Sign in to follow this  
jacrider

Boat BBQ Feedback?

Recommended Posts

Sorry for a rather pedestrian topic, but we have been using a pair of Force 10 BBQ's on our boat for the past 20 years.  We have replaced most parts several times over the years.  Burners, grills, regulators, etc.

Was happy to do another round of maintenance this spring, but all my suppliers don't have parts and can't seem to get any.  Pisses me off...

I think we are almost forced to have to replace with a new BBQ.  

I have a Magma on our back deck that we throw in our VW Westy for camping trips as well, but it is bigger than the Force 10's, so we haven't tried it on the boat.  Bigger, but the grill surface wouldn't be much different.  I have also done a bunch of maintenance on this unit.  I think it is called the Catalina.

Pals have had the Dickinson Sea-BQ or something.  Also like it.  A bit pricey, but he says the parts are all available.

Any recommendations? 

Many thanks.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went with the Dickinson on my last boat and loved it. I went with the bigger one of my current boat. Cooking performance is great and parts are readily available and reasonably priced. 

Their stuff's not fancy but it's simple, well-made, reliable, and serviceable. It's also not cheap but it's not outrageously priced and from my experience, actually a decent value.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have had a Kuuma gas grill for a few years. I think they were the successors to Force 10 but no parts are interchangeable? Anyway, it works OK but I realize in hindsight that the best marine BBQ I ever had was a simple charcoal grill similar to a Magma. Charcoal can be a PITA when arriving late and in a hurry at the supper anchorage. Carrying charcoal and keeping it dry is problematic. But when it comes to simplicity, reliability, and quality grilling on even heat...a charcoal BBQ is hard to beat.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had the charcoal and propane versions of the standard issue "Kettle, Magma, round, 1 each"  bbq.  Overpriced for what they are, the propane model is difficult to dial down to a low enough setting and the regulator assembly does not mount very securely to the grill.

The next grill I buy will be rectangular and probably a Dickenson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got rid of the bulky complicated marine unit when the filipina wifey bought a $2 unit. Nobody on this forum can match her grill skilz. With just a handful of charcoal or even sticks of driftwood that pair will outcook any credit card chef here. Just sayin. The best part is I do nothing. She’ll even cook naked if I ask.

Imagine a cake pan with a wire cooling rack. When it rusts thru another 100 pesos.

Oddly, charcoal does not need to be dry to work. It is often sold wet here to keep from burning down the whole village by auto-ignition. Dry is indeed easier though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I guess finally I might contribute something of interest.  I am now on my second version of a SS Rectangular Grill, as we speak, so to speak.  Purchased on line from Cabelas for $99.00 it is made by the "Duro Corp" and is Model # 880-0013.  This is a table top version (as was my previous version purchased from Lowes for $79.00 (now discontinued).  I remove the forward facing (two each) table top legs and insert two of the Magma round grill stanchion attachments.  The rear legs will not interfere.  You need to bend two light Gage tabs to allow the Magma mounts to attach using the same mounting holes as the original table top legs.  About a 5 minute modification, though requiring two Magma attachment pieces.  

The first version lasted 10 years whereas the previous Magmas might go three years.  Hence why I had two Magma stanchion mounts:)  I will try and post a photo if anyone is interested.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have one of the round Magma grills - bought cheaply (like $15) at a marine surplus place, because the propane parts were shot.  I use it with charcoal.

The small size makes it easy to handle; in the morning, the ashes dump easily into a garbage bag, and it goes in the Laz. No COTB for me. 

Helps that my boat is too small to hold enough people to overload the thing. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hate Magmas (knob on lid unscrews and then it falls in the ocean. Also not very wind proof)

Hate all cast zinc regulators. They die regularly. Have a spare if you are going any distance

Liked our Kuma though it was small. Not very windproof but better than Magmas

Like a Dickinson (more robust rail mount)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. I've always had Magmas, including on a relatively quick trimaran. It would always stay lit. I had more the other problem, in that it always ran hot, couldn't really throttle it down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My vote is for a Weber gas BBQ.  Not sure if you have them in Canada and the US.  Made some rail mounts and plumbed the gas to the BBQ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, DtM said:

My vote is for a Weber gas BBQ.  Not sure if you have them in Canada and the US.  Made some rail mounts and plumbed the gas to the BBQ.

