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Old 18-01-2008, 14:04   #1
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Diesel cooker

I do NOT like gas on board so I'm planning of replacing a gas cooker with a diesel cooker, like one of the Wallas range. Any experiences with cooking on / with diesel?
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Old 18-01-2008, 14:11   #2

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I agree with you about propane. Unfortunately, I have no experience with the Wallas diesel cooktop and oven, but have drooled over them for years! ha ha
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Old 18-01-2008, 14:16   #3
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All the diesel stoves (especially the Wallas) cook great. Unfortunately - the generate a LOT of heat. So much so that they're typically only found on boats in the high latitudes.

Down here in Mexico, almost everyone uses Propane and loves it. With care you won't have an earth shattering kaboom!

I don't know if anyone ever did a study of it, but based on our experience with the cruisers down here in Mexico: There have been no deaths or serious injuries from propane that we know of. We know of at least 3 people, in 3 separate instances, who were seriously burned (requiring extensive hospitalization, reconstructive surgery and physical therapy) from their "so called safe" alcohol stoves.
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Old 18-01-2008, 14:38   #4

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But wait... Bill... do you know what the Wallas is? It doesn't produce any excess heat. It's a ceramic catalyst type unit. It probably puts out less ambient heat than a propane stove (since the pot is in direct contact with the flat cook top surface), where a propane stove puts the pot an inch or two above the burner.
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Old 18-01-2008, 18:58   #5
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$$$$ but people love them

Of course, they cost huuuuge bucks. The only place I know of to get them is ScanMarine in Seattle. See Boat heating and cooling experts, Wallas heaters, Ardic heaters and other diesel boat furnaces - - Wallas Nautic 30D Diesel heater - request for comments
has a discussion of this stove. Aside from the price, people seem to like it. I intend to buy the 2 burner version.
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Old 18-01-2008, 21:47   #6

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If it is a catalyst type, does it suffer form the usual problems when bad fuel contaminates a catalyst? i.e., kills it? My experience with them has only been small elements in butane/propane whatnots, but my faith in catalytic elements has been brought down to "consumables, plan to carry spares". Diesel, of course, being subject to way more variations and contaminants than butane/propane. Even the catalytic converters in cars can be quickly killed from contaminants, i.e. one load of leaded gas.
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Old 19-01-2008, 01:03   #7
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I had a Dickinson diesel stove on my Ingrid when I bought it. To be practicle, it took too long to light. Too long to heat up. It was too heavy (150+lbs.) and was too stinky. Now I have a greatly needed 12'X12" hatch where the pipe went through the cabin. It was installed facing bow to stern because they cannot gimbal. I laugh because I have a 2 burner with grill propane stove there now and people always hassle me that it is not gimbaled. Yet there is never mention of a deisel stove not being gimbaled. All I do now is turn on the gas knob and press the lighter. A sniffer lets me know if there is a leak.
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Old 19-01-2008, 07:57   #8
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Actually it is like a truck heater. They are externally vented. The combustion chamber is enclosed. They burn the fuel. I've seen the heaters and they work exceptionally well and simple to use. The stoves should be great too. Propane is hotter however. The ability to also use it for heat is nice too. You don't want to heat a boat with a propane stove.
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Old 19-01-2008, 08:19   #9
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Can't say I have any experience ,
but I totaly agree with you for the propane stove free boat
New and learning !

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Old 20-01-2008, 13:29   #10
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Thanks for the comments so far, I am led to believe that the newer diesel cookers do avoid some of the old issues mentioned. I guess using one is similar to the ceramic electric cooker in my house.
Have just googled "diesel cooker" and - amongst other interesting sites (like my original thread here) have come across the Webasto diesel cooker for campervans etc. Looks nice, anybody with experience on this one?
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Old 14-05-2008, 21:28   #11
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Thumbs down Wallas stove - four years live aboard experience

I installed a Wallas glass top cooker in 2004 and took it out for the last time in 2008. I bought it to replace an aged propane stove in an 30-foot sloop I live aboard. I feared the potential of propane explosions and wanted to reduce the number of fuels carried onboard anticipating plumbing the Wallas into the same diesel tank that feeds the Yanmar. The first year was fine with the Wallas delivering as promised; I particularly liked having the combustion gases directly vented overboard keeping the boat dry and warm. Over the next two years problems developed in starting the Wallas and with it dumping smoke into the cabin. I thought I had it fixed after having the vendor, Scan Marine, tune it (requires shipping the stove to Seattle) followed by additional repair guidance from the service manager at the factory in Finland but it did not work out. In hindsight I should have known better as soon as I saw the underside of the unit with exposed uncoated printed circuit boards, fans, pump, relays, switches, glow plug, temperature sensor, etc. It is a complicated and fragile device. Such a system can be kept working but it requires extensive efforts such as owning two of the $2,500 units so one can be in use while the other is back at the shop in Seattle for repair (a procedure that the service technician at Scan Marine said some commercial customers do!) I removed the Wallas for good this spring.
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