Posted by: Cap'n Fuzzy | February 19, 2016

On to Stoves on Boats

HC37 in Mazatlan had an RV style 3 burner propane cooktop. I am adamantly opposed to propane use on boats. We used the stove and it worked without incident but I wanted to remove it from day one and if we had kept the boat I would have.  It deserves longer treatment and I won’t go into it now but gasoline and propane have no place on any boat of mine.  Both, in my opinion, turn any boat, but particularly sailboats, which sit deeper in the water, into bombs waiting to go off.  Every year, way too many boats are destroyed and too many people injured in fuel related explosions and fires.  Call me weird and paranoid but putting a combustible heavier than air gas like propane on a boat, which is essentially a hole in the water, is nuts when there is an acceptable alternative.

So then, to HC27, which came to us with the factory installed alcohol pressure stove.  It also worked and although presumably safer as an alcohol fire can be doused with water, it just doesn’t cut it when you want to produce heat in a reasonable amount of time.  It literally took an hour to boil a kettle of water for coffee.  Also, Sam and I want to live on Hearts Content for extended periods of time.  Sam likes to cook, which includes baking and I like to eat.  Having been on boats on the Canadian and US west coasts, I have always been impressed with diesel stoves.  Same fuel as the engine, inherently less volatile than gasoline or propane, every working fishing boat and tug on the west coast and a large percentage of older pleasure boats had a Dickinson or one of the less well known look-alikes.

We went shopping on Craig’s List for a Dickinson at a price we could afford.  Marine equipment pricing, as for the toilets, is crazy!  We were lucky and found a Bristol, the smallest in the Dickinson line, for $400 and then lucked out and picked up a charcoal burning Magma BBQ for another $20 and had them crated and shipped together by Cratex, the company who crated our NestingLite dinghy moulds.  More on the Magma BBQ later and see if you can find the link in the sidebar for the story of our dinghy building business.  I think the link is there…

Against all odds, the Dickinson stove was an almost perfect fit in the galley cabinet. We did all the cutting with a sabre saw before we left the dock, so the 80 lb stove was at least bolted down to the new shelf before we were under way. On the evening trip over to Tee Harbour we ran a fuel line back to the cockpit locker and set up a plastic bucket with a tightly sealing snap on lid. Jeff’s last minute dash to the Home Depot store had yielded enough brass fittings, plastic tubing, large fender washers, sealant etc to get it plumbed. A section of foil dryer vent (not recommended, please do not do this!) tied out the main hatch for a chimney and we were ready for flamage!  And soot!

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