A Weber Genesis...  now that would be a contender for COTB!  Grillin' in style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have also had good luck with the round magma, but agree the temperature choice is high or thermonuclear. I have the small weber listed towards the top of this thread for home use. Even the smallest size would be pretty bulky to store on a sailboat and it has lots of plastic parts that would make it hard to mount on a rail securely. If you have the space it grills well, as good as my full size weber.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the round Magma now and had the Sea-B-Q on my first boat.  I think the Sea-B-Q is better as a grill (but I'm also not a great judge since I'm mostly vegetarian who occasionally eats fish).  The round Magma has the advantage of easily acting as a large and off-boat propane burner, which is nice if you are making it do double duty to boil crabs.

I've actually owned two Magmas and the first one annoyed me to no end for the top knob falling off and because the lid wasn't attached to the base at all.  They changed the design, now the lid is hinged to the base and the top knob doesn't fall off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My problem with the Magmas is the total lack of heat regulation. Every place on the grill is the same temperature and that temperature is approximately 600F.

For anyone with the Dickinson, I recommend ditching the universally crappy pot metal propane regulator for their low pressure valve and plumbing the unit to the low pressure side of the boat's main propane regulator. The valve lets you set a nice low flame if that's called for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Alex W said:

I have the round Magma now and had the Sea-B-Q on my first boat.  I think the Sea-B-Q is better as a grill (but I'm also not a great judge since I'm mostly vegetarian who occasionally eats fish).  The round Magma has the advantage of easily acting as a large and off-boat propane burner, which is nice if you are making it do double duty to boil crabs.

I've actually owned two Magmas and the first one annoyed me to no end for the top knob falling off and because the lid wasn't attached to the base at all.  They changed the design, now the lid is hinged to the base and the top knob doesn't fall off.

I wonder if they haven't changed the regulation as well? We bought one a couple years ago and while it is hot with the lid down, it's easily regulated to low grill temps with the lid open. 

I like it because it mounts - dismounts - easily, and stows in a cockpit locker. 

 

We had a Force 10 before that and that blew out in any wind and overall, was more problems to deal with. We do use the Magma for cooking stuff in a pan or pot as well. Nice to know we have a back up burner if the boats cooker fails. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got a 12+ year old Magma which is on its last season.

Had a cover all its life.

Kept regulator in cockpit locker when not in use.

Makes great toast which is a bonus as have no cooker grill.

Criddle plate is alloy not so sure about that.

May go Kiwi Sizzler style next with a flat cast plate and window.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

/\ /\ /\ That looks like it would be good at home. Thank You Rasper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Does anyone make these out of a marine grade stainless steel? Pretty much everything is 304, should be at least 316 or better. They rust and distintegrate all too rapidly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More Uff Da, to the white phone please...

 

more-uff-da.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Max Rockatansky said:

Not that particular grill, but I have seen their Sport model in use and it seemed to work for its owner, cooked some wursts nicely in about an hour or so IIRC

Cool!  I realize it has limitations but it also has some neat advantages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Max Rockatansky said:

Just remembered. Tube doesn’t exactly fit in the sink for cleaning. The owner hung theirs over the side and soaked it

Good point. I might have a clever trick for that...a long sponge thingy on a stick. Swab it out from each end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ajax said:

I'm curious ability these:

https://www.gosun.co/products/gosun-grill

look for trimaran spirit's posts. it seems they use something like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, DDW said:

 

Does anyone make these out of a marine grade stainless steel? Pretty much everything is 304, should be at least 316 or better. They rust and distintegrate all too rapidly. 

