Re: Digest Number 797

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 wrote:

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There are 2 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

  1. Re: FYI Force 10 kerosene/diesel heaters
    From: “pelorus32”
    < >
  2. Force 10 Cozy Cabin heater burners
    From: Marty Chin < >

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 06:00:15 -0000
From: “pelorus32” < >
Subject: Re: FYI Force 10 kerosene/diesel heaters

Slightly off subject but very relevant.

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

I understand that there have been similar incidents
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.



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