Force 10 cabin heaters

We acquired a Force 10 kerosene cabin heater with our BCC. Not to tickled about the open flame burner concept.
This burner appears to be the same one used in the Optimus Hiker backpacking cook stove, we used these extensively for 20 years in the wilderness, with the exception of one rather exciting flare-up years ago, seemed to work rather well.

The only issue with these stoves was the blow torch sound with the burner turned up from medium to high.?We have received the burner kit to convert it from Kerosene to diesel and placed it on our project list to upgrade and replace fuel line from the pressure tank and add a filter.?

Does anyone have any comments, positive or negative with regard to using this product.?Thanks,
Marty Chin,
BCC Shamrock

Marty: refitted Sentient with a Force 10 propane heater and stove after “inheriting” the same equipment in the kerosene iteration. We placed the propane tank in the forepeak in an enclosed box with an overflow, as required. I am pleased to get rid of one more volatile and the inconvenience of dealing with another liquid fuel which had to be stored, poured, etc. I also feel that the risk of fire is diminished in my case. In my hands the stove was out of control sometimes vs the propane which turns on and off?as I direct.?This may not be entirely on point but this was my way of dealing with the same problem.?Best,?
Richard Smith

I have lived with Kerosene heaters and diesel heaters for many years.
The mantra which you must repeat over and over is PREHEAT. Once you
have preheated the vaporization chamber all works well. A little smell
with diesel but lots of good heat. Forget about the Alcohol for
preheating and get yourself a small torch. Black smoke and slimy
bulkheads await if you don’t preheat .
I’ve had Taylor Stoves and heaters for years. Once you learn how to use
them they are wonderful. Just remember; PREHEAT !!!
Jim Hiller
ps; I’ll be up your way in a few weeks. I purchased a Nordhavn 57 and
I’m taking it to the bay area for its first cruise. It’s in Dana Point

Jim,I have a Taylors stove and it never dawned on me to preheat with a torch. Normally I fill the reservoir with alcohol and when that has burned off it is preheated enough for the kerosene to burn properly. How do you know when it is preheated enough using a torch? Where do you direct the flame? This sounds so much easier than alcohol preheat.Thanks,
Doug Beu
s/v Fritha

Preheat the chamber for approx 1.5 minutes. I think Taylor has a
website and probably gives specific directions. Before I read about the
torch in a letter from Taylor my boat looked like the walls of a coal

Propane is certainly a trouble free way to heat the boat but in very
cold climes it just doesn’t produce enough BTU’s. Kerosene or Diesel
will produce roughly twice the heat and do so with less moisture. The
downside of course is the stink and mess particularly if you fail to
preheat properly.
Most people who cruise the real cold areas use diesel heaters like
Webasto , Glembring, Dickinson, Espar or Reflex. Our litle force 10
heaters are ok to take the chill off but not ok to leave on 24 hrs a
day. I think the propane heater will empty the tank in less than one

Agree with Jim Hiller, propane is another viable option. We looked at this option, newer style heater are much safer to operate, IE. no spill or open flame potential. Since we have two propane tanks on our BCC, it would be an easy conversion to use the starboard tank to feed propane to a propane heater to replace the Force 10.?

Tend to agree with opinion of stink, soot and fire?potential of Force 10 heater, we used the same Optimus burner in our backpacking stoves for 20 years. As a camp stove, they work great, not to worried about emissions, open flame and fuel spills. Not thrilled about open ignition source in a confined space.?

We use a Dickenson Newport diesel heater in our other boat, Pan Oceanic 46. While not large enough to keep the ends of a 46’ boat toasty, it does take the chill off; in a smaller boat it would work great, unfortunately space for installation and unobstructed passage is a factor in this boat. The Dickenson works so well, wish they made a smaller diesel heater to replace the Force 10.?

