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Old 01-31-2020, 07:11 PM   #1
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How effective Dickinson stove

For you PNW guys, I'm looking at a boat that has a Dickinson Pacific Diesel Cook Stove in the galley. According to the website it is rated at about 16,000 btu on high level.

That's not very impressive. A single burner on my home stove is 18k to 28k and cooks okay. Ovens are even hotter.

How effective is something like this at cooking?

And if it's designed to heat the cabin, then that means the the heat isn't focused on the pot or oven. 16k btu might take the chill out of the air of the deckhouse (chimney runs through the pilothouse above), but no way this will send heat down to the cabins below. So that means installing a bulkhead heater down below.

Nostalgia aside, it seems like it's not really very effective at cooking and perhaps that's why there is an electric hot plate next to it on the counter.
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Old 01-31-2020, 07:37 PM   #2
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My Eno cooktop...

3,414, 5,975, 8,500 BTU Burners

More than enough unless cooking meals for large groups.

Electric aux cooking plates are common on liveaboards for a variety of reasons...not necessarily the stove is bad.
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:16 PM   #3
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I've had lots of boats with a diesel stove. I have a Beaufort now. They cook well, but take some time to warm up. Too fast and you can crack the top. They don't instantly change cooking temps. You can put a water coil in the stove and either heat water or forced air or radiant heater in some other area. Usually you need a circulation pump.
You cook by putting the pan that needs the most heat over the burn pot. Things that simmer or keep warm on the other side. Once you learn the settings, the oven work fine.
And in the winter all my stuff stays dry, humidity is usually about 40 inside no matter what the weather.
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:29 PM   #4
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Mako, Lots of fish boats and other work boats up here have a diesel galley stove that also provides space heating, although not in the lower levels of the boat. I worked on salmon seiners in Alaska when I was in college in the '60's and that was the usual setup. I remember it to be a nice comforting heat.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:48 AM   #5
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Sandpiper came equipped with a diesel stove.

They cook very well. Though cooking temperature regulation is difficult.

Takes a while to heat up on initial fire up. Most people run them all day for heat so not a problem.

The diesel stove, depending on the size of your boat, size of galley and location of galley could get too warm in the galley area. And in the summer, it's always too hot.

Portable fans can used to circulate the heat throughout the boat.

If the galley is down, it will heat the downstairs area well.

If up galley, it will heat the area well but not the downstairs. Ours had a coil in it that circulated hot water to a Red Dot heater in the stateroom downstairs or the hot water tank via selection valve. Our galley is up in the salon.

Temperature will not be even throughout boat.

Running the stove for heat will create very dry air inside the boat. A pan of water near the stove will alleviate that.

We took the diesel stove out when we purchased Sandpiper and replaced it with a propane stove. Lot more convenient and useful.
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:09 PM   #6
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I lived in southern BC on a 38 wood cruiser with a Dickinson Diesel stove for a few years in the 70s. Long time ago but the basic Dickinson Diesel stove appears to have changed negligibly since then.

They are silent, impeccably reliable, very versatile for cooking, and provide dry cabin heat. They have, or can be retro-fitted with, a water coil that can provide either hot water, or a bus heater in a remote part of the boat. The oven has even heat, though temperature control is manual. I have never known anyone to need parts, but the manufacturer still exists and supports them!

Like all boat things of course there are compromises. They work best if you can leave them snuffling along 24/7, as they take a bit of care, time, and TLC to get them started. The cooking temperatures are manually controlled and they take some time to heat up and cool down. Sometimes you have a conflict between cooking and cabin comfort. Cooking a steak on a hot summer evening is uncomfortable unless the galley has extraordinary ventilation!

The cooktop beside the stove reduces some downsides, you can have rapid response heat for cooking, and can cook without drastic heating of the cabin.

For a live-aboard in the cool damp PNW they are great. For a weekender or a warm climate not so great.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:04 PM   #7
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Hmm, sounds like the best bet for simplicity would be a couple of bulkhead diesel heaters (for heat only) and then a "normal" propane or electric cooktop for actual cooking.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:58 PM   #8
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You're in FL you don't want a Dickinson.
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Old 02-01-2020, 06:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sean9c View Post
You're in FL you don't want a Dickinson.

I missed that one due to the OP's question of PNW boaters. The Dickenson diesel stove/heater will be a miserable choice for cooking in that climate. Much of the heat will go into the environment- the galley where you are cooking.


But if you like the boat otherwise, there are a couple of things you can do to replace the Dickenson:


If the boat has a genset, then the simplest thing to do is replace the Dickenson cooktop with an induction cooktop. Here is one I replaced the electric coil type cooktop with: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 The induction cooktop uses about half the current as the coil type and runs on a 120V, 15A circuit.


If you don't have a genset then a propane cooktop works fine, but will require finding a place for a propane locker to keep the cylinder, plus hose and a solenoid system to shut it off at the cylinder. This stove will work fine: https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Stain...-p/72-9177.htm, and here is a propane locker, tank and solenoid valve: https://www.defender.com/product3.js...261&id=3473225


So for $300 and some wiring you could replace that Dickenson stove with an electric induction cooktop or for about $800, repalace it with a propane cooktop system.