Not as far as I can tell, though I've been pleased with the durability of my Dickinsons which are 20ga 304. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, DDW said:

 

Does anyone make these out of a marine grade stainless steel? Pretty much everything is 304, should be at least 316 or better. They rust and distintegrate all too rapidly. 

Looks like 316 option over 304 on this one will set you back another 30% but we all know that actually on a boat that would be the way to go.

21926be0dd4eab232491331fd7aa2a0b.jpg

$190 additional for the 316 SS.

https://www.bbqguys.com/solaire/anywhere-316-grade-stainless-steel-portable-infrared-propane-gas-grill-sol-ir17m

 

 

image.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Burners are the first to go.

    I bought this 4 burner full SS grill at Home Depot about three years ago mostly for the 304 stainless construction. It was on sale for just over $200 and is looking pretty ratty due to staining on the SS but it lives on the porch only 50 yards from the brackish bayou and I haven't been good about keeping the cover on it especially during our hurricanes when EVERTHING gets a good salt dose. I have a nice heavy duty cover but if I put that on roaches get up in there drawn by the greasy ashes (I use tin cans with soaked wood chips for smoking) and drippings and when you pull the cover off the roaches scatter everywhere. Also it seems that moisture gets held longer against the SS surfaces where the cover touches it. The main gripe is that the burners are nearly completely rotted and I need to replace. I happened to see the same grill (NexGrill) in todays Home Depot ad for $199 which is a pretty good price. I just looked at the ad online and see that the burners have a 5 year warranty I will see how that goes and report here.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Nexgrill-4-Burner-Propane-Gas-Grill-in-Stainless-Steel-with-Side-Burner-and-Stainless-Steel-Doors-720-0830H/205449953

 

Nexgrill 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill in Stainless Steel with Side Burner and Stainless Steel Doors

nexgrill-propane-grills-720-0830h-31_1000.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, DDW said:

 

Does anyone make these out of a marine grade stainless steel? Pretty much everything is 304, should be at least 316 or better. They rust and distintegrate all too rapidly. 

One of the best designed and constructed I have seen.

http://sovereignbbqs.com/shop/4-marine-domestic-bbqs/alpha-flatgrill-plate-bbq-gas-316-ss-2/

IMG_20180630_101217.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm... the Solaire reviews say it blows out easily in the wind. Whatever faults the Magma Connoisseur has, blowing out isn't one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

At over $1000, they are going to have to come cook my meal and wash the dishes too. 

I'm getting the feeling that 316 is considered a "wallet assessment" type upgrade. 316 sheet doesn't cost all that much more than 304 and works about the same. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is AUD$..you are paying for the marine specific design features, construction as well as the 316.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Max Rockatansky said:

But does the BBQ case actually fail, or the elements inside? And there’s nothing for that, is there?

For us, always the elements inside.

Our last Magma was turned into a flying saucer when the captain snagged it on someone else's dinghy davit, which flexed about  a foot before the BBQ mount failed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, blurocketsmate said:

For us, always the elements inside.

Our last Magma was turned into a flying saucer when the captain snagged it on someone else's dinghy davit, which flexed about  a foot before the BBQ mount failed.

That’s what you get for anchoring too close (hyuk yuk)

I often see the Magma kettles in resale chandlers or at swaps, usually needing guts but the externals seem ok. Quite a few people just start using charcoal instead of fixing them. 

Are these fancier bbq using stainless burners etc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Max Rockatansky said:

That’s what you get for anchoring too close (hyuk yuk)

I often see the Magma kettles in resale chandlers or at swaps, usually needing guts but the externals seem ok. Quite a few people just start using charcoal instead of fixing them. 

Are these fancier bbq using stainless burners etc?

Many do but I think the bigger issue is that Magma prices their parts high enough that it makes no sense to repair their units. Kinda like Jabsco heads. You can buy a rebuild kit or for 10% more you can get a whole new toilet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This whole thread got me off my ass and go scrap off all the ashes and grease off of my SS gas grill and was going to Lowes or Home Depot and get new burners in time for the big 4th weekend. The post I made above about the 4 burner at Home Depot was correct but I was wrong to report that as my present grill. I tossed that one when the burners got toasted and the 304 SS got all ugly. I thought about salvaging various components such as the rarely used side burner but figured if I left it somewhat intact then some one would haul it off from the street across from our driveway. Didn't take long.

