Go Back   Trawler Forum > Trawler Forum > Liveaboards

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-30-2010, 10:03 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
DCBD's Avatar
 
City: Sidney BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Our Island
Vessel Model: KK Manatee
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 126
Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

Hi everyone, I'm new to the site and have been lurking for awhile, but now I have a question for the northern climate guys.
I plan to install a diesel heater in my boat and had investigated the Dickinson Antarctic and was pretty much sold until someone recommended the Sig 180 which looks to be almost the same thing, but as I was told, somewhat refined and improved over the Dickinson.
I contacted Sig Marine for a price quote for the Sig 180 and find its significantly cheaper than the price listed on the Dickinson website for the Antarctic. I also find the signature*on the return e-mail is Dickinson/Sig Marine so I assume they are one and the same company even though they both have websites. They also share the same address and phone numbers. I also noticed that the accessories are all cheaper through Sig Marine than whats listed on the Dickinson site, even though they all appear to be the same products.
So I would really appreciate any feedback from anyone who has or has knowledge of either heater. I have no aversion to saving money, but I also want the best bang for my buck.

I would also be interested on information about any other similar type heater.

Happy New Year to all!!!


-- Edited by DCBD on Friday 31st of December 2010 01:42:33 AM
__________________

__________________
DCBD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2010, 09:17 AM   #2
Guru
 
Arctic Traveller's Avatar
 
City: Juneau Alaska
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Arctic Traveller
Vessel Model: Defever 49 RPH
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 530
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

I wouldn't hesitate to call them and ask what the difference is.* I once needed a true sine wave inverter, and after looking at several manufacturers, I discovered one designed for the R/V market that I liked.* When** I asked about the difference between it, and the same looking unit sold for boats, I was told the ONLY difference was the location of the outlet.* That and a huge price difference that is!* Never hurts to ask...............Arctic Traveller
__________________

__________________
Arctic Traveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2011, 09:54 AM   #3
Guru
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Coquitlam/Saltspring island
Country: BC, canada
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,019
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

Here is my take on it. I emphasize that this is only a distillation of the stories I have heard over the years.

Dickinson started it.
Sig (and maybe others) worked there, left to form Fab-All and built a better mousetrap.
Years later, Fab-All sold off the Sig Marine part to Dickinson. Sig Adolf (and family) still owns Fab-All.

I really like the little, round Fab-All heater, (could be the Sig 180) that several of my friends have in their boats. lots of heat for the size, good bang for the buck.

I had a Dickinson (Newport) heater in my first sailboat and I loved it. Had a Webasto in the next sailboat and but for the heat to the back cabin, that the Dickinson couldn't have done, would have preferred a Dickinson.

Current boat came with a Propane stove, which I quickly replaced the a Fab-All, "Sig-Mar" stove. It is the same size as the Dickinson Pacific, but cost me way less. Works very well and I wouldn't have anything else.

Go with the Sig, you won't regret it.
__________________
koliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2011, 03:31 AM   #4
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 9,784
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

They , by the pictures, seem to use the same float fuel feed device , so I would not see much difference.

That said be sure to install a barometric damper and if you wish it to work underway and un attended (I did with Dickinson for weeks on end) only the "H" style smoke head will do the job.

The H style will allow high ( 40-50K+) and shifting winds to not blow down the stack , as well as the downdraft from sails.

The fan is only useful on start up , most liveaboards will fire it off in November and operate it till May . At least that is what we did in NYC for over a decade.

When the power is out for a couple of days/weeks at your marina , you will be AMAZED at the numbers of other live aboards that visit ....to get warm for the first time in a week!
__________________
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2011, 04:13 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
DCBD's Avatar
 
City: Sidney BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Our Island
Vessel Model: KK Manatee
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 126
Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

Thanks for the tips and info guys. I surprisingly was able to get in touch with Dickinson during the weekend and had a good talk with them. It seems they bought the Sig line in 2007. The major difference between them is the Sig has a 5.5" burn pot and opens from the top and the Dickinson has a 6" burn pot and opens from the front. The Dickinson also has a proper window in the door for monitoring the flame during start up. Other than this and the obvious cosmetic differences they are the same thing.

