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Old 26-12-2010, 13:10   #1
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Dickinson or Force 10 ?

Hello! after reading many threads online I still am having trouble deciding which stove to purchase for our Westsail 43. We currently live aboard and cook often; we are planning on cruising around the equator, so it will be hot! I do not have any prior cruising experience thus far so any helpful galley info is welcomed also (my partner has grown up cruising so he has knowledge but I don't think he spent much time cooking)
I am wondering if anyone has any insight or recommendations, pros cons... having to do with these 2 models: The Dickinson Mediterranean and the Force 10 3 burner gimbaled propane stove/ ovens.
- Does the Dickinson have push turn knobs & a locking door also?
- Which stove is easier to clean & maintain?
- Is a stow away door really that useful (how often would it actually be left open anyway)?
I have read that someone had issues with overheating & melting with the higher btu power on the Dickinson, has anyone else had issues with the higher btu burners? Anyone else actually had melting!?
- any insight on necessity of higher btu value, pros and cons?

Thanks in advance for any replies!
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Old 26-12-2010, 14:21   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Cavaloe.

The manual "seems to" indicate “push then turn” gas knobs.
http://www.dickinsonmarine.com/Manua...d%202009-1.pdf

If their wording doesn’t inform you, try contacting Dickinson.
Info@DickinsonMarine.com
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Old 26-12-2010, 16:21   #3
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G'DAy Cavalo,

I can't help with the specific models you're interested in, but do have some views on the issue of burner size. (And to de-fuse sexist comments, I actually do a lot of the cooking on Insatiable II).

There are two issues with burners -- being able to turn them up really high for fast cooking (ie, stir-frys in a big wok), and being able to turn them down really low for slow cooking/simmering. Our older Mariner stove does neither well. The burners are just not big enough to have very high output, and the safety devices are over-zealous and shut the burners off if you try to turn them down very far. Very frustrating. I do use a "flame-tamer" to reduce the heat transfer when I need to simmer, but the damn things still go out. Incidentally, the oven is even worse. The so-called thermostat exhibits way too much hysteresis and does a very poor job of maintaining even temperatures.

I've noticed that some of the new Eno (French) stoves have one big, one medium and one small burner. A good idea, but the physical layout looked like getting more than one pot on the stove at a time would be difficult.

To answer one of your questions, I don't think that a big burner will give you problems with melting or burning cookware... you don't need to run it wide open!

Whatever you decide on, why not let us know how it has worked out for you? Stoves ain't rocket science... seems like someone should get it right!

Cheers,

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Old 26-12-2010, 16:32   #4
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We used our Force 10 3 burner with the oven, gimbaled version, while cruising for 17 years and it performed extremely well for us and the wife was very happy with it. It is still going strong for the new owner. Susan likes to do a lot of baking so the oven was put through the paces. Chuck
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Old 26-12-2010, 17:26   #5
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Don't know the Dickenson... but the Force 10's have given me nothing to complain about... I like them.
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Old 26-12-2010, 18:25   #6
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G'day, mate. Force 10, 3 burner, non-thermostat model here. Not perfect, but has done the cooking job well while living aboard for 13 years. The fold away door is one of the features we really like. Buy a couple of extra orifices for your spare kit. You will have to either clean them periodically or replace them. All the best in the New Year. Cheers.
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Old 26-12-2010, 19:37   #7
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We like out force 10, my only complaint is that when using the broiler the inside of the oven morphs into a different shape. I'd guess the broiler burner gets about 1-2 inches closer to the bottom of the stove after 10 mins.
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Old 27-12-2010, 09:38   #8
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not sure if you got the overheating complaint form my prior post but if not I had an overheating heating problem with the Dickinson stove the burners are just too big. to be fair I had the drop-in version which is more confined than the larger oven models.

The other issue with the Dickinson is that their porcelain tops are not attached to the rest of the burner and therefore will rattle with vibrations or dislodge in heavy seas. The force 10 burner is connected with a couple of screws and the newer models are the twist type.
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Old 27-12-2010, 09:58   #9
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Beware of Force 10 customer service. My experience with them was far less than satisfactory.
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Old 28-12-2010, 14:41   #10
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We went through the same exercise after leaving for the South Pacific last year. Same experience with living aboard and what not....

We chose the Dickinson three burner Mediterranean, primarily because we have loved our Dickinson diesel heater and hadn't read anything outstanding about Force 10's. I'm sure they are nice - lots of people have them, but unfortunately you generally only read about the problems!

We thought the larger burner would be better for boiling large pots of water for crabs, lobster, pasta, etc. We weren't wrong and haven't been disappointed. We use good quality (though not "the best") pots and pans and have never had a problem with them or the burners/oven itself warping or melting.