When we purchased the POC 46, we had 240 gallons of incredibly old diesel fuel on-board, local hazardous waste guys wanted $5 per gallon to dispose of it, we ran it through the diesel heater, while not the most efficient form of heat, it did keep us warm for nearly two years while we went about refit the boat.?We opted for the Dickenson diesel heater for the higher BTU output per pound of fuel, being fed from the main diesel fuel tank there is no spill potential.?Even with the closed system of the Dickenson diesel heater, there can be some smoke and smell emitted when starting. The access door when closed is not sealed, when lighting and using the fan to help get the combustion chamber up to operating temperature faster, some smoke will escape through the joint in the door.Using the fan is essential in high wind conditions as the flame tends to go out before coming up to temp due to down drafts.?If you don’t use the fan, it will take a little longer to come up to temp, with little or no smoke. We run the Dickenson 24 x 7 without fear of burning the boat down and the fuel consumption is low considering other types of fuel.?

Marty Chin,
BCC Shamrock

Hi everyone,
I am a list lurker, Flicka owner, and hopefully future BCC owner! I have a Propane Force 10 heater on my little Flicka and I have never used it because I am
concerned about the amount of moisture it produces. I want to trade off for a diesel version, does anyone know of any additional complications involved in
converting the unit from one fuel source to the other?
Just curious and thanks for letting me chime in!

Fair winds, Rusty S/V Sampaguita

Rusty,?If you asking if you can convert your Force 10 propane heater to diesel, I think it is a totally different animal than the Kerosene/diesel unit, yes with propane moisture production with the propane is said to be an issue.?Converting the Force 10 Kerosene to diesel is a small matter of calling Force 10 and ordering a conversion kit, it has a different oriface and needle, simple kit. I bought the conversion and spare parts kit, think it was something like $50.?

Marty Chin, BCC Shamrock

Thanks, Marty. Just my luck, I guess I will sell it and upgrade when I can afford it. Thanks for the info!


I was surfing the web looking for a diesel heater for our Pan Oceanic 46 a few years ago and found Sigmar diesel heaters, as relayed to me from a friend and Sigmar diesel cook stove owner, he said the guys at Sigmar in Canada were co-owners of,or worked with the guys at Dickinson Marine at one time, memory is a little fuzzy as this was some time ago.

The stove he bought is beautiful, cast iron top, stainless steel cabinet, it had its minor flaws, Ie. a few sharp edges which were easily taken care of and due to the large cook surface, it took a little while to come up to temperature.

Overall its a nice piece of workmanship and a beautiful addition to his Angleman Seawitch.?At the time, we chose the Dickinson Newport diesel heater based on price and have been pleased with our purchase. The Sigmar heaters look very similar in appearance to the Dickinson heaters, unlike Dickinson, Sigmar does not have a similar sales network.

To become a Dickinson dealer, or pass-through sales agent, you can add the link to you web page and derive a profit from sales, with shipping direct from the distributor, excellent way to expand your market. Just a little tidbit of history.?

However, Dickinson does not make a diesel heater that will replace the Force 10 heater we have in our BCC. Sigmar makes a little Sigmar 100 diesel heater I think we can adapt to take the Force 10’s place. The listed size of the Force 10 is Heigth 16.5" x Width 7.5" x depth 7", while the Sigmar 100 Height 13-3/8" x width 8" x Depth 9.5". The flue in the Force 10 is 1" where as the Sigmar is 3", Force 10 lists 1 gal/25 hour at 6,000 BTU and Sigmar lists high fire at 1.5 gal/24 hours and 10,000 BTU, additionaly list Low Fire 3/4 gal/hr at 5,000 BTU, suitable for sail boat 22-32 ft.?

We should be able to replace the starboard propane locker with a little diesel fuel tank and gravity feed the Sigmar heater, would make a clean conversion with out having to run piping from the main tank.?Food for thought, the Sigmar site is:

Marty Chin, BCC Shamrock


You may also want to consider the Dickinson P9000 propane heater. The heater is equipped with a blower and coaxial chimney. The inner chimney is for exhaust gasses and the outer chimney is used to draw in outside air for the firebox. At 6,000 BTU’s, the unit burns 20 lb. lpg over a 140 hour period. At 9,000 BTU’s the burn rate is higher.