Fred, thats good feed back about the H cap, because I was planning on getting the DP cap but now not too sure. Im still in the research phase but expect to make my purchase and begin the install near the end of January.


-- Edited by DCBD on Monday 3rd of January 2011 07:28:41 AM
__________________
DCBD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2011, 01:40 PM   #6
Guru
 
Sailor of Fortune's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville,Fl.
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 792
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

Just out of curiosity, what is the cost of the sig vs the Dickinson?
__________________
Sailor of Fortune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 03:36 AM   #7
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 9,784
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

The Dickinson also has a proper window in the door for monitoring the flame during start up.

The window is there if you can use the "romantic fire place effect".

ON start up there is little need to monitor anything , but the hole in the top surface does give a viwe should you wish to look.

These can be great furnaces for a liveaboard , but the various oil ranges do not take up floor space and are fine to live with.

The "Pacific" fits in most stove cutouts.

GRP burns and is very hard to put out , so get a "water deck iron" for the hole in the cabin top..
__________________
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 04:10 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
DCBD's Avatar
 
City: Sidney BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Our Island
Vessel Model: KK Manatee
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 126
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

"water deck iron" Fred, that's a new term to me. Please educate me.
__________________
DCBD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 10:42 PM   #9
Guru
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Coquitlam/Saltspring island
Country: BC, canada
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,019
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

FF's water deck iron is a chimney base that sits on the deck, and has a "moat" around the chimney. I have a "deck iron" without, that sits on a 1" piece of teak that in turn is on the GRP. None of this part gets very hot. Those with the "water" unit rarely have water in them, but could, if they were glowing, put water in to cool them off.
In our waters, you don't need the H style chimney top. Those may be necessary in hurricane prone Fla, but here, not so much. I use a regular chimney top , a cylinder about 1.5 x the dia of the chimney, with a baffle over the opening to keep the rain out. It works just fine, even in a moderate breeze. The most I have had to do in a real blow is turn up the fan.
__________________
koliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2011, 11:35 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
DCBD's Avatar
 
City: Sidney BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Our Island
Vessel Model: KK Manatee
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 126
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

Thanks Keith, I found one on the internet, so it's now clear to me. Do you think the through deck fitting supplied by Dickinson would be as good as the deck iron without water? Just wondering, I've seen some around while snooping through marinas but they all seen to use the Dickinson supplied fitting.
__________________
DCBD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 03:24 AM   #11
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 9,784
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

"In our waters, you don't need the H style chimney top. Those may be necessary in hurricane prone Fla, but here, not so much. I use a regular chimney top , a cylinder about 1.5 x the dia of the chimney, with a baffle over the opening to keep the rain out. It works just fine, even in a moderate breeze."

Is spent 22 years as a live aboard , in the NYC area.So my smoke head suggestion is real life..

I was also the importer of Dickinson products (before Balmar) and sold them at the NY Boat Show.


Winter storms bring cold snow and ice. The breeze gets to 50K+ at times , and on a river there is little to slow it down.

If you live where the winds never get over 20K , the wind direction is constant , and doesn't shift , and there are no obstructions that will vary the wind direction , the std smoke head might work.

MY suggestion is for the liveaboard 24/7 in NYC style real winters for about 5 months of heat.
__________________
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2011, 11:50 PM   #12
Guru
 
C lectric's Avatar
 
City: Gibsons, B.C.
Country: Canada
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 757
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

I have a Pacific Dickinson in my boat, a 32' sedan, 33 yrs and counting although it has had a few upgrades and went back to Dickinson about 10 yrs ago for an overhaul.

Get the barometric dampener. You can have to much or too little stack height above the stove. Too much or too little will cause trouble with proper operation. Too much height pulls the flame low in the burner causing dirty burning from too strong a draft and the damper will help with this. Too short a stack there won't be enough draft.

So I got the damper, reduced the stack height to about 10 ft., learned to use the fan and I do use the fan all the time. The fan motor they have used for many years is tiny and works well drawing a very small current. The fan makes a big difference in the burning and it is quiet . I used to get sooting when I didn't use the fan. With the fan that has totally gone away. If you can get the stack height exact the fan won't be required. Some boats can manage that but not all can.

