated then move back to the land. some one posted a statement that the whole system is overly complicated. How can it be any simpler, a drip of diesel onto a stainless pan,enough heat , and away we go. I grew up with these units for over forty five years and if you keep the fuel clean and the stack long, they burn fine. Like Cap'n Phil said, these units are on most of the B.C coast work boats and are a great source of heat. That said the Sigmars or Faballs with the balanced drafts are a good evolution,and the Reflex from Denmark have the added benefit of hydronic heating possiblilities. If you look at the alternatives, check the amp draw and ltrs/hr , gal/hr. where as for a Sigmar/Dickenson/Faball is still a gallon or two a day. and no power draw. Regards. Greg Janes
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Old 10-11-2012, 23:46   #17
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Re: Dirty Filthy Flimsey Dickinson Heater

One of the most popular heaters on boats working up around the Icelandic and Scandinavia waters are the 'Refleks' brand of oil heaters, I believe they are made in Denmark and I've never heard any derogatory comments and they apparently seem to have very long working life span. One of the beauty's of this forum is that the world is literally at your fingertips and we can learn so much by helping each other.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:00   #18
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Re: Dirty Filthy Flimsey Dickinson Heater

I get the work boat thing. Larger space, larger crew, more cooking, less heeling.

I just think there are issues moving to a smaller sailboat.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:14   #19
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Quote:
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I get the work boat thing. Larger space, larger crew, more cooking, less heeling.

I just think there are issues moving to a smaller sailboat.
issues starting with white decks and ending with white sails.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:14   #20
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Diesel heaters are normally quite clean.I have had a Refleks heater for a number of years with no problems. The only soot I get on deck is when it rains and washes it out of the H cap. Yes it stains a little area of the deck, but a little sanding and fresh paint at the end of heating season.cures that.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:53   #21
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Re: Dirty Filthy Flimsey Dickinson Heater

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Originally Posted by Mirar View Post
Ha Ha you characters are hilarious,If you think a Dickinson stove is complicated then move back to the land. some one posted a statement that the whole system is overly complicated. How can it be any simpler, a drip of diesel onto a stainless pan,enough heat , and away we go. I grew up with these units for over forty five years and if you keep the fuel clean and the stack long, they burn fine. Like Cap'n Phil said, these units are on most of the B.C coast work boats and are a great source of heat. That said the Sigmars or Faballs with the balanced drafts are a good evolution,and the Reflex from Denmark have the added benefit of hydronic heating possiblilities. If you look at the alternatives, check the amp draw and ltrs/hr , gal/hr. where as for a Sigmar/Dickenson/Faball is still a gallon or two a day. and no power draw. Regards. Greg Janes
I never said the "Newport was complicated". The very reason for its selection was its simplicity of design and spent a very good ammount of time speaking with commercial people who use these in very cold climates.
I have bet the farm on this install and am currently having some bugs.

That being said I have dealt with the issues of making sure the stove is getting enough fresh air, recalibrating the fuel metering valve to insure proper flow, and trying to make sure the stack is a least the minimum height required by Dickinson, with the best "H" cap on top.

I don't think however the fact that inner parts of the stove is warping and coming away from the inner top of the unit, or the problems with the adjustment nut are acceptable considering the price and reputaion of the gear. I have tried bending this part back up but the result seems fair and if the temper of the metal has been comprimised it will only drop back down.
The strength of this folded sheet metal is marginal at best. The case in point is that the stove came with what the company calls a drip pan, this was already bent in the box when it arrived and was a complete peice of crap that did nothing to compliment the stove installation, the inner working of the unit appear to be of the same standard.

I kinda concur that the spewed soot balls are an indication of poor combustion, and have attempted to alleviate this by using the assist fan longer on startup. This had significantly reduced the ammount of crap on the boat, however the really big mess came the other day when the stove was shut down.

To answer the question regarding flame color it is typically orange on the upper ranges that really put out the heat, the only time I can attain a whiter with blue color is on the lower ranges with the fan running to assist combustion and as soon as the fan is shut off it goes back to the orange color no matter how long the stove is running. My desire was to get the stove to burn cleanly whilst drawing no amps. I think I may purchase another length 3" stack and see if it will help with the draw.
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Old 11-11-2012, 14:13   #22
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Re: Dirty Filthy Flimsey Dickinson Heater

cburger,

I would recommend working through the issues as it seems you are. I bought a used Atlantic cooks stove and fought the thing off and on for quite a while before getting it working. That stove had a lot of issues though too many to discuss here and it had to do with former owners modifying things. That said it now burns so clean you cannot even smell it outside. I just recently installed the Antarctic in my aft cabin and after some messing around have it running beautifully also. I just wanted to let you know that I feel your frustration and to let you know that they do work once you get them figured out. Also I skipped around a bit on this thread, so if this was covered my apologise, but did you install one of Dickinson's barometric dampers? They help quite a bit with variations in draft due to wind. I hope this helps.

