Re: [BCC Forum Post] Jonathan Fulford: Re: Woodstoves on BCC


We had a dickenson wood heat stove in our Pan Oceanic 46 and we had primary wood heat in our home in Michigan for 5 years, both were filthy projects, from storage of wood to burning and waste removal, soot above and below deck, we don’t recommend them.

We replaced the Dickenson wood heater in our sailboat with a diesel model, we used the diesel heater to burn off 400 gallons of old fuel over two winters, exhaust smell above deck was noticeable and btu output was low but acceptable, it required weekly removal of burner for cleaning. When running clean diesel there was very lettle exhaust smell above deck and none below deck and we were able to drop the setting from 4 down to 2 to achieve the same heat. We continued to use the diesel heater 24x7 until we sold the boat, with a fan to help circulate heated our 46’ boat just fine. With most heaters you will need 3’ or more flue pipe to get enough draft to work properly, something difficult to achieve in a BCC.

The Dickenson unit is to big for the BCC and the Sigmar 200 lacks the construction details of the Dickenson unit, we did not like the burner arangement nor the access door window material, both prone to burn out prematurely. Dickenson tried to manufacturer a smaller unit similar to the 200 but found it impossible to get it to burn cleanly and abandoned the project.

In our BCC we used a Force 10 propane stove/oven 3 burner, we found the 2 burner deep oven model to work more like a house stove and were much happier after the conversion. Two burner has larger burners, so you can use good sized pots to cook with and the oven was large enough to cook a small turkey, bake bread, etc.

Another stove/oven unit I liked was the Broadwater from Australia, beautiful all rounded welded seams, ss burners, absolute pinacle of cooking equipment. Unfortunately, dollar tanked and even ordering by the container load still more expensive than the Force 10 unit.

Seaward, a US manufacturer make a good stove, but last seen they used coated steel parts in interior of stove, while they work well, salt air takes it toll early.

For general heat we recommend a Espar or similar forced air heat system with a single duct and gril out the engine compartment. There is more than enough space in our 1990 BCC boat to mount the heater port aft of the engine under the cockpit.

We originally had a Force 10 Cozy kerosene heater in the usual place port forward of the salon, pretty, but just about as worthless as they come, converting it to diesel was equally worthless. We did make it work by re-jetting it with the diesel conversion kit and pumping the tank up to 22 psi, but pressure at that level didn’t work long. Another filthy unit.

We don’t recommend propane heat, the best of the lot draws combustion air and releases exhaust to the outside of the boat, two pipes. Propane is very inefficient fuel, can’t carry enough fuel for long cruise in cold climates. While clean burning, propane heater use to much fuel to be efficient.

Yes, I spent to much time researching these products and using them to wonder if I’m still a sailor, Ha.


Marty Chin

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