The old 'Dickinson' stove/oven we had was the Mariner model. It was crap. We were told repeatedly that this was not manufactured by Dickinson; they had licensed their name to another company. Apparently this was a bad idea and they have not done it since. We have not had any of the problems (low burner output, very high or very low heat in the oven, outside of the oven hotter than inside, etc) with the real Dickinson that we had with the impostor. This was a huge concern for us.

Customer service has been fine with Dickinson. They were quick to respond to a questions during the buying process. I had read about issues others had with Force 10 but don't have any experience with them.

The oven door does lock. It does not stow away and I can't think of an instance where I'd want to leave my oven open for that long anyway. Ours is gimbaled, but I rarely use it as it seems more of a risk than feature. Oven temp seems to come up and hold well. I bake about once per week - anything from bread to sweets, pizzas, and casseroles. I do keep a thermometer in there and so far it seems to mostly agree with the knob indications.

Cleaning is very easy, though there are some square corners that take a bit more effort. I've been known to use a toothbrush or toothpick occasionally in those areas. I keep everything pretty clean so none of this seems too difficult.

The porcelain burner caps are in fact secured down. The larger burner has a screw and the smaller ones are twist off (just checked). They do not fall off, rattle, or anything else that would drive you nuts at anchor or underway.

The thing I don't like: The ridiculous strength that must be used to push in the knob to heat the thermocouple and keep the OVEN/BROILER (not stovetop) burners lit. I don't know why it is such a pain, but it takes all of my (5'5" 130lb) effort to push and hold the button for about 10-20 seconds so the burner stays lit. Any less effort and the burner won't stay lit. I haven't asked the "maintenance dept" to look into this but maybe someday.

Overall I'm very happy with our Dickinson and would make the same decision.

BTW we purchased from Marine Warehouse in Miami and they were significantly cheaper than purchasing directly - even including FedEx shipping to Panama. Good luck and best wishes for the New Year!
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Old 28-12-2010, 15:32   #11
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Have had two boats both with Force 10's The last boat had a thermostat on the oven current one has a temp indicator. It's a plus to have a thermostat. More like at home on shore. Bottom line is it seldom matters. In hot weather no one uses an oven. Get the best propane grill and then consider the stove. You want the best cockpit grill! Force 10 grills are impossible to find parts for but the stoves are great. I can get Magma grill parts any place. Don't forget about the grill! Plumb the grill to the propane tank!

Dickinson is still a great stove, but I have had two Force 10's and both almost 20 years old and still going. Shop around and look at features then weigh the price plus shipping. I don't see that either would be a poor choice at all.
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Old 19-01-2011, 13:45   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tararenee View Post
The thing I don't like: The ridiculous strength that must be used to push in the knob to heat the thermocouple and keep the OVEN/BROILER (not stovetop) burners lit. I don't know why it is such a pain, but it takes all of my (5'5" 130lb) effort to push and hold the button for about 10-20 seconds so the burner stays lit. Any less effort and the burner won't stay lit. I haven't asked the "maintenance dept" to look into this but maybe someday.
As this was concern for me (because we experienced the same issue with our current stove) I asked Dickenson about this they indicated that this was not normal (it should be possilbe to depress it with one finger). They recommended calling the maintenance department.

Regards,

Andrew
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Old 09-02-2011, 16:10   #13
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I just installed a Dickenson Mediterranean five days ago, and we are very happy with it. Very well made stainless with generally good finish and design. Top burners working well for us - two are 5K Btu and one is 7K. This stove is smaller than our old Paul Luke, so we are adjusting to that. Everything worked out of the box, including igniters. Door handle/latch is good. Pot holders seem good, came with one, we bought extra. We like to use the broiler to make toast in the am, but the highest most rack position was too low to do this. We dialed in 350 on the oven and it got there in about 20 minutes and held exactly at 350. Mounting brackets are separate. I used the gimbal mount with lockdown.
There are various spare parts available.
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Old 10-02-2011, 14:26   #14
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Originally Posted by Waterwayguy View Post
We used our Force 10 3 burner with the oven, gimbaled version, while cruising for 17 years and it performed extremely well for us and the wife was very happy with it. It is still going strong for the new owner. Susan likes to do a lot of baking so the oven was put through the paces. Chuck
How did you replace the large cast iron burner caps on your Force 10 when they started to rust? Did you have to install the stainless steel burner kits (at $125-150 a pop)?

You can get the small Force 10 burner caps from Dickinson (ironically) because they have stoves that use the same cap. But there are no replacements for the large cast iron Force 10 burner caps.

For that reason I will buy something other than a Force 10 next time around. I have no problem with the performance of the stove, but I do have a problem with the lack of replacement parts for older models, because someday anything you buy will be an "older model."
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