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Old 19-02-2016, 18:19   #1
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Location: Refit in Port Townsend, WA
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Dickinson Antarctic diesel heater soot solution!

We've had sooting trouble with our Antarctic pretty much since we started living on the boat in Dec 2013.

I thoroughly read the manual, searched forums, and called Dickinson. It was recommended that I install the barometric flapper. So I bought the flapper section and replaced the stack. Still, the window would soot up eventually regardless of what I did.

We went into a six month refit last July. Part of the refit of course was cleaning out the heater. We also cleaned the fuel tanks and loaded fresh fuel.

When we moved back on board at the beginning of December, all of a sudden the heater was working perfectly! It would run for days with very little sooting! I couldn't figure out what was different other than clean fuel. So I just shrugged and went on.

Well, last week it was time to clean out the crusty bits again and after putting the vacuum away and the heater back together, it started sooting up the window again! WTF?!

Of course I quickly realized that I must have done something in the cleaning of the heater and immediately focused on the ring at the top of the lower compartment. I noticed that it had a lip on the outside of the ring and that it could be inserted either way, with the lip pointing up or down. After the cleaning, I had set it in there with the lip pointing up. Examining it closely, I could see that if the lip is up, there are air vents that are partially obscured, while with the lip down, the vents are completely open.

Installing the ring correctly was the key! Nowhere in the manual does it mention that the ring can be installed upside down, it was not something the rep at Dickinson mentioned checking and it wasn't written about in any other forum thread. So here's the information for any future soot suffering sailor.

We're love, love, LOVING our Antarctic!!!
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Old 19-02-2016, 22:25   #2
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Re: Dickinson Antarctic diesel heater soot solution!

Mahalo for the tip. Still don't have my Newport up and running but will look at it more closely to see if it also has this ring.
Peter O.
'Ae'a, Pearson 35
'Ms American Pie', Sabre 28 Mark II
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Old 05-01-2022, 16:34   #3
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Re: Dickinson Antarctic diesel heater soot solution!

I have an older model Antarctic and this is what i have found,my setup has the barometeric damper which i find useless and tbe 12v assist fan which is the key for purple flame,another thing is mentioned above the ring has to be put in correct the little flange on ring nests into receiving flange,and one of the big ones is its gotta be clean the cleaner the better the firepot and stack i take mine off once a week and blow it out with compressed air,once all this was figured out the window never soots up,my boat is well insulated and never need to run it more than low,at startup i run it wide open to get everything hot,then dial it back until the flame is purple,follow this advice and even your topsides will be soot free
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Old 06-01-2022, 06:16   #4
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Re: Dickinson Antarctic diesel heater soot solution!

Congratulations on chasing that down through realizing that you must have changed something. You might also have solved the mystery from realizing that the black soot meant that the fuel/air mix was too rich, with either too much fuel or not enough air.
Never let anything mechanical know that you are in a hurry.
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