Use of the fan also will help prevent blowbacks or blowouts, particularily when travelling and in windy conditions. When we start travelling I usually turn up the oil valve. The burner will be hotter, the draft stronger and no blowouts.

I have the older cloverleaf design stack cover and it works fine and we have been out in winds about 35 K. If I needed a new one I would likely go with the 'H' bar type.

I used to work about 2 blocks from Dickinson and would go talk to them about my problematic, at the time, stove. They were very helpfull. Since they helped me get the stove working properly it has been great.
__________________
C lectric is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2011, 11:57 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
DCBD's Avatar
 
City: Sidney BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Our Island
Vessel Model: KK Manatee
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 126
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

Quote:
C lectric wrote:

I have a Pacific Dickinson in my boat, a 32' sedan, 33 yrs and counting although it has had a few upgrades and went back to Dickinson about 10 yrs ago for an overhaul.

Get the barometric dampener. You can have to much or too little stack height above the stove. Too much or too little will cause trouble with proper operation. Too much height pulls the flame low in the burner causing dirty burning from too strong a draft and the damper will help with this. Too short a stack there won't be enough draft.

So I got the damper, reduced the stack height to about 10 ft., learned to use the fan and I do use the fan all the time. The fan motor they have used for many years is tiny and works well drawing a very small current. The fan makes a big difference in the burning and it is quiet . I used to get sooting when I didn't use the fan. With the fan that has totally gone away. If you can get the stack height exact the fan won't be required. Some boats can manage that but not all can.

Use of the fan also will help prevent blowbacks or blowouts, particularily when travelling and in windy conditions. When we start travelling I usually turn up the oil valve. The burner will be hotter, the draft stronger and no blowouts.

I have the older cloverleaf design stack cover and it works fine and we have been out in winds about 35 K. If I needed a new one I would likely go with the 'H' bar type.

I used to work about 2 blocks from Dickinson and would go talk to them about my problematic, at the time, stove. They were very helpfull. Since they helped me get the stove working properly it has been great.


Yes,*I definately plan to install the barometric damper when I install. Just wondering, with your installation do you use a fuel pump? On the Dickinson website they offer 2 pumps which offer head capacity of 3' and 6' respectively, but in conversation they say level or 2' respectively. If you use a pump, where is it located in relation to your heater.
*
__________________
DCBD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2011, 11:26 PM   #14
Guru
 
C lectric's Avatar
 
City: Gibsons, B.C.
Country: Canada
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 757
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

No, I don't need the fuel pump for the stove itself. The Stove has its own tank on the bridge hidden away so the feed is gravity. It's a 12 gal, tank. I have installed a small racor on the feed line.


There is a small fuel pump in the engine compartment to refill the stove tank from the mains.
I don't use it as I prefer to fill with jerry cans.
__________________
C lectric is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2011, 08:01 AM   #15
Grand Vizier
 
Delfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,293
Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

Quote:
DCBD wrote:

Fred, thats good feed back about the H cap, because I was planning on getting the DP cap but now not too sure. Im still in the research phase but expect to make my purchase and begin the install near the end of January.



Dave, we have a Dickinson Newport, barometric damper, two 45 degree elbows to offset the run through the saloon by 12" or so, total run is probably about 8' and DP cap.* Works flawlessly with never a puff in the cabin.* I prefer the DP because it's smaller and cleaner looking, although more of a pain to do the once a year polishing job.*

I would also respectfully disagree with FF on the fan.* I had a similar Dickinson on our sailboat and fought to keep it going crossing the Pacific.* With a fan, I think it would have worked fine as the unit gets a whole lot hotter with the fan and burns a great deal cleaner.* The difference in flame is amazing - fan off, lazy flame, fan on, blowtorch.** The fan is used to attain the 'lemon color' flame above the burn ring they say indicates optimum combustion, and since the glass stays perfectly clean I guess it works.