We installed one of these units on our BCC. Sigmar also makes a small diesel cabin heater with two chimneys - one for exhaust gasses and the other for make-up air. Our experience so far is the unit keeps the main saloon warm down to an outside temperature of about 30 F - 6,000 BTU setting. We do not have any experience with the heater when the outside temperature is below 30 degrees F.?

Fair Winds,?Rod

Thought you would want to know. Just got off the phone with Force 10 factory this morning, for what its worth.?

I was chasing down a problem regarding our Force 10 kerosene/diesel heater and the repair kit we received. Our burner assembly has a knob which is marked Optimus, the shank on the knob is about 6 inches long, same as sold on current units.?

I had assumed the heater was set up for kerosene and wanted to convert it to run diesel, at least this is how the story begins.

In June this year we called Force 10 and ordered the conversion kit, last weekend we attempted to install the kit with some minor problems.?We searched the boat and found an older kerosene to diesel fuel conversion kit we didn’t know we had, it has the nozzle removal tool, 2 prickers, nozzles and gaskets. Without the nozzle removal tool, you will not be able to remove the nozzle. The instructions (Sugg. 100) state “Suggestions on fixing problems with kerosene or diesel burners made by Optimus or Patria burners.”

The factory Representative claims they never sold parts for Optimus burners, according to the literature in the kit, this may not be entirely the case.?Our Optimus burner jet is stamped with the letter “M”, Force 10 said their parts have always come from Patria and are not marked, both old and new kits are not marked I suspect these to be Patria kits. The note in the older conversion kit, states this “conversion is a relatively new product,”

I translate this into meaning this kit is one of the original kits developed for conversion to diesel.?I checked the Optimus backpacking stove website, the Hiker and Hunter cook stoves use part number 2457 cleaning needle, Force 10 calls this part a “pricker” and the 2509 which is the jet, there are 3 jets, A=alcohol, G=white gas, M=multi-fuel, the “M” jet will work for kerosene, diesel and white gas, not automotive gasoline.?The instructions state 135 degree rotation from full open to close of the handle is required for the heater to operate properly.

Here is how it works, the 6" long handle is attached to the burner spindle square shank by a hairpin clip, the spindle is threaded into the burner housing, when the spindle screws in all the way (clockwise) the end of the tapered spindle is part of the valve which shuts off the fuel; the spindle has gear teeth which mesh with gear teeth in one side of the pricker, which raises and lowers the square sectioned pricker up and down to clean out the jet with a needle.?Note both the old conversion kit and new kit parts are identical.

This is were we had a problem; the pricker in our old burner has 5 gear teeth and the prickers in the new kits have 6 teeth, yes they are longer, which means we only get 90 degrees of rotation on the handle.?

How to fix this problem: place the pricker in a vise and carefully file off the end opposite the needle, making the pricker equal to the length of the original pricker.?Force 10 still has plenty of rebuild kits on hand.

However, Steve said Patria has closed its doors on three occasions and says this is the last time; there are no more burner bodies (housing) available on the market. Therefore, the kerosene/diesel version of the Force 10 Cosy Cabin Heater are no longer available.

They are still producing the propane version and the propane conversion kit is still available to convert your kerosene/diesel heater, cost is $200 US, half the cost of a new Cozy Cabin propane heater.?If you intend to keep your old kerosene heater, you might try to scrounge the flea markets for used?parts, at least the burners.?

Other news, Steve said Force 10 has acquired Sigmar heaters and cook stoves two years ago and have signed an agreement to sell these products through West Marine.

I suspect they will show up in next years catalog; as mentioned earlier, Sigmar makes a little heater, Sigmar 100, which may be a possible candidate to replace the Force 10 kerosene/diesel heater, sells the Sigmar heaters often the prices are a little lower.?

Another maker of small heater from England is the Blake/Lavac guys, the Taylors 079D, not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, at $1,400 US, includes heater, exhaust pipe, deck iron, deck cap, fuel line, auto shut off and SS fuel tank.

If you include all the parts required to install the Sigmar unit, you might find the prices to be comparable, not considering shipping of course.?I think, when you consider the total cost in locating the correct parts to complete your heater installation, including your time, gas, etc, it might turn out to be a fair price.?