 I replaced that nice unit (a good deal at the present Home Depot price as I found I could replace the burners under the 5 year warranty but I didn't have a dated receipt to show and they were only about $14 for all four at HD. Wish I had known. I replaced it with a Lowe's 'special buy' which was a Charm Broil with all SS (really!) and only 2 burners which is all I need. It gets hot FAST and when I mucked out the gunk in the trunk I found the SS burner tubes to be in fine shape after I scraped off all the burnt on marinade and am back in business. Might invest in a new Piezo spark unit for $15 and to think I was ready to drop $197 on the fine looking single burner Mini Solara Infrared unit. They make the 2 burner version in 304 and 316 for a pretty markup and I called and asked if I could get a 316 upgrade on the small and light (12"x12" 10 lbs) single unit but apparently not. Show some interest here and I will renew my appeal. And to think I was obsessing over Sous Vide cookers just last week!

      I can use my Mini gas grill on my boat where the Sous Vide is useless!

Look at these two beauties. These are the two portable 2 burner InfraRed grills that are the next step up from the Mini I lust for.

21926be0dd4eab232491331fd7aa2a0b.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rasp you need to buy the Solaire and give us a review. Several published reviews say it doesn't work in the wind. 

Jack, even in $AUS that's still a lot of tosh. I get the boating specific features in the Magma (primarily it won't blow out). I just want it folded from 316. Should be $100 more and they'd be making good money on that option. And still far less than half the price of the Aussie. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

Might invest in a new Piezo spark unit for $15 and to think I was ready to drop $197 on the fine looking single burner Mini Solara Infrared unit.

I've never had a piezo last more than a season on the boat. Spend the $15 on extended lighters instead. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, IStream said:

I've never had a piezo last more than a season on the boat. Spend the $15 on extended lighters instead. 

Those cheapo trigger lighters from Walmart or wherever work fine.  They come in 3-packs for under ten bucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys:  Many thanks for the feedback.  I have been away (sailing thankfully) and back in town now.

I salvaged a part or two off one of the Force 10's to get the other one running.  Barely.  

I also picked up a new burner and diffuser plate for the Magma and it is up and running.

At the store picking up the Magma parts, the retailer basically said if you want good cooking and long-term parts availability, get the Dickinson Sea-BQ.

I think Kuuma is the successor to Force 10, but so far, no one has been able to get me any parts for the old log style Force 10's.

Long term, I want to keep the Magma off my boat ... its too big to leave on a rail mount full time.   We also like it on trips in our VW Westy.

So, I will start looking for the right sized Dickinson.  The small looks a bit too small...  The large is actually huge...  Will take my personal Commodore over to check out which one she wants.

Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny, when I first got the large seabq mounted, it looked big to me too. Now, having used it for 5 years, it just looks right. My dinner load is typically 5 burgers or sausages plus grilled veggies with buns warmed on top, which it's perfectly sized for. Last night I got four large T bones on there with no room to spare. Probably won't do that again until the kids are bigger!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

50-something replies and nobody has mentioned Cobb ? compact, you can store it away and it's  safe  (heat is inside and top bowl, but can simply lift it and put it somewhere else when on full heat), have been using one for years. Works on charcoal but is not bigsize for a big family, works for couple people.

was originally designed to be used in South African brush without burning the place down, works well on boats too, at least for me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/27/2018 at 7:19 PM, DtM said:

My vote is for a Weber gas BBQ.  Not sure if you have them in Canada and the US.  Made some rail mounts and plumbed the gas to the BBQ.