The only other thing I would add is the importance of providing heat protection above the unit.* With the sides and back, even when blasting out heat, you can put your hand on the stove, so the draft keeps it relatively cool.* But above is a different story.* We put heat shield above the stove, but were I to do it over again, I'd make that shield even bigger where the stack passes through the saloon roof.

*






[img]download.spark?ID=858877&aBID=115492[/img]


-- Edited by Delfin on Sunday 16th of January 2011 10:15:51 AM
__________________
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 01:02 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
DCBD's Avatar
 
City: Sidney BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Our Island
Vessel Model: KK Manatee
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 126
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

Carl, thanks for the information. I actually had been concerned not about above the heater itself but where the chimney stack travels between the 2- 45 elbows. I spent some time last week looking through the yacht sales websites looking specifically for photos that show me how the chimney is arranged on other boats. I noticed that several have 12 volt fans that blow on the chimney in the area closest to the "water deck iron" (thanks Fred). I'm going to try to get it right the first time of course, but I'm prepared to rework the chimney until I'm happy with it. I will now also be paying close attention to how warm/hot the ceiling above the heater gets.

BTW, I had a look at your web site, I love your boat. I might even consider a trade.
__________________
DCBD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 07:32 AM   #17
Grand Vizier
 
Delfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,293
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

Thank you Dave.

We were at Victoria a couple of weekends ago when it was so cold (for us PNWs), and we had the Newport cranked up to max.* We have more than the 30" clearance recommended from the top of the stove to the saloon overhead, and while there isn't any fire hazard, the temperature of the wood above was around 115 degrees as measured with an IR gun. A fan up there would probably be a very good idea, and stress the wood a little less over time.

We stop into Sidney periodically, so if you see us, please stop by.* I like the whole idea of the Manatee and would love to see one.
__________________
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 10:55 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
DCBD's Avatar
 
City: Sidney BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Our Island
Vessel Model: KK Manatee
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 126
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

Hi guys, just a little update on my heater decision. I went with the Dickinson Antarctic and did the install starting in January (fuel and electrical), then went home and built the pedestal and teak fairing block. We arrived back at the boat last week and I installed the pedestal, then finished running the wiring, fuel supply and return lines, all hidden in the pedestal. I then mounted the heater unit and made all the final connections to the heater and fan speed control. Finally, I cut a hole through the upper deck, carved out the balsa coring around the hole and filled with FG putty. I installed the teak fairing block and deck flange and completed the chimney.

Start up went without a glitch and we now have heat to spare.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	memo0001.jpg
Views:	241
Size:	184.3 KB
ID:	5450   Click image for larger version

Name:	memo0002.jpg
Views:	125
Size:	116.3 KB
ID:	5451  
__________________
DCBD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 05:32 PM   #19
Grand Vizier
 
Delfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,293
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

Very handsome, Dave.* The D cap is easy to clean, but will need cleaning every few months.*

Also, and unlike me, read the instructions on lighting.* I have used these darn things for 30 years and read the instructions for the first time last month.* Shuckee darn, but the way I was doing it (placing the paper right over the entry point for the fuel) tended to get the soot down the feeder tube, reducing the flow over time.

This reading of instructions may have merit.....*
__________________
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 06:09 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
DCBD's Avatar
 
City: Sidney BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Our Island
Vessel Model: KK Manatee
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 126
RE: Dickinson vs Sig Marine heaters

Thank you Carl. It was a fun project with a satisfying result. I read the lighting instructions probably 10 times before the first trial. For the first couple of times I was very careful, since then I bought a solid fuel that burns to nothing and broke it into small pieces. Now I just light a small piece of this, throw it in and turn on the fuel. Seems to work OK.

Now I need to find another project (to keep out of my wifes hair).
__________________

__________________
DCBD is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does Marine Trader / Marine Trading still exist? 7tiger7 General Discussion 4 02-04-2011 01:52 PM
Dickinson Heater and Eco Fan Rob General Discussion 5 01-19-2011 11:59 PM
Marine Railways BornSailor2 General Discussion 2 01-02-2011 10:57 AM
Old Marine Trader BaltimoreLurker General Discussion 1 10-21-2007 06:21 AM




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012