I hope you find this information useful.?

Best wishes,?
Marty Chin, BCC Shamrock

Well done as usual Marty !

The Taylor stuff is also Optimus based. I have disassembled both their heaters and stoves and found the same burners. The older ones did have have the self-cleaning pricker. I think they worked just as well maybe better. All you did to clean the unit was to run it at max for a while and the carbon would burn off. Kerosene also burns much cleaner than diesel. I would always opt for it in this type of unit e.g.: pressurized spray. Diesel is superior in a drip type unit e.g.: Sigmar or Reflex. They throw much more heat and like a well made diesel engine are designed to run continuously .


Slightly off subject but very relevant.

At this link is a Maritime Safety Authority of New Zealand warning
about Dickinson diesel heaters.

I understand that there have been similar incidents elsewhere
including North America. I also understand that similar issues exist
for other liquid fuel heaters of similar type.

It is also of interest that LPG heaters and water heaters are not
acceptable to survey authorities in Australia due to safety concerns.



I have found a source that claims to be the supplier for burners for the Force 10 Cozy Cabin Heater. He said he just shipped 150 burners to Force 10 to
complete their last production run and he has 800 burners in stock.

He also clarified the burner jet stamp coding, noting that the Patria jets had no stamp, A=Alcohol, G=white gas like coleman cook stove fuel, M=multi-fuel
kerosene & white gas, not the auto gas previously suggested (jet information taken from Optimus parts list).

He also mentioned the burners will not burn diesel very well, tend to clog the burners. Force 10 instructions mention clogging problems associated with
fuels other than clear, probably automotive grade #2 and winter grade #1 clear which is reported to be cut with kerosene.

Bob said, Now the “M” on the nipple is for kerosene or white gas .0145" there is no nipple designed specifically for diesel. The only other nipple available is a “A” nipple for alcohol .017"

When I get a chance, I will measure the jets supplied by Force 10 from Patria as diesel conversion to determine if there is a jet size difference, who knows?

In another note: Does anyone have any information on the Taylors 079D diesel heater? I have the only illustrated parts breakdown JPG files Taylors was able
to provide over the web.

Marty Chin, BCC Shamrock

We have a Dickinson Newport diesel heater in our Pan
Oceanic 46. In three years of continuous use, we stop
and clean the combustion chamber and flue every month.
When we acquired the boat, it had 240 gallons of the
oldest fuel on board, enough varnish in the Ford
Lehman injection pump to turn it into a solid mass.
Local toxic waste disposal contractors wanted $5 per
gallon to dispose of the old fuel. We carefully burned
the fuel over a two year period through our Dickinson
heater with out any difficulty. We did however, notice
a higher level of carbon in the combustion chamber,
lower heat/gallon of fuel and more pronounced smell
from the flue cap, tolerable. Shut down and clean out
was every two weeks back then.

The report of down draft caused by air passing through
the cabin in the earlier article seem plausible if a
door at opposite ends of the boat are left open for
prolong periods, creating what is referred to negative
pressure. Other factors such as long above deck flue
pipe extensions that are not insulated, cause the
gasses to cool and loss of proper draft.

Most of these radiant heaters put out marginal heat,
can’t understand why a commercial vessel would run a
heater with doors or hatches (not specified), as all
heat would have been exhausted.

I suspect malfunctioning stoves reported on the
fishing vessels were a product of improper
installation,lack of or faulty maintenance procedures,
operating a stove with known problems and the lack of
active fire watch to be the real cause of the reported
fired. Most heater and stove manufacturers warn of
conditions leading to down draft conditions and
remedies. Unfortunately, with many fishing vessels,
the focus is on fishing, not on what it takes to
operate a stove or heater properly, these devices
often are an after thought.

Being in the marine trade, we see this same though
process carry through into pleasure craft use, all to
often boaters in general, leave their boats unattended
for months on end, come a holiday, they hop in and
take it for a spin, treating it like the family car.
Listen to the channel 16 on the VHF during a holiday
weekend and you’ll know what I mean.

