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.
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.
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
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
. Good luck and best wishes for the New Year!