Peter
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Old 11-11-2012, 14:29   #23
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Re: Dirty Filthy Flimsey Dickinson Heater

No oil stove of this type, on land or a boat will work worth a damn without a barametric damper! You disreguard a major law of the installation instructions and then blame the company for inferior equipment.

Most of your issues here are because it either draws too hard or then does not draw enough. It has to have the damper. Please quit blaming a company that makes pretty good working equipment.
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Old 11-11-2012, 19:05   #24
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Re: Dirty Filthy Flimsey Dickinson Heater

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Originally Posted by um saudade View Post
No oil stove of this type, on land or a boat will work worth a damn without a barametric damper! You disreguard a major law of the installation instructions and then blame the company for inferior equipment.

Most of your issues here are because it either draws too hard or then does not draw enough. It has to have the damper. Please quit blaming a company that makes pretty good working equipment.
No one disregarded anything, the height limitations of my cabin precluded installing the barometric damper to Dickinson's specifications. Prior to purchasing the heater Dickinson was questioned about this issue and indicated to me that they have many installations working fine without the damper, in fact in this thread a poster has indicated that very fact.

Does not having a damper cause the heat shield to warp and come off the top of the stove?

At this point I am considering installing the damper even if it isn't exactly to the height spec and seeing if it helps the situation.
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Old 11-11-2012, 19:34   #25
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Re: Dirty Filthy Flimsey Dickinson Heater

I am sorry you are having these problems. I had a lot of problems with the Dickinson diesel heater I purchased and finally just gave up and ordered the Dickinson P9000 LPG unit, which got me through more than a few RI winters on board. I even ran it for another 7-8 years while in Florida on those rare cold nights. It never gave me an ounce of a problem. Good luck with working out the bugs.
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Old 11-11-2012, 21:49   #26
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Re: Dirty Filthy Flimsey Dickinson Heater

Let me try and explain a few things. The carburetor on this thing will not compensate for differences in airflow, this is just a constant but metered drip. The outside wind is a variable and that wind changes the draft on the heater as the wind changes. The barometric damper will not only prevent downdrafts but it prevents too much air from getting into the firebox from below.

Thus the air/fuel ratio is held relatively constant by the damper. Without the damper the a/f ratio is constantly either too lean or too rich. Once the heater is up to temperature and the drip set correctly the heater will burn very cleanly and do so for hour after hour.

A pre-heat with a little alcohol will prevent many of the cold start issues.

I have a Force 10 heater a little smaller than the Dickinson you installed. These Force 10 heaters are now sold by and serviced by Dickinson. I use #2 diesel and the heater works well and burns cleanly in all conditions other than severe storm conditions at sea, when the float in the carb can't keep up with the gyrations of the boat and the carb can flood.

I have a very short stovepipe run and set the damper close to the top of the stove. The pipe discharges within two feet of the mast and so I must keep the pipe as short as possible. I do not use a fan on the air feed. I do use a fan to capture as much heat as I can off of the inside stovepipe and this also reduces the heat build-up where the pipe passes through the decking and the charley noble.

I find I can use the heater in a fairly wide range of fuel drip and it will still burn cleanly but you can't put it way down on simmer as it will not generate enough heat to draw properly.

The lightness of the heater is an asset to me. I try to save weight in all things. The lightness of the heater does not imply an inferior product at all.

If you have warped the housing on this heater it means you badly overheated it. The housings on these heaters will last for generations of boat owners and pretty much look like new. The carbs do require a bit of tinkering but the most important considerations are to keep the feed pressure very low but constant and keep the fuel clean.

Your earlier post indicated you were having trouble with the installation. No, none of this is for the amateur to play with, you need a good combination of mechanical skills to do it properly. I suspect you got some free advice along the line and that was worth exactly what you paid for it.

Good luck
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:31   #27
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Re: Dirty Filthy Flimsey Dickinson Heater

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Originally Posted by um saudade View Post
Let me try and explain a few things. The carburetor on this thing will not compensate for differences in airflow, this is just a constant but metered drip. The outside wind is a variable and that wind changes the draft on the heater as the wind changes. The barometric damper will not only prevent downdrafts but it prevents too much air from getting into the firebox from below.

Thus the air/fuel ratio is held relatively constant by the damper. Without the damper the a/f ratio is constantly either too lean or too rich. Once the heater is up to temperature and the drip set correctly the heater will burn very cleanly and do so for hour after hour.