We run our Dickinson Newport 24 x 7 in the winter,
only stopping for cleaning and on-load of fuel. We
monitor the flame quality and height, ceiling
temperatures. If anything looks out of place, we shut
down, clean and re-light, and reinspect; thus far all
has gone well.

Tip of the day: Install a small fan far enough away
from your heater so you don’t fry it, but close enough
to direct a gentle breeze toward the junction of the
deck near the flue pipe; this will lower ceiling
temperatures and help push that wonderful warm radiant
heat around the boat. Word of caution though, take a
look at your burner flame color and height before
turning on the fan, then check the color and height
after running the fan, when the fan speed is set
properly it will not cool down the flue pipe enough to
affect the natural draw of gasses up the flue.

Stay warm,

Marty Chin, BCC Shamrock

If your looking at replacement parts for your kerosene burner for your Force 10 Cozy Cabin heater, no longer in production by Force 10, the remaining burners can be purchased through Force 10’s supplier:

you can email Bob at:
The burners as supplied to Force 10 have the external treaded bottom to bolt the burner to the heater, but do not have internal threads for plumbing the supply line, you will need to use a 1/8" pipe tap to make these threads. Cost of burners are $65.00
Best Wishes,
Marty Chin, BCC Shamrock

We had a problem with the Optimus burner, Jet Marked “M” (multi-fuel) which came with our Force 10 kerosene heater. When trying to use the diesel conversion kit as mentioned earlier, the pricker was longer with 2 more gear teeth than the supplied burner, we tried to cut down the pricker to match the length with no avail.
We attempted to light the supplied burner, preheating with a propane torch, preheat worked ok, flame went from clean and blue to yellow, fuel stream from the jet went from gas to liquid.
Opinion was the jet is designed for white gas (coleman fuel) and kerosene, both are lighter grade fuels, lower viscosity, easy to atomize with low heat: with diesel, the heat generated by the preheat?is quickly cooled as the diesel, more dense fuel, rapidly cools the lower burner assembly and jet, reducing the vapor expelled from the jet back into liquid form, the liquid cools the upper burner causing the flame to turn from blue to yellow, eventually extinguishing the flame.
You guessed it, boat filled with white smoke, unburnt diesel. Darn near looked like the boat was on fire as we open all the hatches and ports and the smoke rolled out.
We found the fix. The owners manual states 15 psi or 1 ATM on the pressure tank gauge, this is good for kerosene only; with the correct burner designed for diesel/kerosene (Apria), smaller jet, the remote pressure tank must be set for 22 PSI or higher to burn diesel properly.
A?similar installation with the correct burner and pressure has proven a sustained burn with a bright blue flame and enough heat to keep a 40’ boat warm. You will also need at least 3’ of flue pipe to create sufficient draft.
I know, your probably asking yourself, why all the fuss over a heater, just stick a propane heater in? The reasoning behind all this nonsense, our boat already has the Force 10 Cozy Cabin kerosene heater and it fits perfectly. The footprint of the Force 10 Cozy Cabin propane heater if off by 1", requiring drilling 4 new mounting holes, leaving 4 ugly old holes in the bulkhead. Installing anything else would mean filling the mounting holes in the bulkhead and deck and cutting new and larger hole in the deck. The current 1" flue pipe goes up 2", over 45 degrees 1’, turns up 45 degrees, then up 2’ to the cap, total 3’. If we used other type heaters with 2 or 3" pipe we would have to go straight up 3’ and would have to go through the hassle of removing the above deck piping before sailing or rip the pipe off with the first tack; the current piping and flue cap remain in place clear of the sails. Diesel or Kerosene will give more heat and last longer per pound of fuel than propane, diesel will produce dry heat, where as, propane produces water as a byproduct of combustion. Besides, it’s cold!
New burner comes in this week, we’ll give it a go this weekend.
Best wishes,
Marty Chin

As I read your post Marty I confess I began to laugh. I did the exact same thing with a Taylor kerosene stove. It billowed black smoke and covered the entire boat with thick black greasy soot. I refused to give up and continued to replace burner after burner until I finally got it right.
Ultimately it worked perfectly but what a rough road getting there !!!