The point is the cooktop should not seriously influence considering that boat. It can easily be replaced.



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Old 02-01-2020, 06:43 PM   #10
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Had one on a 40' liveaboard sailboat here in the PNW. As mentioned, if left on 24/7 they work great at keeping the main part of the boat where the stove is located warm and dry. Fans were required to move air in to the ends of the boat (especially the aft cabin which was essentially almost a separate part of the boat with a starboard companionway). But it was reliable and very fuel efficient for heating. Absolutely quiet and used zero power, which were the strong points.

Cooking, well that was another story. Even during the colder months when it was on all the time, regulating the heat was a PITA. Doubly so if wanting to use the oven portion. Burned too many brownies in the damn thing. We ended up using a 2-burner propane camping stove way more often. And when the weather warmed up to where we didn't want the stove running, the camp stove sat on top of the Dickinson and that's all we used.

Cannot imagine using one in FL except for maybe a few weeks in winter...
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:55 PM   #11
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I cook with diesel on one of the Wallas cooktop, oven combinations and swear by them.



But I get cabin heat from and earlier version of this, and love it. I feed it from a six-gallon day-tank on the bridge; good for 72 hours. Mine has a chimney shroud which ducts heat to the aft cabin, but the fan is a bit noisy, so I generally just throw on another quilt
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:00 PM   #12
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But if you use any of the diesel cabin stove options, you absolutely need one of these. I just discovered them last winter, and it is miraculous. Flow is just enough to break the stratification in the main cabin without a perceptible draft.



Got mine at Fisherman's
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:15 PM   #13
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Cool. Is that piezo-electric or battery powered?
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:23 PM   #14
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I cook with diesel on one of the Wallas cooktop, oven combinations and swear by them.



But I get cabin heat from and earlier version of this, and love it. I feed it from a six-gallon day-tank on the bridge; good for 72 hours. Mine has a chimney shroud which ducts heat to the aft cabin, but the fan is a bit noisy, so I generally just throw on another quilt
Bill, are you going to AK this summer? If so, when are you leaving?
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:52 PM   #15
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Bill, are you going to AK this summer? If so, when are you leaving?

Gawd! Wish I knew. At my age, there won't be a whole lot more opportunities, but recruiting crew seems a problem as I may have drained the pool in 2018, If I were to go, not as ambitious as the last time, maybe Sitka. Other commitments would preclude departure before June 1.


You?
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:56 PM   #16
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Gawd! Wish I knew. At my age, there won't be a whole lot more opportunities, but recruiting crew seems a problem as I may have drained the pool in 2018, If I were to go, not as ambitious as the last time, maybe Sitka. Other commitments would preclude departure before June 1.


You?
Leaving last week in May. Will base out of Juneau this year. Will be in touch with you.
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:58 PM   #17
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Cool. Is that piezo-electric or battery powered?
No battery, but not quite piezo-electric. In fact, I regard it as J.F. Magic.



Here's a relevant wiki excerpt:



The Seebeck effect is the build up of an electric potential across a temperature gradient. A thermocouple measures the difference in potential across a hot and cold end for two dissimilar materials. This potential difference is proportional to the temperature difference between the hot and cold ends. First discovered in 1794 by Italian scientist Alessandro Volta,[3][note 1] it is named after the Baltic German physicist Thomas Johann Seebeck, who in 1821 independently rediscovered it.[4] It was observed that a compass needle would be deflected by a closed loop formed by two different metals joined in two places, with an applied temperature difference between the joints. This was because the electron energy levels shifted differently in the different metals, creating a potential difference between the junctions which in turn created an electrical current through the wires, and therefore a magnetic field around the wires
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:19 PM   #18
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Seebeck effect. Exact opposite of the Peltier effect. Dissimilar metals at a couple. Delta T induces voltage.
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Cool. Is that piezo-electric or battery powered?
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:32 AM   #19
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We have a Dickinson Pacific in our 37 foot ex-crabber, galley up. My late father-in-law had a larger model in his 39 foot cruiser, galley down. Famous dry heat!

The old wisdom out here in the PNW is that the fishermen fire up the stove in September and turn it off in May. It's actually true for boats that are continuously occupied. It's a wonderful dry heat that keeps all the damp chilly stuff away no matter what the weather.

We have one of those Caframo Ecofans shown above and agree that it keeps the cabin air mixed nicely. We have another fan that blows the warm air down into the forecabin, where we sleep. We also have a neat thingy attached to the stove's stack that penetrates the bulkhead into the head and fills the head with the same wonderful dry heat.

Don't let the the BTU rating mislead you; it takes a while to heat up but then the refractory lining and cast iron top really hold the heat. When turned down to its lowest setting it's perfect for sleeping. When cranked up it will boil water fast and is great for cooking; we often open a window or two when it's turned up. The oven takes a little getting used to but cooks great once you figure out the temps. It's great for Dutch oven cooking!

We don't use it much during the summer months as the heat will drive us out of the cabin.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:16 AM   #20
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The Dickinson ranges are perfect for the liveaboard.


In summer we use double gimboled Primus kerosene as it is fast , really hot and cools rapidly when shut down.
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