A pre-heat with a little alcohol will prevent many of the cold start issues.

I have a Force 10 heater a little smaller than the Dickinson you installed. These Force 10 heaters are now sold by and serviced by Dickinson. I use #2 diesel and the heater works well and burns cleanly in all conditions other than severe storm conditions at sea, when the float in the carb can't keep up with the gyrations of the boat and the carb can flood.

I have a very short stovepipe run and set the damper close to the top of the stove. The pipe discharges within two feet of the mast and so I must keep the pipe as short as possible. I do not use a fan on the air feed. I do use a fan to capture as much heat as I can off of the inside stovepipe and this also reduces the heat build-up where the pipe passes through the decking and the charley noble.

I find I can use the heater in a fairly wide range of fuel drip and it will still burn cleanly but you can't put it way down on simmer as it will not generate enough heat to draw properly.

The lightness of the heater is an asset to me. I try to save weight in all things. The lightness of the heater does not imply an inferior product at all.

If you have warped the housing on this heater it means you badly overheated it. The housings on these heaters will last for generations of boat owners and pretty much look like new. The carbs do require a bit of tinkering but the most important considerations are to keep the feed pressure very low but constant and keep the fuel clean.

Your earlier post indicated you were having trouble with the installation. No, none of this is for the amateur to play with, you need a good combination of mechanical skills to do it properly. I suspect you got some free advice along the line and that was worth exactly what you paid for it.

Good luck
Thank you for your constructive rather than non-constructive post. I woke up this morning and after burning the heater had the worst deposits of sooty crap on the cabin. I used the fan most of the evening to aid the combustion process and am thinking that all the soot that has built up in the stove from the poor combustion was actually getting blown out the stack and onto the cabin top, had a piece the size of an apple next to the base of the stack. I am encouraged to hear that the barometric damper helps the combustion even if its not installed exactly to the company's guidlines, this was what I was hoping for.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:52   #28
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Re: Dirty Filthy Flimsey Dickinson Heater

The grass is always greener.

I have a 10kW Espar hydronic heater, as recommended by some people in this thread.

It has many plusses but a few serious minuses. Hydronic heat is great because you don't need a whole free bulkhead to mount a stove, you don't have combustion inside the cabin, and the exhaust is blown through the transom where it rarely soots up anything. Besides that, it heats the whole boat evenly.

But watch out for the minuses. For one thing, you electrical power to run it, and a fairly good quantity of it. The furnace itself is fan-blown, plus you have pumps to circulate the coolant, plus you have the fan coils which heat your interior. Your batteries need to be adequate, and your charging sources.

Besides that, they are not all that quiet. I have never had a single complaint about my Kohler diesel genset, but I have had complaints from neighbors about the noise of the Espar.

But here's the killer: unless you invest a lot of time in learning the system and money in test equipment, you may get stuck with no heat if you are in a remote place with no service. If the unit fails to start after (I forget) three or four attempts, it shuts down and refuses to anything until service equipment is connected and a code put in. It can fail to start for different reasons, including a wind blowing up the exhaust pipe.

And in general, you need a qualified technician to look at it from time to time -- hard to find in the Arctic, for example.

So every type of heat has its own disadvantages.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:14   #29
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I'm sitting here in my robe and slippers near the vent from my Webasto diesel furnace, glad on a chilly morning that I didn't opt to go with a Dickenson stove. My system has two downfalls: it draws more electrical power than I'd prefer and the fuel pump makes a "thump thump thump" noise that can be bothersome to those sleeping in the aft cabins. However, it's soot-free, it doesn't smell of diesel, and it's a breeze to run and to maintain.

Years ago, when we first moved aboard, a friend told me that a boat didn't have a soul until its furnace was installed. He was right.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:15   #30
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Re: Dirty Filthy Flimsey Dickinson Heater

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I'm sitting here in my robe and slippers near the vent from my Webasto diesel furnace, glad on a chilly morning that I didn't opt to go with a Dickenson stove. My system has two downfalls: it draws more electrical power than I'd prefer and the fuel pump makes a "thump thump thump" noise that can be bothersome to those sleeping in the aft cabins. However, it's soot-free, it doesn't smell of diesel, and it's a breeze to run and to maintain.

Years ago, when we first moved aboard, a friend told me that a boat didn't have a soul until its furnace was installed. He was right.

Bash: My entire reason for selction of the Dickinson was the simplicity, no electric draw, no thump thup of pumps, etc. Considering all of the Newports in service I am convinced I will sort the problem out and ultimately be happy with my decision. Thanks for your imput.
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