Same.  Started using one this year.  Excellent quality, cooks evenly and fast.  Built a small rail mounted table for it and secure it to the table.  Only downside is that I don't really feel it's safe to leave it mounted to the rail like my old Dickinson so I have to stow it after use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happy with my charcoal small rail mount Magma. It has been grilling away for 8 years now. Still looks OK.

As to temp control the variable ventilation on the top works to control the  burn temp of the charcoal pretty well.

I usually concentrate the coals on the upwind side and get a higher temp there. 

Cooking on it is a bit of an acquired art but I can now turn out good roast potatoes onions and parsnips [ parboil first]  tasty carrots [julienned 3/8th in ] wrapped in tinfoil with butter, mahi mahi and if the fishing has been unsuccessful spare ribs.  

Is it all a bit of a faff compared to my Force 10 yes! 

Does it take longer yes!

Does the food taste better  mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm yes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the search for Force 10 parts has officially been called off.  Two decent BBQ's without burners are going into the dumpster.

I spent about $150 to get our Magma back up and running with a new burner, regulator and heat difuser.  So our backyard is up and running.

The Commodore went to the local marine shop and after looking at all options and came home with the small sized Dickinson Sea-B-Q.  She said she can get 3 big steaks on it, and that's what she wants for capacity.  Need to figure out the mount as they don't have an option of putting the BBQ a bit outboard from the stern rail.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, jacrider said:

So the search for Force 10 parts has officially been called off.  Two decent BBQ's without burners are going into the dumpster.

I spent about $150 to get our Magma back up and running with a new burner, regulator and heat difuser.  So our backyard is up and running.

The Commodore went to the local marine shop and after looking at all options and came home with the small sized Dickinson Sea-B-Q.  She said she can get 3 big steaks on it, and that's what she wants for capacity.  Need to figure out the mount as they don't have an option of putting the BBQ a bit outboard from the stern rail.  

 

Sure Marine has a good selection of mounting options...

http://www.suremarineservice.com/Galley/Dickinson-BBQ-Accessories/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gave up on all the "marine" units and went with a Weber Q1200 and have been loving it for about a year now.  It replaced a Kumma that would constantly burn out in any breeze when used on anything but full blast.  We also needed a larger grill to cook for the 5 of us on board.

Burner is SS, box is Aluminum, grates are porcelain coated cast iron, and remainder is generally plastic.  It looks like brand new after a year of heavy use.

I rail mounted it with a Magma T10-680 and a couple of SS bolts from the hardware store (you need to drill a small hole in each leg of each foot to make this work - it took about 20 minutes to do).

Bottom line, less than half the price of a comparable "marine" unit.  Works better - I cooked steaks, oysters, and shrimp on it last night in a 20 knot wind and it never blew out - and it cooks evenly.  It is super easy to clean out, and it is holding up quite well in addition.  

I do have one minor gripe.  I remove the drip tray when not in use to keep it from blowing out, and if there is a little grease left in the grill, it can drip onto the side of the boat depending on how you mount it.  I just need to be more dilligent about burning it clean I guess.  Alternately, maybe I could put a locking pin in the drip tray to just be able to leave it in place.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Careful how you clean those grates. The porcelain inevitably cracks and moisture will get in and rust the iron, causing the crack open just enough to grab the wires out of a grill brush. My wife got one lodged in her throat and had to have it removed under anesthesia. Nothing but smooth stainless grates for me anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should never use those grill brushes with wires for that reason. Go with a ball of aluminum foil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, longhorn said:

You should never use those grill brushes with wires for that reason. Go with a ball of aluminum foil.

That makes it too greasy to put back on my head.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob swears that Salmon oil is the bomb for hair care, BBQ grill grease funk just might be the latest greatest goop!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Ishmael said:

That makes it too greasy to put back on my head.

I upgraded to a colander. When not on the head it's mainly used to strain pasta so you can put it back on without washing it first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, DDW said:

I take it you are a Pastafarian then?

 

440px-FSM_Logo_svg.png.0386dd609b6887952d4bf9a09976b96a.png

I'm not, but my youngest is definitely pasta-curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this