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Old 15-05-2009, 14:12   #1
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Gimballed Kerosene Hurricane Lantern

...just got one at a yard sale in good shape, runs well. The problem has been mounting over the cabin (inside). The glass mantle flu-end has a wee cup a few inches over it to deflect heat. Above this and outside the lantern frame is a saucer type plate that holds a round insulator disk. After screwing the unit into the ceiling and running for a while I noticed the cabin top too hot to touch....so I added some wood blocks to increase distance of lantern from ceiling...still too hot. Just wondering what others have done. It is not meant to be suspended by a chain as it is gimbaled.

thanks
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Old 15-05-2009, 14:22   #2
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yea they put out a lot of heat, smoke at time,the fuel smells, leaks etc. It's the type of thing we all read about in the books weve been trained to read before we go cruising right? It'll look pretty when you sell your boat, meanwhile store it, or use it in the cockpit and melt your mainsail instead! :>)
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Old 16-05-2009, 03:51   #3
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You mentioned rather a number of things which aren't usually all found on the same lamp.

First, is your lantern a mantle-style lamp? (ala Alladin lamps)

Generally, a 'hurricane' lantern involves two chimneys, or a chimney inside a structure, which will include an integral smoke bell to keep the wind from blowing out the flame. In which case, you wouldn't need a smoke bell attached to the cabin ceiling, so I'm guessing you don't have a hurricane lamp.

The usual installation I've seen for a bulkhead-mounted gimbaled lamp is smoke bell similar to this one:


Notice the bell is also fixed to the bulkhead, not the overhead, and has a clear air space above it. These are available with an adjustable smoke bell, to be used over various-sized gimbals.

A normal-sized wick oil lamp shouldn't be putting out scorching levels of heat unless it is improperly trimmed, usually with way too much flame. And you'll find you can always tell when a wick is in need of trimming if there is any smoke or odor. Living with oil lamps takes skill and attention. Check the wicks every night, nip the outside corners and don't allow any stray threads to stick up - it should be perfectly even or slightly rounded. Oh, and never ever use soap/water to clean a chimney - it will soot up again very quickly if you do. Instead, use a twist of dry paper to rub off all the soot without putting fingerprints inside the chimney; it will stay cleaner much longer.

A nice benefit of using oil lamps is being able to pick out your boat in an anchorage by the nice yellow glow, compared with electric lights. But you'll be regretting them in the summer's heat or if you head to the tropics - they put out a lot of heat even when they're well trimmed.
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Old 16-05-2009, 19:51   #4
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Lantern

Thanks Amgine...

Coupla pics attached of my lantern...

As I read your reply the kerosene odour occurs if the flame is too high? The wood blocks have helped the heat situation a bit but still a concern...

Regards
Gary
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Old 16-05-2009, 23:55   #5
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Yes, the odor is from the fuel vaporizing too rapidly, usually because the flame is too high and the wick holder has gotten so hot the fuel is literally boiling off the wick.

Looking at your lamp, I have to say that the shortest armature I've ever seen; this is resulting in the chimney exhaust being very close to the smoke bell, and of course more heat moving from the bell into the rest of the fitting. Your use of wood blocks is helping, but they're also blocking air from moving over the top of the lap to some extent. A metal frame of some sort which allows plenty of air movement will dissipate the heat more rapidly.

Of course, lowering the flame is the most important step. A normal oil lamp is simply never going to put out as much light as a little incandescent. There are techniques to increase the amount of light given off, such as crowning or peaking the wick. Both crowned (semi-circle cut wick) and peaked (cut to a point with 45 degree cuts to the side of the wick) will result in more burning of the wick and faster oil burning. For most lamps the absolute highest the flame should ever be is 3/4" above the wick guide tube. Most of the time you don't want it that high, either. For a flat trimmed wick, this will be with the wick only 1/8-1/4" above the guide.

Always light the lamp with the wick even with the top of the wick guide; not above it. Once the chimney is back in place you can adjust the height of the flame.
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Old 17-05-2009, 12:15   #6
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Aloha BCGuy,
CelestialSailor had one installed in his Ingrid. It worked very well but was not solid mounted as yours is. It hung from chain. It really took the chill off and helped to dry things out. You might PM him and see if he'll give you some hints for installation.
Amgine is right about kero lamps and wick trim.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 18-05-2009, 10:59   #7
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Lantern

...thanks Amgine and SJ...

Very useful advice...the lantern does take the chill out and has a certain maritime charm. I may try the chain even though the lantern is designed for solid mount due to the gimballed design. I also like the idea of a metal frame...

Thanks for postings...
Gary

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Old 18-05-2009, 12:25   #8
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It looks just like the lamp in our Ingrid also, only ours is suspended with a chain also. We have had no problem with excess heat in the cabin top. As Amgine says, air space above the smoke bell really helps.
That being said, we rarely run the kero lamp. I guess that I am just lazy or something - I just turn on the electric (fluorescent) light since it draws only a little for the amount of light it puts out.
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